Roasting sweetens cabbage, taking its flavor to a whole new level
Cabbage doesn’t get the love it deserves. Sure, we like it in coleslaw. And we pair it with corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day. But the rest of the time? Most of us just walk right past it in the supermarket produce section.
Too bad. Because when roasted, cabbage serves up terrific flavor. The taste becomes sweeter and more intense (in a good way). And roasting doesn’t overwhelm your kitchen with the cabbage odor some find offensive (you know, the kind you get when you boil cabbage to death).
Succulent, tender, delightfully flavored. Roast cabbage will be the star of your next meal. Really.
Recipe: Easy and Tasty Roast Cabbage
Some cooks like to cut cabbage into wedges or rounds when they roast it (see Notes for the method). That works well, but we prefer to chop it into rough shreds, then toss it with olive oil and seasonings. It’s easier to eat, and you get a better tasting veggie, in our opinion.
You can use everyday green cabbage in this recipe, or try the less common Savoy variety. Savoy cabbage will be slightly sweeter when roasted, but either kind works well.
This recipe is adapted from Molly Stevens’ All About Roasting. Stevens is a wonderful cook—so if you don’t know her books, do yourself a favor and get acquainted.
Prep time for this recipe is 5 minutes or so. Roasting adds another 25 to 30 minutes.
This dish serves 3 or 4, and it’s easy to double. Leftovers keep OK for a day or two when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- ½ green cabbage head (you want a pound or so of cabbage; either Savoy cabbage or the everyday green kind will work)
- ~2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste (about ¾ teaspoon for us—see Notes)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste (maybe a dozen grinds)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet (preferably one that’s rimmed) with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Remove any blemished outer leaves from the cabbage. Cut the cabbage in half and remove the core from one half (reserve the other cabbage half for another use).
- Cut the cabbage in half again, then cut it into slices of an inch or so. (The aim is to end up with rough shreds of cabbage, which roast well.)
- Place the cabbage shreds in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss the cabbage until it’s well coated, adding more oil if necessary. BTW, it’s easiest to toss the cabbage with your hands (just use disposable kitchen gloves, which are very inexpensive).
- Pour the cabbage shreds onto the prepared baking sheet, then spread them around loosely (it’s OK if some pile up a bit; they will cook down). Place the baking sheet in the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes.
- At the 15-minute mark, toss the cabbage with tongs or a large spoon, then return the baking sheet to the oven. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
- When the timer goes off the second time (after a total of 25 minutes in the oven), some of the cabbage leaves should be slightly charred at the edges, and the cabbage should be done—or close to it. We like roast cabbage to be slightly crunchy, and we usually reach this stage of doneness after 25 minutes. If you want something more meltingly tender, continue to roast the cabbage, checking it every 5 minutes, until you get the result you like.
- You can serve roast cabbage hot from the oven, or let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes. It’s good either way.
- You can roast cabbage (or almost any vegetable) at oven temperatures ranging from 300 to 500 degrees F. For this dish, we prefer 350. If you use a lower temperature, it will take a bit longer to cook (and of course at higher temperatures it’ll take less time).
- For roasting, many cooks like to cut cabbage into either wedges or round “steaks” (with a thickness of about an inch). If this idea appeals, cut the cabbage into your preferred shape, brush olive oil on the cut sides, sprinkle on some salt and pepper, then roast the cabbage at 400 degrees (or whatever temperature you like; but for wedges in particular, we like 400 F).
- Molly Stevens’ recipe is a bit more elaborate than ours. She skips the olive oil and instead melts butter. Then she crushes some caraway and mustard seeds, adds them to the butter, and tosses the cabbage with the mixture. She also recommends adding some grated Gouda cheese at table. The result? Really good stuff.
- As her recipe suggests, you can add a variety of spice and/or herb mixtures to roast cabbage. Dried thyme is nice, as is fresh rosemary. Caraway and cabbage always pair well. You could also crush a garlic clove or two and add it to the cabbage mixture.
- We generally use Kosher salt in our cooking. Kosher is coarser than regular table salt, so it doesn’t seem as “salty” by volume. If you’re using regular table salt, use about half the amount we suggest.
- Cabbage and corned beef make a classic pairing (and roast cabbage would work wonderfully well for your St. Pat’s Day feast).
