Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Bacon

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Cabbage topped with bacon in a white bowl.

I love any kind of sautéed cabbage, but this Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Bacon may be my favorite. When I make it, I find myself picking the last pieces out of the pan with my fingers. It’s that good.

Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Bacon in a white bowl with sausages in background.

With crunchy bacon, onion, sweetness from a hefty dose of sugar, tang from cider vinegar, and saltiness from soy sauce, this side dish will wake up every taste bud in your mouth. So much so that you might wish it was the main dish instead of just a side.

I love to serve it with Bratwurst and Knockwurst. I slice them in half horizontally, place them in a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil and brown them up a little bit. But you could slice them and cook them with the cabbage for a one dish meal. Easy peasy!

Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Bacon in a white bowl with wooden spoon next to it.

Watch the short video below to see how easy this recipe is!

Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Bacon

Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Bacon

Course: Side Dish
Servings: 4
A German-inspired side dish. This cabbage is full of sweet, sour, and salty flavors.
Print Recipe


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium green cabbage, cored and cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce


  • Heat oil in a large, heavy pot (I use a Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crisp, stirring frequently.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a plate. Add onion and cabbage to pot and cook, stirring often, until cabbage is wilted (about 10 minutes).
  • Add vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce and cook until cabbage is crisp-tender, about 10 more minutes.
  • Stir in bacon.

Recipe Source: Martha Stewart

Close-up of Cabbage with bacon.

50 thoughts on “Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Bacon

  1. This recipe is super good. I added my own “twist” by putting in 1 large Granny Smith apple 1/2” diced.

  2. Super easy Super yummy!
    I don’t eat pork so i used a tiny bit of liquid smoke and butter to cook the cabbage and onion in. And served it with pasta and chicken sausage. Total comfort food all the way! !

  3. Delicious…. Cut in half, otherwise followed as written. I will definitely make this again but won’t cut in half so I’ll have leftovers!! Thanks for sharing

  4. My Grandmother and Mother made this dish.They used cream instead of soy sauce.They were German and this was their Hot slaw recipe.Very good twist on the old recipe..

  5. I never used the olive oil in this. Once I fried the bacon I had enough fat to cook with. This was one of the first side dishes. Learned to make in 7th grade home etc. still just as good today and the recipe is simple and fail Proof! 🤓

  6. I found your post,, an knew I would have to try it ,,, when I did, I found I didn’t have any soy sauce,, but I did have some Lime Ponzu (a citrus season dressing & sauce ),,,, was so good, I’m making it again soon,, thanks for putting this out there for us cabbage lovers,,

    1. You should cook it the same day. It’s so and fast to make. Don’t freeze it it’ll lose its texture and taste.

  7. I have cooked this same dish for years. For a little extra flavor I have added a clove or two of garlic. I also salt and pepper to taste before serving.

  8. I love cabbage any which way. I made this with great expectations, and somehow I felt it was lacking in taste. The only thing I did differently was to cook the bacon earlier. Do you leave the bacon drippings in the Dutch oven ? I did not keep them. Is the sugar, soy sauce and cider vinegar supposed to evaporate, or does it stay watery? Would appreciate hearing from you, as I am sure it was something I did and I would like to make it again.

    Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks in advance.

    1. Yes, leave the bacon fat in the Dutch oven. That is where a lot of the flavor comes from. A good bit of the liquid should evaporate, but there will still be some. Maybe try slightly higher heat.

    1. That’s not an Irish dish, at all, Sharon. If you’d want a real Irish dish, just check online….there’s Dublin Coddle for one. Bubble and Squeak is another, but, I forget if you boil the cabbage for that. Then, there’s Boxty.
      My mother and father were both from Ireland. I never had Corned Beef at home. We might have ham and cabbage but that’s not real Irish, either.
      For something simple, I’d just make Shepherd’s Pie. That might be more an English dish but people kind of associate it with Ireland, too. I think it’s in all the Irish Cook books.

      1. How about colcannon. I make every year for St. Pats. Don’t be fooled though. There are a lot of crazy recipes out there. I stick with cabbage, potatoes butter cream and salt and pepper

  9. Hi Christin, Your sweet & sour cabbage with bacon looks delicious. I am looking forward to trying it. May I thank you for allowing us to have a copy of the picture with the recipe.
    I am a visual person and will more likely try a recipe that I
    can see what it looks like over just having a recipe. I
    have started only keeping recipes that allow us to have a
    picture. Saves me time and effort. Thanks again for sharing.
    Happy cooking,

  10. Wow! My dear mother-in-law used to make a German potato salad (it’s still a traditional Christmas dish in our family) that tasted exactly like this………..only I think I like it better with cabbage!

  11. I love Fried Cabbage (That’s Southern for Sauteed Cabbage.) but would never have thought of this combo. I can’t wait to try it.

  12. This was awesome! I’ve never really been a fan of cabbage but I’ll definitely be making this again. The boyfriend loved it too 🙂 It was great served over rice.

  13. I love cabbage too! I actually love sautéing it up and putting it in a wrap with feat cheese! I’m so happy to have another recipe to use yummy cabbage in! Pretty pics too!

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