Our best recipes with cabbage include everything from my Russian-Ukrainian grandmother’s cabbage rolls and an array of hearty cabbage soups to our recipes for red cabbage pickles, Mexican and Tex-Mex recipes brightened with zingy cabbage pickles, and Terence’s sublime crispy salmon fillet recipe with Irish colcannon, a creamy potato mash made with cabbage.
Cabbage seems to be the ‘it’ ingredient of the moment, with recipes for cabbage soups, cabbage pickles, cabbage rolls, and cabbage casseroles increasingly featuring on food site home pages and frequently popping up in newsletters in my In Box these days.
I’m not complaining, I adore cabbage in all its shapes and forms and grew up eating cabbage in everything from my baboushka’s cabbage rolls to countless Russian cabbage soups, while Terence and I have long used cabbage in everything from red cabbage pickles to Terence’s colcannon recipe with cabbage.
Grown and used in cooking for thousands of years in soups, stews and salads, fresh and fermented – into pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi – cabbage is a member of the Brassica genus of vegetables, along with cauliflower, broccoli and kale, and comes in white, green, purple, and red, the latter being the healthiest.
Cabbage is also super healthy and so good for us. Despite being low in calories, cabbage is high in fibre and can improve digestion, combat chronic inflammation, and contains powerful antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals, which can damage cells.
Cabbage is also incredibly nutritious, packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, iron and riboflavin, and is particularly rich in vitamin B6 and folate, which play key roles in energy metabolism and the nervous system, and vitamins K and C, which protect against some cancers, heart disease, and loss of vision.
Before I tell you about our best recipes with cabbage, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve cooked our recipes and enjoyed them, please consider supporting Grantourismo by supporting our epic Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon, which you can do for as little as the price of a coffee. Or you could buy us a coffee and we’ll use our coffee money to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing.
Another option is to use links on our site to buy travel insurance, rent a car or campervan or motorhome, book accommodation, or book a tour on Klook or Get Your Guide. Or buy something on Amazon, such as these cookbooks for culinary travellers, James Beard award-winning cookbooks, cookbooks by Australian chefs, classic cookbooks for serious cooks, travel books to inspire wanderlust, and gifts for Asian food lovers and picnic lovers. We may earn a small commission but you won’t pay any extra.
Lastly, you could browse our Grantourismo store for gifts for food lovers, including food themed reusable cloth face masks designed with Terence’s images. Now let me tell you all about our 18 best recipes with cabbage.
Recipes with Cabbage from Russian Cabbage Rolls and Cabbage Soups to Red Cabbage Pickles
These are our best recipes with cabbage, from cabbage salads to cabbage soups and more.
Japanese Style Cabbage and Cucumber Salad Recipe
This Japanese style cabbage and cucumber salad recipe is made with quintessential Japanese ingredients such as sesame seeds and roasted seaweed, which give it a fantastic texture, while the dressing of rice vinegar, Japanese soy sauce, sesame oil, and grated ginger give it a delightful tartness and zingy-ness.
It’s also super easy to make. You just slice the cucumbers lengthways, deseed them, chop them into smaller pieces and salt them. Then you combine shredded cabbage, finely sliced scallions or spring onions, grated fresh ginger, finely sliced roasted seaweed, and sesame seeds.
You add the cucumbers and add a dressing of Shichimi Togarashi Japanese Seven Spice, Japanese sesame oil, Japanese soy sauce, Japanese rice vinegar, and mirin, and you’re done.
Best Coleslaw Recipe with Purple Cabbage, Crunchy Carrot and Pickled Pink Shallots
Our best coleslaw recipe is made with purple cabbage and pickled pink shallots and has more colour, texture and tang than the average coleslaw thanks to the crunchy cabbage and zingy pickles.
This colourful coleslaw is a feast for the eyes and is as delicious as it looks. It’s a fantastic side to chicken schnitzel, burgers and it makes one of the best barbecue sides – along with a potato in foil buried deep in the coals and topped with sour cream and chives, yum.
It will also make you the ultimate picnic salad. All those bold bright colours just scream summer. Make this German potato salad recipe and you’re set.
A few prep tips: for the cabbage, I recommend a mandoline. For the carrots, I use a nifty little tool popular here in Southeast Asia that looks like a small hand-held vegetable peeler with a wavy blade. This is what you want. Otherwise, a good old-fashioned box grater or a food processor with a shredding attachment.
