Southern Fried Cabbage Recipe (2024)

Savory Southern fried cabbage with bacon, onions, and peppers is a classic Southern staple in Southern homes. Learn how to make this easy cabbage recipe with simple ingredients!

Southern Fried Cabbage Recipe (1)

Table of Contents

  1. What Is Southern Cabbage?
  2. Ingredients for Southern Fried Cabbage
  3. How to Make Southern Fried Cabbage with Bacon
  4. Southern Fried Cabbage Recipe

Hey cousins! Lately, I have been craving cabbage like crazy. Luckily, I have so many delicious cabbage recipes to satisfy my craving (and soon yours, once you read this recipe!). One of my reader’s favorite cabbage recipes I’ve posted was my Southern slow cooker cabbage with ham hocks. Today, I’m back with another Southern cabbage recipe. This time around, we’re making Southern fried cabbage with bacon, onions, and peppers.

What Is Southern Cabbage?

Southern-style cabbage is a traditional Southern side dish. Although sautéed or fried cabbage didn’t originate in the South (it’s actually an Irish dish), it’s a staple in Southern households. With so many different ways to make fried cabbage, it’s a delicious, savory, customizable side dish packed with flavor. It can even be quite healthy!

In this Southern-fried cabbage recipe with bacon, we’re not worrying about fat-free—no, ma’am! This tender cabbage is cooked in bacon fat and smothered with onions, garlic, bell peppers, and zesty spices.

Ingredients for Southern Fried Cabbage

Now, Cousins, let’s talk about ingredients. What do you need to make Southern-style fried cabbage? I’ll tell you, the list is incredibly simple. Head on out to your local grocery store and pick up these ingredients for a tasty fried cabbage recipe.

  • Green Cabbage: this recipe use three pounds of cabbage or about one large head of cabbage. I prefer to get a whole head and chop it myself, but if you want convenience, you can buy pre-cut cabbage.
  • Bacon: I use fatty bacon ends, but any thick-cut bacon will work in this recipe.
  • Bell Pepper: adds color and a bite of sweetness to the otherwise savory cabbage.
  • Onions & Garlic: aromatics that infuse a ton of flavor in this cabbage recipe.
  • Seasonings: a classic combination of onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes for a hint of heat.

Where can I find bacon ends?

I prefer to use bacon ends instead of regular strips of bacon because bacon ends have a lot more fat on them. I use the bacon grease to cook the cabbage, onions, and garlic, meshing all those flavors together for one incredibly savory dish. You can usually find bacon ends and pieces at your local grocery store. If not, ask your butcher or visit a local specialty shop. If you can’t get bacon ends, thick-cut bacon will work just fine.

Equipment Needed:

  • Large skillet
  • Utensil like a spatula or spoon
  • Knife or vegetable chopper
  • Optional: paper towels to drain the cooked bacon

How to Make Southern Fried Cabbage with Bacon

Y’all ready to learn how to make this easy side dish? It’s crazy simple and only takes about 30 minutes! As always, you can find the complete instructions and exact ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the end of this post. Here’s a quick overview of how to make Southern-style fried cabbage with bacon.

  1. Prep the veggies. Chop the cabbage, onions, and bell peppers. If you’re using slices of bacon, chop those up as well.
  2. Toss the bacon into a large skillet over medium heat and cook through. Remove the bacon when cooked, and leave the bacon drippings in the pan!
  3. Toss the cabbage, peppers, and onions into the skillet. You won’t be able to fit all the cabbage in at once, and that’s fine—it’ll cook down! Once it all starts to cook down, add the minced garlic last so it doesn’t burn.
  4. Toss in the seasonings and bacon, stir everything together, and you’re ready to serve!

That’s it—that’s how you make a simple fried cabbage recipe! This Southern classic will be an instant family favorite. The crispy bacon has a smoky flavor that balances with the sweet peppers and zesty spices. It’s the best of Southern comfort foods.

Fried Cabbage Video Tutorial

You can watch my step-by-step video showing you exactly how I make my Southern fried cabbage recipe below! Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel, where you’ll find a collection of Southern and Soul Food recipe videos, desserts, holiday dishes, and so much more.

