Fried Cabbage with Bacon is one of the best ways to make a flavorful and low-carb recipe. To prepare this side dish, simply pan-fry sliced cabbage with cooked bacon, onion, and garlic. This quick and easy recipe will become a favorite in your family for New Year’s Eve or any dinner throughout year.

A spatula stirs the cabbage and bacon.

Southern Pan-Fried Cabbage

There’s one thing that is always sure to make any dish 10x better… bacon.

And that’s exactly what happened when I took this Sauteed Cabbage recipe and added in some crispy bacon bits.

It transformed what was a pretty decent side dish into one that is worthy of the most Southern New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Thinly sliced and shredded cabbage is pan-fried until tender with hints of fresh garlic and savory bacon. It is so easy to make and a great side dish for weeknights or served up with some Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas and Gluten-Free Cornbread to ring in the New Year!

The ingredients for fried cabbage with bacon.

Ingredients

To make this fried cabbage with bacon recipe you need:

  • Bacon. Ultimately, you will want five strips of thick cut bacon. Be sure to get one you like the flavor of since that will come through in the dish. It is not recommended to use turkey bacon since you need the fat.
  • Onion. A sweet onion is the perfect balance to the savory bacon and cabbage. However, a yellow or white onion can be subbed.
  • Garlic. Freshly minced garlic adds so much flavor to the dish. While garlic powder works in a pinch, it is not recommended.
  • Butter. Salted butter is best, but unsalted can be used.
  • Cabbage. Of course, this is the most important ingredient. Green cabbage is used in this recipe. Try to find one that is 2 ½ to 3 pounds. Red cabbage can be substituted, but your dish will end up very purple in color.

How to Make Fried Cabbage with Bacon

The basic steps for making Fried Cabbage with Bacon are simple to follow:

Cut the Cabbage

You need to slice the fresh head of cabbage into smaller pieces. Here are more detailed instructions for How to Cut Cabbage.

First, remove the stem end of the cabbage. Then, set the flat side down on the cutting board. Cut it in half, and then into quarters.

Pick up a section of cabbage and find the core in the middle. Cut at an angle to remove this hard section. Repeat with the remaining quarters.

Thinly slice each chunk into pieces that are about ¼ inch thick and 3 inches long.

Slice and Cook the Bacon

The next step is to cut the bacon. If you are using thick-cut strips, first slice each in half down the middle long ways, and then chop into smaller pieces.

Add the bacon to a large frying pan, cast-iron skillet, or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook for around 7 to 8 minutes, making sure to stir the pieces regularly. You want it cooked through and crispy.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.

Add the Onions and Garlic

Pour the diced onion into the skillet with the leftover bacon drippings. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, still over medium heat. The onions will be tender and turning translucent.

Add the minced garlic and continue cooking for 30 more seconds. You should begin to smell them.

Bring it All Together

Add the butter and half of the sliced cabbage to the skillet. With tongs or a spatula, toss the cabbage with the onions and garlic.

Once the first half of the cabbage has cooked down, about 2 to 3 minutes, you should have room for the second batch. Add the rest of the cabbage to the skillet, along with the salt and pepper.

Stir until everything is combined.

Let the mixture cook for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally.

If you turn it up to medium-high heat during the last few minutes of cooking, the cabbage will caramelize beautifully and create a depth of flavor.

After the cabbage is tender, add the bacon back in. Continue cooking for another minute or two, until the bacon is warmed up.

Serve this dish immediately with a bit more salt and pepper, if desired.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep fried cabbage with bacon ahead of time: You can cut the cabbage up to 2 days ahead of time and store it in the fridge. You can also cook the bacon and save the grease.
  • How to store fried cabbage with bacon: Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • How to freeze fried cabbage with bacon: While you can freeze this dish, the texture will be slightly different after thawing. You can freeze leftovers in a freezer-safe container for up to 3-4 months
  • How to reheat fried cabbage with bacon: Add leftovers to a large skillet over medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through.
A closeup shot of fried cabbage with bacon.

How to make the best fried cabbage?

One of the best ways to prepare fried cabbage is to cook it with onions, garlic, and bacon. Each of these ingredients add so much flavor to the vegetable, making it a robust side dish.

What dishes go with fried cabbage?

Fried cabbage is a versatile side that goes with any main dish. Try it alongside your favorite pork chops and roast chicken dishes, or even add it to stews and soups.

