Sauteed Cabbage with Bacon and Walnuts

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner we’ll be able to stock up on red and green cabbages at low prices. The sales are always great this time of year. Thank you farmers for growing mass quantities of cabbage over the winter so that we may feast!

I like the contrasting textures of the crispy bacon, crunchy walnuts and soft cabbage in this dish. We traditionally have a New England boiled dinner with a smoked ham shoulder, cabbage, potatoes, carrots and turnip. The flavors blend together while the meal cooks. Everything in that meal is soft. Textures are similar. To add a little interest to the meal I stopped adding the cabbage to the pot and started cooking it separately.

Sauteed Cabbage with Bacon and Walnuts

Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Robin Follette


  • 6 cups cabbage shredded
  • 1/2 cup onion sweet or mild, not hot
  • 1/3 cup vegetable stock
  • 6 slices bacon thick cut
  • 1/2 to 1 cup walnuts chopped


  • Fry the bacon in a large, heavy pan. I like to use an enameled cast iron Dutch oven. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain it on paper towels. When the bacon is cool, crumble it into small pieces.
  • Remove all but 1 or 2 tablespoons of bacon fat from the Dutch oven. I save bacon fat in a jar in the fridge for cooking later.
  • Add the onions and chopped cabbage to the pan and saute for two or three minutes. Check the moisture in the pan. Add as much of the vegetable stock as needed to coat the bottom of the pan. Don't add all of it if it isn't necessary as the cabbage will release moisture as it cooks.
  • Add the walnuts, cover the pan, and cook for five more minutes. Check the crispness of the cabbage. It should be *almost* as soft as you like, and it will continue to soften a little more after you remove it from the heat.
  • Move the cabbage to a serving bowl and top with the crumbled bacon.