Southern-fried cabbage with bacon is a delicious, easy side dish that will complement any meal. This one-skillet recipe Is full of flavor and ready to eat in less than 45 minutes. Plus, it's a great way to use lots of leftover cabbage and is perfect for a casual get-together or a weeknight meal!
⭐ Why this recipe works
This flavorful dish is simple for any home cook to make with just a few pantry ingredients and one skillet required. Plus, at less than $2 per serving, this is one of the best comfort foods to feed a family.
Its affordability and ease of preparation make this dish a great weeknight meal. And, since cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable packed with nutrients like vitamins C and K, fiber, and antioxidants, it helps to contribute to a healthy body.
Bacon fried cabbage is pure comfort food with Southern flavors of sweet paprika, spicy cayenne pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Crispy bacon and sweet onions round out this easy side dish that pair perfectly delicious with my easy sweet potato pie.
The crispy texture of bacon and the softness of the cabbage combined with the robust spices is delicious and a great way to sprouse up bland white cabbage that even the kids will love!
This southern fried cabbage with bacon recipe is a great way to use leftover cabbage - and with the other ingredients combined, it's perfect for families on a budget. And because you only need one pan, it makes clean-up a breeze!
🍽 Key Ingredients
This dish is a great way to use up leftover cabbage and is made with basic pantry ingredients.
Cabbage - Use white or green cabbage and shred it with a mandolin.
Bacon - Thick-cut bacon is best, diced into small pieces.
Onion & garlic - Use sweet or white onion and a few garlic cloves to infuse the cabbage during cooking.
Spices - A mixture of paprika and cayenne pepper gives this dish a slightly sweet and spicy kick and the richness from the Worcestershire sauce elevates the flavors.
(Optional) - Olive oil for frying
A perfect substitution to blend with sauteed cabbage is cajun seasoning! You only need a tablespoon of it instead of the paprika and cayenne pepper to give the cabbage a wonderful spicy, sweet flavor.
You could use pancetta as a 1:1 replacement for bacon.
🔪 How to make
This flavorful fried cabbage with bacon dish is simple for any home cook to make; just fry up some bacon until crisp and set aside, then sauté the cabbage in the bacon fat until it’s softened. Add the bacon back in with spices and serve hot.
- Wash and shred the cabbage head using a mandolin.
- Chop the bacon into small cubes.
- Finely chop the onion and garlic.
- Cook the bacon pieces in a heavy-bottomed large skillet over medium heat until it becomes crispy and most of the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to dry and leave about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the pan.
- Add the onion to the pan with the bacon fat and cook for about a minute or two, until softened, then add the garlic and continue to cook for 5 - 6 minutes.
- Increase the heat a bit and cook cabbage, stirring well to combine. You might not be able to fit all the cabbage in at once, so continue to stir - and as the cabbage cooks and wilts, add more until it is all in the pan
- Add the paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce, stir well to combine, then add the cooked bacon.
- Continue to cook, occasionally stirring, for about 15 mins more, or until the cooked cabbage is soft and tender.
💭 Cooking tips
If you want the dish to be a bit sweeter, add 1 tablespoon of honey to the pan when cooking the cabbage.
If your bacon is on the salty side, you might not need to add any additional salt to the dish. So taste as you go.
No Mandorlin, no problem!
If you don't have a mandolin to shred the cabbage, use a knife and cut the cabbage into quarters, and then slice the quarters into thin strips.
📖 Recipe Variations
This fried cabbage and bacon recipe is perfect for upgrading a simple side dish to something a bit more special. However, adding in some protein can also be the base of a more hearty meal.
Bacon fried cabbage and tomatoes
If you want to add some freshness and sweetness to the dish, try adding a handful of halved cherry tomatoes in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Pan-fried Cabbage with Bacon and Ham
If you have leftover ham from a holiday dinner or just some unused in the fridge, dice it up half a cup and add it to the dish for a wonderful flavor upgrade.
Bacon fried cabbage and Sausage
Adding in some cooked sausage is another great way to make this dish more hearty and satisfying. Try using a 1 pound of spicy Italian sausage for a bit of heat.
