Fried cabbage is a quick side dish that pairs with almost anything!

In this quick side dish, cabbage and onions are pan-fried in a little bit of bacon grease until tender. Season and top with crumbled bacon before serving.

You’ll love how easy this dish is to prep.

a plate of fried cabbage

Why We Love Fried Cabbage

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

  • Fried cabbage is an easy side dish that needs just a few ingredients.
  • It’s perfect with your short on time or budget!
  • It needs just one pan, clean-up is a breeze.
  • Change it up, add extra onions or garlic, or swap the bacon for ham. Stir in egg noodles, or even use it top 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 soups and more.

CABBAGE: I prefer a head of green cabbage, but any variety will do.

BACON: Bacon adds a smoky flavor and a bit of fat needed to cook the onions and cabbage. Ham or corned beef can be used instead. If using lower-fat versions of bacon (like turkey bacon or vegan bacon), add some extra butter 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 (aka Haluski) and often make it with sausage.

To stretch this meal even further, boil some egg noodles and stir them into the mixture with butter before serving!

How to Make Fried Cabbage

Cabbage becomes tender and sweet once cooked.

  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 per the recipe below.
  3. Stir in chopped cabbage and cook until tender. Season and serve.

Cabbage is best cooked low and slow to bring out the sweet flavor. It will take about 15 minutes to fry the 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 the cabbage steam as it cooks, reducing cooking time and adding extra 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 to a soup or stew!

More Ways to Love Cabbage

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

adding bacon and seasonings to Fried Cabbage
4.98 from 44 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Fried Cabbage

Fried Cabbage is 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


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  • 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


  • Heat a large skillet or cast iron pan over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the drippings in the pan.
  • Add chopped onion to the bacon drippings and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in chopped cabbage and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
  • Season with chili flakes if using and salt & pepper to taste.
  • Sprinkle with the cooked bacon and serve.


If you have a large pan, you can cut a whole head of cabbage and cook in batches. Cooked cabbage can be frozen for up to 3 months.
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!
4.98 from 44 votes

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
Fried Cabbage with bacon on a plate with writing
Fried Cabbage with bacon and a title
plated Fried Cabbage with a title
plated Fried Cabbage and close up photo with writing


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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. Just like grandma made! Thanks for reminding me. I will make this week as I haven’t made in such a long time. Love your site.5 stars

  2. We love this and I make it frequently. It has a nice texture and is not mushy and is a great side dish to use with Kalbi Pork Loin that has a touch of sweetness.
    Thank you.5 stars

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    1. I par fry the bacon so I have the bacon grease in the pan with the bacon to saute the cabbage slightly before adding chicken broth and salt, pepper, garlic powder, Worcestershire and onion powder. put a lid on and let it go till cabbage is tender. my son who is tad picky will eat whole pan.

      1. That sounds amazing! Going to try it your way with the chicken broth5 stars

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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