Southern Fried Cabbage Recipe

Cabbage isn't typically a vegetable that incites the most excited of reactions, but with this Southern fried cabbage recipe, it just might. Tender, buttery, and caramelized cabbage comes together with salty bacon and other veggies to create a surprisingly decadent dish, and one that pairs perfectly with other Southern classics. We can thank Susan Olayinka for this recipe, one that she developed to be simple and straightforward. "You can easily make this dish in just a few minutes, and it's perfect for those busy weeknights when you don't have a lot of time to cook," she explains.

While raw cabbage is quite crunchy, it will get cooked down in this dish (it is called fried cabbage, after all), but you can still count on it having plenty of crispiness. It just so happens to pair wonderfully with salty and chewy bacon, and once you make this dish, you may be wondering why you didn't think to combine the two ingredients sooner. "The bacon provides a nice salty taste, while the cabbage is slightly sweet and crunchy," Olayinka explains. Southern fried cabbage is warm, rich, inviting, and oh so comforting — make it as a side dish for your next dinner to experience it for yourself. 

Grab the right ingredients to make Southern fried cabbage

As we've already discussed, you'll need both cabbage and bacon for this recipe. Additionally, you'll need some white onion, green bell pepper, a celery stalk, garlic cloves, butter, black pepper, salt, and some Creole seasoning for extra Southern influence. 

"The key to this recipe is to use good quality bacon," Olayinka says. "I prefer to use thin-cut bacon for this dish, as it provides the best texture."

Slice up the veggies and bacon

Grab a trusty cutting board and knife, then get to work on the cabbage. First, remove the cabbage's outer leaves, then cut it in half and remove the core. Then, thinly slice the cabbage. Set it aside for a bit. Now, the other veggies get the chopped treatment, too: Chop the onion, bell pepper, and celery, then mince the garlic cloves. Finally, slice the bacon into bite-sized chunks. 

Cook the bacon and vegetables

Place a large skillet (one you have a lid for) over medium heat, then add the butter and let it melt. Add in the bacon and stir it into the butter, then add the chopped onion, pepper, and garlic. Sauté the veggies and bacon for 5 minutes, and be sure to stir occasionally so nothing burns. 

Add the cabbage and season it up

Now, add the chopped cabbage into the pan, along with the pepper, salt, and Creole seasoning. Give everything a good stir, then cover the pan and allow the dish to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the 10-minute mark is up, remove the lid but continue to cook for another 5 minutes, ensuring that the cabbage gets nice and tender. 

Serve your fried cabbage with other Southern favorites

Once the cabbage is tender, you're ready to serve up the dish. Olayinka suggests serving with rice and cornbread, though why stop there? Pair this cabbage with Southern-style meatloaf, mashed potatoes, fried chicken — you really can't go wrong here!

As for leftovers, Olayinka notes that they can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. She recommends adding a splash of water (or vinegar, for extra flavor) to the dish while reheating so it doesn't dry out. Though simple, you really can't beat a dish this tasty, and Olayinka herself describes it perfectly: "good old-fashioned Southern cooking at its best!"

Southern Fried Cabbage Recipe
5 from 85 ratings
Cabbage isn't typically a vegetable that incites the most excited of reactions, but with this Southern fried cabbage recipe, it just might.
Prep Time
Cook Time
fried cabbage on plate
Total time: 25 minutes
  • ½ green cabbage head
  • ½ white onion
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • 1 celery stick
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Creole seasoning
  1. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut out the core, then slice the cabbage thinly.
  2. Chop the onion, bell pepper, and celery into small pieces, and mince the garlic.
  3. Thinly slice the bacon.
  4. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and the chopped vegetables. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the cabbage, salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning. Stir well to combine.
  6. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove the lid and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender.
  8. Serve while warm. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Calories per Serving 242
Total Fat 20.4 g
Saturated Fat 9.4 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 42.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.7 g
Dietary Fiber 3.9 g
Total Sugars 5.3 g
Sodium 468.0 mg
Protein 5.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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