by Erin Marissa Russell
Grew a lot of cabbage and trying to figure out what to do with it all? As a hardworking gardener, you may find yourself with an excess of produce on your hands. If cabbage is your crop, you can stop trying to foist your extras off on friends and family. We’ve rounded up the best ways to use cabbage out there, with plenty you probably haven’t considered. Here’s a look at 20 ways to use the cabbage you grow in your garden.
1. Fish Tacos
When the backyard barbecue is over and your coleslaw needs a makeover, turn to fish tacos for a reliably tasty way to serve cabbage. You can start with fresh cabbage, sliced thinly, and mix with lime juice, cilantro, diced jalapeno, and julienned carrot, or simply stir some cilantro and jalapeno into prepared coleslaw for a Mexican twist that’s great spooned over flaky fish and tucked into a tortilla. Here’s a recipe you can’t go wrong with to lead you through the prep.
2. Cabbage Rolls
A hearty pot full of cabbage rolls nestled into a stewed tomato sauce and stuffed with meat and rice is a can’t-lose way to serve cabbage to a crowd. This recipe shows you how to make the traditional version or follow the directions here for a deconstructed take on cabbage rolls.
3. Cabbage Chips
Cabbage is so often associated with healthy fare that it’s unlikely cabbage chips spring to mind when you’re considering how to cook the cabbage you’ve grown. Though they haven’t enjoyed the popularity of trendy kale chips, cabbage chips make use of this sturdy green vegetable in a way that hits that salty snack spot.
Check out this recipe to make cabbage chips.
You don’t have to be a grandma from Central Europe to cook up a batch of pierogies that will make homegrown cabbage downright delicious (though of course it doesn’t hurt). Even better, once they’re prepped, pierogies are a natural freezer food, making it simple to keep them stocked so you can pull out a batch to defrost on your busiest days. This recipe for pierogies will guide you through the steps to make them.
5. Bakwan Sayur
This traditional Indonesian recipe puts cabbage in the starring role as a vegetable fritter, coated with delicious batter and fried to a golden brown. Adding carrots and shrimp to the mix is an optional (but highly recommended) step. Learn how to make your own bakwan sayur here.
You’ve probably tried this flavorful Korean condiment at a restaurant, but it’s something many of us don’t think to make at home. The best part? Because kimchi is fermented, it’s a natural for making in bulk and sharing with friends and family or putting away to use later. This recipe will show you how to make kimchi at home.
This Irish recipe blends silky braised cabbage with mashed potatoes for a comfort food dish that will have people asking for seconds. It’s hard to get tired of eating cabbage when it’s part of colcannon, which complements so many main dishes. Follow the steps here to make colcannon.
This Italian dish is traditionally made with Swiss chard, but plenty of food blogs recommend swapping the chard for cabbage. Pizzoccheri is a homespun pasta meal that pairs flavorful greens with potatoes and noodles for a stick-to-your-ribs meal that’s budget-friendly to boot. This pizzoccheri recipe comes together quickly, making it a perfect everyday dish.
9. Red Lentils with Cabbage
Lentils and cabbage are both affordable pantry staples that come together in a tasty wintertime stew. The recipe from Smitten Kitchen pairs red lentils and cabbage with smoky cumin and golden turmeric for a flavorful braised stew.
10. Corned Beef and Cabbage
The classic recipes out there are classic for a reason, and corned beef and cabbage has earned its spot in the recipe hall of fame. This traditional Irish meal needs just a few ingredients and turns your garden bounty into a delicious dinner. Learn how to make corned beef and cabbage here.
11. Lion’s Head Casserole
This imaginatively named dish from formal Chinese cuisine pairs cabbage with flavorful pork and shiitake mushrooms. It gets its name because the cook is instructed to arrange the cabbage leaves in the bowls of finished casserole to resemble a lion’s mane. Find out how easy it is to prepare Lion’s Head Casserole here.
12. Sheet Pan Dinners
Sheet pan dinners caught on with food bloggers because of how easy and versatile they are. They come together in a snap and make use of whatever you happen to have on hand, and cabbage is a natural because chunks of this hearty green take about as long to cook as the meat you’ll be pairing them with. You can make sheet pan cabbage with sausage or whip up sheet pan cabbage and chicken —either way, dinner will be ready in a jiffy, and you’ll be lucky if there are leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.
13. Bubble and Squeak
Cabbage is just one of the veggies you can fold into bubble and squeak, a British dish that’s made to make over leftovers. You can also opt for mixing your cabbage and potatoes up with carrots, Brussels sprouts, turnips, onions, or other garden produce that makes sense in a traditional Sunday roast. Learn how to prep bubble and squeak on the Food Network site.
14. Southern-Style Braised Cabbage with Bacon
Southern cooks know that a surefire way to make garden greens a favorite with your dinner guests is to flavor them with plenty of smoky, salty bacon. Cabbage takes this treatment just as well as collards, turnip greens, and mustard greens. Find out how to make your own batch of braised cabbage with bacon here .
15. Pupusas con Curtido
Salvadoran cuisine likely wasn’t the first option that sprang to your mind when you considered how to cook your cabbage harvest. Be that as it may, once you’ve sampled pupusas con curtido, you’ll probably turn to the recipe over and over. Whatever you fill your pupusas with, you may find the curtido—Salvador’s condiment that makes cabbage the star—is the real standout. Learn to make your own pupusas con curtido here.
16. Cabbage and Caramelized Onion Tart
Tarts are one of those dishes that are deceptively easy. Diners will ooh and aah over the dish when you slide it onto the table, while you smirk with the knowledge of how quickly and simply it all came together. Get the New York Times recipe for a cabbage and caramelized onion tart and learn how to make one yourself.
17. Cabbage Wedges Wrapped in Bacon
This treatment takes cabbage from side dish into the main dish arena, with hearty wedges wrapped in bacon, then roasted until the corners are lacy and browned. Find out just how easy cabbage wedges wrapped in bacon are to make in this recipe from The Kitchen Magpie.
This traditional Polish dish pairs cabbage with pasta and pork chops for a homecooked meal that’s pure comfort. The halushki instructions on Allrecipes.com are purportedly handed down from a Polish grandmother, so you know the resulting dish is sure to be a winner.
Sukiyaki is a Japanese one-pot meal that combines beef, noodles, tofu, and greens with a salty-sweet, brothy sauce. It’s delicious as a family dinner (or packed for a lunch the next day) as well as an excellent choice for a potluck or dinner party. Find out how to make Sukiyaki at Food and Wine’s website.
20. Cabbage au Gratin
With potatoes, au gratin is a traditional prep method that people love for the creamy white sauce that coats the vegetables and its nostalgia factor. Take your gratin to the next level and use the cabbage you’ve grown in your garden by swapping the potatoes out for greens. Learn to make your own cabbage au gratin here.
However you slice it (or saute it, or roast it), any variety of cabbage is a favorite on the dinner table. Even better, it’s a low-calorie food that’s chock-full of vitamins and antioxidants. That means when you serve homegrown cabbage in one of these delicious dishes, you don’t need to feel guilty when you reach for seconds.
Want to learn more about using cabbage?
Healthline covers Health Benefits of Cabbage
Kitchn covers The Difference Between Green, Napa, Red, and Savoy Cabbage
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