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Southern Fried Cabbage Recipe

In this post, you’ll find how I make Southern Fried Cabbage, a beloved Southern side dish or main meal.

Good ole fried cabbage is a traditional side dish, a savory soul food, just good old country cooking. We love cabbage and enjoy it a variety of ways…like in a stir fry, boiled or made into coleslaw. I would have to say that one of my family’s top favorite cabbage recipes is fried cabbage. If you love Southern food then cast iron skillet fried cabbage is a must try.

Cabbage was once considered a winter staple. Of course now we can get cabbage all year long. It is easy to understand how it became an important crop since it is so versatile and able to be eaten raw, cooked or even fermented. If you like to grow vegetables in your own garden, green cabbage is a great fall/winter crop. Last year I planted an heirloom variety called “Charleston Wakefield” in my garden and it did great all winter long (we’re zone 7 here).

Preparing Southern style cabbage in a skillet is a fairly easy task. Typically, fried cabbage is cooked in bacon drippings or butter and seasoned.

Cooking cabbage with bacon drippings is my personal favorite. It is so savory and I enjoy the bits of crispy bacon served atop this classic vegetable side dish.

Fried Cabbage and Potatoes

The best Southern fried cabbage with bacon - soul food - country cooking - cast iron skillet

I keep referring to fried cabbage as a side dish but there are times when it can become the star of the show as a main course. 

Historically, vegetables have been of great importance to Southerners diets. It is not unusual at all for there to be no meat course for supper and enjoy a vegetable plate where fried cabbage, fried potatoes, sliced tomatoes and a cucumber salad might be served. 

Cabbage is also a favorite for a good luck new year meal for those who area cabbage lover but don’t care for collard greens.

What do I need to make Fried Cabbage?

Here’s what you’ll need for this easy recipe:

  • A head of cabbage – fresh cabbage sliced into small pieces avoiding the tough cabbage core work well for fried cabbage. If you don’t have time to slice your own then a bag of chopped cabbage works well for this easy side dish.
  • Bacon Grease – adds lots of smokey bacon flavors to fried tender cabbage as well as other Southern dishes. Cook up strips of bacon for fresh bacon drippings to use to fry your cabbage and enjoy the bacon pieces topped on your final dish. You can also use bacon grease from your storage supply (cause you do keep the bacon grease, right) if you don’t want to fry up the pieces.
  • Black Pepper and Salt – for seasoning.

You can keep the recipe simple with those few ingredients above and that is usually how I make it.

If you want to add additional seasonings suck as red pepper flakes, a bit of onion, creole seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, a pinch of brown sugar or a splash of apple cider vinegar to jazz up your cooked cabbage then go right ahead. Make it with the flavors that you will enjoy most.

Iron skillet cabbage recipe

Fried Cabbage with Bacon

If you have bacon drippings stored in the fridge, which I always do, you can take a shortcut and skip frying the bacon for this recipe. Who wants to miss out on crispy bacon bits for garnish though? Not me! 

With just four ingredients we can create this savory side dish. Here is how I do it…

Step 1: Chop up the bacon strips and cook over medium to medium-high heat in a large skillet until crispy. A cast iron skillet is preferred for this task but any skillet large enough to hold the cabbage later will do. 

Step 2: While the bacon cooks, cut up the cabbage. Remove an outer undesirable leaves on the cabbage and discard. I cut cabbage into strips, others chop into smaller pieces, the choice is yours. 

Step 3: Remove the cooked bacon pieces, transfer to a paper towel lined dish to remove excess grease and set aside to use later for garnish. Add the cabbage to the skillet and turn a few times to coat with the bacon drippings. Season with salt and pepper and cook until desired tenderness, turning occasionally. 

Very simple but that is a 5 star fried cabbage recipe if I ever saw it. 

Southern fried cabbage in a cast iron skillet with bacon

What to Serve with Fried Cabbage?

As I mentioned, the fried cabbage can easily be the low carb main meal. It can also have meat added to make it a heartier dish with sliced sausages, ground beef or other pork meat (such as ham).

Sides that go well with fried cabbage include pan fried potatoes and cornbread, which are personal favorites at our house.

Fried cabbage can be served as a side for hamburger steaks, ham or pork chops, beans or chicken fried chicken.

Iron Skillet Cabbage Recipe

Let’s make this Southern Fried Cabbage! Below you will find the printable recipe card. The recipe cards on this site may contain Amazon affiliate links to products that I use or think that you might enjoy.

Yield: 2 pounds Cabbage (give or take)

Southern Fried Cabbage

Southern Style Skillet Cabbage

Savory Southern style fried cabbage with bacon is a delicious traditional side dish

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 5 Strips of Bacon, chopped
  • 1 Head of Cabbage, medium to large in size
  • Salt and Cracked Black Pepper, to taste


  1. Heat an iron skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped bacon pieces and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon once cooked and set aside to use as garnish later.
  3. Remove and discard any undesirable outer leaves from the cabbage.
  4. Cut the cabbage into strips or chop into smaller pieces if desired.
  5. Add the cabbage to the skillet and turn to coat with the bacon drippings.
  6. Season with salt and cracked black pepper.
  7. Cook until tender, turning occasionally.
  8. Use reserved bacon pieces as garnish or add back to the cooked cabbage, mix and serve.

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Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 94Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 275mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 6g

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See this recipe at: Weekend Potluck and Meal Plan Monday

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Captain Monk

Saturday 11th of January 2020

i always saute an onion in the bacon drippings too

Julia Jordan

Saturday 11th of January 2020

I love onions! I'll have to remember to incorporate that next time I make it.


Thursday 24th of January 2019

I definitely don't make enough cabbage! The bacon will help sway my boys too, yum!

Julia Jordan

Thursday 24th of January 2019

Carlee, Bacon makes everything better, right! ;)

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