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This easy, healthy sauteed cabbage recipe with garlic is a satisfying veggie side dish that can be served with just about anything! It’s one of my favorite ways to use shredded cabbage. Let me show you how to saute cabbage — it’s super easy — with a simple technique that gives it a buttery taste and sweet caramelized flavor.
If you love the flavor you get when sauteing cabbage, you can also make it a full meal by making fried cabbage and sausage in one pan. My other favorite cabbage recipes include cabbage rolls, grilled cabbage steaks, Southern fried cabbage, and Asian cabbage salad.
Why You’ll Love This Sauteed Cabbage Recipe
- Sweet, caramelized, and buttery
- Tender texture with a little crunch
- Just a few simple ingredients
- Ready in 15 minutes
- Naturally low carb and gluten-free
- One of the easiest healthy cabbage recipes
Sauteed Cabbage Ingredients
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for sauteed cabbage recipes, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Cabbage – Look for a firm cabbage without brown spots. Remove outer leaves before cutting. I prefer sauteed green cabbage, but you can make this recipe with red cabbage, savoy cabbage, or Napa cabbage as well. You could also buy bags of already shredded cabbage to save time.
- Olive Oil – Use a regular or light olive oil for sauteeing. Avocado oil works as well.
- Garlic – Use fresh minced garlic for the best flavor, or get it in a jar for convenience.
- Butter – Optional, but high recommend it for flavor! Most sauteed cabbage recipes use only oil, or they mix butter with oil (it’s a myth that this lowers the smoke point of butter — it doesn’t!). Instead, in this recipe we add butter toward the end of cooking, so you get the same flavor but don’t risk burning it. You can also use ghee if you’re sensitive to dairy.
- Balsamic Vinegar – Optional, but adds a great tangy flavor. You could also use white balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or fresh lemon juice.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper – For simple flavoring.
How To Saute Cabbage
This section shows how to make the best sauteed cabbage with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Shred cabbage. Wondering how to cut cabbage for frying? It’s super simple. Place it on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut the cabbage into quarters. Cut out and discard the stem (if any) and the core. Finally, slice each quarter thinly into shreds. (See below for a visual!)
- Saute garlic. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the minced garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Saute cabbage. Add the shredded cabbage to the pan and saute until it caramelizes.
- Add flavor. Stir in butter and/or balsamic vinegar (if using), and cook for another minute or two. This infuses sweet and buttery flavor!
- Season. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Tips For The Best Sauteed Cabbage
- Use a food processor for a finer texture. If you like finely shredded cabbage recipes, you can use the shredding attachment of your food processor. This is also a time-saver!
- Use a pan with tall sides. I recommend an enameled cast iron braiser like this. It’s large enough to fit all your cabbage when you add it later, and it heats up exceptionally well (and evenly!) for maximum caramelization.
- Stir with tongs every few minutes, but not constantly. Stirring too often will prevent your cabbage from caramelizing.
- Only add butter at the end. Butter has a low smoke point, so will burn if you use it for sauteing. Instead, saute in olive oil, then add butter at the end to give it a buttery flavor without burning it.
- Fried Cabbage And Sausage – A similar recipe, but has sausage added to make it a one pan meal. You could also pair this cabbage with air fryer sausage for a quick and easy cabbage and sausage meal.
- Sauteed Cabbage And Onions – Saute thinly sliced onions for a couple of minutes before adding cabbage to the pan, then proceed with the recipe as written.
- Sauteed Cabbage With Bacon – Follow my Southern fried cabbage recipe.
- Asian Sauteed Cabbage – Use soy sauce or coconut aminos in place of the balsamic vinegar. You can also add some toasted sesame oil at the end (don’t saute with it, as it will burn) and/or a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
- Spicy Sauteed Cabbage – Add a little sprinkle of cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, or even a drizzle of sriracha.
- Store: Keep sauteed cabbage in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Reheat: Heat cabbage in the microwave or a hot skillet, until warm.
- Freeze: Sauteed cabbage can be frozen for 2-3 months. Thaw before reheating.
