Fried cabbage is one hearty and flavorful side dish. Cabbage is sautéed until buttery tender, then mixed with bacon, stone ground mustard, and smoked paprika for an irresistible sweet, savory, and smoky flavor.
Let me forewarn you, this recipe is highly addictive! Fried cabbage is a twist on my sautéed cabbage recipe — but 10x better (in my opinion) thanks to crispy bacon, savory mustard, and a dash of smoked paprika!
Fried cabbage is a much-loved Southern recipe, and for good reason. A few simple, budget-friendly ingredients create one wow-worthy side dish. Serve it up alongside my creamy Cajun chicken or really any comfort food main. It’s also a welcome addition to any St. Patrick’s Day menu, where cabbage recipes take centerstage!
Fried Cabbage Ingredients
You won’t believe how flavorful this recipe is with just a few simple pantry staples.
- Cabbage: You can use any colored cabbage, but I always opt for green.
- Bacon: A few strips of bacon make everything taste better.
- Aromatics: All you need are onion and garlic to lend a savory aroma.
- Seasoning: I’m using stone ground mustard for a full-bodied flavor, but you can also use Dijon mustard. Then a hint of smoked paprika adds a bit of a kick!
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How To Make Fried Cabbage
This fried cabbage with bacon comes together in under 30 minutes! Here’s how to make it:
Cook the bacon. Heat a large pan over medium heat and cook the bacon until it’s perfectly crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Remove some bacon grease from the pan, leaving about two tablespoons.
Sauté onion. Add the onion and sauté in the bacon grease for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the good stuff. Toss in the garlic, mustard, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, and give it a good stir.
In goes the cabbage. Add the sliced cabbage and sauté everything together. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes until the cabbage becomes caramelized. Then toss the bacon bits back in!
Fried Cabbage Variations
- Switch up the seasonings: use chili powder or Cajun seasoning for a slightly different spice.
- Add a hint of sweetness: with a teaspoon of coconut sugar or a drizzle of honey.
- Add some meat: feel free to add any type of smoked sausage. Just slice or dice it up into pieces.
What To Eat With Southern Fried Cabbage
I’ve been known to eat fried cabbage on its own (and more than one serving) – because it’s that good. But it tastes even better when paired with a hearty protein. Here are a few options.
- Meat: crispy baked chicken thighs, cilantro lime chicken, or slow cooker pulled pork.
- Fish: garlic grilled shrimp skewers, Dijon baked salmon, or baked cod.
Just like most sautéed or roasted vegetables, they make for a great meal prep option. Simply prep on a Sunday and store away in containers.
- To store: Place the fried cabbage in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, microwave it until it’s warmed through or give it a quick sauté in the pan.
Fried Cabbage Video
Want to see how easy it is to make this recipe? Watch the video below!
More Easy Side Dishes
You can never have too many side dish options ready for quick and easy dinners. Give the below ones a try! And if you love cabbage….don’t forget my classic coleslaw and vinegar coleslaw recipes.
- Roasted Broccoli
- Garlic Herb Roasted Potatoes
- Balsamic Bacon Brussels Sprouts
- Green Beans With Shallots and Lemons
- Garlic Ginger Bok Choy
- Honey Glazed Carrots
I’m pretty confident you’re going to love this fried cabbage recipe! If you make it, let me know how it turns out in the comment box below.
Easy Fried Cabbage
- 6 pieces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons stone ground mustard (or Dijon mustard)
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 head cabbage, sliced and chopped
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Heat a large pan on medium heat and add the sliced bacon. Cook until crispy, then removed to a paper towel-lined plate. Remove some bacon grease, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pan.
- Add the onion and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it's translucent.
- Add the garlic, mustard, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and give it a stir to combine.
- Place the sliced cabbage on top and use a large spoon or tongs to stir and saute together for another 12 to 15 minutes. When the cabbage is done it should be buttery soft and slightly caramelized.
- Toss the bacon back in, and stir it all together before serving.