- But we like roast cabbage even better when served with pork chops, roast pork, or roast duck. It would also pair well with a flavorful fish like salmon.
- Cabbage is also delicious when Braised or Steamed.
Making Cabbage King
“The time has come,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs, “to talk of many things. Such as the best way to prepare cabbage.”
“Which this is,” I said. “Roasting makes it almost a new veggie.”
“Wonder why it took you so long to cabbage onto this method,” said Mrs K R.
“Don’t know,” I confessed. “It’s not like I just fell off the cabbage truck when it comes to roasting veggies.”
“Guess you were just a slaw poke,” she said.
True. But now I’m a cabbage patch kid.
You may also enjoy reading about:
Corned Beef Hash
Roast Sweet Potatoes
Roast Belgian Endive
Roast Brussels Sprouts
Or check out the index for more recipes
Good morning John , love cabbage , bought some Savory cabbage yesterday and thanks to you this dish will be on the dinner table Friday . I only you Kosher salt and it do make a difference in taste . Thanks for sharing :)
Hi Nee, Savoy cabbage is so nice, isn't it? I made this with regular cabbage, but Savoy would be even better. Thanks for the comment.
I can't say that I have ever thought to roast cabbage. I do enjoy making it on top of store in a slow simmer and then browning it up at the end. I can't wait to try it this way with a bit of caraway seeds and yes, olive oil. I can already imagine the warm sweetened taste.
Roasted cabbage with a nice pork roast must be phenomenal!
Thank you so much for sharing John and thank you for the shout out and for joining us for Meatball Day. It was sooooo much fun! I will definitely be checking out Carol's when I get back from my last minute 2 day get-away. International Picnic Day is not to far away:) (On the spur of the moment I'm taking Marion away for a couple of days to enjoy this wonderful weather starting today!)
Hi Louise, hope you and Marion have a wonderful time! And looking forward to your annual Picnic Day virtual bash. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I like roasted cruciferous veggies, like Brussels sprouts and I am sure this would taste the same and it will be a nice side for a protein main dish.
Hi Shibi, Brussels sprouts are wonderful when roasted. And it really does make such a nice side. Thanks for the comment.
Wow, you always come up with the most interesting ways to cook vegetables! Love it, John.
I believe I haven't tried Roast cabbage before. This looks good.
I love Ca-Bage! It is only in the last few years that I keep it as a staple in my fridge. It has a million uses, but this is one I haven't tried! Can't wait it give it a go! And by the way, that was a spectacular picnic basket you created!
The humble cabbage is one of our favorite vegetables and I am always searching for new ways to prepare it. Thanks for another Riff. --Rocquie
I'm with you -- roasting is the way to go! And cabbage is under appreciated, but so versatile. One friend started using cabbage leaves instead of corn shells for tacos and using them a wrap for sandwiches. :)
I'd eat that whole plateful all by myself. It sounds wonderful!
Roasting! ROASTING! Never ever ONCE thought about it! But by tomorrow I will know all about it!
My aunt lived in an apartment building that had 4 apartments and it always smelled of boiled cabbage. We didn't visit often but when we did I would hold my nose from the door to their door so I didn't have to smell the cabbage. It took me YEARS to enjoy cabbage even in cole slaw. I love it now but I've never roasted it. I'm looking forward to trying this.
Hi Lizzy, this is really a good way to prepare cabbage -- you'll love it! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Peachy, cabbage is really good when roasted -- definitely worth a try, IMO. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Abbe, you should see all the good stuff I left out of the picnic basket because there wasn't room! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Rocquie, cabbage is such good stuff -- I can see why it's one of your favorites. You'll enjoy it roasted, too. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Low carb yet super tasty cabbage dish.
Hi Judy, I've toyed with the idea of using cabbage leaves for taco! Haven't tried it yet, though. But I will. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Chris, in truth, the two of us will devour an entire half roasted cabbage in one sitting! It's really good! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Alanna, this dish is totally you -- you'll love it. Thanks for the comment.
