Fried Cabbage and Bacon is a super easy side dish that is packed with flavour! Using simple everyday ingredients and taking less than 10 minutes, you can whip this up and pop it on the table. Bacon fried cabbage can be on your Thanksgiving table, Christmas table or breakfast table!!
My Pork Mince Noodles use shredded cabbage as a key ingredient as it is easy to prepare and stir fry's very well!
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Versatile: this is a recipe that will be perfect to serve alongside so many recipes. Grilled meats, chicken and ham or turkey. You can also however, serve it as a breakfast recipe with sriracha sauce.
- Budget friendly: cabbage is often on special at many grocery stores from Walmart to Tesco, Aldi, Safeway, Woolies or Coles. You can also often grab a bargain at your local fruit shop 👍😉.
- Low carb: potatoes are an easy choice for side dishes, but they are high in carbs. Bacon fried cabbage cuts the carb factor and also cooks must faster than potatoes.
- Family friendly: this is a simple dish that comes together effortlessly. It is not sophisticated (too much) in flavour so is perfect for both little and big kids alike!
- Taste and texture: the bacon and cabbage hold their own when being pan fried. The addition of the peanut oil to cook the cabbage ensures a slick drizzle of yum in the dish. The parmesan cheese and ground black pepper add the final details of texture and both work to compliment the flavours already in the dish 😘👍😍.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Bacon: thick cut bacon (don't use streaky) which is then roughly chopped into pieces. This is the preference for the recipe as the thickness of the bacon adds a robust texture to the dish that streaky or diced bacon would not. I use a chopping board and knife followed by kitchen scissors and a bowl to chop it up 😉👍.
- Cabbage: a great versatile ingredient that is budget friendly at many times throughout the year. I use a standard green cabbage ie not purple or Chinese cabbage (Napa or Wombok). The quantity of 8 cups is around ¼ of a large cabbage, core removed then chopped into long shredded pieces.
- Peanut oil: this is my recommendation for the recipe as it lends itself to Asian style cooking. Peanut oil is great for stir frying vegetables and provides an aromatic factor to the recipe that can be tasted in the consumption of the dish. Whilst olive oil is ok if you really really want to use that, I think you will find that the dish tastes better when the cabbage is fried in peanut oil not olive oil. 🧐👍😉.
- Parmesan cheese: this is used to garnish the dish for serving. I like to use freshly grated parmesan which you can also do but store bought is fine to use also.
- Cracked black pepper: this is to season the dish for serving.
Tasty tip: it is worth noting here for clarification that we don't use oil to cook the bacon (do use a non stick pan) and we do use oil when we fry the cabbage. We don't season the dish with salt and pepper like we would with other recipes as the bacon provides a salty kind of yum and then the cracked pepper for serving provides the balance to the salt flavour in the dish.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by preparing the vegetables which is very quick to do. Simply chop the bacon with a knife, chopping board and kitchen scissors (rough pieces) and then remove the core from the base of the cabbage and chop it into long shredded pieces.
- Cook bacon (Photo 1)
- Fry bacon (Photo 2)
- Add cooked bacon back to the pan (Photo 3)
- Stir to combine (Photo 4)
Tasty tip 2: my preference and recommendation for the recipe is a non stick pan as opposed to a cast iron skillet. This is for a couple of reasons, such as not adding oil to the pan when we cook the bacon as well and using the bacon grease and peanut oil to fry the cabbage. You will find that the finished dish has a drizzle of yum when you are eating it (catch it before it slips down your chin! 😛) that a cast iron skillet would not deliver as much as the drizzle would stick to the pan and not be in the pan enhancing the flavour of the dish.
👩🍳 How to Make Fried Cabbage With Bacon
To make the fried cabbage with bacon start by frying the bacon in a non stick pan (high heat). You won't need oil for this or salt and pepper. Once cooked, remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.
Add the peanut oil to the pan, turn the heat on to high and add the shredded cabbage to the pan. If you have a lid for your pan you can put this on as it will cut down the cook time and helps the cabbage fry faster. Use a wooden spoon or flat silicon turner to move the cabbage around in the pan as it cooks. You will notice that it turns wet (somewhat sweaty looking) and then the edges will start to crisp and turn brown. (Aim for this 😍). Once the cabbage has cooked (3-4 minutes), add the cooked bacon back to the pan, then stir to combine and allow the dish to heat through.
Once this is done, you can remove the pan from the heat and place on a heatproof surface. We want to season the dish with a good serving of cracked black pepper (don't hold back) and parmesan cheese (again don't hold back 😉👍). Once the dish has cheese and pepper on top you can drizzle one of the sauce options over it (listed below) or provide a small bowl of the sauce or the bottle on the table.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
To serve the dish, I recommend pairing with a sauce. A couple of good options are balsamic glaze (this is different to balsamic vinegar). It is thick, sweet and sticky. You will find it in the same aisle at the supermarket though, it will be in a small squeezy bottle. Roll it around in your hand and you will see the robust texture. It provides a lovely sweetness to the dish and a little of it goes a long way.
