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Southern Fried Cabbage

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Southern Fried Cabbage is a comfort food side dish elevated by the combination of crispy bacon, smoked sausage, and a medley of seasonings. Serve it alongside your favorite main for a simple, satisfying, and flavorful meal.

This Southern fried cabbage recipe features sautéed cabbage made with rendered bacon, juicy smoked sausage, and various seasonings, delivering a smoky, meaty flavor that’s downright irresistible.

What I love most about this dish, apart from it being downright delicious, is that it’s a game-changer for busy weeknights. Unlike our (boiled) Southern cabbage recipe, which is basically cabbage and smoked turkey simmered in a highly seasoned broth, this pan-fried rendition is a quick fix that doesn’t compromise on flavor.

Although Southern fried cabbage wasn’t a part of my childhood, it’s been a staple in Marrekus’ family for as long as he can remember. So whether you’re nostalgic for the classics or discovering this down south gem for the first time, grab some cabbage, bacon, and smoked sausage—let’s dive into a plateful of soul food that’s as easy as it is tasty.

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • FLAVOR – The winning combination of bacon and smoked sausage!
  • GOES WITH EVERYTHING – Southern fried cabbage is the perfect soul food side dish for just about any meal.
  • AFFORDABILITY – Budget-friendly ingredients make this recipe an economical choice that can feed a family without breaking the bank.
  • QUICK & EASY – This recipe is relatively simple, making it accessible for both beginner and experienced home cooks.


  • Green cabbage
  • Bacon
  • Smoked sausage
  • Chicken bouillon powder
  • Granulated garlic
  • Granulated onion
  • Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
  • Ground black pepper

Note: When it comes to choosing the perfect smoked sausage for your Southern fried cabbage, the options are diverse, each bringing its own unique flavor to the table. Traditional choices like beef smoked sausage add a familiar and savory touch, while those seeking a bit of spice might opt for andouille for a Cajun-inspired kick. If you’re leaning towards a lighter option, chicken sausage can impart a slightly milder flavor. Whether you prefer a smoky, spicy, or mild profile, the smoked sausage you select will undoubtedly play a key role in defining the taste.

Recipe SUBSTITUTIONS and variations

  • Vegetarian Version: Omit the bacon and sausage, and instead, use olive oil or butter for sautéing. Add in vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, or mushrooms for added flavor and texture.
  • Spicy Kick: Incorporate red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce to give the dish some heat.
  • Cajun Style: Use Cajun seasoning and Andouille sausage for a spicier, Louisiana-inspired flavor.

Tools you’ll need

To prepare this Southern Fried Cabbage recipe, you’ll need the following special equipment and tools:

  • Large Heavy-Bottomed Pot or Pan
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon
  • Heatproof Bowls or Plates
  • Cutting Board and Knife

How to make

Toss your bacon in a large heavy-bottomed pot or pan on medium heat and cook until it’s nice and crispy. Take it out and set it aside for later.

Throw in your sausage and let it cook to your desired doneness; for us it was about 5 minutes. Once it’s finished, take it out and set it with the bacon.

Now, get rid of that excess oil from the pot, but save about 2 tablespoons. We’re gonna need that to cook the cabbage. Put that reserved 2 tablespoons of oil back in the pot.

Time to add the cabbage! Cook it down for a couple of minutes until it reduces in volume and softens. Give it a good stir, then sprinkle in your seasonings.

Let it sauté in the pot for 5 to 7 minutes more on medium heat, or until it’s reached your desired doneness. Fried cabbage should be tender but still have a bit of bite to it. Then, add the cooked bacon and sausage back to the pot and stir it together until fully incorporated. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Slice Cabbage Evenly: To ensure even cooking, try to slice or chop the cabbage into uniform pieces. This helps in achieving a consistent texture throughout the dish.
  • Crispy Bacon: For extra flavor, cook the bacon until it’s crispy. This not only adds a delightful crunch but also infuses the dish with the rich, smoky essence of well-cooked bacon.
  • Experiment with Seasonings: Don’t hesitate to play with the seasonings. Add spices like paprika or cayenne for a personalized touch.
  • Serve Immediately: As mentioned before, serve the Southern fried cabbage immediately to enjoy the optimal texture and flavors. If needed, keep it warm in a low-temperature oven until ready to serve.
  • Adjust Seasonings at the End: Taste the dish before serving and adjust seasonings if necessary. Sometimes a touch of salt or pepper at the end can make a big difference.

