The very BEST Fried Cabbage recipe is a quick and comforting side dish. Made with simple ingredients and a family secret that makes this southern fried cabbage not so southern. The very same recipe my Polish grandfather made for years.

Overhead shot of fried cabbage in a skillet.

Fried Cabbage

Some of my favorite comfort foods are the most simple. There are several staples that grace our Easter dinner table year after year and one of my favorites is a creamy Fried Cabbage recipe my grandfather used to make.

It turns out it’s REALLY simple to make and I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why we only ever made it for Easter for crying out loud. I know it goes great with ham and our favorite potato pierogi recipe or kielbasa but it also goes with just about anything else you can think of. We love to have it alongside chicken and pork, too.

Now there are plenty of recipes out there in the internet world for Fried Cabbage…most of them being Southern Fried Cabbage recipes with cooked bacon but this recipe for fried cabbage is very different. It doesn’t usually have bacon (except I added some crispy pancetta at the end just for some color….and my grandfather was rolling over in his grave, I’m sure).

Fried Cabbage on a white platter with a gold serving spoon.

How to Cook Fried Cabbage

Making the BEST Fried Cabbage recipe is so simple and quick. Basically, in a nutshell, it’s a stir fried cabbage recipe with little else but butter and onions. It’s one of the most decadent recipes for being so basic.

What this Fried Cabbage Recipe does have is caramelized onions, lots and lots of butter…..and a healthy scoop of sour cream mixed in at the end. I know it sounds weird but just do it. It’s creamy and dreamy and adds just the right amount of tang to an otherwise flat dish.

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions to the pan and cook until beginning to caramelize.
  3. Chop the cabbage on a cutting board while the onions cook.
  4. Add half the cabbage and cook until wilted.
  5. Add the remaining cabbage and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted and beginning to caramelize.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring every few minutes, until slightly caramelized. 
  7. Stir in the sour cream into the sautéed cabbage and cook for 1 additional minute.
  8. Top with crispy cooked bacon, pancetta or just simply season with salt and pepper.

That’s it. So, sooooo easy! Right? You can use oil or butter at the start of the recipe. Some people like to omit the butter because they are avoiding dairy.

What kind of cabbage do you use for Fried Cabbage?

For my easy Fried Cabbage recipe, I like to use the old standby….green cabbage but you can also make this using red cabbage (it’s a beautiful vibrant color) or a chinese cabbage (napa cabbage). 

All will work well but napa cabbage doesn’t take quite as long to cook down and caramelize so adjust cooking times accordingly.

Fresh cabbage in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

How to Fry Cabbage Without Making it Soggy

If you prefer a more crisp, tender fried cabbage, simply reduce the cooking time about 5 minutes or until the cabbage is to your desired degree of doneness.

Remove from the heat and serve promptly.

Be sure you don’t overcook it because you’ll lose that slight crunch that’s great in cooked cabbage recipes.

What To Serve It With

More Easy Cabbage Recipes

I really could just go on and on and on about how to Fry Cabbage but let’s be real here….I know you just want to get down to it and plop it on your plate. It’s so good, buttery and sweet and creamy and amazing.

Overhead shot of fried cabbage and kielbasa on a white platter with a gold serving spoon.

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Overhead shot of fried cabbage in a skillet.

Get the Recipe: Fried Cabbage Recipe

Quick and easy, this Fried Cabbage recipe is finished off with a tangy dollop of sour cream!
5 from 7 votes


  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 head cabbage, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp cooked and crumbled bacon or pancetta


  • 1 sharp kitchen knife
  • 1 skillet
  • 1 wooden spoon


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and then stir in the olive oil. 
  • Add the onions to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • When the onions are softened and beginning to caramelize, stir in half the cabbage. Cook the cabbage for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until wilted.
  • Add the remaining cabbage to the pan and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until wilted and beginning to caramelize.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream. Top with bacon or pancetta, if desired.
  • Serve immediately.


YouTube video
Calories: 160kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 22mg, Sodium: 262mg, Potassium: 263mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 335IU, Vitamin C: 43.6mg, Calcium: 63mg, Iron: 0.7mg