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Southern Fried  Cabbage Recipe 

Flavorful, Easy, Affordable Weeknight Dinner Recipe with a touch of smoky makes this a perfect recipe for a quick TASTY meal! Southern Fried Cabbage Recipe is the stuff we grew up on and want to make at home today! 

blue bowl filled with southern fried cabbage with spoon and napkin

 

 Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy 
  • Affordable 
  • Tasty 
  • You probably have everything you already need in your kitchen

Here’s How To Make This Southern Fried Cabbage Recipe

STEP 1

Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage. 

head of cabbage and knife on cutting board

STEP 2. 

Cut the cabbage into 4ths and cut out the core. 

head of cabbage cut into fourths with knife on cutting board

STEP 3. 

Cut into bite size pieces

cabbage cut into bite size pieces

STEP 4. 

Cook up the onions and bacon in a large frying pan or dutch oven.

bacon and onions sauteing for southern fried cabbage

STEP 5. 

Add the cabbage, stock and seasonings. Put the lid on for a few minutes to get things started. Cook until the cabbage is as soft as you prefer it! Serve Hot!

southern fried cabbage recipe cooked up in stock pot with bacon visible

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Is Fried Cabbage Good For You? 

Fried Cabbage IS good for you (depending on what your definition of ‘good’ is!). Cabbage is low in calories and fat. It has vitamin A, K and Folate. Lots of fiber, phosphorus and calcium!

How Do You Cut Cabbage for Fried Cabbage? 

Easy! Just check out the “how to” photos above. I like to cut mine in half and then in half again. Remove the core and then depending on the size of the head, cut in half again or just give it a rough chop! 

How to Pan Fry Cabbage?

  • I use a dutch oven for this recipe, but you can also use a frying pan! For a 10” frying pan, you’ll want to do about ½ a head of cabbage. 
  • Cabbage tends to cook down smaller than what you start with which is why I use a dutch oven for a whole head.
  • To pan fry the cabbage, simply follow the instructions in the recipe and use a frying pan instead. Since you’ll be using less cabbage, you’ll want to cut the other recipe ingredients by that much. 

What Goes With Cabbage? 

Because fried cabbage is a fairly mild dish, we find that it goes with most any meat and other vegetables. Our favorites are pinto beans, cornbread, ham or chicken

Do I Need To Wash Cabbage? 

Remove the outer most leaves (about 4) and then give the cabbage head a rinse in cool water. This should be sufficient. There’s no need for a massive and intricate washing like you might do with collard greens

Can I Eat Cabbage Raw? 

You CAN eat cabbage raw! In fact, that is what coleslaw is! That said, if it isn’t grated, then I find it to be too much to chew and you might too! 

What Can I Do With a Head of Cabbage? 

You’ll want to consider this fried cabbage recipe or my Cooked Cabbage recipe! Both are favorites!

You could also try some coleslaw! This one by Ina Garten is also a winner! 

Can I Freeze Fried Cabbage? 

I don’t recommend freezing fried cabbage. I find that it comes out too slimy and soft for my tastes.

It’s best to just cook as much as you want to eat now or in the next few days. It does hold up well in the refrigerator though! 

How Long Does Southern Fried Cabbage Last?

You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Do not allow it to sit out for more than 2 hours

This is one of those dishes that if you allow it to sit in the fridge until the next day, it is exponentially better!!

blue bowl of southern fried cabbage recipe on cutting board with fork.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Southern Fried Cabbage Recipe

  • Cabbage does tend to cook down, so make more than you actually think you will need. 
  • You can count on about 1/8-1/4 head of cabbage per person (depending on the cabbage head size). 
  • We like to flavor ours with bacon, but you can get a similar smoky taste from smoked turkey legs or smoked ham hocks (look in the freezer section if you don’t see any with the fresh meats at the grocery). 
  • For a smoky flavor without using meat, use liquid smoke. Be VERY careful because a little bit will do ya! Start with a tsp and then taste, the increase until it is where you like it.
  • Some folks like cabbage a little more firm and some like theres a little more floppy. If you like yours firm, it will be ready in minutes. Keep a close eye on it so that it doesn’t become too soft for your tastes! 

Do Me Favor, Will You? 