Terrific post, as always your recipes are fabulous! I love cabbage anyway it's prepared. I have not had the pleasure of reading any of Molly Stevens’ cookbooks. I will have to now that you recommended her books. I just made Sauerkraut for Sunday with a pork loin roast.I love it with pork as well and your version of roasted cabbage I am sure would be a wonderful addition to a pork loin. So simple and I would love the crispy part . Yes, Louise's Meatball day was fun to participate in and looking forward to her Picnic day! I will have to check out Carol over at Wild Goose Tea...Thanks for sharing and I will be making this delicious dish....
Have a glorious rest of the week..
Hi Maureen, I used to hate cabbage, too -- the odor! I don't know why people used to think they had to boil it to death, but they did. Roasting it is a better way to go. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Denise, it's funny, but it never occurred to me that this is a low carb dish -- but it is! Yet another virtue of cabbage. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Dottie, homemade sauerkraut is terrific stuff! I've eaten it, but never made it. I really should some day, shouldn't I? Thanks for the comment.
This is something I have not prepared but plan to change that ASAP.....I never have even considered roasting cabbage, who would have thought??? Thanks :)
Pretty much the only vegetables I've roasted we're root vegetables. Have never heard of roasted cabbage. Very interesting and your fabulous photos make it look quite appetizing. Bet this is good with a Savoy cabbage. Thanks for sharing this john!
It's so true -- cabbage is so under-appreciated. In the winter, it's especially awesome when the cold gets its sugars concentrated. Caramelizing it like you did really brings out its sweetness. Plus, cabbage keeps for a good amount of time in the veggie bin in your fridge. Perfect for nights when you're in a hurry to cook and didn't have time to stop at the grocery store.
Perfect for St. Patty's Day. A nice and different way to serve cabbage. xo Catherine
I agree. Cabbage indeed does not get the love it deserves. We cook cabbage a lot, and I personally love it. Love the simple flavors in this one.
I'm a cabbage patch kid but my husband hates it. I'm not allowed to bring cabbage into the house! His mother always served cabbage. It was as if it was the only vegetable available. And now he says he's scarred for life. I've never roasted cabbage. Maybe I should try this and see if it brings some inner healing! xx
Hi Pat, roasting cabbage isn't that popular, but really should be. One of the nicest ways to prepare it, IMO (braising is another). Thanks for the comment.
Hi MJ, it's good with either Savoy or regular cabbage, although Savoy always seems to have a bit more sweetness to it. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Carolyn, cabbage really does store well in the refrigerator -- a real plus. We like it throughout the year, but it's really best during cold weather, IMO. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Catherine, this would be perfect for St. Pat's Day! Or really, any old day. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Minnie, this really is a simple dish -- the flavor of the cabbage comes through. But it's also fun to spice it up! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Charlie, a lot of people have bad experiences with cabbage. Roasted cabbage is almost a different veggie! As is braised. I'd definitely try for the inner healing! :-) Thanks for the comment.
roasting cabbage mellows its flavor and does make it sweet...this recipe is the best way to enjoy cabbage in a sublime way...love the lightly browned edges after it has roasted...simple,beautiful and yum dish...thanks so much :-)
Thanks for the recipe John...can you believe that I have never roasted cabbage? It looks great...I love the charred edge...yum!
Hope you are having a great week :)
Hi Kumar, those browned edges are wonderful! The best part. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Juliana, I can never get enough of the charred bits in roasted veggies! And this is a wonderful way to cook cabbage -- my new favorite. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
This sounds like an amazing way to cook veggies! How do you come up with these things?!
I am one of those who usually makes coleslaw from cabbage. I didn't know that it became sweeter when roasted. Must try it.
We roast vegetables all the time but I never thought to make cabbage this way. Thank you so much! We are cooked cabbage fans so I know this will be our new favorite! Have a wonderful weekend.
I can promise you that cabbage gets the love it deserves around here; not from anyone else in this house, but most assuredly from me. I love it raw, in slaw, cooked, and this way...roasted...sounds amazing. Definitely going to be trying this soon (perhaps at our St. Patrick's festivities, low-key as they may be.) thanks!