Recipe originally published October 2020, but updated to include new information.
As soon as I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it. I substituted locally sourced beef sausage since our family cannot eat pork. And I added a splash of red wine vinegar. It was beyond amazing. The next morning I added an over easy egg. I highly recommend.
Glad this turned out great with beef sausage instead Brian!
I made this for St. Patricks day and we loved it!! I had the pre-cooked Costco bacon on hand and it worked perfectly! I just cut it up and threw it in when the recipe called to add the bacon back in. Because I didn’t have bacon grease, I used butter to sauté the onions. Very quick and easy dish to make!!
Glad this recipe worked out great for St. Patrick’s Day!
YUM! Halved the recipe since I had a 1/2 head of cabbage leftover from your cabbage soup recipe. Made it for breakfast, drizzled with a little raw honey and served with two fried eggs on top. Like diner food…only BETTER!
Love this with fried eggs on top (or poached eggs)!
Yes I made this March 17 2023, it was so good. So much better than boiled cabbage, Debbie
Glad you enjoyed it, Debbie! And yes, so much more flavor than boiled cabbage. :)
Something that smells this good while cooking has to taste amazing! I love cabbage in any form, but never thought to cook it this way. Thank you so much for giving us your time and recipes. I love meal prep because I cook for 1. So instead of cooking a different meal everyday I prep and mix it up. I cooked this recipe today and can’t wait to sit down for dinner.
This was absolutely delish as I knew it would be when I saw carmelized onions, cabbage and bacon! If you like cabbage you have to give this recipe a try. You won’t regret it.
Happy to hear you’re loving this fried cabbage recipe Tera!
The Fried Cabbage looks YUM, going to make it, I’m not wrong!!!
Thank you Lisa!
Hi. First time here. Usually just do my own thing but decided to try your fried cabbage. Looks and tastes good. Normally do use garlic and mustard. Thanks for sharing. Will make again.
Glad you enjoyed this fried cabbage recipe Phyllis!
This has become a staple in my house. We all absolutely love it!
Glad this has become a staple now!
I just made this afternoon. It’s becoming Fall here in the PNW and this seemed a perfect dish for the weather. It’s so delicious!
Every time I make this recipe, there is even a fight for leftovers if there are any.
Deliciousness 😋 Dijon mustard and sweet paprika was definitely a good idea!
This was really quite good and simple to make! (added a splash of coconut aminos) Will definitely be making again!
I made this for dinner tonight and my husband gobbled it up–I usually finish my meal before he does, but not tonight…Thank you–this recipe will be made in our household over and over again!
The secret is the Dijon mustard and I love it!! The very best, my kids eat it up, fried cabbage recipe out there<}
My husband and had the I made this Fried Cabbage recipe and it is wonderful !
We will made this dish again.
Delicious! Especially after staying in fridge overnight. I was out of smoked paprika so I substituted chili powder and liked the spicy flavor. Will definitely make it again.
Glad you enjoyed this fried cabbage Jane!
Yummy and I like it because its low carb. I used it as a side dish with chicken thighs, also some rice because not everyone likes cabbage. Would make again !!
Happy to hear you enjoyed this fried cabbage recipe Donna :)
I made the fried cabbage, bacon and onion tonight . It was outstanding. I had it with a piece of cornbread. I could eat this every week!
Happy to hear this was a success Barbara!
I read this recipe and thought this sounds interesting, not sure how these flavors are going to work. Read the reviews and decided to try it.. To my surprise it was delicious! Definitely keeping this recipe.
Happy to hear you took a chance on this and loved it! Honestly, bacon makes everything taste better :)
This is simple and delicious! Leftovers are also fantastic!
This is so delicious! I switched bacon for German sausage. Love your recipes and that I can get creative with ingredients using your recipes.
Sounds great with German sausage Margaret!
A new way for me to cook cabbage, and the result was delicious !
So glad you enjoyed this cabbage recipe Annie!
So good. Now I am dreaming of growing cabbage in my garden too. Thanks for sharing this the mustard and paprika was a nice touch.
