Steamed Cabbage With Bacon

Steamed Cabbage with Bacon

The Spruce Eats / Abby Mercer

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 6 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
99 Calories
4g Fat
11g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 493mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 58mg 289%
Calcium 80mg 6%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 394mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A very easy side dish, steamed cabbage with bacon is a simple combination of ingredients but packs loads of flavor. The recipe doesn't require any special prep; just dice and cook the bacon and onions, add the cabbage, and then simmer the dish for about 20 minutes in chicken broth or water.

Steamed cabbage goes well with ham, a pork roast, chicken, or roast beef. Cabbage also pairs well with root vegetables such as beets and carrots, as well as brown or white rice. This side dish is an excellent choice for a Sunday dinner or an everyday family meal. It's also a favorite for New Year's Day and is a perfect addition to your St. Patrick's Day meal, especially when that includes corned beef.


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“Steamed Cabbage with Bacon is a simple, savory side dish that would pair beautifully with any number of main courses. It’s quick, economical, and quite healthy, with just a small amount of bacon added for flavor.” —Joan Velush

Boiled Cabbage with Bacon/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 6 strips thick bacon

  • 1 large onion

  • 1 medium head (about 2 pounds) cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth, or more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make steamed cabbage with bacon

    The Spruce Eats / Abby Mercer

  2. Cut the bacon strips into 1-inch pieces.

    Cut slices of bacon on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Abby Mercer

  3. Peel the onion and chop it coarsely. Set aside.

    Chopped onion on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Abby Mercer

  4. In a large Dutch oven or deep sauté pan that has a cover, saute the diced bacon until it is fully cooked but not crisp.

    A dutch oven with pieces of bacon cooking

    The Spruce Eats / Abby Mercer

  5. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon pieces to paper towels to drain; set aside. Leave about 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the pot.

    Pieces of cooked bacon on a piece of paper towel

    The Spruce Eats / Abby Mercer

  6. Add the onion, cooking over medium heat until tender and lightly browned, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes.

    Chopped onion cooking in a dutch oven

    The Spruce Eats / Abby Mercer

  7. Add the cabbage and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat.

    Cabbage and chicken stock added to the dutch oven

    The Spruce Eats / Abby Mercer

  8. Cover the pot tightly and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes.

    A covered dutch oven of steaming cabbage

    The Spruce Eats / Abby Mercer

  9. If the mixture looks dry, add a bit more broth as needed and continue to simmer until the cabbage is cooked through and tender, 5 to 10 minutes more.

    Adding more chicken stock to the cabbage

    The Spruce Eats / Abby Mercer

  10. Add the bacon pieces, salt, and pepper. Stir until heated through. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary before serving.

    A dutch oven of steamed cabbage with bacon

    The Spruce Eats / Abby Mercer

Cabbage Chopping Tip

To chop a head of cabbage, set it on its core on a cutting board and slice it into quarters. Remove the core and then slice it into 1/2-inch strips. Chop the strips, if desired. A medium head of cabbage weighs roughly 2 pounds and will give you approximately 8 to 10 cups coarsely chopped or shredded.

How to Store

  • Refrigerate any leftovers within 2 hours in a shallow, airtight container. It will keep well for up to 3 or 4 days.
  • Steamed cabbage without the bacon can be frozen for up to 10 months in a freezer container or bag. Wrap it in foil or freezer wrap for an extra layer of protection. Let it thaw in the fridge and use it within a few days.


Make sure not to overcook the cabbage; you want it to be tender but not soggy. When cabbage is cooked too long, it will release some chemical compounds that have a sulfur odor.

Recipe Variations

  • For a vegetarian version, replace the bacon with vegetarian bacon or omit the bacon and sauté the onion in vegetable oil. Use vegetable broth or water instead of chicken broth.
  • Instead of bacon, sauté the onion in 2 tablespoons of butter and then add diced leftover ham, smoked sausage, or corned beef to the cabbage about 10 minutes before the dish is ready.
  • For a lighter version, use less bacon or replace it with turkey bacon. 
  • Give the dish extra color and nutrients by adding a cup or two of fresh chopped kale to the cabbage.
  • Add peeled and chopped potatoes and/or apples to the cabbage.
  • Caraway seeds complement cabbage dishes nicely; add a tablespoon or 2 of the seeds if you like.