How to Cook Red Cabbage

Updated on March 12, 2016
Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

Common Problems when Cooking Red Cabbage

Red cabbage, or any form of cabbage, is often thought of as being tasteless, unappetising or worse. This is for more than any other reason that cabbage is all too often cooked in an inappropriate fashion or to excess. This page will look at how to cook red cabbage with a variety of different ingredients to ensure both that it retains its nutritional value and that it forms a tasty component part of a meal.

Check out also the, "Useful Links," section I will include further down this page for lots more ideas on how to cook red cabbage.

Red Cabbage and Pear Served with Casseroled Shoulder of Pork and Mashed Potatoes
Red Cabbage and Pear Served with Casseroled Shoulder of Pork and Mashed Potatoes
Red Cabbage, Pear and Nutmeg
Red Cabbage, Pear and Nutmeg
Chopped Red Cabbage and Pear
Chopped Red Cabbage and Pear

Sauteed Red Cabbage and Pear

Traditionally, the most common way of cooking cabbage is to boil it in water. This has the double drawback, however, of both removing much of the taste and nutritional value from the cabbage, as well as making it prone to being overcooked, limp and soggy.

This incredibly simple - and quicker - way of cooking red cabbage effectively sautes it in olive oil and the added ingredients improve the flavour many times over.

For two people, this recipe calls for a quarter of a red cabbage, one moderately soft pear, a pinch of nutmeg, one tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. The cores should be removed from the red cabbage and the pear before they are sliced as shown to the right.

The olive oil should be gently heated in a wide-bottomed pan. The red cabbage, pear and nutmeg are then added and cooked over a fairly high heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon or spatula, for seven to eight minutes. The cabbage should then be seasoned to taste.

I served this red cabbage and pear with casseroled shoulder of pork and garlic and herb mashed potatoes, as pictured above.

Red Cabbage, Onion and Garlic
Red Cabbage, Onion and Garlic

Red Cabbage with Onion and Garlic

The red cabbage is in this instance cooked exactly the same way as above but is this time accompanied by white onion and garlic. For quarter of a red cabbage, one small, sliced white onion and one large clove of garlic, also sliced, should be used.

This red cabbage, onion and garlic is served with a Melton Mowbray pork pie, a hard boiled egg, salad and pickled beetroot, as seen below.

Red Cabbage, Onion and Bacon
Red Cabbage, Onion and Bacon

Red Cabbage, Bacon and Onion

This combination can make in itself a delicious and nutritious lunch. The first step is to cook the bacon by grilling it. It should then be cut in to strips and set aside while the red cabbage and onion is sauteed in the fashion already described.

The bacon strips should be added to the red cabbage and onion for the last couple of minutes' cooking time, simply to heat through. Note that alsthough black pepper should be added to this dish, enough salt is likely to be obtained from the bacon to eliminate the need for the addition of any more.

How do you like to eat red cabbage?

See results
2 stars from 1 rating of these red cabbage recipe ideas!

Are you going to try any of these red cabbage recipes?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      I hope you enjoyed the ideas, Hendrika. It can be difficult when we have an excess of any food ingredient to use up and stop it going to waste. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    • Hendrika profile image


      5 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      At the moment I have more cabbage, including red cabbage than I know what to do with so I will be trying these recipes

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      8 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you, Sally's Trove, for your visit and comment. You are so right about red cabbage being too often overlooked and your serving suggestions sound delicious. Definitely a few extra ideas for me or anyone who reads this to try! :)

    • Sally's Trove profile image


      8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      These are wonderful ideas for red cabbage. Simple prep, flavor complements. Mostly I shred fresh red cabbage to add to a cold salad, but I also love it cooked with apples and vinegar (that would be somewhat like the pear and cabbage). Or pickled with beets and onion. Red cabbage is too often overlooked.

      Thanks for these great ideas.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      8 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hello, Sylvia. THanks for visiting and commenting.

      The effect you mention is part of the reason why I like to braise red cabbage rather than boil it. It sounds as though you may be very slightly overcooking the red cabbage. The good news is that all you are likely to affect is the presentation and that the goodness from the cabbage will remain in the liquid of a soup.

    • SylviaSky profile image

      Sylvia Sky 

      8 years ago from USA

      Should I be concerned about the red color "leaking out" and turning the cabbage in the dish a faded gray while it purples the rest of the food -- as in soup?

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      8 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, Phil Plasma. Thanks for the visit and comment. Yes, I love red cabbage and garlic, so that is a frequent method of cooking it for me, too.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 

      8 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Great hub, the one with garlic looked the most appealing to me. Vote-up and useful.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)