Fried Cabbage

My fried cabbage recipe with bacon is super quick and delicious. It transforms ordinary cabbage into something crave-worthy. Trust me, you’ll want to make this easy recipe again and again!

Fried Cabbage with Bacon

If you have never fried cabbage before, you need to start. As the cabbage cooks in the frying pan, it wilts, turns tender, and becomes sweet and caramelized. Add the smoky bacon, and this quickly becomes one of our top side dishes!

For this fried cabbage recipe, we’ll use bacon fat to “fry” your cabbage. There isn’t enough fat to make it greasy, but just enough to allow the cabbage to pick up the bacon’s smoky and savory flavors. If you prefer a vegetarian version, check out our easy sautéed cabbage, which uses olive oil instead of bacon fat. You might also enjoy our roasted cabbage.

Best Fried Cabbage

Key Ingredients

  • Cabbage: I use white or green cabbage for this fried cabbage recipe and love how it cooks to be soft but still has some texture. You can substitute other varieties of cabbage, but they may wilt down a little more.
  • Bacon: For this recipe, use your favorite bacon. I love thick-cut bacon. You can also substitute sausage! Sausage fried cabbage sounds amazing.
  • Garlic: I like a nice kick of garlic flavor in this dish, so I use 3 to 4 cloves.
  • Dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar: These add flavor and cut through the fat of the bacon. I almost always add some acid (like vinegar) to savory dishes like this one since it adds crave-worthy flavor that makes you want to return for more. The mustard does the same.

How to Make the Best Fried Cabbage

I love cooking with cabbage, and this Southern fried cabbage is at the top of my favorites list! You’ll start by rendering bacon in a skillet until it’s crispy. Then, transfer the bacon to a plate, but leave the bacon fat in the skillet (there’s so much flavor there!).

Bacon cooking in a pan for bacon fried cabbage

Toss in your cabbage and cook it with garlic in the bacon fat until it is wilted, sweet, and starting to brown around the edges. Then stir in a little Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and the cooked bacon from earlier. So easy and so delicious!

How to Make the Fried Cabbage

Fried Cabbage Recipe

  • PREP
  • COOK

Bacon makes this easy fried cabbage recipe so delicious. As the cabbage cooks in the pan, it wilts, turns tender, and becomes sweet. White cabbage is our favorite for this, but other cabbage varieties will work. Remember that Napa cabbage will release more moisture and won’t brown as nicely in the pan. We love using peppered bacon for extra flavor, but your favorite type of bacon will also work.

Makes about 4 servings

You Will Need

3 thick slices peppered bacon, diced (3 ounces)

2 pounds white cabbage, core removed and chopped (10 cups)

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or more to taste

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Fresh ground black pepper


    1Add bacon, in one layer, to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders and the bacon is crispy, 6 to 8 minutes.

    2Take the pan off of the heat, and then use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a bowl and save for later.

    3Remove all the bacon fat from the pan except for one tablespoon. Leave more or less, depending on your preference. One tablespoon makes the cabbage taste great but won’t make the cabbage greasy.

    4Place the pan back onto medium-high heat, then add the cabbage, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt. It might seem like too much cabbage for the pan, but as it cooks, the cabbage will wilt.

    5Cook, occasionally stirring, until the cabbage is tender and some of it begins to turn light brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

    6Stir in the mustard, apple cider vinegar, and the reserved cooked bacon.

    7Taste and adjust with more salt, pepper, and vinegar as needed.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • To chop the cabbage, quarter the cabbage through the core, and then cut out the core. Chop each quarter into squares or bite-size pieces. Rinse and spin or pat very dry.
  • If you aren’t into bacon, no worries! Swap the bacon for sausage or go meatless and use butter or olive oil.
  • This cabbage recipe is excellent with onions, add them to the pan at the same time as the cabbage.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1/4 of the recipe / Calories 160 / Total Fat 9.1g / Saturated Fat 2.9g / Cholesterol 14mg / Sodium 350.3mg / Carbohydrate 15.4g / Dietary Fiber 7.3g / Total Sugars 5.5g / Protein 7.7g
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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17 comments… Leave a Review
  • Pat March 10, 2024, 4:02 pm

    Can this be made ahead and reheated?

    • Joanne May 29, 2024, 5:22 pm

      Absolutely! The bacon might lose a little crispness, but you can definitely store in the fridge and then reheat in a skillet on the stove.

  • Shonagh Walker February 21, 2024, 4:42 pm

    OMG. Doubling up on this recipe. Right now. !!! Thanks for the share. Yum yum

    • Joanne February 21, 2024, 6:42 pm

      YES! I totally agree – this recipe deserves a double batch! Thanks for sharing your love for it.

  • Dayna January 11, 2024, 8:58 pm

    So good!! I made this using uncured bacon but I doubled up on it since it’s not quite as fatty. Every other part of the recipe I followed exact and it was delicious! I then cooked a grassfed burger in the pan afterwards to serve with this dish! I will definitely be making again!

  • Carol January 5, 2024, 8:11 am

    I am going to try this recipe with bacon. I usually use polish kielbasa which is delicious with the cabbage. Thanks!

  • Karson June 12, 2023, 4:10 pm

    I’m a farmer and just harvested some cabbage and I was feeling experimental. This is the only way I will eat cabbage now. It was so very good. 10 outta 10.

  • Ellen Collings-Cole January 19, 2023, 12:35 pm

    My husband Rick is on his way to the store to pick up the ingredients to make this dish. I love all of the previous comments. Cannot wait to try this one out. Hamburgers off the grill and this fried cabbage recipe!

    • Joanne January 19, 2023, 1:12 pm

      Wonderful, we hope that you both enjoy it.

  • MargieW. September 10, 2022, 12:19 am

    This cabbage & bacon dish is simply delicious. Made the whole recipe & added one half white onion, sliced thinly, to the saute. Easy to make, so flavorful. My husband & I ate it all. We’ll be making this again. Thanks very much.

  • Kathy Inram June 14, 2022, 5:29 pm

    Tried this recipe with another recipe very good.

  • Stacey February 5, 2022, 7:58 pm

    Wow. I’ve made this several times from other recipes and this one is by far the best. The dijon makes it. I didn’t have apple cider vinegar so I had to use red wine vinegar, and added a little sugar to make up for the sweetness missing from the ACV.

  • John Meyer November 30, 2021, 10:51 pm

    I have never fried cabbage before. This is really good! Love the vinager/mustard hit and the crushed red sends it over the top! Simple to make and quite a side dish. Had it with pork chops.

  • Sue Schouten September 22, 2021, 5:24 am

    Just tried this recipe with a homegrown mini cabbage. Only one complaint from everyone – there wasn’t enough! Lovely recipe

  • Kelly Patrick Morgan April 27, 2020, 10:46 pm

    This was amazing. Do NOT skip the Dijon and cider vinegar. We added creole seasoning (the green bottle – we put it on almost every dish we cook!). Highly recommended. I liked this more than the filet mignons I made for my wife’s bday. I love veggies BUT I love steak too so it was crazy. Also, bake your thick cut bacon at 400 for 13-16 minutes, flipping half way. Super easy/super clean (we never splatter bacon grease any more). Cheers to the chefs! Thank you for a delicious cabbage recipe.

  • Heather March 30, 2020, 6:32 pm

    This is the BEST bacon fried cabbage recipe I have ever tried! This is the 6th time I’ve made it in as many weeks!

  • Jackie November 21, 2018, 9:19 am

    Wow! This looks amazing! Total cabbage & bacon fans, here. I look forward to making this dish. Thank you so much for sharing!


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