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A photo of a bowl of Southern Fried Cabbage

Southern Fried Cabbage

Flavorful, Easy, Affordable Weeknight Dinner Recipe with a touch of smoky makes this a perfect recipe for a quick TASTY meal! Southern Fried Cabbage Recipe is the stuff we grew up on and want to make at home today!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cooked cabbage, how to cook cabbage
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 350kcal
Author: Loaves and Dishes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs butter
  • 4 strips of bacon chopped
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 cups chicken stock see substitutions in notes
  • 1 head of cabbage outer leaves removed and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar white granulated
  • 1 tsp salt KOSHER. If using table salt, reduce to 1/2 tsp.
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp baking soda

Instructions

  • Melt butter over medium heat on the stove top in a large frying pan or dutch oven. Cut the bacon into small pieces and fry in the butter. While bacon is frying, give the onion a rough chop and add to the frying pan. Mince the garlic. Just as the onion is becoming translucent (2-3 minutes), add the garlic and cook until fragrant (smells up the kitchen).
  • Add all of the ingredients (including the melted butter and bacon grease) to the frying pan or dutch oven. and place into the large sauce pot. Cover the the cabbage with chicken stock - but if not enough stock, add water to cover. Add the cayenne, sugar, salt, pepper., apple cider vinegar and baking soda as well.
  • Cook over medium high heat on the stove top by simmering for 10-12 minutes or just until the cabbage is done (try it to know for sure). You may need to add more salt and/or pepper depending on taste.

Notes

  • There is no point in using your good bacon on this recipe, if you can find the “bits and pieces” of bacon (very inexpensive) available at your store, keep some in your fridge/freezer for these kinds of recipes. Perfect inexpensive solution. ( I bought mine at Trader Joe's, but I have seen them at my local grocery too).
  • Southern fried Cabbage recipe has a smell (it isn't really a nice smell) when it is cooking. 
  • You know to discard the first couple of outer leaves on cabbage, right?  Thought so.
  • Cabbage has the bad reputation of giving people gas.  Here are the ways that I have heard that you can address the gas issue ( no idea if they are accurate or if they work individually - you can see from the recipe what I did):  Add potatoes to your cabbage and cook with the potatoes - the potatoes will absorb the gas making properties of the cabbage, add vinegar to the cabbage while it cooks, add baking soda to the cabbage while it cooks, only simmer the cabbage do not hard boil it.  I do all of these things to my  fried cabbage and haven’t noticed that the gas is terrible.  Not sure which one works or if it is the combination but my recipe, but it doesn't seem to give anyone at my house gas.
  • This dish - while excellent right away becomes even better if you can allow it to sit in the fridge over night.  All the flavors meld and OH MY GOODNESS!  It is good!
  • Don’t get all freaked out and worried about the bacon grease and butter in this recipe, it stays melted and in the liquids.  You won’t actually be eating much of it - its just for flavor.
  • A terrific substitute for the chicken stock is one of the following:  Bouillon cubes - if using, don't add salt to the recipe until you are ready to serve, then test for salt.  Bouillon Concentrate:  Add 1 heaping tsp.  This is my preferred way to season this dish.
  • Add three small russet potatoes to the dish and boil with the cabbage to help remove gas. 
  • Cabbage does tend to cook down, so make more than you actually think you will need. 
  • You can count on about 1/8-1/4 head of cabbage per person (depending on the cabbage head size). 
  • We like to flavor ours with bacon, but you can get a similar smoky taste from smoked turkey legs or smoked ham hocks (look in the freezer section if you don't see any with the fresh meats at the grocery). 
  • Some folks like cabbage a little more firm and some like theres a little more floppy. If you like yours firm, it will be ready in minutes. Keep a close eye on it so that it doesn't become too soft for your tastes! 
PRO TIP:
  • For a smoky flavor without using meat, use liquid smoke.  Be VERY careful because a little bit will do ya! Start with a tsp and then taste, the increase until it is where you like it.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Southern Fried Cabbage
Amount Per Serving
Calories 350 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 33mg11%
Sodium 1165mg49%
Potassium 1264mg36%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 10g40%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 400IU8%
Vitamin C 104.3mg126%
Calcium 153mg15%
Iron 6.7mg37%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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