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Sorry for the delay on this Southern Fried Cabbage recipe! I had a small disaster in my home late last week that took threw everything off course:
I spent my weekend elbow deep in bleach and disinfectant trying to get my kitchen sink and floor to stop glowing green with contamination (I have a very vivid, visual imagination).
Southern Fried Cabbage Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Southern Fried Cabbage recipe:
- Cabbage: A whole head. Split it in half, then remove the core, and chop into bite sized pieces. Break it up as best you can, but it’ll come apart as it wilts and cooks. I think they sell bags of raw cabbage, too. Similarly to collards and spinach, you’ll end up with less than you think.
- Garlic: You can substitute garlic powder to make this recipe even easier.
- Onion powder: Most folks start this recipe off with diced onion, but I use onion powder so there’s nothing but cabbage and bacon to chew on.
- Bacon: Use an entire pack of thick-cut bacon or about a pound of fatback. If you use fatback you probably won’t need any extra salt. It’s a matter of taste tho, of course. If you use regular bacon, turkey bacon, or beef bacon, you’ll want to add a few tablespoons of oil or butter to the fat to make sure there’s enough.
- Sugar: Plain ol’ granulated sugar, the amount also to taste. It brings out the subtle, natural sweetness of Southern Fried Cabbage.
- Balsamic vinegar: Apple cider vinegar works just fine, too, but I like the flavor balsamic adds, and it’s a tad sweeter so I don’t add as much sugar.
- Water: Not much, just enough to help the process along. It will all evaporate by the end. Cabbage has moisture in it of course, but not enough to get the desired result I’m looking for without some added. Chicken broth works if you want to add that flavor.
- Kosher salt, cracked black pepper: You might not need the salt, especially if you used fatback. Add the cracked black pepper to your Southern Fried Cabbage at the very end.
How to Make Southern Fried Cabbage
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Southern Fried Cabbage recipe:
- Fry the bacon. Grab a fairly large pot or saucepan and add the bacon to the cold pan. Turn the heat on to medium-high and fry until it’s completely crispy and has released all the fat, stirring frequently so it cooks evenly.
- Saute the garlic, if using. After the bacon pieces are crisp, remove them with a slotted spoon, letting excess grease drip off. To this, add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the cabbage. Now, add the cabbage. Similar to collards, it might not seem like it’ll fit, but just let it wilt a bit and you should be able to squeeze in the rest, unless you picked a too-small pot for your Southern Fried Cabbage.
- Season, wilt, stir. Add the vinegar, sugar, onion powder, and garlic powder if you didn’t use fresh garlic, along with the water.
- Cover and cook. Affix the lid, and let it do its thing. Come back and stir every 15-20 minutes or so. This cabbage takes about 45 minutes in my house, but if you like it crunchier go for less time.
HIMthem. When the cabbage is done to your liking, crack in the black pepper. Now, you can either turn the burner off or, if you’re like my family and like a bit of charred cabbage too, leave the cabbage uncovered and let it cook for 10 minutes undisturbed. This will overcook the cabbage on the bottom. Don’t go nuts and straight up burn it tho. Stir together and serve!
What To Serve With Southern Fried Cabbage
You can make endless variations with this Southern Fried Cabbage recipe, so please feel free to customize yours to taste! For example, you could…
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Obligatory Pin –
Southern Fried Cabbage
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 10 1x
- 1 head of cabbage, cored and chopped
- 1 lb fatback, or thick-cut bacon, diced
- 1/4 C water
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt, to taste
- Place a large pot or saucepan on the stove, but don’t turn the burner on yet. Add the bacon to the cold pan, then turn the heat on to medium-high and fry until it’s completely crispy and has released all the fat, stirring frequently so it cooks evenly.
- After the bacon pieces are crisp, remove them with a slotted spoon, letting excess grease drip off back into the pan. Now, add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Next up is the cabbage. Add it all, in batches if needed. Similar to collards and spinach, it’ll lose some volume as it cooks.
- Add the vinegar, sugar, onion powder – and garlic powder if you didn’t use fresh garlic – along with the water.
- Put on the lid and let the cabbage cook until tender to your liking – about 45 minutes in my house. Come back and stir every 15-20 minutes or so. Taste it, and adjust for salt if needed.
- When the cabbage is done to your liking, stir in the black pepper. It’s ready! If you like a bit of charred cabbage, too, carry on to the next step. Now, you can either turn the burner off or, if you’re like my family and like a bit of charred cabbage too,
- After stirring in the pepper, leave the cabbage uncovered and let it cook for 10 minutes undisturbed. This will overcook the cabbage on the bottom. Don’t go nuts and straight-up burn it tho. Stir together and serve! Dassit!
- The post above the recipe isn’t a story about farming cabbages in Vermont; it’s where all my advice lives!
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 60
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