Is cabbage healthy?

Cabbage is an incredibly healthy vegetable. It is packed with nutrients and low in calories. It can also reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and increase heart health. Cabbage may even lower cholesterol levels.

Add bacon to fried cabbage for a flavorful side dish.

Dietary Modifications

The recipe you’ll find below is already keto, gluten-free, and low-carb as written. Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:

  • Dairy-free: Leave out the butter and use olive oil or a vegan buttery stick, instead.
  • Vegetarian and Vegan: Opt for vegan bacon.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Same-sized. Slice the cabbage into strips that are similar in thickness, so it all cooks up at the same rate.
  • Stick with thick. Avoid thin-sliced bacon which can get too crispy when cooking.
  • It takes two. Add the cabbage into the skillet in two batches so it will all fit without overflowing.
  • Let it sit. Letting the cabbage cook without stirring for a few minutes gives it time to contact the skillet and caramelize.
  • Keep it fresh. Opt for whole garlic cloves when possible, but garlic powder will work if necessary.
  • Change it up. Toss in your favorite spices to this dish to kick up the flavor, like a little bit of paprika, Cajun Seasoning, or even Taco Seasoning.
A white bowl is full of fried cabbage with bacon.

What to Serve with Fried Cabbage with Bacon

This recipe is an easy and delicious side dish that goes with so many things.

Try it with this Teriyaki Glazed Salmon or alongside Air Fryer Salmon for a real treat.

If you prefer to avoid seafood, give Chicken Cordon Bleu or Honey Balsamic Glazed Chicken a shot.

More Cabbage Recipes

Cabbage is a vastly underutilized vegetable.

These Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls are amazing, as are the Classic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.

Cabbage Steaks and Sauteed Cabbage with Onions are super easy ways to get a side on the table.

But don’t miss a classic recipe, like this Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage, or this Egg Roll in a Bowl!

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5 from 1 vote

Fried Cabbage with Bacon

Fried Cabbage with Bacon is one of the best ways to make a flavorful and low-carb recipe. To prepare this side dish, simply pan-fry sliced cabbage with cooked bacon, onion, and garlic.
Yield 6 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 30 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 4 oz. bacon about 5 thick-cut strips
  • 1 small sweet onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 2 Tbsp. butter salted
  • 1 head green cabbage roughly 2 ½ to 3 lbs.
  • ¾-1 tsp. salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

Instructions 

  • Remove the stem end of the cabbage. Place it cut-side down on a cutting board and cut in half and then again into quarters. Locate the core in the middle of each quarter and cut at an angle to remove it. Thinly slice the cabbage quarters to get pieces that are roughly ¼ inch thick and 3 inches long.
  • Cut the bacon into small, bite-sized pieces. If using thick-cut strips, cut the bacon down the middle length-wise and then again into pieces.
  • Add bacon pieces to a large stainless-steel skillet over medium heat. Cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the bacon is cooked through and crispy.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon pieces and let drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Add the onion to the reserved bacon grease in the skillet and saute for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, or until tender and translucent. Add the garlic during the last 30 seconds and cook until fragrant.
  • Add the butter and half of the shredded cabbage to the skillet. Toss to combine the cabbage with the onions and garlic. After about 2-3 minutes add in the remaining half of cabbage along with the salt and black pepper. Stir everything together until it’s well combined. Continue cooking the cabbage for another 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you’d like to caramelize the cabbage slightly, turn up the heat to medium-high during the last few minutes of cooking.
  • Once the cabbage is tender, toss back in the bacon to warm it up. Serve immediately with additional salt and black pepper, if desired, and enjoy!

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5 from 1 vote

Video

Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep fried cabbage with bacon ahead of time: You can cut the cabbage up to 2 days ahead of time, simply store it in the fridge. You can also cook the bacon and save the grease.
  • How to store fried cabbage with bacon: Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • How to freeze fried cabbage with bacon: While you can freeze this dish, the texture will be slightly different after thawing. You can freeze leftovers for up to 3-4 months. 
  • How to reheat fried cabbage with bacon: Add leftovers to a large skillet over medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through

Nutrition

Calories: 161kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 23mg, Sodium: 424mg, Potassium: 329mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 280IU, Vitamin C: 57mg, Calcium: 70mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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