This Fried Cabbage Recipe is a delicious comfort food using sliced cabbage, a bit of salt, a pinch of sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes for a little heat. White cabbage is a humble vegetable but really packs a flavor punch when cooked with these other flavorful ingredients.
Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the
recipe card at the bottom of the post.
You can find important tips/tricks in the
We’re big cabbage eaters in our house, and I’m always looking for new ways to make it. But this quick and easy fried cabbage recipe always tends to appear on our menu. It’s so quick and easy and can be adapted any way you like. There are a variety of ways to use your extra cabbage, but this is one of the best!
What is fried cabbage?
Fried cabbage is cooking cabbage in a little fat until it’s softened. The fat you choose is up to you, but I tend to go for either bacon fat or butter when making this dish.
This cabbage recipe is slightly crunchy, and you can easily make it southern-style cabbage by adding a smoky flavor, like adding bacon or smoked paprika. Once you take that first bite of this cabbage side dish, it will be your new favorite way to eat cabbage.
You can find these simple ingredients in your local grocery store at almost any time. Here is what you will need for this recipe.
- Head of cabbage
- Worcestershire sauce
- Brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Crushed red pepper flakes
How to make fried cabbage
This simple side dish is only two steps and can be ready to eat in under 20 minutes. Here are the directions for making this dish. You can also print this out using the recipe card below.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add cabbage, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to the skillet and stir.
Cook for 8-10 minutes until the cabbage is coated in butter and softens. Serve and enjoy.
These tips will help you make the best southern-fried cabbage you’ve ever tried.
- The longer you cook your cabbage, the more it will soften. For crunchier cabbage, cook for 6-8 minutes; for softer cabbage, cook for about 10-12 minutes.
- Use a large frying pan in order to spread the cabbage in the pan. The cabbage will shrink and get smaller while it cooks.
- This dish is best served immediately while it’s still hot.
- Add a splash of water or stock if the cabbage is cooking too quickly or if you want it nice and soft.
Here are some different ways to make this sautéed cabbage into your special dish. Try a few of these suggestions, depending on what you like best.
- Sauté some chopped onions and garlic before adding the cabbage.
- Pour in some whisked eggs for a stir fry flair.
- Add cayenne pepper or Tobasco sauce for a little extra heat.
- Buy pre-cut cabbage to cut down on prep time.
- Add crispy bacon, pancetta, or sausage for a rich and delicious flavor.
- Cook the cabbage in bacon grease.
- For extra flavor, stir in chopped yellow onion, minced garlic, or garlic powder.
- Add a little apple cider vinegar to offset the bitterness of the cabbage.
- Sprinkle in some smoky paprika.
What kind of cabbage to use
There are many different types of cabbage, and they can all work with this dish. I prefer green cabbage but use whatever cabbage you have on hand.
Some options include napa cabbage, green cabbage, or red cabbage.
They all have slightly different flavors and textures, so you can play with them to see which one you like best.
Napa cabbage is softer and milder, red cabbage is more bitter and crunchier, and green cabbage is between these two.
How to adjust this fried cabbage recipe
Depending on your preferences, you can easily adjust this sautéed cabbage recipe to make a bigger or smaller batch. Here are the best ways to do this.
Double: To make a large batch of this pan-fried cabbage, double all the ingredients. Make sure to use a big enough pan or cast iron skillet. If you don’t have a big sauté pan, you can use a large dutch oven instead.
Halve: If you’re only serving one or two people and don’t need as many servings, you can cut the ingredients in half. Keep an eye on the cooking time as it will cook faster when there’s less cabbage in the pan.
What meat goes well with fried cabbage?
If you want to serve this tender cabbage recipe with your favorite protein, you can absolutely do so!
This easy side dish pairs well with pork chops, chicken breasts, sausages, or spice-rubbed steak.
It’s totally up to you and your family’s tastes and preferences.
How to serve this fried cabbage recipe
Southern fried cabbage is an easy recipe to make and can be served with many different types of main dishes like juicy air fryer turkey thighs, air fryer tilapia, steak with garlic herb butter, or air fryer cornish hens.
How to store
To refrigerate: Keep any leftover cabbage in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. You can reheat it in a small bowl in the microwave in 30-second increments until it’s warm all the way through.
To meal prep: This is a great recipe to prep ahead of time and fry right before you’re ready to eat. Slice the cabbage and prepare the other ingredients. When you’re ready to cook, follow the instructions on the recipe card.
For this recipe, I prefer to chop the cabbage. I find that the butter sticks to the cabbage better. You can also shred the cabbage. Keep in mind that the thinner shredded or small chopped cabbage will cook faster.
I rinse the outer layers of cabbage before chopping and frying. Be sure to dry the cabbage after rinsing it in water.
There’s no need to soak cabbage before frying it. It will be slightly crunchier if it’s not soaked beforehand.
No need to blanch the cabbage before frying.
If you have tried this fried cabbage recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!
Fried Cabbage Recipe
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add cabbage, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to the skillet and stir.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes until the cabbage is coated in butter and softens. Serve and enjoy.