Southern fried cabbage with bacon is a Southern classic side dish that can be very addicting, but it's okay because cabbage is so good for you.
Want to see our latest recipes? Subscribe to our email newsletter to get our latest recipes, fun food facts, food puns, and behind the scenes news about our blog.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients. Chop up the cabbage, onion, and mince the garlic, then measure out the spices.
- Sauté the onion over medium high heat until it's soft, then cook the garlic until it's fragrant.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the chopped cabbage a little at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until it's well mixed.
3. Add the caraway and celery seed at this time so the spices can bloom.
4. Cover the skillet, and turn the heat to medium low. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. During the last 5 minutes, add vinegar, sugar, and salt.
6. Add in most of the crumbled bacon to the skillet and mix it in.
7. Garnish with some extra bacon.
8. Serve hot.
What is fried cabbage?
This dish is popular in the South. Chopped up cabbage is fried in bacon grease and onion until it wilts and cooks down. Vinegar and sugar are usually added along with a few other spices.
There are slight variations. Some recipes use a bit of chicken broth and let it cook down. Other recipes like it more spicy so they add red pepper flakes, hot sauce, or smoked hot Spanish paprika. If you like a smoky flavor, but don't like bacon, try using smoked sausage or smoked turkey.
What do you serve with this dish?
This recipe is a very versatile as you can serve it along side most meats. If you need some suggestions, fried chicken and pork chops are tasty choices. Many times I prefer to serve this for the main dish for my family and just increase the meat. Pair this with cornbread and butter to round out the meal.
What are the calories?
A ½ cup serving size has 63 calories. Yes, you read that right. This dish is really low in calories, so don't feel guilty if you have more than one helping. This recipe has 7.6g of carbs and is high in vitamin C.
Can you freeze this recipe?
If you have a whole head of cabbage, and you know you'll want to freeze some. I will advise you to freeze the half of it before cooking it. Once this recipe is made, is it best to not freeze it, as the texture isn't the same when it is thawed.
How long does it last?
It can last in the fridge for up to three days, but it does taste best if eaten with 24 hours.
- Want to use a different vinegar? Try apple cider vinegar.
- Want it spicy? Try adding crushed red pepper flakes, hot sauce, or smoked hot Spanish paprika.
- Want the sodium reduced? Use olive oil and omit the bacon.
- Need this to be vegan? Omit the bacon grease and crumbled bacon. Use olive oil, mushrooms, or potatoes.
- Need this to be keto-friendly? Omit the onion, if you're just starting out, or use green onions.
- Want other spices? Try Worcestershire sauce.
- Like adding liquid? Try ⅓ cup of chicken broth.
- Want more texture? Cook it for less time. Taste test as you go.
- Don't use pre-shredded cabbage. Chop up a head fresh just before using.
- Emeril Lagasse Skillet: this heavy-bottomed skillet conducts heat evenly and doesn't burn food easily.
- Bamboo Cutting Board: this spacious cutting board is a great size for chopping.
- Bamboo Spoon: this sturdy bamboo spoon is perfect for stirring sauteed veggies as they cook.
- Measuring Spoons: we've loved these nice looking stainless steel measuring spoons for years.
Looking for more Southern side dishes? We've got you covered.
The pleasure of a 5-star review would be greatly appreciated.
Southern Fried Cabbage with Bacon
- 6 slices thick sliced hickory-smoked bacon
- 11 cups chopped green cabbage, from one medium cabbage
- 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon caraway seed
- ½ teaspoon celery seed
- 1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Cook the bacon in a large cast iron skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Use a fork to flip it over, then drain on paper towels. Once cooled, cut into bite sized pieces and set aside.
- Pour all the bacon fat into a small bowl. Reserve two tablespoons of grease, then put the bowl of bacon grease in the fridge to use for another recipe.
- Heat up 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the skillet over medium high heat. Saute the onion for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, roughly one minute.
- Add a handful or two of chopped cabbage and mix it in well with the onion and garlic.
- Sprinkle on the caraway and celery seed and cook the spices for 30 seconds to a minute, while constantly stirring over medium high heat.
- Turn the heat to medium low, and add the chopped cabbage a little at a time. Stir until the onion-garlic mixture is well incorporated. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir well.
- Reserve some of the bacon for garnish. Once it is done, stir the most of the bacon into the cabbage. Transfer the fried cabbage into a serving bowl and sprinkle the reserved bacon on top. Serve immediately while it is still hot.
- If you want more texture, cook it for less time, and taste test as you go.
- Chop up a head of fresh cabbage just before using. Don't be tempted to use the pre-shredded stuff.
This recipe was originally published on April 13, 2018.