Fried Cabbage with Bacon

5 from 5 votes
30 minutes
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Fried Cabbage with Bacon is a classic Southern-inspired dish. This simple and delicious fried cabbage recipe combines the sweetness of cabbage with the smoky flavor of bacon for a fast and effortless low-carb side dish!

Fried Cabbage with Bacon in white enamel cast iron skillet with serving utensils on white cutting board with red striped napkin.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

When fried, cabbage develops a delicious nutty, slightly sweet flavor because its natural sugars caramelize. That savory, sweet flavor that results from the caramelization pairs perfectly with the smokiness of the bacon and the earthy, pungent flavor of onions in this Southern-inspired side dish.

A small amount of chicken broth helps to “deglaze” the skillet, so none of the flavorful browned bits from the bacon, cabbage, and onions stays behind. The fried cabbage is then finished with a touch of butter to create a delicate “sauce.”

Packed with nutrients and fiber, green cabbage is a versatile and budget-friendly vegetable that can go a long way. If you have a half-head of cabbage remaining from another recipe, you can use it to prepare this quick, easy, healthy low-carb side dish. Fried cabbage is great with many things, especially meatloaf, pot roast, and chicken pot pie!

This Fried Cabbage with Bacon recipe is:

  • Easy!
  • Budget-friendly!
  • Low-carb!
  • Super tasty!
Two serving utensils serving up Fried Cabbage with Bacon.

How to Make Fried Cabbage with Bacon:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this Southern fried cabbage recipe, along with how to prep the ingredients. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Ingredients for Fried Cabbage with Bacon in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Bacon: Bacon is the second most important ingredient in a fried cabbage with bacon recipe next to the cabbage! I used peppered bacon, which gives this dish a nice spicy kick! Use your favorite bacon; however, I would avoid something sweet like maple-flavored bacon. If you don’t consume pork, substitute turkey, beef, or plant-based bacon.
  • Chicken Broth: You can also use vegetable broth.
  • Cabbage: Use plain green cabbage or Savoy cabbage.
  • Butter: I always use unsalted butter in cooking and baking because it’s easier to control the level of salt in whatever I’m making.
  • Parsley: I recommend using flat-leaf Italian parsley.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep all the ingredients.
  • Slice the bacon widthwise into small pieces.
  • Place the bacon in a cast iron skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the bacon is cooked and crispy, approximately 5 to 6 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary so the bacon fat does not smoke.
  • Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve all the bacon fat.
Cooked bacon in white enamel cast iron skillet.
  • Add the onion, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until the onion softens.
  • Add the garlic and cook briefly, 10 to 15 seconds, or until fragrant.
  • Add the cabbage and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, frequently stirring until the cabbage wilts and is lightly browned.
  • Push the cabbage aside and add the chicken broth. (Be careful not to pour the chicken broth over the cabbage as it will dilute the caramelization on the cabbage.)
  • Bring to a boil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the chicken broth almost evaporates.
Wooden spoon stirring cabbage after chicken broth is added in white enamel cast iron skillet.
  • Add the butter and stir to melt.
Butter being stirred into cabbage in white enamel cast iron skillet with wooden spoon.
  • Add the bacon back into the cabbage and stir to heat through.
  • Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve immediately.
  • That’s it, friends! A Southern Fried Cabbage with Bacon recipe!

Enjoy!

Fried Cabbage with Bacon in white enamel cast iron skillet with serving utensils and red striped napkin.

Chef Tip:

  • While you can certainly cook the bacon strips whole and then crumble them into pieces, cutting the bacon into small pieces before cooking allows it to cook faster, and it looks nicer in your finished dish.
  • Leftover fried cabbage makes a great addition to a pot of soup, especially bean soup.
Two serving utensils serving up Fried Cabbage with Bacon from white enamel cast iron skillet.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you cut cabbage for frying?

The best way is to cut it into square chunks so that more of the surface area of the pieces can come in contact with the hot pan. To do that, cut the head of the cabbage in half through the stem end, then place the cut side down on your cutting board. Cut into quarters, then slice into 1/2-inch to 1-inch thick slices toward the stem end. If you wish to shred the cabbage, shred it on a grater with large holes or thinly slice it.

Is Fried Cabbage with Bacon healthy?

It is if you’re on a keto or low-carb diet. Not so much if you’re on a heart-healthy or low-calorie diet because of the bacon. You can always substitute turkey bacon.

Can you freeze fried cabbage?

Yes, absolutely! Cool completely, then place in airtight containers. Freeze for 2-3 months. Thaw in the microwave or in the refrigerator.

Finished Fried Cabbage with Bacon in white enamel cast iron skillet with serving utensils.

Storage:

  • Refrigerate any leftovers and enjoy them within 4 to 5 days.

Serve with:

More great cabbage recipes you’ll love!

Get all my vegetable recipes at: Side Dishes – Vegetables – From A Chef’s Kitchen

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Two serving utensils serving up Fried Cabbage with Bacon from white enamel cast iron skillet.

Fried Cabbage with Bacon

5 from 5 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Fried Cabbage with Bacon is a classic Southern-inspired dish. This simple and delicious fried cabbage recipe combines the sweetness of cabbage with the smoky flavor of bacon for a fast and effortless low-carb side dish!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dishes – Vegetables
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 449 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 ounces bacon - peppered or conventional
  • 1 large onion - coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - finely chopped
  • 1/2 large head of cabbage - or 1 small whole head, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley - for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Slice the bacon widthwise into small pieces. Place the bacon in a cast iron skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the bacon is cooked and crispy, approximately 5-6 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary so the bacon fat does not smoke.
  • Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve all the bacon fat.
  • Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook briefly, 10-15 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add the cabbage and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently until the cabbage wilts and is lightly browned.
  • Push the cabbage aside and add the chicken broth. (Be careful to not pour the chicken broth over the cabbage as it will dilute the caramelization on the cabbage.)
  • Bring to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the chicken broth has almost evaporated.
  • Add the butter and stir to melt.
  • Add the bacon back into the cabbage and stir to heat through.
  • Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Notes

While you can cook the bacon strips whole and then crumble them into pieces, cutting the bacon into small pieces before cooking allows it to cook faster and look nicer in your finished dish.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Cool completely, then place in airtight containers. Freeze for 2-3 months. Thaw in the microwave or the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 449kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 215mg | Potassium: 352mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 173IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 1mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing this old world recipe. My grandmother taught me this using ham or bacon and egg noodles! So satisfying. GF can use chic pea pastas or rice noodles. I usually cooked cabbage to nearly done before adding garlic so it doesn’t burn.

  2. 5 stars
    Amazing how a few ingredients can bring so much comfort and flavor to a simple dish. This is classic and beautiful and I can’t wait to have it again! Yay cabbage!!!