Cabbage isn’t a vegetable that normally gets a lot of love (we haven’t heard many people name it as their favourite veggie!). As a card-carrying member of the cruciferous family, cabbage has a strong sulfurous odour when overcooked and to some, it might taste bitter. But even if you don’t have a problem with cabbage, it may be one of those vegetables you don’t know what to do with! There’s much more you can do with cabbage aside from making sauerkraut, and that’s why we’ve curated a list of 12 ways to use cabbage that are exciting and ultra delicious!
Culinary Nutrition Benefits of Cabbage
We love eating cabbage because it’s:
- Rich in Vitamin C, which helps reduce inflammation and supports the immune system
- A good source of Vitamin K, which helps to support bone health
- Range of B vitamins, which offer us energy and help to reduce stress
- High in fibre, a nutrient that supports digestion, cardiovascular health and blood sugar balance
- Rich in antioxidants that protect us from damage, particularly red cabbage
- A plentiful source of glucosinolates, which are sulfur compounds that help to neutralize and eliminate carcinogens
12 Ways to Use Cabbage
These are our favourite, easy ways to use cabbage in your kitchen – and recipes to get you started!
If you’re looking for more ways to use cabbage, sliced cabbage makes a sensational stir-fry ingredient! Make cabbage the star of your stir-fry, or you can add a handful or two along with your favourite stir-fry veg.
Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls
Of course, we love traditional cabbage rolls but when we need a quick meal, a deconstructed version is our go-to because it combines all of the cabbage roll flavours into a simple one-pot package. You can make your deconstructed cabbage rolls into the texture of a stir-fry, or add additional liquid like water or broth to make a cabbage roll soup or stew.
Sauerkraut or Kimchi
We can’t have a post about ways to use cabbage without including the popular fermented options, sauerkraut and kimchi! We like using red cabbage for extra-gorgeous sauerkraut and napa cabbage is our go-to for kimchi.
With their super tender texture and caramelized flavour, thickly sliced cabbage steaks make an incredible whole food vegan meat substitute – or they can serve as an awesome side dish.
This simple dish has German and Polish versions and is an easy one-pot meal with cabbage, sausage and aromatics. Depending on how you like it, you can also jazz it up with additional veggies, sauerkraut or apples, or use tofu for a vegan version.
Fresh, crunchy and raw coleslaw is one of our favourite ways to use cabbage as it really gives the cabbage a chance to shine. Toss your cabbage in a simple vinaigrette or opt for something luxurious and creamy. You can also use a basic slaw as a delicious sandwich or taco topping.
This tasty Ethiopian cabbage dish is simmered with aromatic spices. Depending on the recipe you find, the dish may include a selection of ginger, turmeric, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fenugreek or black pepper. And if you use plant-based cooking oil, it’s naturally vegan.
Braising is a very simple way to use cabbage and yet it’s absolutely packed with flavour. Typically, you want a mix of flavours in your braised cabbage including salt, sweetness and an acid like apple cider vinegar. You can also play around with adding fruits like apples or raisins, spices such as cumin or caraway, fresh-pressed juice, or ginger.
Don’t get us wrong – we love our dark leafy greens and lettuces, yet fresh cabbage adds a delightful crunch and texture to your salad recipes. You can replace all of your greens with chopped or shredded cabbage, or you can use half greens, half cabbage. Play around with the ratios and see what you love!
Wraps or Cups
Instead of lettuce wraps as a bread replacement, try using a leaf of cabbage. Napa cabbage is great for this as it’s a softer and more flexible variety – however, you could lightly steam or quickly blanch your cabbage leaves to use for wraps, too.
Eggplant, zucchini and sweet potato lasagna noodles should step aside from time to time! For a grain-free noodle option, spoon your filling between layers of cabbage leaves for a delicious (and no-boil) lasagna twist.
Replacement for Rice, Pasta or Noodles
Cabbage in different shapes and sizes offers a wonderful alternative to grain-based dishes. Use sautéed cabbage instead of rice, cut it into thin strips for gluten-free and grain-free noodle dishes, or like the lasagna example above, use cabbage instead of pasta. There are so many great ways to use cabbage in this context!
Cabbage isn’t as boring as you thought, right? Remember these incredible ways to use cabbage the next time you pass a head of cabbage at the grocery store!