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Last updated on June 8th, 2024 at 05:05 pm

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Cabbage with Bacon and Onions [Video]

Cabbage with Bacon and Onions is an easy one-pan meal with just six ingredients. It’s cooked to buttery perfection with smoky, caramelized onions, bacon, and fresh cabbage. It’s a speedy side or a hearty one-pan meal!

Whether you want something different to serve on St. Patrick’s Day or just an excellent cabbage dish with many flavors, this easy recipe is the perfect choice. Stir-frying regular cabbage with bacon and caramelized onions takes it to a new taste. Add some brown sugar for a bit of sweetness and to balance all the savory flavors! Quick, easy, and budget-friendly!

Cabbage with Bacon and Onions doesn’t sound too fancy, does it? But trust me, one bite, and this will become a staple in your home! The smoky bacon and onion flavors melt into the cabbage, turning every bite into salty, smoky, and buttery deliciousness. It’s so good, my family keeps stealing bites right out of the skillet!

This recipe is really quick, taking 30 minutes at most from stove to table. It’s filling enough to be a meal on its own, but it’s also an amazing side dish. I include some of our favorite add-ons and variations below, so make sure to try them as well!

Since cabbage can be very mild with almost no flavor, this meal has other intense flavors like buttery caramelized onions and fried bacon. The brown sugar adds a nice touch to add even more caramelization to the rest of the dish. You will love the crispiness of the bacon, which is also glazed with buttery sweetness.

You can serve this as a side dish or mix more veggies, meat, or other ingredients for a main entrée. If you plan to serve it on St. Patrick’s Day, you can have it as a side dish with my slow cooker corned beef. It has pickling spice, 12 whole garlic cloves, carrots, and potatoes.

Why you will love this recipe

  • Make it in minutes: It takes less than 30 minutes to make this dish from start to finish.
  • Easy preparation: There are only six ingredients, so it is easy to make.
  • It tastes amazing. You will love the way the bacon, onion, and cabbage complement each other in this dish.
  • Meal or side dish: Add a few things for a main meal or serve it on the side.

What you’ll need to make cabbage and bacon with onions

Special items:

  • Large skillet – I love my cast iron skillet for this because it caramelizes and crisps so well. 
  • Sharp knife – For coring and chopping the cabbage.


  • Cabbage – Chopped or shredded. I recommend savoy or green cabbage because they are hearty and thick enough to fry without wilting.
  • Onion – I prefer yellow onions sliced thin, but you can use whatever kind of onion you like.
  • Bacon—I use a dozen strips of my family’s favorite bacon!
  • Chicken broth – This adds flavor to the cabbage. You could also use water if you prefer a more mild-tasting cabbage.
  • Butter – You can use salted or unsalted butter. In this dish, I prefer unsalted because the bacon is salty.
  • Brown sugar – Light brown sugar is suitable for a mild sweetness or dark brown for a richer taste like molasses.

How to make cabbage and bacon with onions?

  1. Cook onion and bacon: First, melt butter in a hot skillet on medium-high heat. After it melts, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for two minutes. Add bacon and cook for another five to six minutes until golden brown.
  2. Add cabbage and cook: Next, add the cabbage and the brown sugar. Stir well and then cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste before adding the broth. Cook for another two minutes until the cabbage is slightly soft. Cover and cook for five minutes.
  3. Finish and serve: Last, uncover and cook on high for a few more minutes until it is crisp.

Expert tip

What is the easiest way to core a cabbage?

Start by rinsing the cabbage. If you want to remove the core while it is still whole, remove the outer leaves and make four deep cuts around the core, pulling on it like a plug. Keep cutting deeper until the core comes loose. It should only take a few tries, but some of them are stubborn.

If you cannot remove it that way, cut the cabbage in half, straight down through the core. Because the core is tough, you may have to saw at it to get through it all the way. Instead, you could chop it into quarters and remove the core by slicing two cuts around it. It should fall out easily.

You could also leave the core in and cut around it. This may be the best choice if you do not have a sharp enough knife. Use the core stem as a handle for holding onto it as you chop. Another way that used to work for me was to use a paring knife to cut around the outside of the core, then turn it over and slam it, core side down, on the counter hard. The core should fall right out.

Recipe variations and add-ins:

  • Add garlic: Add a teaspoon of minced garlic or a half teaspoon of garlic powder for a more flavorful dish.
  • Vegetarian mix: For a vegetarian meal, substitute bacon for mushrooms or beans and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
  • Southern style: If you like spicy food, add chopped chiles or jalapenos or a pinch of red pepper flakes or cajun seasoning.
  • Add herbs: Add a dash of Italian seasoning for a stronger herb flavor. Poultry seasoning is great too!
  • Tangy veggies: Stir in a little apple cider vinegar to add a delicious tanginess.
  • Include more vegetables: Add chopped potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, or whatever else you like.
  • Make it leaner: Use turkey bacon instead of pork bacon for a leaner meal.