Sriracha sauce is my 2nd recommendation and is a great option if you want to serve the recipe as a breakfast dish with fried egg on top. You can see more of what this idea looks like in this photo.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- If you want to add more flavour to the dish, (not necessary but you do you 😘😉), try adding red pepper flakes or Cajun seasoning.
- A popular variation of the recipe in the USA is referred to as 'Southern Fried Cabbage'. That style of the combination of ingredients often adds onion as an additional ingredient which you can try if you wish.
- If you want to add potatoes, I recommend boiling them on a separate element on the stove. This will increase the cook time for the recipe as potatoes take a reasonable time to cook, so this is something to keep in mind if it was the super quick detail of the recipe that attracted you to it in the 1st place.
- Options to use as substitutes for the bacon are cooked chopped corn beef or cooked chopped sausages (chorizo is also an option 😍).
- If you want to add garlic to the dish, do this when you have cooked and removed the bacon from the pan at the time of heating the peanut oil. Minced or finely diced cloves will both be fine to use.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
This dish is best made and served hot at the time of cooking. If however, you have left overs, you can store them in an air tight container in the fridge for 2 days. Reheat prior to consuming.
How to Reheat
You can reheat leftovers of the dish on a plate in the microwave for 2 minutes. Or you can put them back into a pan on the stove and fry for a couple of minutes to heat through.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- Have everything prepped and ready to go. The cook time is very fast for the recipe and you don't want to have to stop to chop anything.
- Don't use the oil to fry the bacon, the fat from it will be enough to cook it.
- A non stick pan is best for the recipe.
- We don't add salt or pepper to the dish, we use the cracked black pepper for serving.
- There is no need to clean or rinse the pan after the bacon has cooked, that bacon grease adds a depth of flavour to the dish and imparts this into the cabbage as it cooks 👍😉.
- We do use the peanut oil to fry the cabbage as it helps crisp up and allow the edges to turn a lovely golden brown colour ❤.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
Should you blanch cabbage before frying?
No, don't blanch the cabbage before frying. You will find that it will soften and cook during the frying process and yet maintain a robust texture. Blanching the cabbage would soften and loose the texture of the cabbage.
How do you cut cabbage for frying?
Use a knife and chopping board to cut the cabbage. Face the base with the core on a slight angle and use the knife to cut the core out in a triangle shape. Then lay the edge of the cabbage onto its side on the chopping board and cut into long shredded pieces.
Is it healthy to fry cabbage?
Yes, cabbage is a healthy stir fried vegetable. You can use a non stick pan with no oil to almost entirely reduce the fat content, however, you will find that the flavour of the fried cabbage is enhanced if you use peanut oil heated in the pan to fry the cabbage.
😍 More Easy Recipes with Cabbage
If it is the side dish recipes that drew you to the site, then checkout the whole category for more that I hope will be right up your alley. I also however, use cabbage regularly in recipes as it is economical with great texture. These are some more recipes to explore if you want more ideas for using cabbage in your recipes:
- Mushroom Udon
- Pork Udon
- Cumin Lamb Noodles
- Beef Noodle Stir Fry
- Chicken Yaki Udon
- Beef Yakisoba
- Shrimp Yakisoba
- Seafood Yaki Udon
- Shrimp Yaki Udon
Time to stir fry our veggies and bacon my friend 😘👍. Fry on!
Fried Cabbage and Bacon
- 1 Chopping board for preparing the cabbage and bacon
- 1 Knife to cut the cabbage and bacon
- 1 Fry pan or sauté pan or wok, lid optional
- 1 Kitchen scissors to chop the bacon
- 1 Bowl to add the chopped bacon to for cutting with scissors
- 1 Silicon flexible turner or wooden spoon to stir fry the dish
- 200 grams/8 oz short cut bacon roughly chopped into large pieces
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 8 cups cabbage chopped into long thin strips, Note 1
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese
- cracked pepper to garnish
- Cook the bacon: add roughly chopped bacon to fry pan, turn heat to medium/high and cook for 2-3 mins till browned. Remove from pan. Note 2
- Cook cabbage: add peanut oil to pan, turn heat to high, add the shredded cabbage and stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add bacon: once the cabbage is cooked, add the cooked bacon back to the pan, stir to combine and allow to heat through.
- Serve and enjoy: choose to serve the dish in the pan or transfer to a serving plate. Liberally cover the dish in grated parmesan cheese and freshly cracked ground black pepper.
- Note 1 - Cabbage: this is approximately ¼ a large sized cabbage with core removed.
- Note 2 - Cooking the bacon: we don't need to add oil or salt and pepper to cook the bacon. If using a non stick pan it will help but the fat from the bacon will ensure that it will cook quickly and crisp up on its own. When we cook the cabbage, we don't need to clean the pan as we want to use that bacon grease but then we do use peanut oil to help fry and crisp the cabbage edges.