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Southern Fried Cabbage

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  • Author: María
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x


Units Scale
  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. Add the vinegar, sugar, onion powder – and garlic powder if you didn’t use fresh garlic – along with the water.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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,
  7. 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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