Luby’s Skillet Cabbage

Luby’s Skillet Cabbage is some of the best southern smothered cabbage. Cabbage is cooked perfectly tender with bacon, and some fresh tomatoes to make the perfect keto-friendly side dish.

skillet cabbage with bacon on a white platter

So often I think cabbage is the forgotten vegetable. It is inexpensive and can be bitter if not cooked right. It isn’t hard to cook cabbage. I want you to show you how you can prepare cooked cabbage that people will ask you for your cabbage skillet recipe.

Luby’s is known for its great-tasting side dishes, and this skillet cabbage is no exception. So the next time there is a big sale on cabbage be sure to pick up a few extra heads of cabbage and enjoy this dish.

Why is this dish called skillet cabbage?

This cabbage side dish is often made in a cast-iron skillet.

Ingredients for Luby’s Skillet Cabbage

Here is what you need to make skillet cabbage:

  • Green cabbage
  • Bacon
  • Water
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Butter
  • Tomatoes

How to pick the perfect cabbage

When choosing your head of cabbage, be sure to pick a compact head that feels heavy for its size. The leaves should be tightly wound around. Pick one that looks crisp and fresh, with a few loose leaves. If the head of cabbage has a lot of loose leaves, it is old. Pass on any heads of cabbage that feel limp. Store your whole head of cabbage in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.

skillet cabbage with bacon ingredients
Tomatoes are in the photo for color and not in the recipe.

How to Make Skillet Cabbage

Chop cabbage and bacon. Place in a pot.

chopped green cabbage and bacon in a pan

Add water and bring to a boil.

Add salt and pepper. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Stir in butter before serving.

skillet cabbage with bacon on a white serving platter

Love Luby’s? Check out these copycat Recipes

Popular Cabbage Recipes

Check out more recipes from restaurants and low carb dishes.

skillet cabbage with bacon on a white platter

Luby’s Skillet Cabbage

Make Luby's Skillet Cabbage at home. 
4.88 from 8 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Luby's Recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 165kcal


  • 1 large green cabbage
  • 6 ounces bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter


  • Remove the cabbage core and discard the core.
  • Slice the cabbage into 1 to 2-inch pieces; you should have approximately 12 cups.
  • In a very large skillet saute bacon over medium heat until it has cooked half way. Do not drain the grease.
  • Add cabbage to the skillet, and add 1 1/2 cups of water to the skillet.
  • Place a lid over the pot. It may not fit all of the way, that's ok. the cabbage will cook down.
  • After 10 minutes add the chopped tomato, pepper, and salt. Reduced the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.


Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 501mg | Potassium: 307mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 290IU | Vitamin C: 57.1mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 0.8mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Jean B Gearhart

    5 stars
    Anyone who knows so much better about how to cook something should include the link of their recipe page so we can visit and comment there. Such superior cooks surely are running a page to help all of us infidels. If not, their comments aren’t warranted. Bless you.

    • Baltisraul

      If that comment was meant for me, I’m sorry I don’t have a recipe link page or any other types of social media that I use. Email is about all my wife trusts me with. She is a very smart lady!

  2. Baltisraul

    I really like this recipe and all things Luby. After coring and before slicing, wrap the cabbage in a small bathe towel and microwave for 3-4 minutes. If you can get it to stand up straight, fill the cavity left by the core with some water. You have now reduced the size and can fit into any lage skillet. Plus it insures that every piece of cabbage will cook uniformly.

  3. Ruth Cobb

    5 stars
    A family owned restaurant in my hometown made a cabbage dish with caraway, a little bit spicy, and tender. I don’t know how they cooked it but it was good. We love cabbage dishes, particularly my husband. I will try this soon. Thank you for the good recipe.

  4. Jan Rubenkoenig

    I love Luby’s and I don’t care what name they call their dishes. My cabbage recipe is similar and it can be called fried. I use pepper bacon and chop in about 1″ sections and fry in my electric skillet while I am chopping the cabbage. I put maybe a cup of water in to the skillet then add the cabbage and put the lid on and steam out the water. Any other seasonings that you like can be added. My husband is a picky eater and he loves this. Some things I only add if I can hide them in the recipe and he doesn’t see them or taste them (onions). Then pan fry the cabbage until tender. I don’t like overcooked cabbage! I think 3 cups of water would cook it much more than I would find palatable.

    Thanks for the Luby’s recipes. The only one near me closed several yeas ago. I will appreciate any Luby’s recipe you can share.

  5. Beverly

    Stephanie im trying to find a rice from the restaurant soup are salad it was atuna noodle salad cold it was delicious please hep me find it

  6. Brittanie McCracken

    My dads been asking for some good cabbage and loves Lubys! I promised him for St Patrick’s day tomorrow I would make him some! I cannot wait to try this recipe! Thank you for posting!

  7. w jordan

    5 stars
    I didn’t read all the replies but I can tell you why called fried.They ole timers ( my grandmother and mother in law) cooked the cabbage down till all the water was gone then the cabbage fried a bit in the leftover grease/fat from bacon. Also Our Luby’s around here put a few onions and green and red bellpepers in it just a few but takes great.

  8. Trish


    She only states that Luby’s calls it SKILLET CABBAGE, NOT FRIED CABBAGE!

    She knows this is NOT FRIED CABBAGE!

    We ALL know this is NOT FRIED CABBAGE!

    PLEASE read the beginning of the post before jumping onto your soapbox.

