Fried Cabbage done right is a crisp tender southern side dish loaded with smoky bacon, tender onion and creole seasonings. As it lightly cooks, fried cabbage develops a mellow sweetness that complements just about any main dish. Even if you don’t think you like cabbage, get ready to be won over. You’re going to find yourself loving this classic recipe!
What is Fried Cabbage
Fried Cabbage is a true blue southern comfort food side dish that can be eaten as meal and is almost always served with hot, buttery cornbread. Think of it as a southern-style stir fry with cabbage, bacon and onion.
It’s best served hot, right out of the skillet. Plate it with plump brats for a fun St. Patrick’s Day meal or with Andouille sausage for a little Louisiana flair.
RELATED RECIPE: Beefy Roasted Cabbage Steaks
Why We Think This Fried Cabbage Recipe Is The Best
- It’s a classic with simple ingredients. Classics are always the best!
- This recipe has just the right crisp tender texture. NO wimpy or overdone cabbage here.
- Plus loads of flavor- smoky bacon, smoky creole seasoning balanced by lightly sweet brown sugar, garlic and crisp green onion!
- The suggestions for prepping the cabbage and onion in advance are huge time savers that make this quick one pot recipe even easier.
- small head of green cabbage
- thick cut bacon
- yellow onion
- green onion
- light brown sugar
- minced garlic
- red pepper flakes or all purpose creole seasoning
- salt & coarse ground black pepper
How to Make The Best Southern Fried Cabbage
Core & Chop the Cabbage. Remove 1-2 exterior leaves from the head of cabbage. Using a large chef’s knife, cut the cabbage in half through the stem. Then, cut each half in half again. Remove the core of the cabbage by cutting off the stem ends of the quarters at a 45 degree angle. All that’s left to do is chop cabbage into 1-2 inch pieces!
Cook the Bacon. Chop the bacon into 1 inch pieces and crisp in a large skillet or dutch oven on the stove top. Remove the bacon pieces with tongs or a slotted spoon and allow them to drain on a paper towel, but keep the hot skillet and bacon drippings on the stove.
Stir Fry the Cabbage. Cook the onion in the bacon drippings until translucent. Add garlic, then the chopped cabbage and seasonings. Stir occasionally while the cabbage becomes tender.
Serve. Remove the cabbage from the heat while it is still crisp tender. Fold in the bacon pieces and green onion and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Recipe Variations & Substitutions
- Instead of bacon and bacon drippings, try this recipe with 2 tablespoons of butter and smoked sausage or chopped ham for more of a meal.
- Chopped bell pepper also adds a lot of flavor.
- Finish this recipe with a splash of apple cider vinegar for a little acid zing!
How To Prep This Recipe Ahead of Time
You can core and chop your cabbage up to 5 days before you make this recipe. Just store it in a zip top bag in the refrigerator until you are ready. (The same goes for the yellow and green onions!)
Some recipes encourage making the whole dish ahead of time, but I 100% think fried cabbage tastes best when first made, so I only recommend prepping the ingredients in advance.
What To Serve with Fried Cabbage
Southern Fried Cabbage goes with just about anything. Try it with:
- Best Meatloaf Ever
- Tender Roasted Buttermilk Chicken
- Fried Fish
- Skillet Pork Chops
- Louisiana Dirty Rice
- Beef & Mushroom Rice
How To Store Leftover Fried Cabbage
Store any leftover cabbage in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave. Leftover fried cabbage usually loses some of its structure as it sits, so leftovers will be softer than when first served, but still just as tasty!
More Cabbage Recipes To Love
- Southern Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Creamy Southern Coleslaw
- Crisp Apple Coleslaw with Buttermilk Dressing
- Beefy Roasted Cabbage Steaks
If You Love Quick Side Dishes & Have Made This Recipe, Give It All The Stars & Leave A Fun Comment! Or Tag Me @SouthernDiscourse On Instagram To Be Featured. I Love Hearing From You!
Skillet Fried Cabbage & Bacon
- 5-6 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 small head green cabbage
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon all purpose creole seasoning, (or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper, generous
- 3-4 green onions, chopped
- Remove 1-2 exterior leaves of the cabbage. Using a large chef's knife, cut the cabbage in half through the stem. Cut each half in half again. Remove the core of the cabbage by cutting off the stem ends of the quarters at a 45 degree angle. Then chop cabbage into 1-2 inch pieces. Set aside.
- Using a sharp knife, chop bacon into 1 inch pieces and cook in a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven. Remove bacon from skillet with a slotted spoon or tongs and let drain on a paper towel. Keep the hot skillet with the bacon drippings on the stove top.
- Add diced onion to the bacon drippings and cook until translucent. Add minced garlic and brown.
- Add chopped cabbage. Gently toss cabbage to coat with bacon drippings, onions and garlic. Add seasonings and gently toss again. Cook just until cabbage is crisp tender.
- Remove from heat. Add bacon and green onions. Toss again and serve immediately.
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