Sautéed Cabbage, made with only cabbage, a few seasonings, and one skillet, is a quick side recipe that pairs great with any meal! It’s easy-to-make and is also low-carb, Keto-friendly, Vegan, Whole30, and Paleo. Once you taste the caramelized deliciousness you’ll find yourself going back for seconds or even thirds!
If you have yet to discover the magic of sautéeing shredded cabbage in a skillet, then get ready for your mind TO. BE. BLOWN!!
Much like this Sautéed Zucchini and Squash recipe, something miraculous happens when you sauté sliced cabbage in a skillet with a bit of butter, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Yup, you read that right.
The only ingredients in this recipe are cabbage, butter (or oil if vegan!), garlic, salt, and pepper.
Told you it was simple! Like 5 ingredients kind of simple.
But there are a few tips and tricks you’ll want to make sure to pay attention to below. (Like how to slice cabbage into the perfect width and the best way to get the edges to caramelize up.)
And you’re welcome in advance.
Because once you try this simple side, you’ll be whipping it up on the reg to serve with ALL of your weeknight dinners.
It even goes well alongside a fancy dinner when you’re entertaining guests… because EVERYONE can have it – even the Keto, Vegan, and gluten-free peeps!
To make this Sautéed Cabbage recipe you need:
- Cabbage. While this recipe calls for using green, another type of cabbage can be subbed, as well. Green cabbage tends to have a nice balance of peppery notes and a subtly sweet flavor once sautéed. Red or purple cabbage tends to be a little bit on the sweeter side after it is cooked.
- Butter. This is my preferred fat of choice since it has a ton of flavor and browns up beautifully. Feel free to use olive oil or avocado oil if vegan or dairy-free.
- Garlic. Fresh garlic cloves deliver a wonderful punch of flavor without overwhelming the natural sweet flavors from the caramelized cabbage. You can substitute with garlic powder if that’s what you have on hand.
- Salt and Pepper. Add the recommended amount below and then season to taste!
How to Make Sautéed Cabbage
The basic steps for making sautéed cabbage are simple. See the recipe card for more detailed ingredient amounts.
You can just go straight to slicing the cabbage without any prep-work and do a pretty decent job of shredding it. However, many of the slices will end up being too thick, too thin, too short, or too long.
Ideally, you want your slices to be about ¼-½” thick and 4-5 inches long.
Or, you can follow the simple steps outlined below that will show you how to shred cabbage like a pro so it all comes out a similar length and thickness:
Place the head of cabbage on a cutting board with the stem side-down and cut it in half and then into quarters.
Locate the stem in the center of each quarter and cut at an angle to remove it. Repeat with the remaining quarters
Place cabbage quarters flat side-down on the cutting board and cut into thin slices about ¼-½” thick.
Repeat until the entire head of cabbage is sliced. You should end up with roughly 6-8 cups of shredded cabbage.
It’s best to use a really large skillet or saucepan that is relatively shallow (no more than 3 inches in height). The more hot surface area the cabbage can contact, the more likely it is to caramelize. However, any heavy-bottomed pot will work.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter, or oil if used, over medium or medium-high heat in the skillet. Add crushed garlic and saute for 1 minute. You do not want to brown the garlic, just release the aromatics.
Next, add about half of the sliced cabbage to the pan. Continue to cook for about one or two minutes until it starts to wilt, become tender, and shrink in size.
Pour in the remaining cabbage. Season with a teaspoon or less of salt and pepper.
Allow cabbage mixture to cook for another 12-15 minutes. Ensure you stir every 2-3 minutes. Note, the longer the cabbage sits without stirring the more it will caramelize.
Meal Prep and Storage
- To Prep Ahead: Thinly slice cabbage and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To Store: Put in an airtight container. Place cabbage in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- To Freeze: You can freeze leftovers for up to 3-4 months. Thaw and eat as a side dish or add it to soups and stews.
- To Reheat: Add leftovers to a large skillet over medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Similar sized. Cut the cabbage into slices that are the same thickness so it all cooks up at the same rate.
- Do it twice. Add the cabbage into the skillet in two batches so it will all fit easily.
- Let it sit. Letting the cabbage cook in the skillet without stirring for a few minutes gives it time to contact the hot skillet and caramelize.
- Bigger is better. Use a larger skillet or saucepan so the most cabbage makes contact with the heat and can caramelize.
- Keep it fresh. Opt for whole garlic cloves when possible. In a pinch, garlic powder will work.
Make it a Meal
This sautéed cabbage recipe goes great alongside these main dishes:
Instant Pot Corned Beef
Teriyaki Glazed Salmon
30-Minute Lemon Chicken Piccata
Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Chicken
Other Cabbage Recipes
Try these recipes that feature cabbage, as well:
Reuben in a Bowl
Roasted Cabbage Steaks
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Egg Roll in a Bowl Recipe
Southern Coleslaw Recipe