Southern fried cabbage is flavorful simplicity. Chopped cabbage and onions are sauteed until tender and infused with the deep smoky flavor of crumbled bacon.
I have always been enamored by southern food for its rustic simplicity. No one transforms basic staples into incredibly flavorful cuisine better than southerners, and like southern fried potatoes, this southern fried cabbage is southern simplicity at its finest. Inexpensive, flavorful, and easy to prepare - how can you beat that?
Southern Fried Cabbage
Using red or green cabbage, this easy side dish is sauteed in a large 12" skillet (affiliate link) with onion, garlic, and bacon. Sauteing the vegetables in bacon drippings adds incredible flavor to the dish, while red wine vinegar and a bit of sugar round out the flavor of the cabbage.
How to Chop Cabbage
To chop the cabbage, first cut the cabbage head in half through the stem, then chop into quarters, cutting through the stem again. At this point, the core can easily be cut out and the remaining wedges can be thickly sliced (about 1" strips). These stips can then be chopped into squares. For detailed step by step instruction and photos, I recommend checking out my how to cut cabbage tutorial.
How to Make Southern Fried Cabbage
The key to making the best southern fried cabbage is to take your time. Cook the bacon first to extract the drippings and set the bacon aside, then slowly saute the cabbage with the remaining ingredients until the cabbage is wonderfully tender and even slightly blackened.
Tip: I highly recommend removing bacon from the skillet while the vegetables saute. If bacon is sauteed in the skillet with the vegetables it turns soggy before everything has finished cooking. The dish will still have great flavor, but the texture will be far less ideal.
How to Customize This Recipe
Bacon drippings are a primary source of flavor for this recipe, however, you can substitute your favorite healthier cooking oil if you are looking to create a better for you version of this dish, about a ¼ cup should suffice.
Sugar is added to take the edge off the cabbage, but this can also be omitted if desired. Alternatively, you can give this dish a German twist by using apple cider vinegar and brown sugar instead.
More Simple Side Dishes
If you are looking for more easy side dishes to round out your meal, or simply some more to add to your arsenal give these a try!
- Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
- Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Roasted Lemon Parmesan Green Beans
- Oven Roasted Asparagus
Southern fried cabbage
- 12 ounces bacon
- 1 head cabbage (cored and chopped, approximately 6 cups)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vingegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- Saute bacon in 12" skillet over medium heat until fully cooked. Remove from skillet, leaving drippings.
- Add cabbage, onion, garlic, vinegar, sugar, black pepper and salt to the bacon drippings and saute on medium heat for 25 minutes, or until cabbage and onions are tender. Stir frequently.
- While cabbage is cooking chop or crumble bacon.
- Add crumbled bacon to the sauteed cabbage when it has finished cooking. Toss to combine and serve.
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