Okonomiyaki Recipe for Japanese Cabbage Pancakes for Umami Lovers + Okonomiyaki Sauce Recipe
This classic okonomiyaki recipe makes the umami-packed Japanese cabbage pancakes that are so popular with umami-lovers and are completely addictive, and are one of our best recipes with cabbage.
These plump savoury pancakes are served at teppanyaki restaurants where they’re made old-school style on the teppanyaki grill.
You’ll also spot them on menus at Japanese izakayas, casual taverns where the food is served to soak up the booze. While heartier, they’re presented with more finesse.
If you’re as addicted to umami as we are and haven’t tried these filling savoury pancakes topped with a sauce made from soy and Worcestershire, creamy mayo, umami-rich bonito flakes and nori flakes, and a sprinkle of furikake (sesame seeds, nori and chilli flakes) for more texture and flavour, make these now. You’ll love them.
Chorizo Cabbage and Three Bean Stew Recipe for My Spicy Take on a Traditional Eastern European Stew
This hearty chorizo cabbage and three bean stew recipe makes my spicy take on a traditional Eastern European stew my Russian grandma cooked and it’s one of our best recipes with cabbage.
Called kapustniak, kapustnyak or kapusniak in Russia, Ukraine and Poland, it was originally made with kielbasa and sauerkraut. I use chorizo to add warmth and deep flavours, and three types of beans to add texture.
Like all good Russian grandmothers, baboushka had an impressive repertoire of hearty soups and stews. In autumn and winter, there seemed to always be a big pot of something bubbling on the stove, steaming up the windows in a kitchen that was always cold, and filling the house with mouth-watering aromas.
I think half the time I cook my Russian family recipes, I do it as much for a taste of the past and to provoke those memories of simpler times, as I do for a chance to savour her delicious food – or something that resembles it. I’d give anything to be in that house again with my family tucking into bowls of baba’s stews and soups. This stew goes some way in taking me back.
Easy Russian Cabbage Rolls Recipe for a Petite Version of Baboushka’s Golubtsi
My easy Russian cabbage rolls recipe for golubtsi (голубцы) makes a more petite version of my baboushka’s bigger cabbage rolls – one cabbage roll was a meal in itself! – and it’s one of our best cabbage recipes.
I cook the savoury pork, beef, carrot, and rice filling before stuffing the cabbage rolls, as they bake much faster than baba’s larger golubtsy filled with a raw meat mixture, yet they’re equally delicious.
I adored my baboushka’s recipe for cabbage rolls stuffed with a savoury meat and rice filling, cloaked in a rich homemade tomato sauce. They were a feature of countless family meals – along with baba’s traditional Russian pelmeni and vareniki, beet potato salad recipe, Russian garden salad, borscht, and more – and not only for Russian Christmas and Easter, but for our family’s regular weekend lunches that rolled into dinner.
But baba’s cabbage rolls were a meal in themselves. They were so filling that as a child I would eat one and then I’d struggle to fit anything else in, my eyes darting around the table at the abundance of food and all the other dishes that I couldn’t fit in. I just wished they’d been smaller, so I’ve made a couple of tweaks…
Easy Cabbage Roll Casserole Recipe for an Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole or Lazy Cabbage Rolls
This baked cabbage roll casserole recipe makes an unstuffed cabbage roll casserole or lazy cabbage rolls dish and it’s another of our best cabbage roll recipes.
Blanched cabbage leaves are layered lasagna-like with a rich tomato sauce, farmer’s cheese, and a cabbage roll fried rice made from the savoury ground pork, onion, garlic and carrot filling usually stuffed in the cabbage leaves to make traditional cabbage rolls. It’s so delicious!
If you enjoyed our recipe for traditional Russian cabbage rolls stuffed with savoury rice and mince, baked in a rich tomato sauce called golubtsy (голубцы), above, which are cooked in Russia, Ukraine and neighbouring countries, then you’re going to love this baked cabbage roll casserole recipe for unstuffed cabbage rolls or lazy cabbage rolls.
I highly recommend you cook the rice in a rice cooker, then set it aside to cool and use a round flat bottomed wok to fry the onion, garlic, carrot, minced meats etc, as the wok heats up quickly, retains heat well, and food just cooks faster.
