Home Side Dish Easy Fried Cabbage Recipe

Easy Fried Cabbage Recipe

Whether it’s alongside juicy pork chops or crispy chicken, fried cabbage is a crowd-pleasing side dish.

It’s tender, buttery, and loaded with crispy bacon.

Better yet, this classic Southern side is budget-friendly and super easy to make. 

A bowl of fried cabbage with crispy bacon, seasoned with thyme, paprika, salt and pepper
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Ingredients for Fried Cabbage

You’ll find the complete list with measurements at the bottom of the page. And there are a few tips in the next section.

But for now, let’s go over the ingredients you’ll need to make this tasty Southern dish:

  • Butter (or Olive Oil): A touch of fat to sauté the cabbage and infuse it with richness.
  • Bacon: Adds a savory depth to the dish. Plus, the drippings flavor the cabbage beautifully.
  • Onion and Garlic: These aromatic vegetables lend a fragrant sweetness and depth of flavor to the dish.
  • Cabbage: When cooked, shredded cabbage gets tender and takes on a sweet, caramelized taste.
  • Thyme, Paprika, Salt, and Pepper: A blend of spices to season the cabbage and enhance its savory profile.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: A splash of acidity to balance the richness of the dish and brighten its flavors.
Fried cabbage with crispy bacon in a bowl on a white marble table

How to Make Fried Cabbage

Get ready to savor a taste of Southern comfort with this fried cabbage recipe.

1. Cook the bacon until it’s crispy. Then, remove it from the pan but keep the leftover grease.

2. Sauté the onion and garlic. Add the butter and onions and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Then add the garlic and stir until fragrant.

3. Add the cabbage along with thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir well to coat.

4. Pour in apple cider vinegar and cook for 2-3 more minutes, until the cabbage is crisp yet tender.

5. Add the bacon back to the pan, give it a good mix, then serve, and enjoy!

A spoon of fried cabbage with bacon

Recipe Variations

A few twists can make this Southern staple even more irresistible. Here’s how to keep it fresh and exciting:

  • Switch up the seasonings: Try chili powder or Cajun spice for a kick. Just a sprinkle can transform the whole vibe of the dish.
  • Sweeten it up: A little coconut sugar or honey goes a long way. It balances the savory with a touch of sweetness.
  • Make it meaty: Toss in smoked sausage or spicy Conecuh sausage for an extra hearty twist. Slice or dice it and let it mingle with the flavors.
  • Cabbage and potatoes: Throw some diced potatoes in with the onions. Cook until they’re crispy, then add the garlic, cabbage, and bacon.
  • Cheesy Cabbage: A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese at the end adds a nutty, salty finish.
  • Turkey bacon: This is a great option for a leaner meal. Just remember to add oil or butter to the pan so it crisps up.
  • Swap out the vinegar: No apple cider vinegar? No problem. White wine vinegar or lemon juice work well in a pinch.
Homemade cabbage salad with bacon, a comforting dish

How to Store

I always whip up a big batch of this recipe so I’ve got plenty of leftovers in the fridge, ready for the next day or even the day after.

Super handy, right?

It’s a great strategy whether you’re planning ahead. Just remember, proper storage is key.

To Store: Place cold fried cabbage into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for 2-3 days.

To Freeze: Place cold leftovers into a freezer-safe bag, press out any excess air, and store for up to three months.

To Reheat: Thaw frozen cabbage in the fridge overnight. Reheat leftovers in a skillet with butter until hot.

Note: you can freeze this recipe, but it won’t have the same texture after thawing. That’s why I recommend heating in a skillet with butter.

What to Eat with Southern Fried Cabbage

Pair southern fried cabbage with the right dish to turn a simple meal into a feast.

Here are some top-notch companions:

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  • Baked Chicken: A classic choice. Oven-baked chicken complements the soft, flavorful cabbage perfectly.
  • Pulled Pork: Tender, juicy pork, and savory cabbage are a match made in comfort food heaven.
  • Salmon: For a lighter touch, serve flaky salmon alongside your cabbage.
  • Shrimp Scampi: Quick and easy, shrimp scampi add a splash of the sea to your down-to-earth cabbage dish.
  • Pork Chops: Grilled pork chops with a side of fried cabbage is a delicious meal that’s hard to beat.

More Easy Side Dishes

Candied Carrots
Honey Roasted Carrots
Crack Green Beans
Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
Oven Roasted Baby Potatoes

Fried Cabbage

Course: Side DishCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time





Easy fried cabbage is a buttery, bacon-packed, crowd-pleasing Southern side dish that works well with everything from juicy pork chops to crispy chicken.


  • 6 slices bacon, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 head cabbage (about 1 pound), shredded

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


  • Lay the bacon strips in a cold skillet in a single layer (a little overlapping is okay). Turn the heat to medium-high and cook until crisp. Remove the bacon from the skillet and set aside.
  • In the same hot skillet with the bacon grease, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until tender. Then, add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  • Add the shredded cabbage, thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper to the pan. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the apple cider vinegar and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until cabbage is tender-crisp.
  • Stir in the cooked and crumbled bacon and serve immediately. Enjoy!


  • Add additional seasonings as desired: garlic powder, onion powder, Cajun seasoning, etc. 
  • Add smoked sausage for an extra hearty dish.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


  • Calories: 127kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 7g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 15mg
  • Sodium: 300mg
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 4g
Easy Fried Cabbage Recipe

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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