This southern fried cabbage with bacon recipe will become an instant favorite from the very first bite. It’s simple, easy, and tastes oh so good!
I’m going to start this post by letting you know, in the interest of full disclosure, that while the recipe I am bringing you today serves about four or five people (give or take), I ate every blessed bit of this southern fried cabbage with bacon all by myself. So yes, it’s both a stellar side dish and a great main if you’re like me and dearly love cabbage in all forms. Raw, boiled, fried, and even sauerkraut. In fact, there would have been a lot more in this dish had I not eaten so much of it raw while I was chopping it. Out of all the ways I eat cabbage though, this is the absolute best in my eyes.
Before we dive into this recipe, I just wanted to mention you shouldn’t let the “fried” part of this recipe scare you off. Some folks hear “fried” in relation to southern food and they automatically think vats of oil. In reality, we just don’t like to use fancy words like sauteed cabbage!
The ingredients for fried cabbage and bacon are very simple…
- One large head of cabbage
- 5 to 6 strips of bacon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Chop your cabbage up however you like to chop your cabbage up.
Personally, I do mine in medium-sized pieces but some people prefer larger or smaller, whatever cranks yer tractor! I have to quit chopping at this point because the longer I chop the more I eat and I want to have some leftovers to actually cook.
The instructions begin with my favorite sentence in the world: “First, you fry you up some bacon…”.
Anytime a recipe starts with that instead of “cooking the bacon”, you know it’s gonna be good! So yes, fry your bacon in a skillet until it’s nice and crispy.
Next, remove the bacon from the cast iron skillet and place the strips on a paper towel-lined plate. Then spoon out all of the grease except for about two tablespoons. If you’re using turkey bacon, add in about two tablespoons of olive oil instead.
Place all of your cabbage back in the skillet.
Crumble the bacon and add that, too.
Stir it up a bit and cook over medium-high heat for about five minutes, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to low and cover skillet. Continue cooking just until cabbage is as tender as you like it. This is usually between five to ten minutes.
When it gets as tender as you like it to be (or when you just can’t wait any longer), the final step is to add salt and black pepper to taste. Then you’re ready to dig into your southern fried cabbage with bacon!
- While fried cabbage is definitely best served fresh, you can store cooked cabbage in an airtight container in the fridge. However, it does get soggy, so I wouldn’t leave it for more than three days. Just make sure the cabbage is cooled before placing it in the fridge.
What goes well with cabbage?
You can add a little protein by serving this dish with ground beef, ground turkey, or sausages. I had this as a side dish with our low-carb meatloaf and boy was it good. Alternatively, you can easily add some additional herbs and spices to spice this dish up a bit. I have experimented with ginger, mustard, and a touch of honey and all were really good. Other popular fried cabbage recipes also use garlic powder and red pepper flakes, if you’d prefer some heat.
What meat could I use as an alternative to bacon?
While you could use ground beef, I’d recommend using turkey bacon instead. However, keep in mind there won’t be as much oil for the fried cabbage, so a little olive oil works fine instead of bacon grease.
Can you freeze cabbage?
Yes, place leftover cabbage leaves in a sealed bag and freeze for up to one month. It won’t be as crisp as fresh cabbage, but it still works in dishes like this one!
- 6 oz bacon that's about 5-6 slices, add more or less depending on your preference
- 1 cabbage head, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Place bacon on a paper towel-lined plate and remove all of the bacon grease from the pan except for about two tablespoons (add two tablespoons of olive oil if using turkey bacon).
- Place chopped cabbage in the skillet and crumble cooked bacon on top of it. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for about five minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and cover. Continue cooking until cabbage is done to your desired tenderness, which is usually about five to ten minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
You may also like these other cabbage recipes:
Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples,
don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.