Mouthwatering Keto Recipe: Sautéed Cabbage with Bacon for a Healthy, Low-Carb Meal

Sautéed Cabbage with Bacon: A Keto Delight

Welcome to a dish that’s as comforting as it is keto-friendly – Sautéed Cabbage with Bacon. This recipe is a perfect example of how low carb and high fat can come together in a symphony of flavor. Whether you’re following a strict keto diet or simply looking to reduce your carbohydrate intake, this dish is sure to satisfy your cravings without compromising your goals.

The combination of tender cabbage and crispy bacon creates a harmonious blend of textures, while the savory spices tie everything together. It’s a side dish that’s hearty enough to stand on its own but also pairs beautifully with a variety of main courses. Let’s dive into why this recipe is a fantastic addition to your keto repertoire.

Sautéed Cabbage with Bacon

The Roots of Our Sautéed Cabbage with Bacon

There’s something timeless about the combination of cabbage and bacon. It’s a pairing that’s been enjoyed across cultures and cuisines, and for good reason. The key to making this dish keto-friendly lies in the balance of low carb vegetables with high fat and protein-rich bacon.

Cabbage, the star of the show, is a low-carb vegetable that’s packed with nutrients, including vitamin C and K, and can help keep inflammation in check. It’s a versatile veggie that absorbs the flavors it’s cooked with, making it the perfect canvas for the smoky, salty bacon.

Bacon, on the other hand, brings its high fat content to the table, which is a cornerstone of the keto diet. The fat not only provides energy but also helps to keep you feeling full longer. In this recipe, we’re using thick-cut bacon to give that satisfying crunch and richness that only bacon can provide.

Together, these ingredients create a dish that’s not just delicious but also aligns perfectly with the keto diet’s macronutrient ratios. It’s a side dish that can help you stay on track without feeling like you’re missing out on the flavors you love.

Chopping Ingredients for Sautéed Cabbage with Bacon

Mastering the Method

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of making this dish shine. The process starts with cooking the bacon to perfection. You want to aim for crispy but not burnt, as the bacon will continue to cook slightly even after it’s taken out of the pan. This is the foundation of your flavor, so take your time with it.

Once the bacon is set aside, you’ll be sautéing the onions in the same pan, using the bacon grease and added butter. This step is crucial for building depth of flavor. The onions should be golden and translucent before you add the garlic and red pepper flakes, which should be fragrant but not burnt.

Adding the cabbage to the skillet is where the magic happens. The key here is to let the cabbage cook down and caramelize slightly. This brings out a natural sweetness in the cabbage that balances the saltiness of the bacon. Don’t rush this step – give the cabbage time to transform.

Finally, the apple cider vinegar is not just for flavor; it’s also for deglazing the pan. Those browned bits at the bottom of the pan are flavor gold, and the vinegar will help lift them into the dish, creating an even more complex taste profile.

Sautéed Cabbage with Bacon in the Skillet

Variations to Sautéed Cabbage with Bacon

Spicy Kick

For those who love a bit of heat, consider adding a diced jalapeño or increasing the red pepper flakes. This variation adds a spicy dimension that contrasts beautifully with the smoky bacon and sweet cabbage.

Asian Flair

Give the dish an Asian twist by adding a splash of soy sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds before serving. The umami from the soy sauce will complement the bacon’s savory notes, and the sesame seeds add a nutty crunch.

Cheesy Delight

Stir in some shredded cheddar cheese or grated Parmesan just before serving for a cheesy version. The cheese will melt into the warm cabbage, creating a creamy texture and rich flavor that’s hard to resist.

Substitutions for Sautéed Cabbage with Bacon

While the original recipe is a keto dream, there are always options for substitutions to cater to different dietary needs or preferences while keeping it low carb.

For the bacon, you can easily substitute with turkey bacon or even slices of prosciutto. These alternatives will still provide a similar salty and savory element to the dish.

If you’re avoiding dairy, swap out the butter for ghee or a high-quality olive oil. These fats are not only keto-friendly but also add their own unique flavors to the dish.

And for those who don’t consume pork, consider using beef bacon or chunks of smoked sausage. These will maintain the hearty feel of the dish while providing a different taste experience.

FAQs About Sautéed Cabbage with Bacon

Can I make this dish ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare Sautéed Cabbage with Bacon in advance. Simply reheat it in a skillet over medium heat until warm. It’s a great meal prep option!

Is this recipe suitable for a dairy-free keto diet?
Absolutely! Replace the butter with ghee or olive oil to make it dairy-free while still keeping it keto.

Can I use pre-chopped cabbage for this recipe?
Pre-chopped cabbage is a great time-saver and works well in this recipe. Just be sure to check for freshness.

How do I store leftovers?
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet or microwave.

Can I add other vegetables to this dish?
Yes, you can add keto-friendly vegetables like bell peppers or zucchini. Just keep an eye on the carb count to stay within keto limits.

Sautéed Cabbage with Bacon

This Sautéed Cabbage with Bacon recipe is a mouthwatering combination of tender cabbage and crispy bacon, all brought together with savory spices for a delectable keto-friendly side dish. Perfect for adding a satisfying richness to your meal without the carbs.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Sides
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 250 kcal


  • Large skillet
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring spoons
  • Stirring Spoon


  • 1 medium head cabbage about 2 pounds or 900 grams, sliced into strips
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon about 6 ounces or 170 grams, chopped
  • 1 medium onion about 4 ounces or 113 grams, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter


  • In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon from the skillet and set aside on a paper towel to drain, leaving the bacon grease in the skillet.
  • Add the butter to the skillet with the bacon grease and let it melt. Then add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent and slightly golden, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, if using, and cook for another minute until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the sliced cabbage to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender and begins to brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Pour in the apple cider vinegar and mix well to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom.
  • Return the cooked bacon to the skillet and mix with the cabbage until everything is well combined and heated through.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, then serve immediately.


For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon and use a keto-friendly vegetable oil or coconut oil instead of the bacon grease.
Adjust the heat level to your preference by adding more or less red pepper flakes.
The apple cider vinegar adds a nice tangy contrast to the dish but can be omitted if preferred.


Calories: 250kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 7gFat: 18gFiber: 4gNet Carbs: 8g
Keyword Bacon Cabbage Side Dish, Keto Sautéed Cabbage, Low Carb Cabbage Recipe
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