What to serve with Southern fried cabbage

  • Fried Chicken: The classic combination of fried chicken and fried cabbage is a Southern favorite.
  • Barbecue Ribs: The smoky flavors of barbecue ribs pair nicely with fried cabbage.
  • Southern Cornbread: Our soul food cornbread recipe is easy to follow and yields a moist, tender crumb.
  • Sweet Potato Cornbread: This sweet potato cornbread is perfectly moist and flavorful, made with fresh, mashed sweet potatoes, a touch of cinnamon, and the magic of beaten egg whites.
  • Baked Macaroni and Cheese: The cheesy goodness of baked macaroni and cheese pairs well with the savory notes of fried cabbage.
  • Fried Catfish: This is a Southern-style meal that captures the essence of comfort food.
  • Grilled or Smoked Meat: Serve alongside grilled or smoked meats such as pork chops or beef ribs.


How should I chop the cabbage for frying?

Start by removing any damaged outer leaves. Rinse the cabbage and blot it dry with paper towels. Use a sharp chef’s knife to halve the cabbage lengthwise, slicing through the core. Then, cut the halves into quarters by slicing lengthwise through the core again, resulting in four wedges. Continue to slice the cabbage pieces through the core until the wedges are your desired thickness, or about 1 1/2 inches in thickness.

How can I avoid the cabbage becoming too soggy?

Keep an eye on it and avoid overcooking. As soon as the cabbage reaches your desired level of tenderness, remove it from the heat. Overcooking will cause the cabbage to become mushy.

What other seasonings are recommended for Southern fried cabbage?

Creole or Cajun seasoning, paprika, cayenne, or even a dash of hot sauce are all flavorful seasonings to experiment with. Feel free to get creative and tailor the seasonings to suit your flavor profile.


Fried cabbage is a comfort food dish featuring bacon, smoked sausage, and a medley of seasonings. With its simplicity and versatility, this recipe promises a taste of Southern hospitality and is an inviting addition to any meal!

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Southern Fried Cabbage

  • Author: cooks with soul
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: southern, soul food


Southern Fried Cabbage is a soul food side dish elevated by the combination of crispy bacon, smoked sausage, and a medley of seasonings. Serve it alongside your favorite main for a simple, satisfying, and flavorful meal. 


  • 1 large head of cabbage (about 16 cups roughly chopped)
  • 6 ounces bacon, chopped (about 6 slices)
  • 12 ounces smoked sausage, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt (start with less and adjust to taste if using any other type of salt)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Render chopped bacon over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Once golden brown and crispy, remove the bacon and set it aside.
  2. Add sliced sausage to pot and cook until browned and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside with bacon.
  3. Drain excess oil from the pot, reserving 2 tablespoons.
  4. Return the reserved 2 tablespoons oil to the pot.
  5. Add chopped cabbage and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until it reduces in volume and softens.
  6. Stir in chicken bouillon powder, granulated garlic, granulated onion, salt, and pepper.
  7. Continue to sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until cabbage is tender but still has a bit of bite to it, or to the desired doneness.
  8. Return cooked bacon and sausage to the pot and stir until fully incorporated.
  9. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Keywords: fried cabbage, fried cabbage and bacon, friend cabbage and sausage


  1. It is amazing how much bacon goes with cabbage. Adding the sausage was genius. We loved this recipe, and it will be a staple now. Thank you.

  2. I have made this recipe using Polish sausages and it was absolutely delicious. I want to make it again, no doubt.

  3. I love cabbage, and I’m always looking for new recipes to try out. When I found yours, everything sounded so delicious that I gave it a try. I came to report that it was such a delicious bite that I already wrote the ingredients in my shopping list to make it again. Easy to make and very flavourful.

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