    This is not SOUTHERN FRIED CABBAGE! In case you missed that,


  9. TerriO

    For the love of cooking people! Read the recipe and stop posting the same silly comments over and over.
    Copycat means like something, not replace it with your, your grandma’s or somebody else’s recipe! You people are acting like Stephanie has issues, when it’s all of you!
    I have made several of the copycat recipes and they are pretty good. I don’t have problems with verbiage like the folks who commented on here. If you want identical food at home, go to the restaurant and get takeout or if you have restaurant home delivery, call them up!

  10. Jean

    Good grief! My mother–and her mother before her–made “fried corn” in a skillet with butter and water. I do not recall any arguments over whether it was fried or boiled. We all just called it delicious and were thankful.

    • Karen

      Yes I agree some people need to take a nice pill before making rude remarks who cares how it’s fixed it turns out the same

  11. bob

    This is a good recipe – I do cook my bacon but keep the renderings and add her water and cabbage just like she says. I do not put the bacon in raw with the cabbage.

    In addition I mince some garlic cloves and sometimes even add a bay leaf.

  12. Lowell M. Bailey

    it’s called skillet because this recipe stopped just short of the finishing touch,
    when the cabbage and bacon, ( you can use ham or sausage too) is done, put a large skillet on the stove use butter or evoo and put the cabbage and bacon(after being drain of the liquid) in the frying pan and fry until the cabbage browns ( Glaze ) well. Keep turning with spatular until a good portion has been browned , not burned, It is good where the recipe ends, we called that boiled cabbage, but a great taste and finishing touch is to brown it in a good old iron skillet. You can add a little soy sauce or paprika to help the browning process.

  13. Texas Gal

    Hey, Stephanie. I guess these folks didn’t READ your disclaimer about the name of the dish as it relates to the preparation. It seems to me they would mount a protest & take it up with the corporate office in San Antonio instead of you- lol. You are an outstandingly gracious person. Kudos. As a former employee of Luby’s, thanks for posting the copycat recipes and breaking them down to manageable measurements for those without the inclination or skill to do so. 🙂 Such is life.

  14. Barbara from Texas

    I have two Luby’s Cookbooks (I don’t know how many there are.) The cabbage recipe is not in the 50th Anniversary cookbook. In the 60th anniversary cookbook “Luby’s Recipes & Memories” the “Skillet Fried Cabbage” recipe is as follows:1/2 c. chopped raw bacon; 2 1/2 lbs fresh green cabbage, diced about 1″; 1/4 c. butter or margarine; 1 1/4 c. diced tomatoes; 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt; 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper. In a large skillet over medium-high heat cook bacon until slightly browned and crisp. Remove bacon from skillet and place on paper towel to drain. Reserve drippings. In a large pot of boiling water blanch green cabbage about 3 minutes until slightly cooked and tender. Remove from boiling water and drain in colander. Return skillet to medium-high heat with bacon drippings. Add butter and 1 c. of tomatoes. Cook about 2 minutes and then add salt, black pepper and blanched green cabbage. Continue to heat cabbage, stirring often, until it is hot and tender. Remove and place in serving bowl. Garnish with cooked bacon and remaining tomatoes.—My Luby’s closed down, but when it was open I ordered this all the time. I don’t remember any tomatoes, but maybe I just arrived when it was close to the bottom of the barrel and the tomatoes were gone by then.

    • stephaniemanley

      Thank you for sharing your recipe for this. Apparently my Luby’s often makes this without the tomatoes. I do find that in other locations you do receive tomatoes though.

    • Barbara from Texas

      You’re quite welcome. I do think your rendition of the recipe sounds like an easy peasy and yummy approach and I’ll be trying it soon.

    • LindaKay

      here’s my adaptation of the above boil a smoked ham hock in a pot of water until tender. remove the hock and blanch the shredded cabbage 2 mins fry cabbage in grease add seasonings, chopped pickled jalapenos and some heavy cream oh baby it’s de lish

    • Lois M. Rodriguez

      4 stars
      I was about to share the Luby’s recipe, too, Barbara. Thanks.

      Stephanie: I have Luby’s cookbooks, too, and LOVE their recipe. I tried your copycat version out of curiosity, and it is good, but I found it too watery for adding 1 1/2 cups of water to the dish. The main difference from your recipe is that Luby’s blanches and drains cabbage before allowing it to finish out the cooking process in the skillet. It has a much more rich flavor (bacon and butter) not having been watered down/boiled, basically. Still, yours is a good recipe if folks find it less cumbersome to just pour water in the skillet.

      Also, your recipe includes butter, but I don’t see where you explain where it should be added.

      Barbara- sorry about your Luby’s closing. There’s one by my home and I swear I’ve stopped in for the cabbage alone sometimes. I’ve never had it served to me without tomatoes in it.

  15. Treece1049

    The way my Mother taught me was very basic to this recipe but with a very small amount of water, no lid on it, let the cabbage cook in the water then when the water evaporated let it fry. It will turn a nice brown color and oh so much flavor!

  16. Linda Jordan

    it would be helpful to me if they would give nutrition , information to help with keeping on track with my diet

  17. victoria

    wow…clearly they do not read the comments (OR CARE) because this poster was lambasted the last time she posted this ridiculous recipe of boiling “fried” cabbage and yet here it is again and STILL wrong. Must be a yankee. Every southern cook knows better than this. Even a Luby employee telling them it was wrong and they still repost it just as wrong as it was the last time. Shame shame shame on you.

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