Perfect Sauteed Cabbage

Here’s how to make the best sauteed cabbage! Tender and flavored with garlic and lemon, it’s the perfect easy side dish to accent any meal.

Sauteed cabbage

Cabbage might not be the sexiest of all vegetables, but we’re pretty smitten with it over here. Tangy and creamy coleslaw is one of summer’s greatest treats, and we could eat a batch between the two of us. And where would the world be without sauerkraut? Here’s our newest favorite in our lineup of best cabbage recipes: this perfect sauteed cabbage! It takes just 10 minutes to saute into a tender, savory mess of flavor. Lemon, garlic and black pepper take it to rockstar veggie status. You’ll love this tasty way to prepare cabbage: it makes an easy side dish for any meal.

Ingredients for sauteed cabbage

Sauteed cabbage barely needs any flavor adders to make it taste good. In fact, you could probably get away with using just olive oil and salt here! But we wanted to step it up a bit, so there’s a sprinkle of garlic powder and a spritz of fresh lemon juice for brightness. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Green cabbage: The green variety is a little more mild than red and our preferred for this recipe. But you could substitute red cabbage if desired!
  • Olive oil and butter: One of our favorite tricks for adding big flavor: a combo of olive oil and butter! For vegan diets, you can use all olive oil.
  • Garlic powder & black pepper: These add just the right savory and spicy flavor.
  • Fresh lemon juice: Do not omit! Lemon gives just the right bright zing to the flavor.
Sauteed cabbage

How to saute cabbage

There’s really no trick to sauteed cabbage. It’s quick to cook and there aren’t many technique notes. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Shred the cabbage. This is the only tricky part! See below for some tips.
  • Heat the olive oil & butter: Sauteing always occurs using a fat. Heat the olive oil and melt the butter before you add the cabbage.
  • Cook the cabbage 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often. The word saute comes from the French word sauter, which means “to jump”. That means you’ll have to keep the vegetables jumping in the pan! Stir often to get an even cook on your veggies.
Sauteed cabbage

Trick: how to shred cabbage…fast!

Ever had trouble cutting cabbage? It’s easy to just hack at the cabbage, which makes uneven pieces and is not the safest! Here’s a great trick for shredding cabbage. We use it all the time and it’s quick and easy! No mess, even shreds. Here’s what to do:

  1. Slice off the root: Remove any outer layers of the cabbage that seem tough or are not fresh, and discard them. With a large chef’s knife, slice off the root of the cabbage.
  2. Quarter it: Cut the cabbage in half through the stem. Then cut it into quarters.
  3. Slice out the root: Remove the root of the cabbage by cutting it out with two diagonal slices.
  4. Slice crosswise: Thinly slice the cabbage in the short direction, using a circular motion with the knife.

Want to watch it? Here’s a video of how to cut cabbage.

Variations on sauteed cabbage

This sauteed cabbage recipe is basic but it’s got big, big flavor from the garlic and lemon. Here are a few more flavor spins you could try to mix it up:

  • Eastern European style: Cook with 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, and add apple cider vinegar at the end instead of lemon juice.
  • Asian style: Saute with sesame oil, and add soy sauce and rice vinegar to taste at the end. (This makes it great for serving with something like Quick Soba Noodles or Marinated Tofu.)
  • With apples & red cabbage: Try this Red Cabbage and Apples recipe.
Sauteed cabbage

Ways to serve sauteed cabbage

Ready to make it a meal? There are so many ways to serve sauteed cabbage! It’s perfect with chicken, fish, or vegetarian dinner ideas. Here are some options:

This sauteed cabbage recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For plant-based, gluten-free, and dairy-free, use olive oil instead of butter (or omit).

Print
Sauteed cabbage

Easy Sauteed Cabbage


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s how to make the best sauteed cabbage! Tender and flavored with garlic and lemon, it’s the perfect easy side dish to accent any meal.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 10 cups green cabbage (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds cabbage)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (1/4 lemon or two wedges)

Instructions

  1. Thinly the cabbage and measure out 10 cups.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter. Add the cabbage, garlic powder, kosher salt, and plenty of black pepper. Saute 8 to 10 minutes until wilted and tender.
  3. When it’s done, squeeze in the juice from 2 lemon wedges. Taste and adjust flavors as necessary.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Sauteed
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Sauteed Cabbage

More easy side dish recipes

This sauteed cabbage is the perfect easy side dish! Here are a few more to try:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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