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Fried Cabbage Recipe

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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.

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Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the 
recipe card at the bottom of the post. 
You can find important tips/tricks in the
blog post.

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. 

Ingredients

ingredients with labels for fried cabbage recipe in small white bowls on a white background

You can find these simple ingredients in your local grocery store at almost any time. Here is what you will need for this recipe.  

  • Butter 
  • 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.

butter melting in a hot pan

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. 

spices added to the top of the shredded cabbage in the pan

Add cabbage, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to the skillet and stir.

sautéing cabbage in a pan

Cook for 8-10 minutes until the cabbage is coated in butter and softens. Serve and enjoy.

Expert Tips

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.    

Variations 

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.    
serving fork and spoon in a pan of fried cabbage

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.

shredded cabbage on a white plate

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.    

Some other cabbage options to serve with dinner include instant pot buttered cabbage, sweet and sour cabbage, or Jamaican corned beef and cabbage.

cabbage on a white plate with a fork next to a blue napkin

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. 

FAQs:

How do you cut cabbage for frying?

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.

Should you wash cabbage before frying?

I rinse the outer layers of cabbage before chopping and frying. Be sure to dry the cabbage after rinsing it in water.

Do you need to soak cabbage before frying it?

There’s no need to soak cabbage before frying it. It will be slightly crunchier if it’s not soaked beforehand.

Should you blanch cabbage before frying?

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!

overhead view of cabbage on a white plate with a fork next to a blue napkin
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5 from 2 votes

Fried Cabbage Recipe

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.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword fried cabbage
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 83kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 cups chopped green cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 931mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 304IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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Although myforkinglife.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will myforkinglife.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

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