Leave it to Southerners to fry even the vegetables! This Southern fried cabbage recipe is a side dish that is simple to fix, inexpensive, and of course, tastes wonderful. How could it not with all that bacon? Just a spoonful of its tasty goodness helps the cabbage go down.
I can remember both sets of my grandparents enjoying this simple recipe that they passed down to my parents and then to me. As a kid, I didn’t care for it (not surprising really) but now I love some Southern-fried cabbage! It must just be in the genes.
To make Southern-style fried cabbage you only need a few simple ingredients.
Bacon – As much as I love to use real bacon bits as a hack to save time, you need traditional, raw bacon for this recipe. All the bacon fat brings the flavor and helps wilt the cabbage.
Onion – A white or yellow onion will work. Make sure it’s diced evenly so that the pieces cook evenly. You also need to dice it somewhat finely. The onion is more about flavoring the cabbage than biting into onion pieces as a separate ingredient in the final dish. Make sense?
Salt and pepper – Use both to taste. The bacon grease brings some salt to the dish so you may need less than you think.
Cabbage – A head of fresh cabbage is what you need. As with the onion be sure to chop it as evenly as possible for even cooking. The cabbage pieces can be a little chunky. You’re not making coleslaw!
👇 Step-by-Step Directions
1. Fry bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until crispy.
2. Remove the bacon and allow it to cool enough to handle. Crumble it by hand (or with a knife if you prefer) and set it aside.
3. Leave the bacon grease in the skillet and scrape the bottom of the skillet to loosen any bits of bacon. Add diced onion and cook over medium heat until they begin to turn translucent.
4. Add the chopped cabbage to the skillet and pan-fry along with the onions until the cabbage is coated with bacon grease and starting to wilt.
4. Add the reserved bacon crumbles to the pan.
5. Continue cooking and stirring until the cabbage is the desired texture. I like mine “al dente” but if you prefer your cabbage more cooked down or crisper, adjust the cooking time accordingly.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.
I love this shortcut for a lot of my recipes, but it doesn’t work well with this fried cabbage recipe. You really need those bacon drippings to flavor the cabbage.
Fried cabbage will still be tasty even if you use a more modern pan, but for the most authentic taste, be sure to cook it in a well-seasoned iron skillet.
No. The bacon grease will soften the cabbage perfectly as it cooks.
🍽️ Other Southern Recipes
Now that you know how to fry cabbage, what will you serve with it? May I recommend this chuck eye steak recipe? I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Plus you’ll learn just how versatile your iron skillet can be. Once you’ve mastered how to make Southern fried cabbage and enjoyed your chuck steak, you can use your skillet or Dutch oven for stewed tomatoes too.
Southern Style Fried Cabbage Recipe
- 1 small head of cabbage cored and coarsely chopped
- 5 strips of bacon
- 1 small onion diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook bacon in a large skillet until crispy.
- Remove bacon, crumble, and set aside.
- Leave bacon grease in the skillet and scrape the bottom of the skillet to loosen bacon bits.
- Add diced onion and cook over medium heat until they begin to turn translucent.
- Add the chopped cabbage to the skillet and pan-fry along with the onions until the cabbage is coated with bacon grease and starting to wilt.
- Add the reserved bacon crumbles to the pan and continue to fry until the cabbage is al dente.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste.