Fried Cabbage


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Fried cabbage is one hearty and flavorful side dish. Cabbage is sautéed until buttery tender, then mixed with bacon, stone ground mustard, and smoked paprika for an irresistible sweet, savory, and smoky flavor.

Fried cabbage in a pan with a serving spoon on a table.

Let me forewarn you, this recipe is highly addictive! Fried cabbage is a twist on my sautéed cabbage recipe — but 10x better (in my opinion) thanks to crispy bacon, savory mustard, and a dash of smoked paprika!

Fried cabbage is a much-loved Southern recipe, and for good reason. A few simple, budget-friendly ingredients create one wow-worthy side dish. Serve it up alongside my creamy Cajun chicken or really any comfort food main. It’s also a welcome addition to any St. Patrick’s Day menu, where cabbage recipes take centerstage!

Ingredients for fried cabbage on a table

Fried Cabbage Ingredients

You won’t believe how flavorful this recipe is with just a few simple pantry staples.

  • Cabbage: You can use any colored cabbage, but I always opt for green.
  • Bacon: A few strips of bacon make everything taste better.
  • Aromatics: All you need are onion and garlic to lend a savory aroma.
  • Seasoning: I’m using stone ground mustard for a full-bodied flavor, but you can also use Dijon mustard. Then a hint of smoked paprika adds a bit of a kick!

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How To Make Fried Cabbage

This fried cabbage with bacon comes together in under 30 minutes! Here’s how to make it:

Cook the bacon. Heat a large pan over medium heat and cook the bacon until it’s perfectly crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Remove some bacon grease from the pan, leaving about two tablespoons.

Cooking bacon in pan for fried cabbage

Sauté onion. Add the onion and sauté in the bacon grease for 2 to 3 minutes.

Cooking onions in pan for fried cabbage

Add the good stuff. Toss in the garlic, mustard, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, and give it a good stir.

Stirring in seasoning in pan for fried cabbage

In goes the cabbage. Add the sliced cabbage and sauté everything together. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes until the cabbage becomes caramelized. Then toss the bacon bits back in!

Tossing bacon into fried cabbage in a pan

Fried Cabbage Variations

  • Switch up the seasonings: use chili powder or Cajun seasoning for a slightly different spice.
  • Add a hint of sweetness: with a teaspoon of coconut sugar or a drizzle of honey.
  • Add some meat: feel free to add any type of smoked sausage. Just slice or dice it up into pieces.

What To Eat With Southern Fried Cabbage

I’ve been known to eat fried cabbage on its own (and more than one serving) – because it’s that good. But it tastes even better when paired with a hearty protein. Here are a few options.

A closeup of a spoonful of fried cabbage.

Storage Tips

Just like most sautéed or roasted vegetables, they make for a great meal prep option. Simply prep on a Sunday and store away in containers.

  • To store: Place the fried cabbage in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, microwave it until it’s warmed through or give it a quick sauté in the pan.

Fried Cabbage Video

Want to see how easy it is to make this recipe? Watch the video below!

More Easy Side Dishes

You can never have too many side dish options ready for quick and easy dinners. Give the below ones a try! And if you love cabbage….don’t forget my classic coleslaw, vinegar coleslaw, or cabbage steaks recipes.

I’m pretty confident you’re going to love this fried cabbage recipe! If you make it, let me know how it turns out in the comment box below.

Fried cabbage in a stainless steel pan.

Easy Fried Cabbage

5 from 63 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


This easy fried cabbage recipe is one flavorful side dish loaded with bacon, onion, and stone ground mustard.



  • 6 pieces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons stone ground mustard (or Dijon mustard)
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 head cabbage, sliced and chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Heat a large pan on medium heat and add the sliced bacon. Cook until crispy, then removed to a paper towel-lined plate. Remove some bacon grease, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pan.
    Cooked bacon bits in a pan for fried cabbage
  • Add the onion and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it's translucent.
    Cooking onion and garlic in a pan for fried cabbage
  • Add the garlic, mustard, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and give it a stir to combine.
    Stirring onions in pan for fried cabbage
  • Place the sliced cabbage on top and use a large spoon or tongs to stir and saute together for another 12 to 15 minutes. When the cabbage is done it should be buttery soft and slightly caramelized.
    Sauteed cabbage in a pan for fried cabbage
  • Toss the bacon back in, and stir it all together before serving.
    Cooking bacon and cabbage in a pan for fried cabbage


Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 229mg | Potassium: 343mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 202IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Irish
Keyword: Cabbage Recipe, Fried Cabbage, Sauteed cabbage
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally published October 2020, but updated to include new information.

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I don’t like cooked cabbage and this was SO good. Thank you for posting this recipe. I’m 64 and I have a new vegetable to add to my “like” iist!

  2. Hi, Lisa. LA, here. So I endlessly googled and researched sautéed and fried with this and that. All variations on the same cabbage theme. I settled on this recipe for one of my Xmas sides to wild rice stuffed cornish hens with an apricot glaze. Yum, right? It was the Dijon in your recipe that snared me. Very excited to cast iron skillet this cabbage! I’m done shopping, but I still need the meat. I might go with a fresh sausage or two from the little family butcher across the street. I know that changes the flavor, but I’m a gambling man. Maybe they will have individual bacon slices if i’m lucky. Good Holidays to you.

    1. Hi Scott – the Dijon mustard in this definitely adds that little something extra. Hope you enjoy it and happy holidays!

  3. OMG! I’ve been wanting to try fried cabbage for a long time! Boy am I glad I came across this recipe. I added sausage and a little honey to mine. This recipe is EVERYTHING!!!! Thanks so much for sharing.5 stars

  4. I tried this recipe last night and it was delicious! My husband went back for seconds! This will be on repeat in our kitchen. I love your recipes.5 stars

  5. Today is Tuesday, November 21, 2023. I made this for dinner tonight and I have to say it turned out just awesome. The best fried cabbage I’ve ever had.! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe5 stars

  6. I love cabbage and was looking for a new way to prep it. I had sauteed it before but all the flavors used for this recipe elevated the cabbage to the next level!5 stars

  7. Hi Lisa,
    I love your recipes, but we’re not really meat eaters. Do you have any suggestions on how to make it tasty without bacon or sausage? Do you have a non-meat version of this?

  8. Thank you! Delicious! (I added caraway seeds and ground bay leaf. My mom told me bay leaf gets rid of cabbage gas.)5 stars

  9. I used 2 small sweet onions and 2 medium sliced carrots (just for color, vitamins and texture), as well as smoked farmer sausage instead of bacon. I also added seasoning salt. Next time I’ll use more Dijon (didn’t use enough this time). Don’t have to worry about leftovers because there weren’t any!

    1. It will depend on how big or small your cabbage is, but you can say about 1/2 a cup, or a bit more than that!

  10. Have made fried cabbage before but never thought to add the mustard and paprika. It takes it to another level of goodness.5 stars

    1. Wow! This truly is addictive. My friend brought me a cabbage from the community garden and I wasn’t sure what to make. So glad I turned to Lisa. Scrumptious.5 stars