Bacon Cabbage Stir-Fry Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Fried Cabbage with Bacon

Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
This fried cabbage with bacon marries mild sweet notes with bold, smoky flavors and comes together in under 20 minutes.

Updated: Jul. 02, 2024

When you arrive at most southern restaurants with soul food, you’ll typically find fried cabbage with bacon nestled under the list of dishes to pair with your smothered chicken or crispy catfish. Salty and smoky flavors from the pork infuse into the tender greens, so much so that you forget you’re eating a vegetable in the first place. While most classic sides can take hours to pull together, this one only demands 20 minutes. Try this recipe the next time you need a quick addition to your spread or weeknight dinner.

Fried Cabbage with Bacon Ingredients

  • Bacon: The fat from the fried bacon seeps into the cabbage, imparting smoky and salty flavors.
  • Cabbage: We saute the cabbage to help the greens wilt and develop a sweet flavor that pairs deliciously with the savory bacon.
  • Garlic powder: To make this fried cabbage with bacon recipe quick to assemble, we skip mincing garlic and use the powdered version instead.
  • Ground mustard: The ground mustard adds a sharp and aromatic flavor to the savory fried cabbage with bacon.

Directions

Step 1: Cook the bacon

Cut the bacon into bite-sized pieces. Next, heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon to the pan and cook it until it becomes crispy. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and keep the bacon drippings in the pan for the next step.

Step 2: Saute the cabbage and remaining ingredients

Add the chopped cabbage and saute for five to seven minutes—or until soft and tender. Then sprinkle in the garlic powder, salt, mustard and bacon, cook for a few more minutes and serve.

Fried Cabbage with Bacon Recipe Variations

  • Swap the bacon: Try using kielbasa or pork belly instead of bacon for a deliciously salty and smoky flavor.
  • Add aromatics: To enhance the flavor of this fried cabbage with bacon, try sauteing it with aromatics such as fresh garlic, ginger or leeks.
  • Braise it: Try braising the cabbage in a cup of chicken or vegetable stock instead of frying it for a softer and juicier bite.

How to Store Fried Cabbage with Bacon

This smoky and savory fried cabbage with bacon can be packed into an airtight container and lasts up to four days in the refrigerator.

Can you make fried cabbage with bacon ahead of time?

You can prepare this fried cabbage with bacon ahead of time for special gatherings—that way, you can spend more time entertaining your guests. Follow the recipe, store it in the fridge for up to four days, take it out and reheat it when ready to serve.

Can you freeze fried cabbage with bacon?

We don’t recommend freezing this fried cabbage with bacon recipe because you may compromise the texture and taste.

How long does fried cabbage with bacon last?

If you have a lot of leftover fried cabbage with bacon you can store it in the fridge for up to four days. If you have a vacuum sealer, you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Fried Cabbage with Bacon Tips

Should I use thick-cut bacon for this fried cabbage recipe?

We recommend a thicker bacon cut for maximum flavor because it will melt more fat into the cabbage. But regular bacon can still do the trick, too. If your fried cabbage needs more oomph, you can always enhance it by adding a tablespoon or two of butter.

Can I make a vegan version of fried cabbage with bacon?

There are numerous plant-based bacon and other meat substitutes available. You can easily swap the bacon for a vegan alternative and follow the recipe. For added savory flavors, consider including a dash of liquid smoke. ( If you’re a newbie, here’s a guide on plant-based meats.)

What can I serve alongside fried cabbage with bacon?

Fried cabbage with bacon shines alongside comforting mains like fried chicken, pork chops or smoky ribs. You can also serve it with a bunch of delicious sides, like baked mac and cheese, rice and beans or creamy mashed potatoes.

Fried Cabbage with Bacon

Prep Time 20 min
Yield 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 bacon strips, diced
  • 1 small head cabbage, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

Directions

  1. In a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels; drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Stir-fry cabbage in drippings until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic powder, salt, mustard and bacon; cook and stir until heated through.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 93 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 465mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 3g fiber), 4g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

For a flavorful side dish, try this fried cabbage and bacon. It's not only delicious, but fast to fix when you need to get dinner on the table quickly. —Lori Thompson, New London, Texas
Recipe Creator