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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! Let me show you how to saute cabbage — it’s super easy — with a simple technique that gives it a buttery flavor 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
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.
- Green 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 as well.
- 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.
- Balsamic vinegar – Optional, but will add a great tangy flavor. You could also use white balsamic vinegar or even apple cider vinegar.
- Sea salt & black pepper
How To Saute Cabbage
This section shows how to make the best sauteed cabbage with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Cut cabbage. Wondering how to cut cabbage for frying? It’s super simple: cut the cabbage into quarters, cut out and discard the core, and finally slice each quarter thinly into shreds. (See below for a visual!)
TIP: Want finely shredded cabbage? You can also use the shredding attachment of your food processor to shred the cabbage.
- Saute garlic. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet and saute garlic until fragrant.
TIP: 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.
- Saute cabbage. Add cabbage to the pan and saute until cabbage caramelizes.
TIP: Stir with tongs every few minutes, but not constantly. Stirring too often will prevent your cabbage from caramelizing.
- Add flavor. Stir in butter and/or balsamic vinegar to the pan (if using), and cook for another minute or two. This infuses sweet and buttery flavor!
FYI: Butter has a low smoke point, which is why we add it toward the end. This gives us buttery flavor without burning it.
- Season. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Sauteed Cabbage Variations
- Fried Cabbage And Sausage – A similar recipe, but has sausage added to make it a one pan meal.
- Sauteed cabbage and onions – Saute thinly sliced onions for a couple of minutes before adding the 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, it has a low smoke point!) and/or a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
- Spicy sauteed cabbage – Add a little bit of cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, or even sriracha.
- To store: Store sauteed cabbage in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- To reheat: Reheat the cabbage in the microwave or a hot skillet, until warm.
- To freeze: Sauteed cabbage can be frozen for 2-3 months. Thaw before reheating.
What To Serve With Sauteed Cabbage
- Steak – Try sirloin steak, New York strip, or even filet mignon 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, Cajun grilled cod, or pan seared halibut.
- Pork Chops – You can make pork chops in an air fryer or bake pork chops in the oven.
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
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Sauteed Cabbage Recipe
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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