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)
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.
What’s in this?
- Red cabbage
- 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!
How to make it
Start by slicing up about ¼ to ½ pound of thick bacon. When it comes to bacon recipes, I will always lean toward adding more bacon vs. less. Don’t judge me.
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
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
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.
More cabbage recipes
- Golumpki (Gołąbki, Stuffed Cabbage)
- Savory Cabbage and Bacon with Onion
- Golumpki (Stuffed Cabbage) Soup
- Stuffed Cabbage Casserole (Lazy Golumpki)
Other savory side dishes
Fried Cabbage Recipe
- 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.