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This cabbage salad is a warm side dish with a perfect balance of sweet, salty, and tangy flavors. Make this recipe with only 5 ingredients!
This bacon and cabbage dish comes together quickly and with minimal effort. You don’t even have to steam the greens!
And to make things even easier, this recipe uses bottled dressing and a package of blue cheese crumbles to add loads of flavor without needing to make anything extra.
Have a soft spot for honey mustard salad dressing? Try my Honey Mustard Sweet Potato Salad!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Note: This is just a partial list of ingredients. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Honey mustard salad dressing – I like Ken’s Steak House, but feel free to use your favorite brand or make your own honey mustard dressing instead.
- Cremini mushrooms – These may also be labeled Baby Bella and are just the halfway point between a button mushroom and a mature portobello. Not only are they firmer than white mushrooms, but the flavor is significantly better. You can use regular white mushrooms if needed, but you’ll be missing out!
- Bacon – Feel free to use traditional or thick cut bacon, or cut a few calories by using turkey bacon instead.
- Napa cabbage – Also known as Chinese cabbage, this vegetable is more elongated with thick stems and leafy tops. It’s more delicate than regular green cabbage and becomes sweeter when cooked.
How to make a cabbage salad
In just a few easy steps, you’ll have a delicious dish that works as a side or main course! It tastes just like your favorite fried cabbage with bacon, but without the extra work.
- Saute the bacon and mushrooms.
I find it’s easier to cut up bacon when the slices are cold. Pan-fry them that way, as opposed to cooking whole slices and chopping after cooking. Plus, it’s less messy and the pieces cook faster.
- Make the sauce.
Saute the sliced mushrooms with the bacon pieces, coating well in the bacon fat. Then, stir in the honey mustard salad dressing and let it warm through.
- Prep the cabbage.
Be sure to rinse and drain the vegetable well, as dirt and grime can get trapped in between the leaves. Chop and add to a large bowl with the bleu cheese.
How to chop napa cabbage
Once the vegetable is rinsed and drained, remove the bottom stem with a sharp knife. Then, slice crosswise into strips and cut those into smaller pieces if you’d like.
Or, remove the outer leaves, stack, and roll together lengthwise. Then, cut into strips like you would a head of Romaine lettuce.
Napa cabbage salad is more tender than it is crisp, so it’s fine to leave the pieces a bit larger.
If desired, also add the slices to a salad spinner and rinse again. This ensures that the veggie is crisp and clean.
- Toss the salad
Pour the sauce into the bowl, making sure to incorporate everything well. The heat from the dressing will soften the cabbage and enhance the natural flavor.
Can I save the cabbage salad leftovers?
While warm salads are best served immediately, there’s no reason you couldn’t enjoy it a day or two later.
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator and enjoy warm or chilled. To reheat, toss the salad in a pan on the stove until warmed through.
What other ingredients can I add?
It’s best to keep this simple so the flavors can really shine. However, a sliced sweet onion would complement the bacon and cabbage without affecting the overall dish.
Add it to the pan with the mushrooms so the pieces can soften and get some nice caramelization in the bacon grease.
Warm Bacon and Cabbage Salad
- 1 lb bacon
- 1 lb crimini mushrooms sliced
- 1 large Napa Cabbage chop
- 8 oz Honey Mustard Salad Dressing (See Note 1)
- 6 oz Bleu Cheese Crumbles
- When the bacon is cold, cut into small pieces, it’s easier to handle.
- In a large sauté pan render the bacon and when almost cooked add the mushrooms, tossing to coat with bacon fat and sauté for several minutes.
- Add the Honey Mustard salad dressing to the bacon mushroom mixture and cook for several minutes more on low.
- Wash and chop the cabbage, let drain and place in a large bowl. Pour the bleu cheese crumbles over the cabbage.
- Next pour the hot mustard, bacon and mushroom mixture over the cabbage and bleu cheese and toss well to incorporate. The cabbage wilts nicely and the flavors are amazing. Serve immediately.
- I like Ken’s Steak House® Honey Mustard Salad Dressing myself, but use whatever you prefer.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This warm salad recipe first appeared on Kevin Is Cooking September 2014 and has been updated with new photos.