Sautéed cabbage may not be the first side dish that comes to mind when you’re meal planning, but why not? Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamins and fiber (according to Healthline, one cup of cabbage provides 85 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin K and 54 percent of vitamin C), it’s quick and easy to make, it’s inexpensive, and it pairs with practically everything. In fact, according to recipe developer Sher Castellano, this sautéed cabbage recipe goes well with chicken, sausage, and fish and also works well tossed with pasta. Just think about all the Asian dishes that feature cabbage as part of a veggie stir fry — it’s a side that works well with everything.
In fact, once you try this dish, you might decide you want to whip up extra and eat it on its own as a snack. It’s incredibly filling while also being low-calorie, so it’s an excellent way to snack smart between meals.
Gather your ingredients for this sautéed cabbage
There’s really not much you need for this sautéed cabbage, and you can sub ingredients in and out based on personal preference or what you have on hand. In addition to the cabbage itself, you’ll need salt, fat, and acid, each of which Castellano says are "crucial" for bringing out the flavor and achieving the correct consistency when you sauté your cabbage.
The recipe calls for extra virgin olive oil, fine sea salt, and apple cider vinegar to meet these requirements, but you can use unsalted butter or another oil as your preferred fat as well as red wine vinegar or lemon juice as your preferred acid. "It depends on what you prefer for taste. Acids help to break down the cellulose structure of the cabbage while enhancing flavor. Likewise, olive oil is a dairy-free option [for those with dietary restrictions], while butter has a richer flavor."
Chop your cabbage
The trick to this sautéed cabbage recipe is to achieve the "fine shred" when cutting your cabbage. You don’t want big, chunky pieces. Start by cutting the cabbage into quarters. Place a full head of cabbage, stem-side down, on your cutting service, and make two large slices vertically down in a "x" formation to quarter the cabbage. Slice the core out of each of the quarters so you’re just working with the cabbage leaves. Then, simply slice a quarter of the cabbage into thin strands, cutting horizontally across the cabbage for shorter pieces.
Place cabbage in heated sauté pan
Once the cabbage is shredded, heat up your pan to a medium-high setting. You want it to be nice and hot before you start adding ingredients. When water sizzles and evaporates after sprinkling droplets in the pan, it’s ready to use. Add your olive oil (or other fat), cabbage, salt, and pepper to the pan, and mix them for about a minute. You want the cabbage to mix well with the oil and spices during this short, initial sauté.
Sauté your cabbage
After the initial minute in the pan, when all the sautéed cabbage ingredients are well-combined, step away and stop stirring for about five minutes. You want the cabbage to sit and cook untouched, giving the bottom of the cabbage time to brown up a touch. Just make sure you’re still keeping an eye on things — you don’t want the cabbage to burn.
After five minutes of allowing the cabbage to sit and cook, sauté the cabbage again, stirring constantly to move the veggies around the pan, hitting all sides and pieces equally for three more minutes.
It’s at this point that you add your vinegar (or lemon juice), mix well, and sauté for a final minute.
Serve your sautéed cabbage hot
Once the dish is fully cooked, you don’t want to wait to eat it! Serve your sautéed cabbage hot and top with extra pepper to give it a little more kick. The cabbage leaves should have softened up nicely without taking on a "wilted" consistency — cooked but not overdone. While you can always add more seasonings based on your personal tastes, Castellano says she loves this dish served simply. The salt, pepper, oil, and vinegar are really all it needs. If you want to make things spicy, adding some crushed chili flakes here might be a good idea.
Sautéed cabbage may not be the first side dish that comes to mind when you’re meal planning, but why not? Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamins and fiber.
- ½ pound green cabbage, finely shredded
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or unsalted butter)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar or lemon juice)
- Cut cabbage into shreds.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
- Add in olive oil, cabbage, salt, and pepper, and sauté for 1 minute.
- Leave the pan untouched for 5 minutes to continue to cook and brown the bottom, checking frequently to avoid burning. Then continue to sauté for 3 more minutes.
- Add in the vinegar and cook for 1 more minute.
- Serve hot with more pepper.