This fried cabbage with bacon recipe elevates the humble cabbage to a whole new level of flavor!
What I love about this recipe is that the cabbage is fried quickly so it retains its fresh green color, with a texture that’s crisp-tender to the bite. As the cabbage cooks down, it absorbs all the delicious flavors from the bacon drippings and becomes even more tasty. A little garlic added at the end makes this dish even more flavorful.
This tasty, super easy side dish is also Keto-friendly. Just make sure to use one of the low-carb bacon brands with no added sugar.
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Is there anything better than showing up to a potluck with the most popular offering? This Southern fried cabbage totally fits the bill, and if you’re a bacon lover you might also enjoy some of our other extra-tasty bacon side dishes like:
- Baked Asparagus with Bacon and Parmesan Cheese
- Bacon Wrapped Sweet Corn
- Pan Roasted Carrots with Bacon and Maple Syrup
- Bacon Macaroni and Cheese
- Bacon Deviled Eggs
Ingredients and Substitutions
You only need five ingredients to put together this tasty, flavorful dish.
8 strips thick-sliced bacon – The thicker slices will hold up to the hearty cabbage, but if you only have regular sliced bacon feel free to use that. After much experimenting, we think that 8 thick strips will give you the perfect ratio of bacon to cabbage flavor. But feel free to add more or less, depending on your taste buds.
One half large head green cabbage – We prepared this recipe with regular green cabbage. Look for a large, heavy head with tightly packed, healthy looking leaves. Red cabbage is a fine substitute. Feel free to experiment with savoy cabbage, which has ruffly leaves and will have a similar flavor in this recipe. Napa cabbage will also work. Its light green leaves are long with a ridge running down the center, kind of like Romaine lettuce. Because the heads are smaller and the leaves are less tight, you may need a full head of napa cabbage.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter – Feel free to use salted butter if that’s what you have on hand. Just taste the mixture before seasoning it with salt and pepper so it’s not overly salty.
2 cloves garlic – You can add more or less garlic depending on your tastebuds. Peel and finely mince the garlic before adding it.
How to Cut a Cabbage in Half
- Place the head of cabbage stem side down on a cutting board and check to see if the bottom is stable and stays in place.
- If the bottom is wobbly, turn the cabbage sideways and cut a thin slice off the bottom using a sharp knife. Turn the head of cabbage so the stem side is down and it stays firmly in place.
- With a large sharp chef’s knife, cut the cabbage in half across the middle and down through the core.
Equipment to Make This Recipe
You don’t need any fancy equipment to make this bacon fried cabbage. Here’s what we used:
Cutting board – We love our pig-shaped maple wood cutting board, and another favorite that’s perfect for cutting something large (like a cabbage!) is this non-slip cutting board.
Sharp knife – The trickiest part of this recipe is cutting the round cabbage in half. Use a long knife that’s just been sharpened and the task will be much easier.
Large nonstick skillet – A nonstick finish is nice for this recipe so that the browned bits are incorporated into the cabbage-bacon mix, but you can also use a large cast iron skillet if you prefer.
Large spoon – For stirring the cabbage and serving. Some nonstick pans get scratched if you use a metal spoon, so you may prefer to use a spoon made of silicone, wood or bamboo.
The Easy Cooking Process
- Chop bacon in 1/2 inch pieces.
- Cook chopped bacon in a large skillet.
- Drain the bacon and pour out the liquid grease while retaining the drippings.
- Melt a tablespoon of butter in the skillet and add cabbage and reserved bacon.
- Cook cabbage for 3 minutes. adding the garlic after 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and continue cooking until cabbage is crisp-tender.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Enjoy this dish for an Irish dinner with corned beef, or go the Southern direction and pair it with barbecued ribs or fried chicken. You can also enjoy it for breakfast with eggs and toast. Try it, you’ll like it!
Carb Content of Fried Cabbage and Bacon
One serving of this recipe prepared according to the directions contains approximately 2 carbohydrates, making this a very Keto-friendly dish.
The only variation you might find in the carb numbers would be due to the way your particular bacon brand is cured and processed. Some brands are processed with sugar, which will result in more carbs.
To ensure that your bacon is low in carbs, Dona’s Kitchen has compiled a list of 5 best bacon brands for Keto.
Step by Step Instructions
(These directions are also featured in the Frying Cabbage with Bacon web story.)
Begin by cutting a large head of cabbage in half, and slicing it in 1-inch slices.
Then chop it in 1-inch pieces:
Next, chop eight slices of thick-sliced bacon.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, fry the bacon until it’s almost fully cooked, but not quite.
Drain all of the grease, leaving the crispy drippings in the pan. Return to the stove, add the butter to the pan and heat over medium-high heat until the butter bubbles. Add the chopped cabbage and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes.
During the last 2 minutes of cooking, add minced garlic, salt and pepper to the cabbage bacon mix.
Check seasonings, remove from heat, and serve!
For Spicy Bacon Fried Cabbage, you can sprinkle the finished dish with red pepper flakes.
To make Fried Cabbage with Bacon, Onion and Garlic, halve and slice a medium onion (we love sweet Vidalia onions) in 1/4 inch slices. After draining the cooked bacon, leave 1 tablespoon bacon grease in the skillet. Add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Then add the butter and cabbage to the skillet and proceed as above.
How to Store and Reheat Sautéed Cabbage
To Store: Leftovers may be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To Reheat on the Stove: Transfer the mixture to a large skillet and cook on the stove over medium heat, stirring frequently until hot, about 5 minutes.
