Sweet and Sour Cabbage Recipe

Sweet and Sour Cabbage is a rustic side dish with greens and crunchy bacon in a tangy and sweet sauce. A healthy way to brighten up your meals!

Looking for more ways to enjoy this amazing flavor combination? Try it in this light Sweet and Sour Shrimp or protein-loaded Sweet and Sour Pork. If you’re craving a little heat, this Sweet and Spicy Chicken is sure to hit the spot!

homemade sweet and sour cabbage

Fried Cabbage

Sweet and Sour Cabbage will wake up every taste bud you have! The sauce is salty and tangy balanced by brown sugar. It’s also infused with tons of smoky bacon flavor. The textures are fantastic as well – tender and crisp vegetables drenched in a silky, sticky sauce with caramelized bits. Don’t be surprised to find yourself eating it right out of the skillet!

You’ll love how easy it is to make, too. All you need are common pantry ingredients and less than 30 minutes to make this delicious side. It’s so hearty and filling, you can also have it as a light meal on its own. A great addition to your weeknight menu!

What is Sweet and Sour Cabbage?

It’s a tangy twist to the classic combo of cabbage and bacon. The chopped veggies are stir-fried in a pan sauce made of vinegar, fresh diced onion, and brown sugar, all thickened with flour. So easy and delicious!

easy sweet and sour cabbage ingredients

What do you need to make Sweet and Sour Cabbage?

The main ingredients are bacon strips and green cabbage, shredded thinly. For the sauce, measure out:

  • Brown sugar: Either deep or light brown will work
  • Vinegar: Regular will do, but apple cider offers an excellent boost of flavor
  • Flour: For thickening
  • Water: To loosen the sauce

How do you make Sweet and Sour Cabbage?

  1. Crisp up the bacon. Crumble and cook until it’s crunchy and renders fat. Set aside.
  2. Make the sauce. In the same pan, stir together the flour and sugar. Mix in the rest of the sauce ingredients. Hard simmer until thick.
  3. Cook. Add back the bacon, followed by the cabbage. Stir until coated, and stir-fry until the vegetables are soft but still slightly crispy.
  4. Serve. Enjoy hot!

how to make sweet and sour cabbage

Recipe Variations:

  • Add meat: Sauté chicken breast strips, pork strips, or tender beef slices and add to the dish. Sliced kielbasa are a tasty addition, too!
  • Make it spicy: Toss in some pepper flakes or fresh ground pepper for a delicious kick!
  • Use other flavors of bacon: Bacon flavors like BBQ, honey, and black pepper go so well with the sweet and sour profile of this dish.
  • Use butter: For a richer sauce, add a pat of butter at the end.

What cabbage is best used for cooking?

I prefer using the large, green varieties for their neutral flavor which complement so many seasonings and spices so well. It’s also more tender than other options.

easy sweet and sour cabbage

How do you know when cabbage is done cooking?

It will turn bright green and wilt down to about half its original amount. You’ll notice that it becomes easier to stir around, because it becomes softer as it cooks.

What to serve with fried cabbage?

It will work with most entrees and proteins. If I’m in the mood for something light, I pair it with Air Fryer Salmon or these super crisp Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks.

The sweet and sour notes taste awesome with Asian-inspired dishes too, such as Chicken Teriyaki, Crispy Sesame Chicken, and Firecracker Chicken Breast. Or, you can just pile it up in a bowl and enjoy it as is!

How to store:

Once the leftovers have cooled down, place in an air-tight container. If you’re keeping this in the fridge, I suggest eating it within a day or two for maximum texture and taste.

easy sweet and sour cabbage recipe

How to freeze:

Place the cooled leftovers in a freezer-safe baggie or container. Freeze for up to 2 weeks. To reheat, microwave or warm it up in a skillet. Don’t thaw it anymore since it tends to become soggy that way.

More Cabbage Recipes:

Recipe Tips:

  • Instead of shredding, you can also chop the veggies in chunks if you prefer a bit more bite.
  • Add a little minced garlic to the sauce for more flavor, if you wish.
  • You can sub white sugar for brown, or use honey to sweeten.
5 from 2 votes
homemade sweet and sour cabbage
Sweet and Sour Cabbage
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Sweetand Sour Cabbage is a rustic side dish with greens and crunchy baconin a tangy and sweet sauce. A healthy way to brighten up your meals!

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 220 kcal
Author: Marionela Tiron
  • 6 cups green cabbage shredded
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  1. Place a large skillet over medium heat, once hot add the bacon, and cook until crisp. Set aside and chop.
  2. In the same skillet, add sugar and flour and stir together until sugar is melted about 1 minute.
  3. Add diced onion, garlic, water, and vinegar. Cook over medium heat until thickened, about 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add chopped bacon and cabbage, stir until well coated.
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Serve hot.
Nutrition Facts
Sweet and Sour Cabbage
Amount Per Serving
Calories 220 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 22mg7%
Sodium 243mg11%
Potassium 306mg9%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 103IU2%
Vitamin C 41mg50%
Calcium 56mg6%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

easy sweet and sour cabbage pin


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