Woow , really great. I've never thought or seen such a recipe... I will try this for sure. Thanks
Hi Ashley, roasting is such a great way to cook veggies -- you'll discover hidden flavors! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Suzanne, roasting brings out a new dimension in cabbage -- really worth trying. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Tricia, isn't roasting veggies wonderful? A great way to prepare them. It took me ages to start roasting cabbage, too. I don't know why -- I roast almost every other veggie! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Shannon, I'll bet you'll love roasted cabbage! So much fun, and tremendous flavor. And you can spice it up any way you want -- it takes particularly well to Indian spices. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Amira, this really is good. Really easy, really flavorful, and it takes really well to whatever spices you want to throw at it. Thanks for the comment.
I never know what to do with cabbage, but this is a great idea. Love the char on it!
I love this kind of thing...I do a grilled red cabbage wedge thing that is one of my favorite side dishes!
You are 100% correct on cabbage not getting any love. I have incorporated it in various things for years. This a quickie way to really enjoy it. Thanks for making mention of my new picnic basket series. Your basket was outstanding.
I love cabbage and am actually one person who stops by the cabbage and picks one up :) I've never roasted it though so def a new one for me to try. Apart from the usual coleslaw, have you tried it curried? It's wonderful! I converted my non cabbage eater husband with some cabbage and ground beef curry. But, I am going to try this for sure! Thanks, John.
Hi Laura, the char is the best part! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Sue, I like to grill cabbage too! Looks so pretty. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Carol, glad you enjoyed the choices for the picnic basket. ;-) And roasting cabbage really is one of the easier ways to prepare it. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Nazneen, I have had curried cabbage -- terrific stuff! And roast cabbage takes well to Indian spices.:-) Thanks for the comment.
I love cabbage, but never really thought about roasting it. I'm thinking about it now, though I might just buy a cabbage this weekend. I'm always looking for new vegetables to put in our rotation and this recipe sounds like a winner! Thanks, John!
I love this! So simple and so SO good!
I can't say that I've ever had roasted cabbage, but have grilled lettuce and love that. I'll have to give this a try.
I have never eaten roasted cabbage! This idea is go great!
Hi Bill, roasting cabbage really is fun! Not to mention tasty. ;-) Definitely worth thinking about, IMO. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Mary, yup, I do simple really well. At least that's what Mrs KR always tells me. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Vicki, grilled lettuce is good stuff! This is similar, but more deeply flavored IMO. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Marcela, roasted cabbage really is a fun dish! We love the stuff. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi John, roasting any veggie makes it taste so much better, will have to try your method.
Hi Cheri, are roast veggies awesome? Haven't met one I didn't like! Thanks for the comment.
We we given several heads of cabbage from a relative who grew them last year and we're always trying to find new ways to enjoy them. We made tons of kraut, but roasted cabbage is such a delicious way to each this vegetable! Yours looks delicious!
Great idea John! I usually grill cabbage but I have never roasted it before. Your dish looks beautiful! I just love how naturally sweet and delicious cabbage becomes with grilling. I also grill red cabbage too and even Chinese cabbage and all are delicious. Thanks so much for your guidance and help on food photography. I know that is the next step for me to shoot tethered, raw and to purchase and teach myself how to use lightroom. Currently I am working on just getting my photo shots complete in between 40-60 shots, less is better. I want to streamline the process as room on my computer is going to be an issue, shooting raw. I like your dark table background and how that pulls out the golden brown cabbage roasted cabbage leaves. I like how your photos are always beautiful and not cluttered. They are simple and gorgeous!!! Love your style. Have a super weekend!
Hi Amy, roasting cabbage is a nice way to enjoy this veggie! Roasting brings out all of its best flavors, IMO. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Bam, grilling cabbage works really well too -- you get kinda/sorta the same flavor notes. There are pluses and minuses with Lightroom, and if your camera has a program that supports shooting tethered, you might want to try it that way first, rather than using Lightroom (Canon provides, or at least did, such a program for free; Nikon, which I shoot, does not). Lightroom does a whole bunch of stuff I don't much use, but the controls for raw conversion are really, really good -- easy and intuitive (once you figure out what you're doing). I don't like its catalog system, although all professional photographers seem to like it because of all the keywords, etc tools. Before you buy Lightroom do read about the catalog system -- every photo needs to be entered into the catalog before you can work on it (not a big deal -- if you shoot tethered it'll do it automatically). Lightroom drives some people nuts, so make sure you know what you're buying -- there are other programs out there that do a good job, too. If I had all my photos on my computer's hard drive I'd be out of room! After a period of time I export them to external drives (a main one and a backup). Anyway, thanks for those very kind words!