Happy to hear this recipe turned out great Daryl!
Wonderful smokey flavor
Glad you enjoyed this one Malissa!
Looking forward to making this Lisa. Can Napa cabbage be used?
Hi Nancy – yes, you can use any type of cabbage in this recipe. Enjoy!
Left the bacon out and still delicious!
You can always reference my sauteed cabbage recipe for a no-bacon version :)
Looks like a great recipe. I had a friend from China who taught me to cook cabbage with equal parts cumin, coriander, and Turmeric. Whether i wanted 1 tsp or tablespoons, etc just to taste but equal parts. Saute took it’s the texture you like.
That sounds amazing as well! I’ll have to try that sometime, thanks Loretta!
I used smoke sausage intead of bacon and the mustard made it over the top good! And so easy and low carb! This one will be added to my meal rotation.
Sounds delicious with smoked sausage as well Terrie! Glad you enjoyed this recipe.
I added a teaspoon of brown sugar during the garlic, paprika and dijon. My children fought over eating it! Just delicious!!
Happy to hear everyone enjoyed this fried cabbage dish!
Made this today! I cut the recipe in half and it was just perfect! So delicious that I had it for breakfast and topped it with a fried egg :) this will be a whole30 staple for me I can already tell!
Delicious! Love it topped with a fried egg :)
I’ve made this several times already, because it is SO good! Today I didn’t have any cabbage. What I did have was a HUGE amount of Brussels sprouts. I thought, “Why not?” It was not a mistake. Thanks for the yummy veggie recipe, Lisa!
Of course! Happy to hear you love this fried cabbage recipe!
I had these ingredients that I needed to use up in my refrigerator and wow did this hit the spot! Quick and easy! I used coleslaw in a bag. Will put this on a regular rotation.
Wonderful! This one is definitely a side dish to keep on hand :)
This dish is so simple and delicious. I meal prepped it as a side for my lunches and I can’t wait to do it again.
Simple but big on flavor! Glad you love it :)
Added andouille sausage to make it a meal and it was delicious!
Yum! You’ll definitely need to try my fried cabbage as well with bacon :)
We enjoyed this recipe very much! “Planned-over” ham pieces worked equally well as bacon (since it was pre-cooked in some bacon fat), but everything else was made per your recipe. We found it to be a very satisfying dish with a nice balance of flavors, textures and colors. Economical to make as well. We’ll be making it frequently. Thanks for creating/posting this recipe.
Happy to hear you enjoyed this fried cabbage recipe Cynthia!
Loved this recipe! The whole family gobbled it down. A great veggie with any Sunday night dinner!
Wonderful! Glad everyone enjoyed this fried cabbage :)
This recipe arrive at the perfect time. I was left with a whole cabbage and didn’t know what to do with it, then BAM! Love this recipe its easy, simple, and tasty. We had it for breakfast so we topped it off with poached eggs. Thanks for the cabbage rescue!
Hi Jade – I’m so happy you loved the recipe! And sounds like something I would totally do, using the leftovers for breakfast. Well done!
This cabbage was absolutely delicious (as all of Lisa’s recipes are)! Make it, you will love it. The bacon puts it over the top.
Glad you loved this one Lani! Bacon always makes everything better :)
Thank you Lisa! Can’t wait to try this! Do you think it would work with red cabbage?
Yes! You can also use red cabbage if you’d like :)
At what point to I add the bacon back?
You will add it back in at the end once the cabbage is done :)
My husband loves cabbage especially my picky son! They are going to love this recipe! I can’t wait to make this tonight!
The bacon works wonders in this recipe :)
I have made this and I have to say it is DELICIOUS. So tasty and it cooks so quickly.
Glad you enjoyed this recipe Erica! :)
Cabbage can be so under-rated. I love them in stir-fry or as cabbage steaks. This recipe sounds so delicious and easy. I have to try it.
It really is underrated! But it provides such a delicious texture and flavor :)