🥗 What to serve with
This Fried Cabbage with Bacon dish can be served as a side or main course. It pairs well with chicken, pork chops, or fish. Alternatively, serve it with some cooked rice or why not with a hearty texas roadhouse chili meal.
Bacon-wrapped stuffed chicken is a perfect dish to serve with this Fried Cabbage with Bacon recipe. The bacon-wrapped chicken will add a bit of salty smokiness to the meal, while the cabbage will provide a fresh crunch.
Serve the fried cabbage alongside a delicious creamy chicken pot pie for a comforting and hearty meal. The warming spices in the pot pies will pair well with the spiciness of the cabbage, while the creamy filling will be a delicious contrast to the crispy bacon.
A spicy pork tenderloin is a great option to serve with cabbage and bacon. The honey and orange juice sweetness combined with the chipotle chili and adobo sauce makes for a delicious marinade for the pork.
If you're looking for something different, this quinoa burger is a super healthy option with hearty ingredients like black beans and carrots bound with panko bread crumbs. The quinoa burger will add some protein and healthy whole grains to the meal.
Serve beef fried rice alongside the fried cabbage with bacon for a complete dinner meal. It's easy to make with leftover beef, a few spices, and pantry veggies for a comforting dish.
🙋 Frequently asked questions
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
This Fried Cabbage with Bacon recipe can be made ahead of time. Simply cook the bacon and cabbage and store them in airtight containers in the fridge. When you're ready to eat, reheat the bacon and cabbage in a pan over medium-high heat until warmed through with the additional seasonings as needed.
Can I use a different type of cabbage?
Yes, you can use any type of cabbage for this recipe. Green, red, or Savoy cabbage will all work well. If you're using a tougher cabbage like Savoy, you may need to cook it a bit longer until it's soft and tender.
🧊 Storing and ♨️Reheating
This Fried Cabbage with Bacon recipe is perfect for eating the following day if there are any leftovers. The flavors infuse, and when reheated it tastes even better!
Fridge - Transfer the leftovers into an airtight container and store them in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Freezer - Store in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months and thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Reheating - To reheat, place the leftovers in a hot skillet and toss until the contents are hot (around 5-8 minutes). If you want quick leftovers, use the microwave on full power for 1-2 minutes.
Alternatively, you can bake the leftover cabbage and bacon in a baking dish covered with aluminum foil in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) for 10 minutes until heated through.
🍳 Related Recipes
If you like my fried cabbage with Bacon recipe then you must try one my delicious side dishes full of comforting ingredients.
Are you traveling across the country and looking what to eat in a specific state? Then check out my list of best american comfort food per state.
👪 Serving size
This fried cabbage with bacon serves 5 people as a side dish. If you are using this as the main course, it will serve 2-3 people.
It's a flavorful dish perfect for a quick midweek meal, and It pairs well with chicken and pork chops. The recipe is easy to follow and can be made ahead of time. Plus, It's perfect for eating the following day if there are any leftovers, so what are you waiting for - give your bland cabbage a spiced upgrade!
As it’s called “super easy”, I’ve got to tell you that’s the complete truth. You can chop up the veggies in under 10 minutes, and it takes about 20/30 to cook all together, so this scrumptiousness comes together in about 30/40 minutes in total. Easy peasy delicious. Also check out my cucumber sandwich recipe for your next party.
🎥 Watch how to make it
Love this side dish recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
Try one of my comfort side dish recipes for your next family meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!
Southern Style Fried Cabbage with Bacon
- 6 bacon - slices, chopped
- 1 onion - large, diced
- 2 garlic - cloves, minced
- 1 cabbage - head, sliced
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- Cook the bacon in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat until it starts to become crisp and most of the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to dry, and remove all but about 2 tablespoon of the bacon grease from the pan.
- Add the onion, cook for about a minute or two, then add the garlic and continue to cook until the onion is softened - about 5 - 6 minutes.
- Increase the heat a bit, add begin to add the cabbage, stirring well to combine. You might not be able to fit all the cabbage in at once, so continue to stir, and as the cabbage cooks and wilts add more until it is all in the pan
- Add the paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce, stir well to combine, then add the cooked bacon.
- Continue to cook and stir for about 15 mins more, or until the cabbage is cooked and tender.