The Simplest, Most Delicious Way to Cook Cabbage

Find ways to love inexpensive foods:  That’s one of the points I always make when talking about saving money on groceries.

As you know, I am not a fan of grocery coupons. They complicate our lives and encourage us to buy processed foods and gimmicky products. Thankfully there are more simple solutions to saving money that are also better for us.

Cabbage is one of those inexpensive foods that you will almost never see on sale. While most vegetables cost $2 and up per pound, cabbage usually goes for $0.69 per pound. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C and contains a substance (indole-3-carbinol) which is thought to block the growth of cancer cells.

Cole slaw is not my favorite thing, so I was really happy when I found this way to cook cabbage in Better Homes and Gardens.  The founder of Ireland’s Ballymaloe Cookery School, Darina Allen, says it’s one of her favorite way to combine two Irish specialties: cabbage and butter. Our butter is probably not as flavorful as the butter made in Ireland, where cows are fed on grass most of the year, but this dish is still delicious with generic butter from the grocery store.

My kids now love it (even though it took them a few times to decide). I love it because it requires no chopping and can be out of the fridge and on the table in 15 minutes.

I happen to be making it tonight for my husband’s birthday, together with Mark Bittman’s Roast Pork with Sage and Potatoes and pizza dough focaccia. I hope you like it as much as we do!

Cabbage Braised in Butter

adapted from Better Homes and Gardens (November 2006)

  • 1 small head of cabbage
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Peel off the outer leaves of the cabbage, rinse it with water, and cut it into 6 wedges. Cook wedges until brown on one side (about 5 minutes). Turn wedges and cover the pot. Cook another 10 minutes or until the cabbage is browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper just before serving.

(You might also like 7 easy ways to make potatoes yummy.) Do you have a favorite way of eating cabbage?

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  • Adina March 18, 2016, 12:08 pm

    Made this for St. Paddy’s last night. Other than adding a little garlic and red pepper flakes to the butter, I followed directions precisely. Found it was easy to flip and keep together by using two flat spatulas. Had to cook the second side an additional 5 minutes, my medium is probably less hot than yours. We devoured it, including our cabbage-hating daughter! Yum!!! Thanks for the recipe. Will definitely continue to use this again and again.

    • Amy March 18, 2016, 2:27 pm

      Hi Adina,

      Great idea to serve it on St. Patrick’s day, and I love the flavor additions that you made. Your tips on flipping as well as timing are helpful too.

      Thank you,

  • Barbara November 13, 2015, 12:28 pm

    Thank you soooo much. a friend gave me an extra large older cabbage that needed a LOT of leaving. Your recipe was just perfect. I made 1/2 of the cabbage and will do the rest tomorrow. Can’t wait! Barbara

    • Amy November 25, 2015, 2:29 pm

      I’m so glad, Barbara. We are still making this recipe a lot.

      Take care,

  • Sandy March 20, 2014, 1:50 pm

    Hi Amy….this looks so good and I am going to try it tonight. I put a corn beef in the slow cooker this morning and was trying to think of a recipe for the cabbage that didn’t take too long. I can’t wait to try it!!!

    • Amy March 24, 2014, 11:45 am

      Hi Sandy,

      Excellent — I’m glad it could come in handy. I hope you like it as much as we do!


  • Richard September 11, 2013, 9:17 pm

    The way I kept it from falling apart is by using a toothpick. Sometimes the answer is so simple :P

    btw, thanks for the recipe. Very tasty.

    – Richard

    • Amy September 17, 2013, 12:06 pm

      Hey Richard,

      Thanks for the (simple) tip!


  • Jim May 24, 2013, 12:28 pm

    Amy, thanks for this recipe idea. My wife and son love cabbage, but I hate it. So I was looking for a way to prepare it that I could also like. This is good, although I did a variation on your theme that you might like. I chopped about half an onion, added some curry and garlic powder (around a tsp of each) to the butter as it was melting. I liked, and Dana liked it so much she snagged the leftover wedge for lunch today.

  • Noelle March 5, 2012, 2:12 pm

    I mean Trader Joes :)

    • Amy March 5, 2012, 2:26 pm

      Yes, of course! You kind of sounded like my Italian husband who used to say it that way: Trader’s Joe. :-)

      • Noelle March 5, 2012, 4:18 pm


  • Noelle March 5, 2012, 2:12 pm

    Hi Amy, this looks and sounds delicious!! I have been looking for ways to enjoy veggies in new ways!! I just wanted let you know I bought Kerrygold Irish cream butter at Trader’s Joes for $2.99, for 8oz. Not the cheapest, but not terribly expensive either! It was delish!

    • Amy March 5, 2012, 2:25 pm

      Hi Noelle,

      Great, thank for letting me know about finding Kerrygold Irish butter! I love Trader Joe’s. So funny you should write this, because I just bought some Kerrygold butter too because it was on sale at Giant. I haven’t tried it yet — that’s so great that you noticed a difference in taste!

      Thanks for writing in,

  • Anner March 3, 2012, 8:20 am

    I will try this with butter. I cook cabbage by dicing it up and cook it up in oil until it is tender. Then I serve it with red wine vinegar to sprinkle on top to each person’s taste. The vinegar complements the cabbage nicely.

    • Amy March 5, 2012, 2:23 pm

      Hi Anner,

      I like your method! I’d never thought of just dicing it up and sauteeing. Sometimes the most simple techniques are all we need to cook food well. One time I diced celery and cooked it in butter and my kids loved it. Go figure. Love your vinegar sprinkled on top.

