Updated Sep 20, 2023
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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, vinegar coleslaw, or cabbage steaks 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.
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Recipe originally published October 2020, but updated to include new information.