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Southern Fried Cabbage Recipe

Easy Southern Fried Cabbage recipe with complete step-by-step, instructions.

Made with fresh cabbage, butter, salt, pepper, sugar. How easy is that?

Southern Fried Cabbage recipe.

You might want to make a pan of cornbread first. You’ll most certainly want some once you get these Southern Fried Cabbage cooked and ready for the table.

I realized that a bit too late myself, but I’m giving you advance notice. You can thank me later. Smile.

This is one of those really easy southern side dishes that you can have on the table in just a matter of a few minutes. As long as you don’t try to “complicate matters” and change up the recipe that is.

I know lots of folks like to add onions, or maybe some chicken broth and other such things, which I’m sure is mighty good, but let’s just keep it simple. Shall we?

Cut up your cabbage, add some butter, maybe some bacon grease to the skillet, and fry up a batch of southern goodness really quick and easy with our Southern Fried Cabbage recipe.

I don’t use the broth because I think that’s more like a steamed cabbage than a fried version. I might be stirring up the bee’s nest with that comment but it’s just the way Mama made it and the way I prefer it.

Please note that I only cooked up half a head of cabbage to make this. The recipe calls for a full small head of cabbage and you can certainly cook a whole one if you need it. Just add it to the skillet and don’t worry about doubling up on the seasonings. I think it all will work out fine.

So, if you’re ready for a quick and easy meal, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking.

Fried Cabbage:  You’ll need these ingredients.

Begin by washing the cabbage under cool running water.

I generally remove and discard the first outer layer of cabbage leaves. You can keep them if you like, it’s pretty much just old habit with me. Either way, rinse the cabbage under cold running water real good.

You’ll need a large sharp knife to cut the cabbage in half. The inner core is tough so be really careful with the knife. Cut through the core from one end of the cabbage to the other.

Then, cut the half into halves.  I also cut out the end of the core as you can see me holding in the photo above. The core is just too tough to taste good so remove it and discard it.

Cut the cabbage into bite sized pieces.

I take each quarter and slice it again the long way. Then, I just slice those sections into bite sized pieces.

Place a skillet over Medium heat on your stove top. Add the butter.

I had just fried up a package of bacon in this skillet to render out the fat. As you can see, I drained all but about one Tablespoon of the grease from the skillet and left the bits and pieces in the pan.

I always save my bacon grease. I hope you do. It’s a great seasoning for cabbage. You could easily add about a Tablespoon of bacon grease to your skillet if you have it on hand. It really does magic for the flavor of the finished cabbage dish.

Let the butter melt down a bit, then add the cabbage.

You can fill the pan up with the cabbage. As it cooks, it will wilt down and not be overflowing the skillet.

For the record, I’m only using half of the head of cabbage I started with. You could easily use the entire head with the other ingredients listed with this recipe without having to double up on the seasonings.

As the cabbage starts to cook down a bit, stir it good to coat the cabbage with butter.

You’ll want to stir the cabbage often as it cooks because the smaller pieces have a tendency to burn.

After a couple of minutes of cooking and stirring, add in the salt.

Add the black pepper.

Mama always liked to add a bit of sugar to her vegetables while cooking them.

I didn’t picture it in the ingredients above, but a little bit of sugar seems to also bring out the flavor of the cabbage. It’s optional of course, but I do hope you’ll try it at least once. It’s not much.

Continue to stir the cabbage as it cooks. Leave the skillet uncovered the entire time.

If you cover the skillet, steam is trapped inside and you’ll end up with a good amount of liquid in the bottom of the skillet. You’ll also have a steamed cabbage as opposed to a fried cabbage.

It’s done when it reaches the desired stage of tenderness that you prefer. Some folks like to cook it for about 15 minutes so it still has a bit of a crunch when you bite into it. That’s what I did here.

Other folks like to cook it for 30 minutes or so, until it’s really tender. It’s your choice, do it the way you think you’ll like it the best.


Crumble up some crispy bacon bits on top of the cooked cabbage and serve it while it’s still warm. It makes a great side dish for many of your favorite meals, or you can just make a meal out of the bowl of cabbage itself. Smile.

Cornbread would be nice to go along with it as well. Just saying.

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