Easy Fried Cabbage Recipe

5 from 11 votes

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This fried cabbage is the perfect side dish for any meal. Using just a handful of ingredients, this cabbage stir fry goes together in only 20 minutes leaving you more “me time.” You know what I’m talking about, catching up with your best girlfriend, getting gussied up for your man (or woman), or just having a stolen moment with yourself and doing absolutely nothing! (We never judge)

White bowl full of purple fried cabbage with pieces of bacon and Italian parsley.
This cabbage recipe can be on the table in 20 minutes!

Fried Cabbage

This fast and easy recipe is part of a recent night of cooking at our house which also included a braised pork recipe and German potato dumplings.  It’s the perfect side dish for so many reasons, but let me give you just a few:

  • It goes with just about anything.
  • You can make toss it together in a few minutes using a single skillet.
  • It reheats beautifully in the microwave and tastes even better the next day!
  • Add or substitute the ingredients that you have on hand!
    • Use some sweet or smoked sausage instead of bacon.
    • Add a touch of cajun seasoning for just a hint of heat.
    • Add a little sugar or another sweetener (maple syrup is great with this fried cabbage!)
    • Make this cabbage stir fry keto-friendly by using Natvia or Swerve.

Dinner plate with braised pork and carrots, potatoe dumplings, and purple cabbage,

What’s in this?

  • Red cabbage
  • Bacon
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh parsley (optional)

The secret ingredient to this amazing side dish is none other than bacon. The flavor that it gives to the cabbage will change your life and make you think you’re in the deep south, no matter how far above the Mason-Dixon line you happen to live.  You may even develop a bit of a southern drawl, y’all. Trust me, living in Wisconsin we can say that this is the case!

Bowl of purple fried cabbage with bacon and parsely garnsih and a glass of wine.
Make this fried cabbage and bacon with just a handful of ingredients.

How to make it

Start by slicing up about 1/4 to 1/2 pound of thick bacon. When it comes to bacon recipes, I will always lean toward adding more bacon vs. less. Don’t judge me.

Cast iron skillet with bacon pieces being fried and a wooden sppon.
I use my cast iron skillet every chance that I get!

We fry this bacon in a large skillet, but if you wonder how to cook bacon, we show another easy (and less messy) way to make bacon in the oven, with our oven-fried bacon.  I love using my skillet for this recipe because it’s big enough to hold all of the ingredients and it is the perfect way of seasoning my skillet from the bacon fat.

After you have fried the bacon, remove it from the skillet and allow it to drain. My sister Chef Kat taught me how to drain bacon on brown paper bags many moons ago and it’s still how I do it today!  This method of draining works great with donuts too and it’s a good way to use up your old grocery bags.

Next, you are going to cut the cabbage.

How to Cut Cabbage

Slicesd purple cabbage on a cutting board with a chef's knife.
Remove the core of the cabbage.

While the bacon is draining, it’s time to cut the cabbage.  We slice a cone-shaped hole around the core of the cabbage and then remove it. Once the core is out, make thin slices through the rest of the cabbage.

Stir Fry The Cabbage

Stir fried cabbage in a skillet with a wooden spoon.
Fry the sliced cabbage in the reserved bacon fat until crisp-tender.

Next, you’re going to fry the cabbage in the hot skillet for about 6 to 8 minutes. Add a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the hot cabbage and give it an occasional stir until it is crisp-tender to the bite. The cider adds a little flavor and helps tenderize the fried cabbage.

Stir in some salt and pepper to taste. I always recommend fresh ground black pepper and Kosher salt, which has larger grains.

Now, transfer the fried cabbage to a serving dish, top it with the bacon, and crown it with a beautiful sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley leaves.

Dinner plate filled with fried cabbage, pork, and potato dumplings.
Try this savory cabbage recipe soon!

More cabbage recipes

Other savory side dishes

This is one of our favorite side dishes to serve with pierogies.  Be sure and see our complete list of 15 savory sides dishes that go with pierogies.

White bowl of stir fried cabbabge and a glass of wine.

Fried Cabbage Recipe

5 from 11 votes
This easy fried cabbage recipe goes together in under 20 minutes, the perfect savory side dish for fall!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Yield: 8 people


  • 1 head Cabbage, about 1 pound
  • 4 oz Bacon, thick-cut, sliced and fried.
  • 3 tbsp Apple cider vinegar, (that's the dark vinegar!)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley Leaves, chopped


  • Use a large skillet to fry chopped bacon, over medium-high heat. Use a slotted spoon to remove bacon to paper towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon grease and keep the skillet hot.
  • Core a head of cabbage, slice the leaves and then place in the hot skillet. Stir until crisp-tender, add vinegar and salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Remove fried cabbage to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with bacon and parsley and serve.


  • Use green or colored cabbage for this recipe.
  • Substitute pork sausage or hamburger for the bacon.
  • Reheat leftovers in the microwave for later use.


Calories: 156kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 42mg, Potassium: 192mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 150IU, Vitamin C: 42.2mg, Calcium: 45mg, Iron: 0.6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!
Updated from the original post of September 13, 2018.

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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  1. 5 stars
    Fried cabbage is sooo darn good and easy to make. I usually use green cabbage, but I’m going to love switching it up with your recipe! GORGEOUS photos!

  2. 5 stars
    I love cabbage as a side dish even though my family says it smells weird when I cook it but I make it and I love it with crispy bacon!!

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! What a tasty meal, it looks so good!! But that salad – bright, beautiful and tangy – it has everything going on!

  4. 5 stars
    We’re having our Annual Oktoberfest Party next weekend and I will definitely be making this as one of the side dishes! Love how pretty it is and how it fits with the rest of the German Foods Im serving!