Fried Cabbage and Bacon Slaw

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A platter of fried cabbage and bacon slaw, with tongs

Fried Cabbage and Bacon Slaw ~ this warm bacon coleslaw has won our hearts this summer, and I have a feeling it’s going to win yours too.  Simple ingredients, fried up in a little bacon grease, and you’ve got a killer warm slaw that will improve on every darn thing you eat this summer.  Put it alongside, over, under…doesn’t matter, forks are gonna fly with this one!

Fried Cabbage and Bacon Slaw ~ the best darned coleslaw of the summer! #salad #bacon #gtilling #sidedish #baconsalad #recipe #easy #fromscratch #cabbage #slaw #baconcoleslaw #fried #warmsalad #potluck #barbecue #picnic #4thofjuly #memorialday #summer

Here’s the scoop, you fry up a package of bacon, and then reserve the grease.  Then fry up a thinly sliced onion, shredded cabbage and a little carrot for color, in some of that grease (how much of that grease is up to you and your conscience.)  A little salt and pepper and you’ve got a killer warm bacon slaw that goes with everything.

a white platter of fried cabbage and bacon slaw, with metal tongs

I don’t want to micromanage, but I highly suggest grilling up some brats to go along with.   And top any leftovers with a couple of fried eggs.  

I think slaws are definitely under-appreciated for how easy they are to throw together, and how versatile they are.  If you’re still stuck in the green salad from a bag rut, check out my Five Slaws You Need in Your Life This Summer for some ideas to get you started.  Slaws are bright, crunchy, and incredibly healthy (bacon notwithstanding) whether they’re made with cabbage, onions, Brussels sprouts, kale, or a whole rainbow of veggies.

A plate of fried cabbage and bacon slaw topped with sliced brats

Picture me hopping up and down and hyperventilating…that’ll give you an idea of how absurdly good this warm slaw is.  It’s the ultimate comfort food.

This isn’t something I recommend making every week ~ bacon is most definitely not good for us. But as a special occasion treat this is quite delicious, so maybe once or twice a summer?  How about start with today?

A skillet with fried cabbage and bacon slaw

I had to keep going back and forth from the kitchen as I write this post to taste more of the slaw, just to make sure it was truly as good as I’m claiming…and yup, it is :)

Also try ~

Fried Cabbage and Bacon Slaw

Category: side dish, salad

Yield: serves 6-8

Fried Cabbage and Bacon Slaw


  • 12 ounce package of smoked bacon
  • 1 small head green cabbage, outer leaves removed and cored
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced.
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut in small dice
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper


  1. Cook the bacon until crisp, and drain. Reserve the grease, and crumble the bacon. Halve or quarter the cabbage and shred it finely.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat 3 tablespoons of the bacon grease and sauté the onion and carrot for a few minutes until softened. Add 2 to 3 more tablespoons of grease, and add the shredded cabbage along with half of the cooked bacon, and stir fry until the cabbage starts to brighten in color, turn glossy, and soften. This will only take a few minutes, but you can customize your slaw by cooking it a little less or more than this. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve the slaw hot or warm, topped with the rest of the crumbled bacon.
  4. Leftover slaw stored in the refrigerator will stiffen due to the bacon grease. Bring the slaw to room temperature or heat it briefly in the microwave before serving.

Make it your own ~

  • Make it tangy ~ the flavor is amazing as is, but you can, if you like, hit the slaw with a little vinegar at the end of cooking.  This gives it a nice tang.
  • Make it with other meats ~ a reader in the comments below suggests using leftover corned beef, and you could also use ham, pancetta, or sausage.
  • Make it with red cabbage ~ I haven’t tried but I think it would be delish.
  • Make it with classic coleslaw spices ~ a reader in the comments below suggests adding some celery seed.  You could also use onion and garlic powder, or a little mustard.  I think caraway seeds would be nice, too.


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Fried Cabbage and Bacon Slaw ~ the best darned coleslaw of the summer! #salad #bacon #gtilling #sidedish #baconsalad #recipe #easy #fromscratch #cabbage #slaw #baconcoleslaw #fried #warmsalad #potluck #barbecue #picnic #4thofjuly #memorialday #summer

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Leave a Reply


  • Reply
    June 30, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    LOVE this! Such great ingredients. I’ve made salads that are called wilted, and that’s because of the warm bacon grease and vinegar that literally wilts the slaw, but this is slightly different. And oh, with brats? Yes!!!