To Reheat in the Oven: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the mixture in an ovenproof dish until heated through. The timing will vary depending on your quantity of leftovers and the dish you’re using.
To Reheat in the Microwave: Put the leftover cabbage in a microwave safe dish with a lid, and cover. Microwave at full power for 60 seconds, remove lid and stir. Return to the microwave and continue cooking until heated through. The timing will vary depending on your microwave’s wattage and the quantity of leftovers.
It takes about 6-8 minutes in the hot skillet for the cabbage to become tender while still retaining its bright green color. When perfectly cooked, the cabbage will still be slightly crispy to the bite.
Our favorite way to insure that the cabbage is perfectly cooked is to taste it frequently! You can also check it visually while cooking it. If the cabbage starts to look limp and a few leaves are getting wilted, pull it off the burner and let it cool for a minute or two before serving.
Fried cabbage is a wonderful accompaniment to roasted chicken, grilled meats like steaks and pork chops, corned beef and mashed potatoes, and as a tasty side dish on a dinner buffet.
Here’s the easy recipe:
Fried Cabbage with Bacon
- 8 strips thick-sliced bacon
- 1/2 large head green cabbage
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Cut the cabbage in 1-inch slices, and then cut each slice in 1-inch pieces; reserve.
- Chop the bacon in 1/2 inch pieces. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown, about 8 minutes.
- Line a plate with two paper towels. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain it on the paper towels.
- Pour out the liquid fat from the pan, leaving the bacon drippings in the pan. Return to the stove, add the butter to the pan and heat over medium-high heat until the butter bubbles.
- Add the cabbage and bacon cook, stirring often and scraping the bits up from the pan. After 3 minutes, add the garlic to the pan and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until cabbage is crisp-tender, about 3 to 5 more minutes. Season with the salt and pepper.
- Remove from heat and serve at once. 4 servings.
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35 thoughts on “Fried Cabbage with Bacon”
I can’t wait to try this! The combo of cabbage and bacon sounds heavenly!
It is so good! Very easy to make. I could not stop eating it!!!
I am always struggling with how to use my extra cabbage when it’s in season, and I should have known – the answer is bacon! Plus the recipe is so easy, and is perfect as a side or a simple lunch.
This is a classic and delicious side dish that’s so easy to make. I love the cabbage and bacon together so much.
I love that this is cooked in some of the bacon drippings for extra flavor! So good!
Cabbage is so underrated! I love it and use it in lots of recipes. Always happy to find a new one.
This fried cabbage is such a perfect side dish! It was great alongside BBQ!
I love fried cabbage and my family does too. Adding bacon to this recipe just pushed it over the top. I believe I could eat my weight in bacon. Thanks for an awesome recipe.
Yum! What a great side dish for a cookout. Anything with bacon is worth a try!
As a kid, I used to love boiled cabbage with butter and my parents would serve it often enough as a side dish. Nowadays, it’s cole slaw and that’s about it! This has me rethinking the role of cabbage at my dinner table!
I started eating cabbage only last year and I have never made it fried. I will have to try this soon!
I love cabbage and this recipe is perfect. Nothing like bacon and cabbage to make a great dinner!
I love cabbage and never before thought to cook it with bacon. Must try!!
Cabbage is an excellent veggie to cook or eat raw in salads. I must try your combination; it sounds delish!
My uncle made this when we were kids. Slice velvety cheese on top! Yummy!!
This is so delicious , this dish brought back fond memories . My Dad used to make this dish. It is definitely a favorite now. I will have more often.o
Try it with smoked sausage bacon and shrimp as well it’s delicious especially grilled stuffed cabbage .
Loving the smokey, buttery goodness of this cabbage and that you added bacon! This will make an appearance on our table this St. Patrick’s day and beyond!
Such an easy recipe and a great way to prepare cabbage. Will be making this again for sure!
This recipe is so interesting. I love the combination of cabbage with bacon. Can’t wait to try it out.
Cabbage goes so well with bacon. My friend makes a similar dish almost weekly, so it’s time to surprise her with my take on it!
This made a great side dish to our pork chops last night! Very easy, budget-friendly and absolutely delicious!
Everything is better with bacon and this cabbage was amazing.
This fried cabbage and bacon is super simple to make and a perfect side dish. Can’t wait to make this for my family.
Love this idea so much! I never really know what to do with cabbage other than make cabbage rolls or cabbage soup so this is a great recipe to try next in order to change things up a bit.
My kids will only eat cabbage if there is bacon with it! Such an easy recipe.
Love the cabbage and bacon combo. Sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing.
I’ve made this cabbage several times and it always turns out perfectly! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!
This recipe is delicious! The bacon adds such a nice smoky but savory flavor to the cabbage. A great way to get the kids to eat the veggies, too!
Wow, what a tasty recipe! I am a huge fan of cabbage, and after trying it with bacon, I think I may have to add this dish to my weekly rotation!
Love how easy this is. Thanks for the tips on cutting cabbage!
Totally refreshing. Love how easy it is.
Everything is better with bacon and this cabbage is no exception! We all loved this recipe.
You had me at bacon, and kept me with cabbage. This was incredible duo of flavor. Thank you so much!
This was fate. I was looking for a recipe for the half head of cabbage that I had left, which happens every time I buy one. This was a life saver! My family just loved it! Thanks!