FAQs & Tips for the Best Southern Fried Cabbage Recipe

There are plenty of different ways to make delicious fried cabbage. So, if you’re looking for some pro tips and recipe variations, I got you covered, Cousins!

I don’t like bacon; what else can I use in this Southern fried cabbage recipe?

While nothing but bacon can perfectly replicate those savory, smoky flavors, there are other alternatives if you’re not a fan of bacon. Turkey bacon is a good substitute for classic bacon, and it’s healthier too, but you might have to use a neutral oil (like olive oil) to add some fat. Other meat options like smoked sausage, corned beef, ham hocks, or smoked turkey fit right in with fried cabbage.

What other spices can I add to fried cabbage with bacon?

The core spices—onion powder, garlic powder, and red pepper flake—enhance the flavors of this dish. But the beauty of Southern cooking is that you can tweak seasonings and flavors to perfection. Here are some more seasoning options for fried cabbage:

Is fried cabbage good for a diet?

Cabbage is actually super healthy—it’s packed with nutrients, helps with digestion, and is super low-calorie. However, it all depends on what you add to it. The bacon fat isn’t super healthy, so you could substitute it with turkey bacon or another meat option. However, the flavors in this Southern-fried cabbage are well worth the few extra calories!

How long do you cook Southern fried cabbage?

How long you cook fried cabbage depends on you. If you want a more tender cabbage, you’ll cook it for longer. Crispy cabbage takes a shorter amount of time. Overall, you should cook the cabbage and vegetables for about 15-20 minutes, max. Overcooked cabbage is not tasty, so watch the cooking time!

How to Store Leftover Fried Cabbage

You should store leftover cabbage in an airtight container or wrap it tightly with foil or plastic wrap. You can keep leftovers in the fridge for up to five days. Can you freeze fried cabbage? You can, but it might change the texture. It can last up to 6 months in the freezer when properly stored.

What to Serve with Southern Fried Cabbage?

Southern fried cabbage is a flavorful side dish that pairs perfectly with tons of other Southern and Soul Food options. Try it with:

  • Instant Pot Corned Beef
  • Smothered Turkey, Smothered Beef Roast, or Smothered Pork Chops
  • Southern Fried Chicken or Roast Chicken
  • Cornbread or Cornbread Dressing

Try my other cabbage recipes as well!

  • Smothered Cabbage with Smoked Turkey
  • Loaded Cajun Fried Cabbage
  • Cabbage and Bacon Stir Fry
  • Cheesy Cabbage Creole

Print the recipe below and subscribe to my mailing list for more recipes! You can alsofollow along with all things Rosie and I Heart Recipes by following me onFacebook,Instagram, andPinterest, and check out all my cookbooks!I just released a brand new cookbook,Super Soul Food with Cousin Rosie, with many recipes you can’t find anywhere else.

Southern Fried Cabbage Recipe (2)

Southern Fried Cabbage Recipe (3)

Southern Fried Cabbage Recipe

Southern Fried Cabbage is a crispy, delicious recipe that comes together in minutes. Thick cut bacon, onions, peppers, and a hint of spice, you've got to try this for an easy dinner side.

Watch Video Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Course Side Dish

Cuisine Southern

Keyword cabbage, fried cabbage, Southern Fried Cabbage

Prep Time 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes minutes

Total Time 35 minutes minutes

Servings 8 servings



  • Toss the bacon into a large pot or pan, then place over medium heat.

  • Cook the bacon until it's browned and most of the fat is rendered.

  • Remove the bacon pieces from the pan/pot, then set to the side.

  • Toss in the cabbage, peppers, and onions. Note that everything will not fit into the pot at first. Once it starts to cook, it will shrink.

  • Once the cabbage and other ingredients start to get tender (about 10 minutes), sprinkle in the salt, black pepper, garlic & onion powder, and red pepper flakes.

  • Cook for another 5 minutes or so, then toss in the bacon.

  • Stir the ingredients, then add everything into your serving dish.

  • Serve and enjoy!


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©2024 I Heart Recipes

Recipe by: I Heart Recipes

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Southern Fried Cabbage Recipe (2024)
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