5 Popular Cabbage Recipes That Make You Come Back For More

Cabbage was once referred to as a poor man's food. 

Often berated, underrated and never celebrated!

Unfortunately, cabbage is usually overlooked at best and often pushed aside by children and adults alike.

Why?  Likely because it was prepared in a "boring" way, boiled and rendered lifeless on the plate.


Luckily, the humble cabbage is making a comeback.

But not because people have suddenly started embracing the austere.

But because we're all discovering that boiled is NOT the only way to use cabbage!  

Cabbage is becoming hip due to the many exciting and delicious ways to prepare and cook the economical, delicious and nutritious vegetable.




Cabbage basics

There are several kinds of cabbage that all have their small differences and benefits, but ultimately YES you can substitute one for another!

  1. Green cabbage: most common cabbage you'll find at a farm or grocery store alike.  Most versatile cabbage, sweet, crunchy, and delicious!  Also good for stuffing.
  2. Red Cabbage: similar to green cabbage, with perhaps a little stronger flavor, beautiful in slaws, borscht, or cooked all the same.
  3. Savoy Cabbage: feathery, light leaves that tear easily and aren't as crisp as red or green cabbages.  Great braised or cooked in many other ways.
  4. Chinese Cabbage (aka Napa Cabbage):  Lighter green, with a very juicy crunch, great for stir-fries and making kimchi!

And this is exciting because cabbage is a vegetable that can be grown and stored locally in Maine for many months of the year!  In fact we have it from August through March at least!

And you can, too, if you grow it in your garden with proper planning!  Here is a link to my organic gardening blog post with more info.  


5 Popular Cabbage Recipes That Make You Come Back For More

I have to disclose that I am biased about cabbage.  It is one of my absolutely favorite veggies for taste, nutrition, and versatility in the kitchen!  

When I have a cabbage in my fridge I just feel better about my possibilities!

So, how to get over the blandness of plain boiled cabbage!?

That's what I'm here to help you with!


#1 cabbage technique is RAW in SLAW!

Try making a raw slaw with cabbage.  I promise it is crunchy, sweet, delicious and best of all quick, easy, and great for leftovers!

Here is a recipe for my absolute favorite cabbage slaw of all time:

Lemony Coleslaw

  • 1 medium green cabbage, finely shredded, or minced
  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled and grated
  • ½ medium onion, minced
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Juice of two lemons, or ¼ cup
  • ¼ tsp celery seed
  • Sweetener, salt and pepper to taste

Combine veggies in a large bowl. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients into a dressing and pour over veggies. Toss to combine. Check salt and refrigerate until serving.


Here is a jazzy red cabbage slaw to go with fish tacos:

  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1 TBLS honey
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 c. corn kernels
  • 1 jalapeño, minced

In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, cilantro, and honey. Stir in cabbage, corn, and jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper.


#2 cabbage technique is FERMENTED!

Yes, you can use regular cabbage in kimchi or sauerkraut the same as you would use Chinese (Napa) Cabbage!  Here is our favorite kimchi recipe below:


Traditionally kimchi is made with Chinese cabbage but you can also substitute regular cabbage if you don't have the Chinese version.

  • 1 head Chinese Cabbage (about 2 pounds), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup radish, grated
  • ½ cup onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp salt

Combine ingredients in large bowl. Massage with clean hands, or stir, until juicy. Pack into a quart jar or other glass container leaving at least 1 inch of head room to the top of the jar. Press down with spoon until you see juices around the top of the veggies. Cap lid tightly and leave at room temperature for 2-3 days. Store in fridge and enjoy for months. Makes approx. 1 quart.

Here is a link to my tutorial on making kimchi at home which will answer many questions.


#3 cabbage technique is BRAISED!

Braising means adding a little liquid to vegetables, covering, and cooking until tender.  The liquid can vary from broth to apple cider, as shown below.  Try it, easy and delicious!

Cider Braised Cabbage and Apples

This is a great fall and winter dish that can be made with mostly locally produced food!  It comes out a bit like a warm cabbage applesauce and is a great reheated leftover.  Yum!