Cabbage Roll Fried Rice Recipe for a Fragrant Fried Rice Inspired by my Grandmother’s Cabbage Rolls
My cabbage roll fried rice recipe makes an incredibly tasty, fragrant fried rice inspired by my Russian grandmother’s cabbage rolls, above.
To the fried onion, garlic, carrot, ground pork, and rice mixture normally ensconced within cabbage leaves, I add shredded cabbage, spices, a little tomato paste, and fresh aromatic dill to make a deliciously addictive fried rice that is my new favourite dish.
If you love cabbage rolls but you think they’re too complicated or time-consuming to make (they’re not) and you love fried rice, you must make my cabbage roll fried rice recipe next time you have leftover steamed rice.
Every time I’ve made the savoury minced meat and rice mixture for stuffed cabbage rolls in recent years I’ve found myself contemplating the idea of creating a cabbage roll fried rice recipe. Well, I finally did it and I’m so pleased I did. It’s absolutely delicious and incredibly addictive, so take that as a warning.
This Russian Borscht Recipe Makes the Hearty Home-Cooked Soup of my Childhood
This Russian borscht recipe makes the hearty home-cooked soup of my childhood that my baboushka used to make. The Russian-Ukrainian beetroot-driven vegetable soup also contains onions, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and cabbagee.
Serve it with sour cream and fresh fragrant dill and it’s a filling meal in itself. As a child, we’d eat a big bowl of borscht for lunch or dinner the first night, then for breakfast the next day.
My traditional Russian borscht recipe makes a comforting vegetable soup that I like to think of as Russia’s soup for the soul. Borscht has a special place in the hearts, minds and stomachs of anyone of Russian or Ukrainian heritage who grew up dunking weighty slices of black rye bread into their grandma’s nourishing broth.
This is the Russian borscht of my childhood growing, which is why it’s a deep amber-dark orange colour rather than the deep ruby or purple-tinted borscht you’re probably more familiar with seeing in cookbooks, magazines and food blogs. There’s a reason for that, which I explain in the post.
Russian Cabbage Soup Recipe for Shchi, The Most Russian of Soups – And Vegan!
This Russian cabbage soup recipe makes shchi (Щи), the most Russian of soups, and it’s easily one of our best recipes with cabbage. If my Russian grandmother wasn’t making borscht, she was cooking a big pot of shchi.
A very old soup, dating to the 9th century, when cabbage arrived in ‘the Land of the Rus’ from Byzantium, shchi was eaten by nobles and peasants alike. The wealthy would include meat in their shchi, while workers made a vegetarian soup, shchi vegetarianskiye. Skip the sour cream (not something I could do!) and you have a vegan shchi recipe.
While you might have thought that borscht was the quintessential Russian soup, the beetroot-based meat and vegetable broth is one of the most popular and best-known Russian soups, but its origin is much-contested and claimed by Ukrainians.
Shchi is resolutely Russian and so beloved by Russians that the Moscow Times called it a “national treasure”.
The Cabbage Roll Soup Recipe That Probably Has My Baboushka Rolling In Her Grave
This cabbage roll soup recipe makes a comforting soup inspired by the Russian cabbage rolls called golubtsi (голубцы), filled with savoury minced meat and rice and baked in a rich tomato sauce. It’s one of our best cabbage recipes although by no means an authentic Russian dish.
My Russian grandmother did not make this, nor did my mother. In fact, my baboushka is probably rolling in her grave, but this cabbage roll soup is incredibly delicious, rich, and hearty.
For once, I can’t say that my cabbage roll soup recipe makes a Russian family recipe or even an authentic Russian recipe, as I’d never even heard of cabbage roll soup until a few years ago and research brought up very little. When I did stumble across it, I screwed up my nose, and resisted the urge to give a try.
Although I have to confess that I was very tempted. Now I wish I’d tried it earlier. They say good things come to those who wait. But don’t wait. Make this now. It’s so good.
Russian Barley Pickle Soup Recipe for Rassolnik with Chicken and Vegetables
My Russian barley pickle soup recipe for rassolnik made with chicken and vegetables makes a healthy, hearty Russian soup or stew, depending on how dense you like this beloved Russian dish. While borscht might be the best known Russian soup, rassolnik has a special place in people’s hearts and stomachs.
