Skip to Content

BBQ Braised Cabbage with Bacon

Talk about flavor! This easy BBQ braised cabbage with bacon is bursting with it. Whether you serve it as a side next time you barbecue or pile it on a pulled pork sandwich or burger for flare, you won’t regret it. Gluten-free.

Last updated June 3, 2021 @ 9:22 AM.

Top down shot of barbecue braised cabbage.

Jessica Halverstadt is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

A couple years I had the most amazing sandwich at one of my favorite local breweries. Shout out to Free State Brewing Co. 😍

Ok, that’s not entirely true. To be honest the sandwich wasn’t all that amazing but it was stacked with BBQ braised cabbage and that my friends was AMAZING!!

It was so delightfully scrumptious the next week I went to work recreating it. And let me tell you, I’ve got it down.

If you typically don’t like cabbage, don’t worry, this braised cabbage is so darn flavorful you’ll forget all about the fact you’re eating it (cabbage that is).

And hey, you even get some points for eating healthy. Ok, that’s a bit of a stretch. While cabbage is healthy on its own, I’m not sure it’s all that good for you once it’s cooked in bacon grease, doused in barbecue sauce, and has bits of bacon stirred in.

Although it may not be good for you, it is oh so good.

As I mentioned before it’s not only got bacon in it, but the veggies are sautéed in bacon grease. Double bacon-y goodness for the win.

And true to its name, braised with your choice of barbecue sauce, meaning it can be smoky, sweet, spicy, or all of the above.

Braising the cabbage in the bacon grease and barbecue sauce makes it incredibly rich in flavor and tender to boot.

This dish is so great because it can be served as a side or you can layer it on a burger or barbecue sandwich: pulled pork, brisket, chicken, etc. And because it’s so versatile, easy, and delicious it’s a great dish to share next at a barbecue/cookout.

Tablescape with serving bowl of cabbage and plates of cabbage with brisket.

What is braising?

Braising is a method of cooking meat and/or vegetables that uses both dry and wet heat. Typically it consists of first pan searing or sautéing said meat/vegetables followed by simmering in a small amount of liquid in a pot covered with a tightly fitted lid. Braising is ideal for cooking tough cuts of meat such as brisket and pork shoulder as well as many veggies including carrots, green beans, onions, and cabbage. Successful braising results in tender meat/vegetables and a thick sauce that is bursting with flavor; the two coming together in perfect harmony.

So what do you need to make this dish?

  • Thick-cut bacon
  • White onion: You may slice it or dice it.
  • Garlic: As always feel free to add more garlic if you wish.
  • Red cabbage: A medium head of cabbage weighs approximately two pounds and will yield about eight cups of shredded cabbage. A little more or less will not hurt.
  • Chicken broth
  • Barbecue sauce: Any barbecue sauce will do, so use your favorite! Sweet, spicy, smoky; they all work! Beware that some of them do contain gluten, so make sure to read the label first if you wish to keep this dish gluten-free.
  • Kosher salt
Ingredients for bbq braised cabbage with bacon (see recipe card).

How do you make bbq braised cabbage with bacon?

  1. Heat a Dutch oven or large sauté pan (with a lid) over medium-high heat.

2. Add the bacon and cook for 8-10 minutes or until crispy. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined surface. **Remove excess grease as needed.

Close up of bacon cooking.

3.Add the onions and sauté for 2-4 minutes until the onions have softened and are translucent. Then add the garlic and sauté an additional one minute.

Sauteed onions in pan.

4. Add the cabbage and sauté for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Red cabbage in pan.

5. Stir in the chicken broth, bacon, barbecue sauce, and salt.

6. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until cabbage has softened and liquid has mostly evaporated. Serve warm.

Braised cabbage with wooden spoon in pan.

How to store

Store in an airtight container for up to five days.

Bowl of cabbage with two plates of cabbage and brisket.
Close up of barbecue braised cabbage.

More summer side dishes you may enjoy:

  • BBQ Brisket Mac and Cheese: Calling all barbecue lovers!!! This rich and creamy brisket mac and cheese is loaded with smoky cheddar, jalapeno, brisket, your favorite barbecue sauce, and bacon then topped with crispy onions and baked to perfection.
  • Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad: This crowd-pleasing creamy pesto pasta salad with artichokes, black olives, tomatoes, and red onion is super easy and can be thrown together in just 20 minutes. Naturally vegetarian.
  • French Onion Potatoes (Roasted or Grilled): These easy, versatile, and flavorful French onion seasoned potatoes can be roasted or grilled making them a great gluten-free side dish for your next barbecue or a weeknight dinner.

If you make this bbq braised cabbage w/ bacon I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instragram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

Tablescape with serving bowl of cabbage and plates of cabbage with brisket.

BBQ Braised Cabbage w/ Bacon

Yield: ~ 7 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 49 minutes
Total Time: 54 minutes

Talk about flavor! This easy BBQ braised cabbage with bacon is bursting with it. Whether you serve it as a side next time you barbecue or pile it on a pulled pork sandwich or burger for flare, you won't regret it.

Ingredients

  • 6 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut lengthwise into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 medium/large white onion, sliced or diced
  • 4-5 cloves galic, minced
  • 1 medium ( ~2 lbs.) head of cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (about 8 cups) 
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup your choice of barbecue sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 

Instructions

  1. Heat a dutch oven or large sauté pan to medium-high heat.
  2. Add the bacon and cook for 8-10 minutes or until crispy. Transfer using a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined surface.
  3. Add the onions and garlic to the Dutch oven/sauté pan and sauté for 2-4 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent.
  4. Add the cabbage and sauté another five minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Stir in the chicken broth, bacon, barbecue sauce, and salt.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 25-30 minutes or until cabbage has softened and most of the liquid has mostly evaporated. Serve warm.

Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 7 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 132Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 1026mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 5g

The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Tara lei Royer

Thursday 5th of August 2021

Was wonderful, reminded me of our favorite German red cabbage with bacon and apple, except no vinegar. It was a great recipe.

Marilyn

Sunday 6th of September 2020

This braised cabbage dish is the best ever! We ate it on a pork burger and wow! Bet it would be good with green cabbage too, just not as colorful.

Jessica Halverstadt

Monday 7th of September 2020

Thanks so much! So glad you enjoyed it 😃

Skip to Recipe