To my mind, cabbage is one of the most underappreciated vegetables around. With the exception of coleslaw, how often do you see recipes calling for it? That’s a shame, because cabbage is versatile, inexpensive, and—when prepared properly—delicious. It takes on a wonderfully nutty flavor when caramelized, tenderizes beautifully when cooked slowly, and can give dishes a great crunch when used raw. To show you just how much this lowly brassica can do we’ve rounded up 16 of our favorite cabbage recipes, like homemade sauerkraut, Polish sausage soup, and a refreshing Indian salad.
Cabbage loves high heat—a roaringly hot broiler brings out the vegetable’s nutty sweetness. We find the best way to cut cabbage for roasting is into thick wedges, which keeps it from falling apart and and yields a great contrast between charred exterior and tender interior.
Roasting isn’t the only way to caramelize cabbage—the high heat of a grill works, too. Start the cabbage wedges on the hot side of a two-zone fire until they are nicely charred. Then cook on the cooler side until just slightly tender. Here we flavor the cabbage with a ginger-miso dressing, but we have several other options for you to check out.
If you’ve never given home fermentation a try, sauerkraut is a great choice—it’s an easy introduction to the technique. It will take at least three weeks for the cabbage to sour properly, though, so if you aren’t a patient person, you might want to sit this one out.
Now that you have a mountain of fermented cabbage in your refrigerator you need a way to use it. Choucroute garnie is a show-stopping Alsatian dish worthy of homemade sauerkraut. Our version is piled high with assorted kinds of pork, which we cook individually so that each one is perfectly tender.
Winter isn’t exactly peak salad season, but that just means you need to get creative. This recipe delivers all the contrasting flavors and textures we want in a good salad, thanks to tender roasted cipollini onions, red cabbage, bitter chicory, walnuts, and crumbled goat cheese. The warm onions soften the cabbage just enough to tame its raw bite.
Depending on where you live, fresh green papaya might be hard to find—this recipe delivers the same sweet, tangy crunch with more easily available ingredients like cabbage, carrots, and green apple. If you have a mortar and pestle go ahead and use it to make the dressing, but otherwise you can just crush the garlic and red chili with salt under a knife.
Day-old grilled chicken breast doesn’t reheat well, but that doesn’t mean it belongs in the trash. Here we breathe new life into leftovers by massaging the chicken with olive oil and lemon juice, and tossing it with crunchy cabbage, tons of fresh herbs, and a creamy tahini-based dressing.
Making braised chicken thighs with crispy skin is a technique every cook should keep in their back pocket—once you have the hang of it it’s easy to flavor with whatever ingredients you have on hand. One of my favorite combinations is cabbage and bacon, which become meltingly tender as the chicken cooks.
There are too many versions of the Polish sauerkraut and sausage soup kapuśniak for us to call this the right way to make it, but it might be our favorite. Cooking the ingredients in stages in one pot builds tons of flavor in just a half hour.
This recipe takes some of the best elements of kapusniak and creamy potato-leek soup to make a dish that is rich and filling on one hand but light and tangy on the other. The key to giving the soup a good cabbage flavor without making it too sour is using a combination of sauerkraut and fresh cabbage.
Cabbage, potato, and bacon casserole is classic Eastern European comfort food. Our version starts by crisping up bacon and then cooking down shredded cabbage and chopped onion in the rendered fat. Add parboiled potatoes, cream, and fresh parsley, and spoon into a casserole dish. Bake with cheese, and you’re good to go.
Can’t choose between potato salad and slaw? With this recipe you don’t have to. We cook the sausages on a bed of potatoes and red cabbage, which we use to top the brats when they finish cooking. Finish with mustard and fresh parsley to cut through all the richness.
This dish starts with garlic, scallions, and red chilies—a traditional flavor base in Hunanese cooking. Bacon adds a nice hint of smoke, and black vinegar makes the dish just a little sour. Be sure to tear apart the cabbage by hand instead of chopping it to get the right texture.
Lightly seasoned with garlic, scallions, ginger, white pepper, salt, and sugar, these pork and cabbage gyoza are a little more subtle than Chinese dumplings. It’s crucial to wring out the cabbage in a paper towel to prevent the filling from getting mushy.
Okonomiyaki can be made a million different ways—okonomi means “how you want it” in Japanese. Our version starts with shredded cabbage (one of the only constants between recipes) to which we add bonito flakes, scallions, pickled red ginger, and a wheat-flour batter.
Indian cooking doesn’t always call for a long list of spices—this cabbage, carrot, and coconut salad is flavored with just a handful of ingredients. The bright salad is the perfect accompaniment to a plate of creamy Chicken Tikka Masala.
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