Sautéed Cabbage

This post may contain affiliate links which means I get commissions for purchases. Sponsored posts will always be clearly disclosed. Privacy Policy

Dear Home Ec 101,

Would you post about how you cook cabbage? That’s something I never cook… is it cheap and healthy? Thanks!


Cravin’ the Cruciferous
Heather says:
Yes, cabbage when purchased in season, is both cheap and healthy. It is a great source of both vitamin C and fiber. Here in North America many peope associated cabbage with a funky smell that emanates when it is boiled. The good news is there are other ways to cook this vegetable that don’t release quite as much odor. I prefer to briefly steam / sauté this veggie which cuts down on the funk.



  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 2 TBSP butter, olive oil, or bacon grease (Obviously the dish is no longer vegetarian if you take the bacon route)
  • salt / pepper to taste

While you prep the cabbage heat the butter, oil, or bacon grease in a large skillet that has a tight fitting lid.

Wash the head of cabbage and remove the loose outermost leaves as these may have a bitter flavor.

With a large knife cut the head in half and remove the core. At this point, I cut each half into quarters and reserve one or two for other dishes (such as stir fry or tossed salad). Cut the quarters into bite size pieces.


Pile the cabbage into the pan.

Cover tightly, as cabbage contains a lot of water and will steam itself. Once the cabbage has reduced somewhat in volume (so you don’t spill it everywhere) toss it with a pair of tongs to spread the butter or oil evenly. Cook over medium heat until tender. Salt and pepper to taste.

More cabbage recipes to enjoy:

Thai Inspired Cabbage Skillet Easy Cabbage Slaw with Lime, Cilantro and Honey
Quick Beef and Cabbage Skillet Vegetable stuffed cabbage rolls
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sharing is caring!

20 thoughts on “Sautéed Cabbage”

  1. As I’m more often than not on dinner duty during the week, and as we’re trying to eat healthy, we quite often have cabbage.

    Sometimes, I just chop a half cabbage up, and steam it (in the steamer); sometimes throw it in the work, along with some onions, peppers, carrots, and whatever else is handy, and stir-fry it.

    It’s real quick and easy, and as you mention in your article, full of good stuff like vitamin C and fiber.

  2. This is great for after you’ve used the outer leaves for stuffed cabbage. The next day I throw a rough chop on the inner leaves and toss into a big saute pan. Cook with a lid on high with a pinch of salt, remove lid when just tender and turn up high letting the water boil off, slap on 2 pats of butter and s&p to taste. Phenomenal!

    Thanks for reminding me!

  3. I make this quite a bit! So addicting and I eat way too much. I usually do it vegetarian style, but when I don’t, I use bacon grease and crumble the cooked bacon into it. Man, now I’m hungry!

  4. Eyebee – Do you enjoy colcannon? I do believe it manages to strip every nuance of health from the cabbage, but oh, it is the epitome of comfort food in this house.
    Jasi – Pretty much the same thing, just in a reverse order. My favorite bits are the ones that have just slightly browned in the butter.
    Candice – Bacon, I’m convinced, really does make everything better. My guinea pigs boys were actually telling each other try the green stuff. Now, I know they are warped simply by having me for a mom, but I can’t help but have a little pride in their willingness to scarf vegetables.

  5. When we make this (using the bacon grease) we also add thinly sliced apples. I know that sounds odd but they are wonderful with the cabbage.

  6. Ok. Cabbage.

    My love, who spent a year in China teaching, taught me the “chinese” way to do this.

    They call it dau baitsai (spelled semi-phonetically), and it’s stir-fried steamed cabbage with cayene pepper.

    chunk up cabbage into bite sized pieces.
    in a large wok, drizzle a teaspoon of vegetable or peanut oil.
    (we splash in a little bacon grease for flavor)
    when the oil is hot, start adding the cabbage, and stir it around briskly, to coat the cabbage with oil.
    once all the cabbage has touched the oil, sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and stir to spread it around. after it’s incorporated, you can add a little (1/4 – 1/2 cup) water, and lid it up.

    the water will create steam, and will quickly wilt the cabbage.. Stir it every few minutes, until it’s cooked to perfection (which is a bit past al dente).

    We’re having that tonight, and one way we turn it into a main course is to throw in some chunked up smoked sausage. It will be accompanied by pierogies, and carrots.


  7. Cabbage is my friend.
    And my wallet’s friend.
    Sauteed to serve as a veggie side dish, it’s wonderful, but try this really FAST main dish: Brown some ground beef with onion, then toss in a bunch of chopped or shredded cabbage — a lot of it — along with a bay leaf, and cook it just until the cabbage is tender enough for your tastes. Add salt & pepper to taste.

    Simple, yet satisfying.

  8. Jazz – that sounds fantastic, thanks for sharing your method.
    ThatBobbieGirl – Your dish sounds good, too. A lot like cabbage rolls, but without the work or tomatoes.

  9. I’m a big fan of hot and sour cabbage soup as well. love love love this versatile and cheep veggie!! it also keeps for ages loosely wrapped in the fridge. good stuff.

  10. Just found this site. 🙂 We like our cabbage sauted with bacon and with shredded cheese added at almost the last minute. I’ve added apple slices to mine too, tastes yummy.

  11. I love cabbage but am just now learning how to cook it, I was looking for a way to cook it that would fit into my low fat diet, I use one tsp of bacon grease and then Mrs. Dash, salt and celery salt to taste, tight lid and it cooks down nice with just a small amount of fat with TONS of flavor! ENJOY

  12. I chop it quite a bit thinner than shown in the pictures, kind of like a Japanese noodle house does when they serve sauteed soba noodles and cabbage (though in that scenario, the cabbage is an afterthought). In fact, i think of it as an Asian style dish, though I cook it in olive oil. I garnish with Siracha and/or asian chili sauce, a little salt, and lots of pepper. I also put a tiny tiny bit of sesame oil in (like a quarter teaspoon per 1 whole cabbage) — enough to give it body without noticeably affecting the flavor profile.

    • Oh, and after you’re done sauteeing (no more than 10 minutes) throw an egg in the skillet, cook over medium and toss it into your sauteed cabbage. Delish!

  13. wow. I was just searching google trying to find a recipe that I had used before for sauteeing cabbage & found this easy way to cook it and I can’t wait to try it!

  14. LOVE the cabbage!!!Has a natural flavor and is really simple to make!Me ,My kids,and my hubby always make it as a side dish!!WOW.

  15. I’ve cooked cabbage a few times. I sautee some garlic in olive oil and add the cabbage in. I add a little water with a little chicken cube for seasoning. It has always tasted good. But why is is for a couple of times, I’ve done the same thing, my cabbage tasted so bitter that I couldn’t eat it at all. What went wrong? Is the cabbage not ready yet to be cooked? Still too young? I didn’t overcook it. Actually, it took awhile before it softened. Please advise. Thanks! 

      •  @HeatherSolos Thank you for answering my question. I don’t think salt or sugar will make anybody eat that cabbage that I bought. It really didn’t taste edible. Something was really wrong with the cabbage. I love eating cabbage. It never tastes bitter. This has happened to me about three times already. I must be the cabbage that I’ve picked in the grocery. That’s why I was asking if there is a way to know if the cabbage is good or not. I will take your advice about buying them after a frost. Maybe winter time will be the perfect time to eat it. Thanks a lot! 🙂


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.