What To Serve With Sauteed Cabbage
Sauteed cabbage recipes make a delicious and versatile side dishes that pair well with many main courses. Corned beef and cabbage is a classic, but try some of my other favorite dishes:
- Steak – Try this sauteed vegetable with sirloin steak, New York strip, or even filet mignon or ribeye steak if you want to be fancy.
- Chicken – Pan seared chicken breast or baked chicken legs are simple and delicious!
- Fish – Healthy sauteed cabbage is a great side for grilled salmon, baked cod, grilled cod, or halibut.
- Pork Chops – You can make pork chops in an air fryer or bake pork chops in the oven.
- Lamb – Try this dish with boneless leg of lamb, air fryer lamb chops, or lamb shanks.
Tools For Sauteing Cabbage
- Cast Iron Braiser – This is the one I use! It has tall sides and a large size to fit a full head of cabbage, plus it heats evenly.
- Silicone Tongs – Tongs make it easier to move the cabbage around when the pan is very full in the beginning. I like these tongs with a silicone end, so that you don’t scratch your pan.
The Best Sauteed Cabbage Recipe
Sauteed Cabbage Recipe (15 Minutes!)
Learn how to saute cabbage to make it sweet, caramelized, and buttery! This easy sauteed cabbage recipe is ready in just 15 minutes.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Cut the cabbage into quarters. Cut out and discard the core. Slice cabbage thinly and separate the slices into shreds.
Heat the olive oil in a 12 or 13-inch pan with tall sides over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute for about a minute, until fragrant.
Add the sliced cabbage. (If you can't fit all the cabbage into the pan at once, add it in batches and let it wilt down a bit before adding more.) Saute for 10-15 minutes, until cabbage is caramelized. Use tongs to stir the cabbage every 1-2 minutes during sauteing, but not constantly, as constant stirring will prevent browning.
If using butter and/or balsamic vinegar (for extra flavor), reduce heat to medium-low during the last minute or two of cooking. Stir in the butter, until melted, and/or the balsamic.
Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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Serving size: 1 cup
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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Delicious! I made this with home grown cabbage, added a tsp of home canned cayenne pepper sauce, and added a small thinly sliced onion. This was so good I had a heaping second helping.. Will be making this again, for sure!
We make a lot of sauteed cabbage at home but it’s usually spicy, so I was trying to find a variation and really loved how sweet and caramelized these were!
This was so easy and delicious! My whole family loved it, even my picky son. I’ll be making this regularly from now on. Thanks!
This had so much flavor. I used pre-shredded bagged cabbage and it was very quick and easy.
This is the only way I can get my family to eat cabbage – thank you!
Thanks for this one! I added soy sauce as the variation you suggested and it was the perfect addition to my asian main dish. Will be making again!
I made this recipe just as written. It is perfectly delicious and simple! Thank you!
Will the garlic burn by adding it at the beginning of the recipe instead of later?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Rose, Yes, that could happen I recommend following the recipe as written.
Added sautéed chopped onion, and cubed cooked potato, and crumbled well done bacon. Full meal.
Hi, Could ghee be used if one doesn’t have unsalted butter? Thank you.
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Valerie, Yes, that would work.
This was the perfect side to go with the pork chops we were having for dinner. Quick, easy and delicious.
This was delicious! I added onion and a little smoked sausage… thank you!!
This recipe is absolutely delicious. I added the butter but not the Balsamic. I also added carmelized onions and Sriracha sauce.
I have never tasted better cabbage in a recipe. This is fantastic!!
YUMMY! These tasted like the cabbage rolls that my granny used to make. LOVE the flavor. Who knew even my kids would eat cabbage cooked like this!
You have inspired to me to keto-ize my favorite dish from childhood, a Hungarian concoction of cabbage sautéed in bacon fat, with pasta and lots of black pepper. What I would do now is add some sausage and omit the pasta, ending up with a one dish meal. It doesn’t need anything else to achieve great flavor. Thank you for the idea.
This is ready in no time & is perfect with just about anything. Love it with chicken!
Amy L Huntley0
This cabbage is full of balsamic flavor! So delicious!