It’s another very old Russian dish that in its early form was far less dense and less like a stew and more like a consommé from what I understand. I don’t recall eating this in Russia – I was too obsessed with sampling the many different regional variations of borscht – so I’m not sure if rassolnik started out as a hearty broth or thickened up in the post-Soviet years or in the Russian diaspora.
Pearl barley and dill pickles are key ingredients, while the vegetables can include any combination of onions, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage – the quintessential Russian ingredients that appear in so many Russian soups and stews – although cabbage is a must as far as I’m concerned, making this one of our best recipes with cabbage.
I also love to add mushrooms, another beloved Russian ingredient, as I adore them, whether they’re eaten on their own or included in dishes such as beef Stoganoff or buckwheat kasha with mushrooms. https://grantourismotravels.com/russian-dill-pickles-recipe/
Braised Cabbage Recipe with Bacon for a Rich Savoury Side Dish to Almost Any Main
My braised cabbage recipe with bacon makes a rich savoury side to almost any main course. My baboushka served this traditional Russian-Ukrainian side dish with meatballs, chicken cutlets, pork chops, and roast chicken, and used it to fill Ukrainian-style varenyky.
She typically served the traditional Russian-Ukrainian dish as one of an array of plates that were shared family-style for Sunday lunches and holiday feasts and at a bare minimum included piroshki (hand pies), beetroot and potato salad, a classic garden salad and casserole pots of Russian pelmeni and potato vareniki.
This braised cabbage and bacon dish was an alternative to stuffed cabbage rolls, as you can only have so much cabbage in one sitting. It also served as a side to dishes such as kotleti (chicken meat patties), chicken Kiev, beef Stroganoff, Russian meatballs, lamb or pork chops, or roast chicken.
Easy to make, it comes together quickly, though the lower and slower you cook it, the richer it tastes. It’s another of the best cabbage recipes and will make you an incredibly rich and delicious savoury side dish that is a splendid accompaniment to so many mains, not only Eastern European.
Salmon Fillet with Colcannon Recipe and How to Get a Perfect Crispy Salmon Skin
This salmon fillet with colcannon recipe has been a favourite since we first tasted the dish at the now-defunct restaurant Banc in Sydney some years ago. The crispy skinned salmon fillet was cooked to perfection, the colcannon – an Irish potato mash – was creamy and rich, and while the red wine sauce seemed an unusual choice, its acidity worked well with a mouthful of the other ingredients.
If you love Terence’s creamy mashed potatoes recipe, you’re going to adore this colcannon recipe. If you’re not familiar with colcannon, it’s a classic Irish mashed potato dish with kale or cabbage and spring onions, and can entertain other ingredients, such as bacon or pancetta.
We love it with cabbage and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s another one of our best cabbage recipes. Terence has added a brilliant cabbage side dish, too, Automata’s roasted red cabbage with bonito butter, but with the same Chinese cabbage that he uses in the colcannon.
Chef Clayton Wells’ recipe for cabbage is one of our favourite side dishes. It’s umami heaven and it’s one of the reasons that Wells became one of our favourite Sydney chefs after just one meal at his restaurant. Make it a priority to eat his food if you haven’t yet.
Burmese Raw Cabbage Salad Recipe and the Secrets to Making the Best Burmese Salads
This easy Burmese raw cabbage salad recipe makes a refreshing salad that is delightfully crunchy and slightly tangy, the perfect contrast to rich oily Burmese curries. It’s another one of our best cabbage recipes.
Mostly made with white cabbage, for colour we’ve used purple cabbage or red cabbage, which is incredibly healthy. This ‘Burmese coleslaw’ should definitely be packed in your picnic basket. It makes a fantastic side salad for a roast chicken for a picnic basket or the perfect companion to a Burmese curry if you’re cooking up a feast of food from Myanmar, which I highly recommend.
Not only is this raw cabbage salad delicious and versatile, it’s also super healthy. Raw cabbage is low in calories, high in fibre, and packed with vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin K (for bone health and blood clotting), Vitamin C (boosts immune system, helps iron absorption), Vitamin B6 and folate (good for metabolism and nervous system), and calcium, potassium, and magnesium (great for the heart, gut health and digestion).