  • Reply
    June 21, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Making this for dinner tonight, Sue! I thought I might “peel” my carrots rather than dice them and for sure I’ll add some Brats! Mr. Squash will feel like the Polish Prince he is!

    • Reply
      June 21, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      <3 so happy to hear it!

  • Reply
    June 15, 2018 at 10:01 am

    I made this last night and the only tweak I made was to add a little sesame oil to the bacon grease when frying and it was wonderful. Thank you Sue for this wonderful recipe. I wish I had your job.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    We made this tonight and put it on top of brats. Fantastic.

    • Reply
      June 14, 2018 at 4:35 pm

      Love fast feedback like this, thanks Michelle :)

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    June 14, 2018 at 4:38 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a warm slaw, so I am seriously over-due to try this one! Looks fabulous :)

  • Reply
    June 13, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    It needs some seasoning in my opinion, but it’s still satisfying.

    • Reply
      June 13, 2018 at 7:27 pm

      I think it can go either way, Chris…the combination of ingredients are simple and comforting, with the bacon bringing the majority of the flavor, but I can see it also working with a bit of spicing up.

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    June 13, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    Oh my goodness, I could probably eat that whole plate. And yes, from a good Wisconsin German girl, brats would be PERFECT with this :)

    • Reply
      June 13, 2018 at 7:28 pm

      You and me, Chris…and I’m an honorary Wisconsin girl since my daughter now lives there, so I can relate!

  • Reply
    Beth Harrison
    June 13, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    I love this stuff! It’s very similar to what I’ve called Formosan fried cabbage. I add maybe a tsp of toasted sesame oil as I fry the cabbage, and serve on top of rice, with soy sauce to pass. I like the sound of the vinegar though; that will be a nice twist.

    • Reply
      June 13, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      That’s fascinating Beth, because I didn’t think of it as Asian, but you’re so right, it does work that way too. I’m a huge fan of sesame oil.

    • Reply
      June 14, 2018 at 11:21 am

      Great idea Beth, your suggestion just sold me. I am making some tonight. And thank you Sue for all of your wonderful recipes. I wish I had your job.

  • Reply
    Mike from Chili Pepper Madness
    June 13, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    I need to get cabbage on my menu more often. And in my belly! This recipe will certainly help. Looks great!

  • Reply
    June 13, 2018 at 10:31 am

    When I was a teen, (just a couple of years ago, ahem)… I had a good friend from Hawaii and when I went to her house one evening for dinner, her mom made this. I was like, fried cabbage in bacon grease ok, (I’m Puerto Rican and we have all kinds of crazy dishes too) she showed me how to do it and it is just like your recipe, but the only difference is that she added celery seed as well to hers. It was awesome and I had forgotten about this until I saw your post! Thanks, B

    • Reply
      June 13, 2018 at 10:41 am

      So funny you should mention the celery seed because I meant to put that in the ‘make it your own’ section. I debated adding some classic slaw spicing to this recipe but honestly, after tasting it, I felt it really didn’t need anything extra. I’m glad you brought it up, though, and I’ll note that in the post now.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    June 13, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Oh my word, I can taste this slaw now. I love, love, love everything about this recipe and yes on the vinegar! Thank you for sharing – I think this is going to be great for dinner.

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    June 13, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Bacon makes EVERYTHING taste better, doesn’t it! This looks super yummy, Sue.

    • Reply
      June 13, 2018 at 10:15 am


  • Reply
    Lynn A
    June 13, 2018 at 8:17 am

    OMG! Laughing my head off, here. The visual….”hopping up and down and hyperventilating”! When I make this, I’ll be sure to keep a paper bag handy, just in case I do it, too!! Thanks for the giggle AND another great recipe!

    • Reply
      June 13, 2018 at 8:36 am

      No kidding Lynn, you’ll lose all self control with this one :)

  • Reply
    June 13, 2018 at 8:14 am

    I’m going to try this with some left over corned beef to bring a hint of summer to my St Pats leftovers!

    • Reply
      June 13, 2018 at 8:37 am

      Great idea, and come to think of it, ham, or almost any other type of similar meat would work.

  • Reply
    John / Kitchen Riffs
    June 13, 2018 at 7:29 am

    What a terrific dish! LOVE it! I make something similar — gotta try it with brats. Good suggestion. For a dinner party, we sometimes serve a small portion of this topped with a sea scallop or two as a starter. Wonderful combo of flavors! Anyway, good stuff — thanks.

    • Reply
      June 13, 2018 at 8:07 am

      Love your scallop idea, I wouldn’t have thought of that, I need an invite to your next party :)