This Southern fried cabbage with sausage is so quick and easy - you won't believe it! The sausage is a fabulous addition that adds great flavor and spice!
Taking only 20 minutes from prep to serving, this skillet cabbage with sausage is a real winner for busy weeknight dinners! And you get to choose the sausage you use and the amount of spice that you and your family prefer.
I used andouille sausage, which is quite spicy, but you can use a less spicy Polish sausage or kielbasa if you wish. You can also use a spicier sausage or add cayenne pepper if you want more spice.
Ingredients You'll Need:
- One large head of cabbage (about 2 pounds)
- One large onion (I like the flavor and color of red onions in this dish)
- 13.5 ounces sausage of choice (andouille, Polish, kielbasa, etc.)
- garlic powder
- salt and black pepper
- cayenne pepper (optional for more spice)
(Note: Get the full ingredient list with amounts and instructions in the recipe card below)
Tips for the Best Fried Cabbage and Sausage
Fried cabbage with sausage is a simple, quick recipe. But, there are cautions that you need to heed.
Specifically, don't cook the cabbage too long ... unless you like soggy, limp cabbage. As for me, I like my fried cabbage lightly cooked and still a bit firm and crunchy. Just like broccoli, if you cook cabbage too long, it will be wilted and soggy. Not the best fried vegetable recipe, in my opinion.
Medium to high heat and quick cooking is the best way to go with most fried vegetables. This gets a bit of softening without over cooking. It can take just a minute or two to turn a just-right vegetable into an over-cooked vegetable in the fry pan.
For the sausage, I like to cut the pieces into about ½-inch portions diagonally. Meaning, not just a straight cut down the sausage. This makes the pieces appear longer and a bit more "fancy," if you will 😉 I think it also provides a larger surface for browning.
Speaking of browning, I like to cook the sausage first to a nice brown before adding the cabbage. The cabbage won't take long to soften a bit, so you want the sausage fully cooked and browned to your liking before adding the cabbage to the pan.
How to Make Southern Fried Cabbage with Sausage
First, you will preheat a Dutch oven or large heavy skillet on low-medium heat (about 3-4). Next, you will add the butter or bacon fat and let it melt. Once melted, add the sausage pieces.
You will stir and cook the sausage uncovered for about 2 minutes or until lightly browned. At this point, you will add the chopped or sliced onion to the pan and stir to mix in with the sausage. Cook uncovered (still on medium heat) for about 2 minutes or until onion just begins to soften.
Next, you will add to the pan the cabbage, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper (and cayenne pepper if wanting more spice). Stir and cover. Cook 5 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat, stir, and serve right away.
(Note: Scroll down for the full ingredient list and recipe instructions below in the printable recipe card.)
Yes, you should wash the cabbage in cool running water before cutting. I like to remove the first couple outer leaves before holding the head of cabbage under running water to get any obvious debris off the cabbage head.
You can use any type of sausage your family enjoys. My family and I love spicy foods, so I usually use andouille with my cabbage, but I have also used Polish sausage or kielbasa. Any type of pre-cooked sausage is good for this recipe.
It's not absolutely necessary to brown the sausage, but I like to do so in order to bring out more of the sausage flavor. The browning increases the flavor, and I also like the bit of firmness the browning gives to the sausage, a kind of sealing of the cut ends.
You can use any oil or fat you wish, but butter (or bacon fat) will result in a much more flavorful dish ... so I highly recommend you use either butter or bacon fat in this recipe. Coconut oil would also be a delicious choice.
You can store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It's not recommended to freeze this dish, as it will lose texture and become mushy upon thawing.
This recipe is perfect for prepping ahead of time. Simply cut up the sausage, cabbage, and onion up to the night before if you want to save an extra 10 minutes or so. After cutting up, store the meat separate from the cabbage and onion.
What to Serve with Cabbage and Sausage
This Southern fried cabbage is great all by itself, or you can serve it with a side of rice, mashed potatoes, and/or salad. Bread also makes a great addition. Try my Cheese Toast, Southern Cornbread, or my Easy Homemade Biscuits to make it a full, hearty meal.
Other Cabbage Dishes to Love
I really hope you love this Southern fried cabbage with sausage as much as my family and I do! Let me know how yours turned out and what type sausage you used in the comments below!
Southern Fried Cabbage with Sausage
- 2 pounds cabbage , sliced or chopped
- 13.5 ounces Polish sausage or andouille or kielbasa, cut in ½-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoon butter or bacon fat
- 1 large red onion , peeled and chopped or cut in strips
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt , more to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper , more to taste
- ⅛-¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, if more spice wanted)
- Preheat Dutch oven or heavy large pan to low-medium heat (about 3-4).
- Add butter (or bacon fat) to pan until melted, then add sausage. Stir and cook uncovered about 2 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Add onion to pan and stir. Cook uncovered for about 2 minutes.
- Add cabbage, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper (and cayenne pepper if wanting more spice). Stir and cover. Cook 5 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat, stir, and serve right away.