Are you tired of the same old boring veggies on your plate? Spice things up with some southern cabbage! This easy and delicious side dish is perfect for any meal. Whether you’re looking for something to serve alongside your Sunday fried chicken or just want to jazz up your weeknight dinners, southern cabbage is the answer.

But how do you make it? Don’t worry, it’s actually quite simple. All you need is some cabbage, onion, garlic, bacon (or ham hock), and a few seasonings. The key is to cook it low and slow to let all the flavors come together. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!


Southern cabbage is a staple in many Southern households. It’s a classic dish that combines the rich, savory flavor of cabbage with the sweet, smoky flavor of bacon. While many recipes vary, the basics for Southern cabbage always remain the same – cabbage, bacon, onion, and seasonings. In this article, you will learn ten essential steps to make the perfect Southern cabbage.

1. Choose the right cabbage

Before you start cooking, it’s important to choose the right cabbage. Choose a head of cabbage that is firm, heavy, and feels dense when you hold it. If the cabbage is too soft or mushy, it may not cook correctly, and you’ll end up with a mushy mess.

2. Clean and wash the cabbage

To prepare the cabbage for cooking, remove the outer leaves, and wash it thoroughly with cold water. Make sure to remove any dirt or debris from the leaves, as they can affect the texture and taste of the dish.

3. Cut and slice the cabbage

Next, chop the cabbage into thin, bite-sized pieces, or slice the cabbage into thick wedges, depending on your preference. Make sure all pieces are a similar size to ensure even cooking.

4. Cook bacon and onion

In an oven-safe skillet, cook bacon and onion over medium heat until the bacon is crispy and the onions are translucent. This will create a flavorful base for the cabbage.

5. Add cabbage and seasonings

Once the bacon and onions are cooked, add the cabbage to the skillet with the seasonings. You can use seasonings like salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika or use a pre-made seasoning blend.

6. Add liquid

Southern cabbage is usually cooked with water or chicken stock, which helps to tenderize the cabbage and adds flavor. Pour the liquid into the skillet with the cabbage and seasonings.

7. Cover and simmer

Reduce the heat, cover the skillet, and let the cabbage cook for about 20 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking and to prevent any burning at the bottom of the skillet.

8. Taste and adjust seasoning

After the cabbage has cooked for 20 minutes, remove the lid and taste the cabbage. Adjust seasonings to taste and let the cabbage continue to cook if it needs more time.

9. Finish in the oven

Once the cabbage is cooked to your liking, place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking. This will help to brown the bacon and give the cabbage a slight crunch on the top.

10. Serve hot

After the cabbage has finished cooking in the oven, remove the skillet and let it cool for a few minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!


Now that you know the ten essential steps to make the perfect Southern cabbage, you can easily prepare this classic dish in your own home. Remember to choose the right cabbage, chop it into thin pieces, cook the bacon and onions, add the cabbage and seasonings, add liquid, cover and simmer, taste and adjust seasoning, finish in the oven, and serve hot. By following these steps, you’ll have a delicious Southern cabbage dish that will impress your family and friends.

Essential Ingredients for Southern Cabbage

To make the perfect southern cabbage, you will need a range of key ingredients to bring out those authentic flavors you’d expect from a classic southern dish. Here are some of the essential ingredients you ought to have in your pantry:

1. Cabbage:

To start with, you ought to have a fresh green cabbage that’s crisp and firm. If you can get organic cabbage, even better. Cabbage is high in essential vitamins and minerals, making it an ideal option for a healthy meal.

2. Onion:

A sweet onion adds a mellow, sweet flavor to your cabbage that balances out the sharpness of the vinegar. Sautéed onions add more texture to your dish, making it more robust and hearty.

3. Garlic:

Garlic is often used in southern cuisine, and it’s no different with cabbage recipes. Freshly diced garlic adds an extra layer of flavor and depth to your dish that you won’t want to miss out on.

4. Bacon:

Bacon enhances the flavor of your cabbage and adds that traditional smoky meaty taste that makes it so irresistible. It also provides a layer of richness that elevates your dish from regular cabbage to a southern delicacy.

5. Chicken Broth:

This is a staple in most southern cooking. It gives the cabbage a depth of flavor that’s delicious and mouthwatering. You could opt for vegetable broth if you prefer a vegetarian option.

6. Vinegar:

Vinegar is a key ingredient that provides the acidity needed to balance out the sweetness of the caramelized onions and cabbage. White vinegar or apple cider vinegar could be a great choice for your recipe.

7. Salt and Pepper:

Seasoning your dish with salt and pepper is essential to bring out the flavors of your vegetables and meat. Use it sparingly, as it’s easy to overdo it and ruin the dish.

8. Sugar:

Adding a bit of sugar to your cabbage can help to balance out the sourness of the vinegar and make it more palatable. However, don’t go overboard, as too much sugar can make the dish cloyingly sweet.

9. Butter:

Butter adds richness and a creamy texture to your dish that melts in your mouth. It elevates your dish to another level of comfort and deliciousness.

10. Hot Sauce:

Adding a bit of hot sauce to your cabbage dish can provide an extra kick of spice that makes it more exciting to eat. Moreover, it helps to balance out the sweetness of the sugar and vinegar.

With these essential ingredients, you’re all set to make the perfect southern cabbage dish that your friends and family will love. In the next section, we’ll dive into the steps you need to follow to cook cabbage like a pro.

Ingredients and Preparation

Preparing a southern cabbage dish requires a few essential ingredients. Before you get started, ensure you have the following at hand:

Cabbage1 head or 6 cups shredded
Onion1 medium-sized
Bacon4 strips cut into small pieces
Chicken broth2 cups
Apple cider vinegar2 tablespoons
Butter2 tablespoons
Salt1 teaspoon or to taste
Black pepper1/2 teaspoon or to taste

Now that you have your ingredients ready, it’s time to start preparing your southern cabbage.

Step 1: Shred the cabbage

Begin by removing any damaged or wilted leaves from your cabbage. Rinse the cabbage under cold running water and pat it dry with a paper towel. Using a sharp knife, slice the cabbage head in half, then quarter it. Cut out the core from each quarter, then slice the cabbage thinly into shreds.

Step 2: Cook the bacon and onion

In a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet, then add the sliced onion to the bacon drippings. Cook the onion until it turns translucent, stirring occasionally.

Step 3: Add cabbage and other ingredients

Add the cabbage to the skillet and stir well. Cook the cabbage for about five minutes or until it wilts slightly, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Stir the mixture well, then bring it to a boil. Cover the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the cabbage for about 30 minutes or until it’s tender.

Step 4: Finish with butter

Once the cabbage is tender, remove the skillet from the heat. Add the butter to the cabbage and stir it in. The butter adds richness and helps to meld the flavors together.

Step 5: Serve and enjoy!

Once you’ve added the butter, your southern cabbage is ready to be served. Southern cabbage can be served as a side dish, paired with fried chicken, pork chops, or barbecue. It’s delicious and simple to make, making it an ideal choice for gatherings, events or a quick weeknight meal.

Come on over to the southern side and cook up some cabbage!

Thanks for following along with our recipe for southern-style cabbage. We hope you found our relaxed and easy-to-follow instructions helpful. It’s always fun to learn a new recipe and add it to our repertoire of meals. We encourage you to try making southern cabbage, whether it’s for a special occasion or simply for a comforting dinner at home. Remember, cooking is meant to be enjoyable and satisfying, so don’t be afraid to put your own spin on this classic dish. Thanks for reading and we can’t wait to have you visit again for more tasty recipes!