  • 1/2 medium green cabbage, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 large or 3 medium apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries (optional)
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • dash apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in skillet on medium.  Add onions and apples and saute, stirring until softening, about 15 minutes.  Add cabbage, optional juniper berries, and apple cider.  Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently until cabbage and apples are very soft, about 30 minutes.  Stir occasionally and check amount of liquid, adding a little more if necessary.  When cabbage is very tender, remove lid, increase heat and add apple cider vinegar.  Boil off remaining liquid, stirring frequently.  Season to taste and serve hot!


#4 cabbage technique is ROASTED!

O-M-G if you haven't tried roasted cabbage before, this is a MUST!  This revolutionizes the way that cabbage tastes by applying the most basic cooking method.  Give it a try and pop!  Wow!  Bam!  I think you're going to love it!

Roasted Cabbage Steaks

My Dad shared this delicious way to use cabbage with me.  A little crispy... A little caramelized... This recipe might turn you into a cabbage lover if you're not already!  :)

  • Green cabbage, sliced into 1 inch thick "steaks" or slices
  • olive oil
  • garlic cloves, mashed (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Brush olive oil, optional garlic, and salt and pepper on both sides of each cabbage slice to season.  Place on oiled baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for about 1 hour.  Flip each cabbage steak half way through to get each side evenly brown and crispy.  Serve hot!

Check out our cabbage recipe page for several variations on roasting cabbage, all soooo delicious!


#5 cabbage technique is WITH POTATOES!

Cabbage + Potatoes = Comfort food!  Seriously!  

Irish Colcannon

1.5 pounds potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 cups cabbage, chopped 
1 bunch leeks, cleaned and sliced (or substitute onions)
½-1 cup cream
Salt and pepper

Boil potatoes until tender.  Steam cabbage until very tender.  Drain well. Cook leeks in cream until tender, about 5-10 minutes.  Mash potatoes with leeks, cabbage, and cream, and then beat until fluffy.  Add butter, salt and pepper to taste.  Serve piping hot!


Bubble and Squeak

This is a great breakfast option with eggs.  Lovin' it!

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder, (or cumin powder or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or other spices, etc.), optional
  • about 1 pound cooked potatoes, cut into chunks (cold)
  • about 1/2 pound cooked cabbage (cold)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring until softening about 5-7 minutes.  Add garlic and optional curry powder (or other spice combo) and cook for about 1 minute.  Add potatoes and additional oil and cook for a few minutes, stirring, until browning.  Add cabbage and cook another few minutes, stirring.  Season with salt and pepper and serve hot! 


New! Smothered Cabbage

This is a recipe that comes highly recommended by a CSA member!

  • 5 TBLS unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 large head green cabbage, cored and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth
  • 10 ounces potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion in butter until soft.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, cover and simmer until everything is tender, 15 minutes approximately.  Increase heat, uncover, and cook until liquid has evaporated, 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve warm.


BONUS cabbage ideas can be found on our extensive Cabbage Recipe Page here.  


However you slice it (or saute it, or roast it), cabbage prepared in an exciting and delicious way is a favorite on the dinner table.

Even better, it’s a low-calorie food that’s full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

That means when you serve garden fresh cabbage in one of these delicious dishes, you don’t need to feel guilty when you reach for seconds.  :) 


What is your favorite way to jazz up the humble cabbage?  Reply and let me know!  I'm always looking for new ways for my old favorite veggie!

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Comments (2)

During Covid, we had a hard time finding fresh bean sprouts for stir-fry dishes—sautéed cabbage came to the rescue & we prefer it now. It’s also great sautéing & adding it to egg noodle dishes. We’ve always put veggies into our food in unexpected ways to get our kids to eat their veggies.

I made egg roll in a bowl with thin slices of both green and red cabbage, shredded carrots and watermelon radish. This morning I used the leftover with 6 eggs, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 1 cup of shredded cheeses, 1/4 cup of evaporated milk, mixed garlic, and a small red onion minced. Also added 1/2 large beet diced. I baked the frittata 350 degrees for 35 minutes. My husband thought he was eating pepperoni, lol