I love cabbage and agree - it doesn't get much love at all. Now, I thought I had had cabbage just about every way but I've never had it roasted - talk about a "slaw-poke"! :)
Cannot wait to try roasting a head the next time I get one!
I usually sauté my cabbage but I love the idea of roasting it. Great recipe.
Hi Shashi, we're slaw pokes together. ;-) We've only been roasting cabbage for a little bit -- but it's really wonderful. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Pam, I love sautéd cabbage! I think roasted is a bit better, but it's a tough call. Thanks for the comment.
I have to admit, I've never been a fan of cooked cabbage. However, I really am thinking to a meal my mom used to cook with cabbage stewed with some sort of meat all day long. I love fresh cabbage so this sounds like something between the over cooked and not cooked at all. Time to expand my horizons!
Hi Kathy, this is much, much closer to the not cooked at all kind. I've been there with you on the overcooked stuff -- not fun, is it? I hated cabbage for years. Until I had it properly cooked. This is definitely worth trying. And if you're worried about overcooking, just set the timer for 15 minutes, and start testing at that point. Thanks for the comment.
I agree with Maureen. Boiled cabbage (much like boiled Brussels sprouts) can smell so sulphurous that it took me quite a few years to warm up to the idea of trying them. However, once I discovered roasted Brussels Sprouts they quickly became a favorite vegetable. It seems like that roasted cabbage will soon join that list of favorites. GREG
Hi Greg, my favorite way to prepare Brussels sprouts is to roast them. Incredible flavor! Roast cabbage is equally good -- I'll bet you'll really like it. Thanks for the comment.
Such a beautiful side dish. I roasted cabbage last night and it was so good. A recipe from Food and Wine using apple cider and apple cider vinegar. It was out of this world. Tis the season.
Excellent post. I'm not much of a cabbage fan (outside of soup), but I love roasted anything.
I assume next week you'll be posting a recipe for shoes, and ships, and sealing wax?
Hi Lea Ann, love the idea of using apple cider/vinegar! I'll have to look up that recipe. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Beth, LOL! I'll have to work on that! Thanks for the comment.
John, sometime the simplest is the best. I've never roasted cabbage, but I can imagine how good it can be.
Nice and simple recipe, really good for a side dish
Hi Asha, simple often is the best, isn't it? Good thing, because I'm simple. :D Thanks for the comment.
Hi Raymund, this really is good stuff -- very tasty. Thanks for the comment.
I love raw cabbage, but cooked? Not so much. Roasting it seems like it might be a good route for me to try, since I love roasted vegetables. Thanks for the recipe.
Hi Pamela, I used to really dislike cooked cabbage too. That's until I learned how to cook it! Which is -- don't cook it to death. ;-) I'll bet you'll really like roast cabbage -- it's like a whole 'nother vegetable. Thanks for the comment.
Hello John, I am following up on all of these ideas you have suggested and have just downloaded more Canon software and hoping this can pave the way for me. Just getting used to all of the new things takes a bit of time...
I just had one of my backup hard drives bite the dust so redundancy is always the key. Thanks for your photography help!
Hi Bam, I don't have experience with the Canon software, but understand it's pretty good. That's a great place to start! It's a pain when your backup drives fail! I have dual backups, and just started backing up to the Cloud, too. That takes quite some time, but it's an extra layer of protection.
This reminds me of grilled Romaine; it's hard to imagine how fabulous it is just from the description but fabulous it is and I bet this is too. I actually love cabbage; in slaws both cold and warm especially because they are relatively quick. This fits in that realm; I have to try it!
Hi Barb, this is somewhat similar to grilled Romaine, but even better (if you can believe that!). What I call really good stuff. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
How wonderful John, I was just looking for a different idea for cabbage and this sounds perfect now that it is Autumn and we have had enough coleslaw varieties through summer. I think you could even serve it as a taco topping, shredded pork, avocado, tomato and roasted cabbage. Thanks :)
Hi Merryn, roast cabbage is versatile stuff! It'd be a great taco topping -- excellent idea. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
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