Hot Slaw with Bacon: the Perfect Side

Hot Slaw with Bacon is a quick and easy side dish. And a perfect complement to heftier favorites like pork, sausages, or, of course, chicken. Whether it be fried, grilled… or pulled!

And we love it paired with our favorite German Chicken Schnitzel.

Or served picnic-style alongside ribs, whether cooked in the Instant Pot, the grill — or the smoker.

Hot Slaw with Bacon Dressing on a Plate with Instant Pot Ribs in the Background

In other words — it’s just plain… delicious!

Hot Slaw in the Foreground with Spare Ribs in the Background

What is Hot Slaw?

Much like the tangy coleslaw everyone loves at summer picnics, hot slaw is much the same… just served “hot”.

Although in truth, it’s packed with flavor, can be spicy if you like it that way, and wholly savory.

Essentially, hot slaw is a combination of shredded cabbage and carrots, cooked quickly in a skillet, with a simple bacon and hot vinegar dressing. 

The hot dressing wilts the cabbage and infuses it with the most delicious bacon, vinegar dressing ever.

It’s a simple recipe with delicious flavor.

Perfect as a topping for pulled pork or chicken, burgers, hot dogs, fish and chips, fish tacos…

I’ll stop… because there are endless possibilities!

Top view of Hot Slaw on a Blue Plate

Is Hot Slaw a Southern Dish or a German Dish?

A recipe, published in the Kentucky Housewife cookbook, published in 1839, describes a side dish named “Warm Slaugh.” It describes cooking shreds of cabbage in butter, vinegar, salt, pepper, and unnamed “seasonings” just until it’s heated. Then to garnish it with hard-boiled egg yolks.

A similar version appeared in the 1915 Suffrage Cook Book suggesting the recipe be called “hot slaw.” Although neither one of these recipes suggests using bacon.

German cooking is known for its use of bacon, cabbage, apple cider vinegar… and savory seasonings. Much like a Ruben sandwich.

So is it Southern… or German? You tell me. I think it can be whatever you’d like it to be! 

Top View of a Plate of Hot Slaw with Bacon

Hot Slaw with Bacon

Hot Slaw with Bacon

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This Hot Slaw recipe with Bacon Dressing is a quick and easy side dish. And a perfect complement to heftier favorites like pork, sausages, or, of course, chicken. Whether it be fried, grilled... or pulled!


  • 4 thick slices bacon, diced
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 - 1/2 red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 4 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • sliced green onions for garnish


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel to drain; crumble the bacon to add before serving. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet.
  2. To the skillet, add the onion and cook over medium heat until softened; about 2 minutes. Slowly pour the vinegar and water into the skillet. Scrape up any browned bits in the bottom of the skillet, add the red pepper flakes, if using, and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Add the cabbage and shredded carrots. Season with salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the smaller shreds of cabbage are wilted and any larger shreds are slightly crisp; about 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper; fold in the bacon. I like to reserve a few to garnish the hot slaw along with sliced green onions. Serve immediately or keep warm for up to 20 minutes.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 69Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 192mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g

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