Serving suggestions:

This can be served in many ways. Here are some excellent ideas to try.

  • This makes a beautiful side dish with a roasted turkey, herb roasted chicken, or pork loin roast.
  • Serving on St. Patrick’s Day or just feeling Irish? Try it with a glass of Shamrock Sour for the adults and lime Kool-Aid for the kids.
  • I love having some fluffy dinner rolls or homemade bread on the side!
  • An excellent dessert for this dish would be Irish mint brownies, lime sherbet, or some grasshopper pie.

Frequently asked questions

Should I cook bacon with water?

You do not have to precook the bacon for this recipe. However, if you want to try cooking your bacon with water, it is a great way to make tender and juicy bacon. The water helps it retain moisture as it cooks, and you get much less splatter from the grease. The bacon fat renders into the water, making it crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

How do I know if my bacon is too old?

First, there should be a date on the package. If you threw the bacon package out after using it the first time and cannot remember how long it has been in there, open it and sniff it. If you smell anything weird, toss it in the trash. Also, if it is slimy, you do not want to eat it. And if it is gray or green, you need new bacon. Of course, if you see mold, you cannot just cut it off and eat it anyway. You should not eat it if it is old enough to grow mold.

How do I keep my bacon crunchy?

In this recipe, you are cooking your bacon with other ingredients, so it can be difficult. However, one good way to make sure your bacon stays crispy is to wait until the end to add it. After the broth has already been absorbed, you can add the bacon and stir it around until it is cooked. Then, drain the grease, and you should have crispy bacon. If not, stick it in the broiler for a minute.

Should I blanch my cabbage before frying it for this meal?

I do not blanch my cabbage unless I freeze it or if I am not using it the same day I got it. In other words, if the cabbage is not fresh, it is best to blanch it because it removes the enzymes and compounds that can cause bitterness. If you cook it fresh, you should not blanch your cabbage first, or it may get overcooked and soggy.

Is cabbage healthy?

Yes, it’s a really healthy ingredient to add to your meals. It’s very low in calories, which is great if you’re trying to lose weight. You can eat a lot of it without packing on the pounds. In fact, it’s the key ingredient in my popular Weight Loss Soup!

This vegetable has minimal carbs too, which makes it keto-friendly. You also get a ton of fiber, minerals, and vitamins in every serving. Finally, it’s been found to improve everything from heart health to digestion, skin, and the immune system. If you’re trying to eat healthier, then you should definitely add this veggie to your diet.

How to store:

  • Refrigerate: Place leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to three days. 
  • Freezing: You can freeze your leftover cabbage with bacon and onions for up to three months. Just put it in a freezer bag or a freezer-safe container.   
  • Defrost: The night before you serve them, defrost your frozen leftovers in the fridge.
  • Reheating: The best way to reheat and keep the crispiness is to heat it in an air fryer for several minutes or fry it in a skillet. 

More homemade cabbage recipes:

Recipe tips:

  • If you have a mandolin, you can use it to shred both the cabbage and the onions evenly.
  • However, if you are in a big hurry, you can buy chopped cabbage at the grocery store.
  • Use thick-cut bacon if you want a meatier bite for this dish.
  • The vegetables should still be a little bit colored, so you can have perfectly tender vegetables with just a bit of crunch.
  • Green or savoy cabbage would work best for this recipe because they have thick, sturdy leaves.

Cabbage with Bacon and Onions

Cabbage with Bacon and Onions is an easy one-pan meal with just six ingredients. It's cooked to buttery perfection with smoky, caramelized onions, bacon, and fresh cabbage. It's a speedy side or a hearty one-pan meal!

  • Prep Time15 MIN
  • Cook Time30 MIN
  • Servings 4 servings


  • 1 very large onion sliced thinly
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 12 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 green cabbage or savoy – cored and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar optional
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth warm


  • Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter. Once melted, add the onion and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Then add the bacon and cook for 5-6 minutes more until golden.
  • Add the chopped cabbage and brown sugar, and cook for 10 mins so it browns. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Lower the heat to medium and add the broth. Cook for 2 minutes or until the cabbage is slightly wilted. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Uncover and stir well, taste, and adjust for salt and pepper. Increase the heat and cook for a few more minutes.
  • Serve garnished with parsley.

Nutrition Facts

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Cabbage with bacon and onion looks delicious. I need to try it.



I haven't made cabbage for a long time. This looks really good!



I love cabbage, but I have never tried it this way before. How delicious!

Melissa Dixon

Melissa Dixon

This looks really great. I have so much cabbage in my fridge just waiting to be used, this is perfect timing!

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