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Southern Fried Cabbage

This Southern Fried Cabbage recipe is simple deliciousness. In it, green cabbage is cooked until tender along with sweet onion and bacon, making it the epitome of down- home eats. It’s that good for the soul type of food that won’t break the bank.

Southern Fried Cabbage

Easy Southern Fried Cabbage Recipe

Fried cabbage is among a myriad of side dishes that we love in the South, that can also serve in a pinch as an entree. It can be and often is, served alongside a bowl of pinto beans and cornbread as a side dish. You can also shake it up with various mix-ins such as bell peppers, sausage, ham or potatoes to transform it into a main dish. A delicious example of that you can see in this recipe for braised cabbage with potatoes and smoked sausages. Regardless of how you choose to serve it, fried cabbage makes an inexpensive and filling addition to any meal. How to make Easy Fried Cabbage with Bacon:

  • Cabbage – Green Cabbage. The cabbage should have the core removed and then roughly chopped.
  • Bacon – Thick cut bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Vegetables – Sweet onion i.e. Vidalia or similar and fresh garlic cloves. You can use yellow onion, if you prefer but the sweet onion balances the flavor of the cabbage.
  • Seasonings – Salt, onion powder, granulated garlic, black pepper, fennel seed and crushed red pepper flakes. Fennel seed is optional and the red pepper flakes can be adjusted to your taste.
cabbage bacon and onion in a dutch oven

How to Make Southern Fried Cabbage

  • What kind of cabbage will I need to make fried cabbage?  This easy cabbage recipe doesn’t use any sort of fancy cabbage, just good ole green cabbage will do. I enjoy including the dark green outer leaves to the dish as well so don’t peel those off and leave them behind at the store. They pack flavor and nutrients, too.
  • Can I fry purple cabbage? You can fry purple cabbage but please note it can have a slightly bitter taste. A pinch of sugar added to the cabbage will help offset that flavor.
  • What type of bacon should I use for Southern fried cabbage? I use thick cut bacon for this dish, it’s my favorite and stands up to the frying. You can mix it into the cabbage or use it to garnish the top, it’s totally your choice. That said, you can of course use regular or thin cut bacon if that’s what you have on hand.
  • I include fennel seed in this recipe although, it isn’t a classic addition. It adds a really unique flavor to the cabbage, but rest assured, this dish will still be delicious should you choose to leave it out.
  • The texture of the cabbage can be fine-tuned to suit your personal taste by adjusting the cooking time. If you prefer it to be crisp tender like a stir fry, cook it for slightly less time. For a softer texture, cook it longer and add a splash of chicken broth to create some steam. Traditionally, it’s cooked rather soft in general.
  • Is Southern fried cabbage low carb? Yes, it is a lower carb keto option for those who are counting their carb intake. To make it even more so, omit the onion.
Southern Fried Cabbage

Dishes to Serve with Southern Style Fried Cabbage

While there’s no wrong way to  enjoy cabbage, it does go particularly well with country style ribs and beans, perhaps some buttered slow cooker cornbread or a heaping helping of golden fried okra  or green beans and potatoes on the side. You may also like to try this recipe for cabbage rolls from Belly Full.

Southern Fried Cabbage

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Helpful Kitchen Items:

Southern Fried Cabbage

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy-cabbage-recipes, fried-cabbage-recipes, southern-fried-cabbage
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 236kcal


  • 1/2 lb thick cut bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium sweet onion i.e. Vidalia or similar diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seed optional
  • 1 3 lb green cabbage washed, cored and chopped
  • 1 tsp salt may adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes may adjust to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • In a large skillet or dutch oven cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain using a slotted spoon, reserving 4 Tbsp drippings in skillet.
  • To the drippings add onion. Saute over medium-high for 3 minutes or until beginning to brown then add garlic and fennel seed, if using. Saute for 1 minute.
  • Add cabbage to skillet. The skillet will be full but, the cabbage will shrink as it cooks. Once it begins to shrink, add salt, onion powder, granulated garlic, pepper flakes and black pepper. Mix well.
  • Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until cabbage has softened and is browning, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Crumble bacon and add back to the cabbage or use to garnish the top.
  • Serve and enjoy.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 687mg | Potassium: 721mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Vitamin C: 76mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 2mg
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    1. Many dishes we love were brought to America and the South by those who immigrated and settled here. This fried cabbage with bacon is one such dish, and we never tire of it.

  1. My mother use to make this when I was growing up and I made it for my family when they were little . Now it’s just my husband and myself , I still make it only now there is always left overs for tomorrow ‘s lunch . I like to add mustard greens and or collard greens sometimes just to mix it up , and prove to my husband ( who is from the south ) that yes he does like collard and mustard greens .

  2. 5 stars
    Wow, this recipe is absolutely delicious! I never thought of pairing cabbage with bacon, but it was such an amazing combination. Thank you for sharing!

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