Fried cabbage is a quick side dish that’s easy to make and has so much flavor.

Cabbage and onions are pan fried in a little bit of bacon grease until tender! Season and top with crumbled bacon before serving.

This simple side is packed with flavor and pairs well with everything from chicken breasts to pork chops or even meatloaf.

a plate of fried cabbage

Why We Love Fried Cabbage

Southern fried cabbage becomes sweet and tender and bacon & onion add great flavor.

  • This is a simple side dish that needs just a few ingredients.
  • It’s inexpensive to make with a head of cabbage and a few slices of bacon.
  • It’s versatile, add extra onions, swap bacon for ham, add some garlic.
  • Fried cabbage with bacon needs just one pan and is fast to make too.
  • Served hot as a side, stir in egg noodles, or even use it to top a hot dog or pork chops.

ingredients to make Fried Cabbage

Ingredients for Fried Cabbage

The beauty of this fried cabbage recipe is how basic it is, but how many different ways it can be prepared! Growing up with a Polish grandmother cabbage was always on the menu from Cabbage Rolls to so soups and more.

CABBAGE: A basic head of cabbage is all that is needed. You can use any kind of cabbage including red cabbage for a colorful side.

BACON: Bacon adds a salty smoky flavor and the fat is great for cooking the onions and cabbage. If you don’t have bacon, you can use ham or even leftover corned beef. If using a lower fat bacon (like turkey bacon or vegan bacon) you’ll need to add some extra butter or oil to replace the bacon grease.

OPTIONS:  Add a couple of cloves of garlic if you’d like. Finish with a squeeze of lemon, apple cider vinegar, or a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Make it a Meal

We love cabbage and noodles and often make them with sausage. To stretch this meal even further, boil some noodles and stir them into the mixture before serving!

process of adding ingredients to pan to make Fried Cabbage

How to Make Fried Cabbage

Cabbage is so easy and when cooked low and slow, it is tender and sweet.

  1. Cook the bacon until crisp and set aside (leave the drippings in the pan!).
  2. Fry the onion in the bacon drippings until tender. Stir in chopped cabbage and cook (as per recipe below).
  3. Season and serve.

Cabbage is best cooked low and slow to bring out the sweet flavor. It will take about 15 minutes or so to fry cabbage.

Time Saving Tip: If you’re short on time, add a few tablespoons of chicken broth to the cabbage in the pan. This will help it to steam as it cooks reducing cooking time and adding flavor!

bowl of fried cabbage with bacon

What to Serve With Fried Cabbage

As a main dish, fried cabbage stands alone and is great with cooked egg noodles as a main dish.

As a hot side dish, fried cabbage goes best with other comfort food main dishes like Oven Fried Chicken or these easy Glazed Ham Steaks.

Storing Leftovers

Keep fried cabbage with bacon in a covered container for up to 4 days. Freeze portions in quart-sized zippered bags with the date labeled on the outside for up to 4 weeks. The cabbage mixture will be soft, but add some fresh cabbage and reheat in a skillet. Or, add leftover cabbage with bacon to a stir fry with meat. Or add it into a soup or stew!

More Ways to Love Cabbage

Did you make this Cabbage & Bacon recipe? Be sure to leave us a rating and a comment below! 

a plate of fried cabbage
4.96 from 22 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Fried Cabbage

Cabbage becomes tender and sweet when pan fried with bacon and onions.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 6 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 6 cups cabbage core removed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Fry bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside (leave the drippings in the pan).
  • Add onion to bacon drippings and cook until tender.
  • Stir in cabbage and cook 15-20 minutes or until tender.
  • Season with chili flakes, salt, & pepper to taste. Stir in bacon and serve.


Cut cabbage into 1-inch strips about 2-inches long. Coleslaw mix can be used but is thin and will only need 8-10 minutes to cook.
Optional additions include 2 cloves of minced garlic (added with the cabbage), parmesan cheese, or a squeeze of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
If you're short on time, add a few tablespoons of chicken broth to the cabbage in the pan. This will help it to steam as it cooks reducing cooking time and adding flavor!
Keep leftovers in a covered container for up to 4 days in the fridge.
Freeze portions in zippered bags for up to 4 weeks. Thaw and add some fresh cabbage and reheat in a skillet. 
4.96 from 22 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 175 | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 240mg | Potassium: 283mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 40.5mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 0.7mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

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Fried Cabbage in the pan and plated with writing


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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. I love trying all these recipes, now that we r moving for the last time in our lives, I can’t even think about what to cook, did this for 67 years so long but my hubby and I still have to eat.
    Thank u for posting

  2. I’ve tried this several times, and while it is very tasty, cooking the cabbage in the bacon drippings makes the cabbage brown. It doesn’t remain white as pictured. How can I fix this?

    1. I cook at a medium temperature so the cabbage doesn’t brown too much. A higher temperature may cause it to brown.

  3. I use bacon when I make fried cabbage but instead of frying the bacon I cut it into small pieces & let it cook with cabbage.

  4. This recipe looks easy & delicious, so I’m definately making it soon! I noticed you mentioned using minced garlic but the recipe calls for onion. Do you use one or the other or both for this? I can’t wait to try it!

    1. Sorry for the confusion! I always use onion and often add a small clove of garlic in with the onion. Enjoy the recipe!

  5. Really liked the fried cabbage but had to make changes because of necessity. My precious wife had cancer 35years ago and was overdosed with chemo. Since then she was found to be allergic to Pork and Shell fish ( shrimp, lobster, clams etc., fish is ok. Recipes like this cabbage was good but substituted bacon with olive oil with butter and it satisfied the taste. Keep up the great recipes. By the way, pineapple and bananas make her mouth tingle. They got the cancer and she’s been cancer free since.

    1. Those sound like tasty substitutions Joe. I am so glad your wife is cancer free now. Thanks for commenting!

  6. A super easy & tasty side dish, which I like to serve with Ham Steaks. I sometimes add in a tiny amount of mustard seed, fennel seed, & a sprinkle of vinegar & sugar. If I feel like getting ‘shmancey’, I also add some re-constituted Porcini mushrooms w/the liquid.4 stars