Seriously Good Bacon Fried Cabbage

How to make crave-worthy fried cabbage with bacon and garlic. Simple, quick, and delicious! If you have never fried or sautéed cabbage before, you need to start.

Fried Cabbage with Bacon and Garlic.

How to Make the Best Fried Cabbage

Thanks to bacon and garlic, sometimes boring cabbage transforms into a dish that’s almost crave worthy. If you have never fried or sautéed cabbage before, you need to start. As the cabbage cooks in the frying pan, it wilts, turns tender, and becomes sweet. Cabbage may sound like a boring side, but this is actually one of our favorite sides to make.

Fried cabbage is easy, and it’s one the first sides to go on the table. We “fry” our cabbage in some bacon fat. Not so much fat that it’s greasy but just enough that the cabbage picks up the smoky and savory flavors of the bacon.

Best Bacon Fried Cabbage

If you aren’t into bacon, no worries! Swap the bacon for sausage or go meatless and use butter or olive oil. (We cook cabbage in olive oil for this lemony garlic cabbage and it’s excellent.)

Bacon cooking in a pan for bacon fried cabbage

We love cooking with cabbage and this bacon fried cabbage is right at the top of our favorites list, here’s the basic method:

How to “Fry” Cabbage

  • Cook bacon in a skillet until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crispy.
  • Save the crispy bacon for serving and save a bit of the rendered fat to cook the cabbage in.
  • Cook the cabbage in the bacon fat along with some garlic, red pepper flakes, and a little salt.
  • When the cabbage is wilted, sweet, and starting to brown around the edges, toss in a little mustard, apple cider vinegar, and the cooked bacon from earlier. The mustard and vinegar add a pop of acid to the cabbage which balances the sweet cabbage and smokey bacon.
  • Serve and devour!

We like to keep things simple when it comes to the seasonings. Garlic, a little heat from red pepper flakes, and tang from mustard and vinegar. You can stir in other seasonings, too. Try a little paprika or turmeric for color, onion powder, chili powder, Cajun seasoning, Creole seasoning or cayenne pepper for even more heat.

If you love classic Southern recipes like this one, try our Classic Shrimp and Grits!

How to Make the Best Fried Cabbage

More Easy Cabbage Recipes

Seriously Good Bacon Fried Cabbage

  • PREP
  • COOK

Bacon makes this simple fried cabbage crave-worthy. 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. Keep in mind, though, 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. Take the pan off of the heat, and then use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a bowl and save for later.

    2Remove all the bacon fat from the pan except for one tablespoon. (Leave more or less, depending on your preference. One tablespoon tastes great, but doesn’t make the cabbage greasy.)

    3Place the pan back onto medium-high heat then add the cabbage, garlic, red pepper flakes, and the salt. It might seem like too much cabbage for the pan, but as it cooks, the cabbage will wilt down.

    4Cook, occasionally stirring until the cabbage is tender and some of the cabbage begins to turn light brown; 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the mustard, apple cider vinegar, and the reserved cooked bacon. Taste then 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.
  • Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

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
Inspired Taste Newsletter Signup
15 comments… Leave a Review
  • 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!


Leave a Reply

Leave a Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe!


All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you so much for waiting. First time commenting? Please review our comment guidelines. You must be at least 16 years old to post a comment. All comments are governed by our Privacy Policy & Terms.

Previous Post: Next Post: