Old Fashioned Fried Cabbage

This old fashioned fried cabbage will appeal to even the pickiest eaters.  The sharp flavor of the cabbage becomes mellow and tender when cooked with onions, garlic, and bacon.  Plus the kiss of sweetness from the brown sugar doesn’t hurt either.  It will remind you of Sunday dinners at Grandma’s house.  I like to serve this with Fall Off The Bone Baby Back Ribs and Roasted Garlic Horseradish Mashed Potatoes.  Walk back into time with this delicious meal.

A skillet of old fashioned fried cabbage with bacon, onion, garlic, and a bit of vinegar and brown sugar.

Other than coleslaw, I think that cabbage is a pretty maligned vegetable – like brussels sprouts.  But unlike brussels sprouts, cabbage hasn’t yet had a surge in popularity.  I’m hoping to change that with this old fashioned fried cabbage recipe.


  • Bacon provides a lot of flavor for this recipe and a little crunch.  The cabbage is going to be fried in the bacon drippings. 
  • Butter, for more flavor and richness
  • Onion and garlic 
  • Apple cider vinegar and brown sugar – just a little bit of both.  These two items enhance the flavor of the cabbage and counteract any bitterness.  It makes a big difference in the flavor of the dish.

A skillet of old fashioned fried cabbage with bacon, onion, garlic, and a bit of vinegar and brown sugar.

Since this recipe is a throwback to days gone by, it pairs well with other comfort foods like a rich Cabernet Braised Beef Short Ribs, Herb Roasted Pork Loin, or a Perfect Oven Roasted Brisket.



This old fashioned fried cabbage is comfort food at its best.  Chopped cabbage is sauteed in bacon drippings, with onion, garlic, and a kiss of brown sugar and vinegar.  It is a great side dish with grilled or roasted meats.

  • Author: Eats By The Beach
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pan fry
  • Cuisine: Southern



4 slices thick bacon, cut into slices

2 tablespoons butter

1 sweet onion, diced

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 small head green cabbage, cored and chopped into small pieces

½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons brown sugar

Kosher salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Minced fresh parsley, for garnish


Heat a large cast-iron or heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the bacon and cook until crisp – about 7 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.  Leave as much of the bacon fat in the skillet as possible.

Melt the butter into the bacon fat.  

Stir in the onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring constantly until the onion becomes translucent – about 4 minutes.

Add the cabbage and vinegar,  toss to combine all of the ingredients.

Sprinkle in the brown sugar, salt, and pepper.

Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the cabbage is tender – about 10 – 15 minutes.

Return the bacon to the skillet.

Cook for an additional minute to combine the bacon with the cabbage.

Remove from the heat and garnish with a sprinkle of parsley on top.

Serve warm.

Keywords: old fashioned fried cabbage, side dish recipes, vegetable recipes, cabbage recipe, Southern recipes