This scrumptious bacon cabbage stir fry is all you need for a quick side dish or even to make a dinner meal. It’s simple and quick to make, serve with the main course or our favorite way is to eat it with mashed potatoes or simple side salad. Delicious!
This cabbage is cooked with bacon and delicious aromatics like garlic and onions that give so much flavor to the dish.
Serve this low-carb dish on any day of the year with almost any meal. Green cabbage tastes the best here but red cabbage (purple cabbage) is also a tasty replacement. Just be careful as it may dye all the dish purple!
If you love cabbage recipes, check out this delicious collection of 40+ Best Cabbage Recipes (featuring both green and red cabbage recipes).
Cabbage recipes are our go-to when I have to fix something extremely fast for dinner. From our Cabbage Roll Soup to Cabbage Cheese Bake, this fried cabbage stir fry is definitely on par with these but definitely the easiest and fastest to make.
The ingredients used for this fried cabbage are all your kitchen staples plus a couple of extras.
- Cabbage - regular green cabbage. If you have old green cabbage laying around in your kitchen, it's time to make fried cabbage. This cabbage is also great for making a rich and fulfilling unstuffed cabbage roll soup. Be careful if using red cabbage as it will likely leach color into the rest of your dish.
- Garlic and onion - without these aromatics, this cabbage stir fry just wouldn't be the same and taste just a little bland.
- Brown Sugar- Is added here to intensify all the flavors. We add just a small amount and it balances the sour, sweet and savory flavors beautifully. We also love to use brown sugar or coconut sugar whenever we make this fried cabbage.
For the full list of ingredients, please scroll down where you'll find the recipe card.
In a large cast iron dutch oven or large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy over medium heat for about 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Or you can easily cook bacon in the oven or air fryer.
In the same skillet with leftover bacon grease (you can leave all in but I prefer discarding half of it or a little more just to make it a little healthier and enough for bacon to pick up the smoky flavors) add onions and cook until translucent.
Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add the chopped cabbage, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine and saute for 7-10 minutes and until cabbage becomes tender.
Return the crispy bacon back to the pan. Stir in the butter, taste for seasoning, and serve while warm.
Leftover sauteed cabbage can be stored in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Reheat on the stove.
What To Serve With Fried Cabbage?
Fried cabbage is delicious on its own and becomes an instant favorite of anyone who tries it. With bacon or not!
What meat goes with cabbage?
Cabbage is a nutritious vegetable that is so versatile and goes well with everything from pork chops and beef to lamb, fish, chicken, and turkey. Cabbage is for sure a great vegetable for you that should be included in everyone's weekly menu.
You can even call it a meal! Serve this fried cabbage with bacon as it is, instead of the main course. We love to add cooked quinoa or rice into the mix! Paired with some mashed potatoes, crispy smashed potatoes, or side salad and dinner rolls makes everything even better. It’s honestly delicious!
- You can cook the bacon in strips too and then later crumble them. But dicing the bacon upfront will reduce the cooking time.
- Usually, fried cabbage cooks fairly quickly, just 7-10 minutes if chopped up into 2-inch bite-size pieces. Keep an eye on it so you don't overcook it, tender cabbage and not soggy cabbage is what we are going after here. and then the dish is still tasty but not as crunchy as we like it.
- Garlic is essential here. There's no substitution that will come close to the flavor and fragrance it gives to cabbage. In theory, you can use garlic powder instead but again, not the same. And don't be afraid to use plenty of fresh garlic! More than stated in the recipe instructions.
- Same goes for onion. These are the aromatics that make this cabbage taste incredible. Along with the spices of course! If you don't have it, then again onion powder can be a better solution than nothing.
Freezing and Storing Instructions
Properly stored bacon cabbage stir fry will keep in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Transfer the cooled fried cabbage to an airtight container, secure it with a lid and refrigerate.
Reheat on the stove, you may need to add some warm water if it's dry or some extra butter for reheating.
For freezing, you can freeze this dish for 2 months but the cabbage will not be as crisp after thawing as when freshly made.
To make it ahead, you can cook the bacon 1-2 days prior. Chop the cabbage 3-4 days in advance even.
Cabbage is ready when it’s becoming tender. However, this may depend greatly on the dish you are cooking and your personal preference. I like cabbage tender but still crisp! Especially in this Fried cabbage and bacon recipe.
Cabbage usually cooks fairly quickly. If you cut it into 2-inch pieces it should take you about only 10 minutes. The cabbage should be more tender by this time but still has some crunch to it. For more tender results, cook it for longer, 15-20 minutes.
In theory, you can freeze fresh cabbage for later use. The thing here is that it won’t be as crisp after defrosting as when fresh or stored in the fridge. But it is ideal for cooking in soups and stews. Simply cut it into cubes or grate it and store it in a freezer-safe container with a tightly sealed lid. Freeze for up to a month.
Thank you so much for reading about bacon cabbage stir fry recipe. Please feel free to comment with any questions you may have! I love reading your feedback.
Easy Side Dish Recipes
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Bacon Cabbage Stir Fry
- 12 oz thick cut bacon pork or turkey bacon, about ½ inch or smaller
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 head of cabbage cored and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar packed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- In a large cast iron dutch oven or large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy over medium heat for about 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Or you can easily cook bacon in the oven. L!
- In the same skillet with leftover bacon grease (you can leave all in but I prefer discarding half of it or a little more just to make it a little healthier and enough for bacon to pick up the smoky flavors) add onions and cook until translucent.
- Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the chopped cabbage, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, seasoned salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine and saute for 7-10 minutes and until cabbage becomes tender.
- Return the crispy bacon back to the pan. Sti in the butter, taste for seasoning and serve while warm.
- Leftover cabbage can be stored in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Reheat on the stove.