Quick Pickled Red Cabbage Recipe for Piquant Purple Pickles to Pep Up Any Meal
This easy quick pickled red cabbage recipe makes piquant purple pickles to pep up any meal and it’s another of our best recipes with cabbage. These delightfully zesty refrigerator pickles are the perfect topping for tacos, a bright filling for burgers or a tangy accompaniment to toasted sandwiches.
Whether you use this red cabbage quick pickle as a side, garnish or condiment, it’s very versatile and you can easily adapt the flavour to your palate. If you liked our Mexican quick pickled onions recipe, you’re going to love this Mexican quick pickled red cabbage.
In Mexico, it’s called ‘col roja en escabeche’, ‘col lombarda en escabeche’ or ‘col morada en escabeche’, all of which mean red cabbage or purple cabbage in escabeche. ‘Col’ is cabbage and ‘escabeche’ refers to the process of ‘cooking’ in an acidic marinade of vinegar and water to which salt, pepper, maybe sugar, and perhaps herbs and spices, such as bay leaves and oregano are added.
Despite sharing this because we’ve suggested it as a topping or accompaniment to many of our Mexican recipes, I left ‘Mexican’ off the title, because pickles have a long history of being made all over the world.
An Egyptian pickles recipe doesn’t differ all that much from a Russian pickles recipe, which isn’t all that different to a Cambodian pickles recipe, and you can really add a spoonful of these to many dishes on our site. More pickles recipes here.
Mexican Chicken Tinga Taco Recipe with Grilled Corn, Pickled Shallots and Purple Cabbage
Our scrummy Mexican chicken tinga taco recipe makes warm soft flour tortillas with delicious (muy delicioso!) Mexican chicken tinga – or tinga de pollo – grilled corn charred on a griddle pan, zingy pickled purple shallots and pickled purple cabbage, making it another of our best recipes with cabbage.
Sprinkled with crumbly Mexican cotija and aromatic coriander, it’s a feast for the eyes as much as the nose and stomach. This meal will brighten up any lunch or casual dinner.
An authentic Mexican chicken tinga taco recipe would typically call for avocado rather than char-grilled corn. Avocado is always wonderful, especially on tacos. However, chicken tinga, which is essentially comprised of shredded chicken, has a soft texture and avocado is soft, so we felt it needed a little crunch, hence corn.
Another difference is that authentic tinga de pollo in Mexico is mostly served on the larger crispy corn tostadas rather than the smaller soft tacos. We’re using soft wheat flour tortillas here to create our tacos, but by all means use crispy tostadas if you can get them. Douse it all with your favourite Mexican hot sauce and close your eyes and you might just hear mariachis.
Shredded Chicken Tacos Recipe with Avocado, Vegan Chilli and Mexican Pickles
It makes a fantastic filling lunch or light dinner that’s a cinch to make and can be assembled quickly. Pop a fried egg on top for a breakfast taco and make extra shredded chicken from poached chicken and keep in the fridge for salads and sandwiches.
The beauty of this shredded chicken tacos recipe is that it’s a recipe born from leftovers. That means you can plan to make the recipes that made the dishes and condiments that gave us this delicious filling lunch or light dinner – or breakfast, if you pop a fried egg or poached egg on top – starting with this vegetarian chilli.
That also means no cooking – aside from warming up the tortillas in a pan and heating up the chilli – making this a fantastic mid-week meal.
Easy Vegetarian Chilli Recipe for Chilli Con Carne Sin Carne (Without Meat) and It’s Vegan Too
Speaking of that vegetarian chilli, while it’s not made with cabbage as such, like the chicken tingas and shredded chicken tacos recipes above, this is another fantastic dish that really shines when topped with those red cabbage pickles.
This easy vegetarian chilli recipe makes a chilli con carne sin carne (without meat) and it’s vegan if you prepare it without dairy accompaniments, such as sour cream and cheese.
While this bean chilli is a cinch to make and comes together quickly, it’s full of so much flavour thanks to the spices that even meat-lovers won’t miss the beef mince that we’d normally include in our classic chilli con carne recipe.
I’ve been making this easy vegetarian chilli since the mid-1980s when I began cooking big pots of chilli soon after Terence and I moved in together, so it’s an oldie but a goodie. In fact, it’s gotten better with age!
Published 9 February 2022; Updated 19 October 2023
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make any of our 18 best cabbage recipes as we’d love to know how they turn out for you.