      Thank you!

  • Renee perry February 29, 2012, 8:05 pm

    Hi Amy, this is a terrific recipe I am serving it tonight along side hamburgers and brown rice. I make a cabbage salad see recipe
    Head of cabbage
    Small onion (white) minced
    2/3 c Canola oil
    1/3 c Apple cider vinegar
    Salt and pepper
    Adjust as necessary depending on size of head of cabbage and your own personal tastes.

    Whisk dressing then add to shredded cabbage and onion. The longer it sits the better. This stays in a Tupperware in the frig for at least a week. My kids and I love it!

    • Amy February 29, 2012, 10:38 pm

      Hi Renee,

      Great, thanks for this very un-cole-slaw-y recipe for cabbage salad — I like it! Interesting how the cabbage tastes better marinated. Makes sense.

      I’m so glad you’re having the butter-braised cabbage tonight!


  • Marian February 29, 2012, 9:16 am

    We like steamed cabbage with a light cheese sauce poured over it. I just make a white sauce, then add shredded cheddar. Before serving I sprinkle lots of paprika over it to give it color.
    P.S. Cheese sauce can be refrigerated so I make extra to use later over other veggies.

    • Amy February 29, 2012, 4:35 pm

      Hi Marian,

      Yummm — your cabbage with cheese sauce sounds like healthy comfort food. How do you make the white sauce?

      Thanks for writing in,

  • Rayna@BrightCopperKettles February 29, 2012, 5:56 am

    Amy, thank you so much for this!!! We love cabbage in our home, but there are only so many ways one can prepare it…this is so timely, especially with Saint Patrick’s Day just around the corner!

    • Amy February 29, 2012, 4:34 pm

      Hey there Rayna,

      So glad it’s coming at the right time — in more ways than one!

      Take care,

  • mildred lane February 28, 2012, 9:23 pm

    the pic of the cabbage is great. Can’t wait to try. thanks.

    • Amy February 29, 2012, 4:33 pm

      Hi Mildred,

      Yeah, I was pleased with that photo too, with the leaves splayed out and all. Thanks for saying so! Hope you like the recipe.

      Take care,

  • Kaitlin February 28, 2012, 5:54 pm

    Thanks for this recipe- I will have to try it!
    I am not a cole slaw eater either (read: I HATE cole slaw!)…but I do have one slaw recipe I WILL eat (because it pretty much doesn’t taste like slaw at all): Asian Slaw. It’s super simple and quick to make…
    * Finely chopped cabbage
    * Rice noodles
    * Makoto Ginger Dressing (I found this in the refrigerated section at Food Lion, Kroger, and Harris Teeter)
    * Mayo
    * shredded carrots (for color)

    1. Mix one cup ginger dressing with 2-3 tbsp of mayo. Only add enough mayo to make it slightly creamy.
    2. Mix noodles, cabbage, carrots together. Toss with dressing to taste (a little goes a long way!)

    • Amy February 29, 2012, 4:32 pm

      Hi Kaitlin,

      Thank you for sending out this recipe! It really sounds up my alley. I love spicy Asian food, but I have not really tried to get into making it myself. This sounds totally do-able — and delicious!

      Thank you,

  • Sara February 28, 2012, 2:42 pm

    I love cabbage, so I definitely will be trying this out!

    • Amy February 28, 2012, 4:59 pm

      Great, Sara! You’ll have to let me in on your cabbage-loving recipes too.

      Take care,

      • sara March 2, 2012, 11:36 pm

        I made a few wedges tonight and they were tasty! The wedges fell apart when I attempted to turn them. Any tips for that? I can cook, but I am not good at keeping my food “pretty.”

        I, too, enjoy the Asian Coleslaw. I make mine with toasted Ramen and toasted slivered almonds. The dressing includes sugar, oil, rice vinegar and soy sauce. It reminds me of the dressing that goes on the Asian Chicken Salad at Applebees.

        I am going to have to try the slaw recipe below that includes onion and cider vinegar. Sounds kind of like refrigerator cucumbers.

        • Amy March 5, 2012, 2:21 pm

          Hi Sara,

          I’m so glad the wedges were tasty, but I’m sorry they fell apart! That happens to me sometimes too. When you trim the cabbage stem, be sure to cut it entirely off. Then when you are cutting the wedges, try to cut so that each one includes some stem, which will help hold them together. When I turn mine, I use long-handled tongs. They work well, but not perfectly. Just serve the pretty ones to those who care, and serve the fallen-apart ones to people like kids (who might want them cut up anyway). :-)

          Your Asian coleslaw sounds so good. I will have to try both of your versions, since raw food has more vitamins.

          Thank you for telling me how things went, Sara!


          • Sara March 5, 2012, 3:08 pm

            Thanks for the tips, Amy. I made them a second time and had better luck. I think the tongs are a smart idea.

            Just to let you know, I was reading up on cabbage, and steaming it a bit (and I assume braising it at a low temp as well) helps optimize the fiber in the cabbage, making it more effective in lowering cholesterol.

            • Amy March 5, 2012, 7:38 pm

              Hi Sara,

              Wow, I never would have known about steaming optimizing the fiber! It’s kind of counter-intuitive, so thanks for the tip. I’m glad the dish worked better for you the second time — and that you liked it enough to try it again.

              Take care,