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Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Bacon

Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Bacon- a combination of sugar, cider vinegar and crispy, salty bacon bits makes this one of the most delicious cabbage side dished ever.

Cabbage in a bowl with plate of bratwurst in background.


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.


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.

Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Bacon in a white bowl.

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 is a simple side dish, but it is big on flavor. Only a handful of ingredients are needed. It’s a German-style side dish that is popular in the south. The part of North Carolian I am from had a lot of German immigrants and you can see the influences in southern home cooking.

This amazing side dish goes great with a side of Buttermilk Cornbread.

Try These other Amazing Cabbage Recipes:

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

Cabbage in a bowl with plate of bratwurst in background.

Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Bacon

A German-inspired side dish. This cabbage is full of sweet, sour, and salty flavors.


  • 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.


Calories: 228kcal
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: cabbage

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Recipe Source: Martha Stewart

Originally published Oct 29, 2013.


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79 thoughts on “Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Bacon”

  1. This is an excellent dish to make if you are trying to eat nutrient rich veggies. I just reduced the bacon in half and omitted soy sauce replacing with a little chicken broth for moisture. I also saute some pork tenderloin medallions and throw it all in a crock pot to make it a complete meal. My Husband loves it!!!

  2. We have this dish 2 -3 times a month, love it! I always make recipes exactly as written per the recipe the first time, then tailor it to our tastes. In place of the bacon I use real bacon bits, just microwave them for a few seconds till crisp, then top just before serving – saves time & work. I also use brown sugar, onions, and always add a granny smith apple. I always serve it with beef kielbasa and rotate between perogies, noodles and hash browns. It’s even better the next day!

  3. Loved this recipe. Served it with rouladen tonight. I also added a chopped apple otherwise made the recipe as written. Will definitely make this again. I’ll be serving the leftovers tomorrow with smoked brisket. Thank you.

  4. I am not a cabbage fan, however, I do love kraut.
    This was a very tasty recipe.
    I did add an apple and sausage
    It is my one dish, tasty dinner!
    Thank you!!

  5. Quite good but I tweaked it just a touch. Doubled the bacon, omitted the vegetable oil (the bacon fat was perfect), used a large onion and then added a handful of dried onion right at the end, and a good hit of paprika (I used my favorite smoked paprika) and a heavy dash of cayenne pepper. Mmmm!

  6. This recipe has been in my family for years,it put a smile on my face when I saw it online I thought Nana made it up,but there was never onion thats a great twist.

  7. This is a really good recipe! I’ve made it more than a dozen times, so I’ve started getting a little creative towards the end I add diced apples, sometimes cranberries too.

    1. Lois Heichberger

      The idea of adding apples, or cranberries toward the end sounds perfect. I might even add some chopped walnuts to sprinkle on top. With the crispy bacon. This is slightly different from the sweet and sour recipe i grew up on.God help me, l just can’t get it to match my Grandmother or Mom’s recipes. But this definitely has grest flavor and the twists you add is perfect to make it ‘mine’ or more current!!

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