Boiled Cabbage Recipe [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 7 reviews

Appetizers Cabbage Recipes Keto Recipes Side Dishes Vegetarian

Cook time Cook time: 20 minutes

Boiled Cabbage is buttery and almost melts in your mouth with a bright vegetable flavor. So easy and healthy, it makes for the perfect side dish!

Sometimes, the most delicious way to prepare veggies is to keep it simple, like in these Roasted Spaghetti Squash, Steamed Broccoli, and Roasted Cauliflower!

How to Boil Cabbage

Boiled Cabbage never used to be my first choice when it came to sides. Until I tried this recipe, I never thought this basic dish can actually be this flavorful. 

The recipe begins by boiling the veggies, which turns them really tender and a beautiful green. It’s tossed gently in butter, then served with a splash of lemon, herb, and crushed pepper. So simple and unbelievably delicious! 

How many types of cabbage there are?

400+ varieties exist in the world, but you’ll come across four main types in American stores. 

These are green cabbage (the most common variety!), purple or red, Savoy (set apart by its crinkly and dark green leaves), and Napa (aka Chinese variety, with an oblong shape and yellow-green color).

Is boiled cabbage good for you?

Incredibly so. It’s super low in calories, fat, and carbs. The quick boiling process allows it to retain most of its nutrients. 

Just half a cup already contains 35% of the daily vitamin C you need! It’s also packed with fiber, vitamin K and B6, minerals like folate and manganese, plus protein. 

It’s also great for weight loss, because not only is it nutritious, but it also makes you feel full faster. Eat as much as you want, as often as you like!

How long does it take to boil cabbage?

8 to 10 minutes each side is the sweet spot because the wedges become tender with a slight crispness. Any longer, and you risk overcooking the veggies. 

How do you make boiled cabbage from scratch?

  1. Prepare. Slice the rinsed head into 6 evenly-sized pieces.
  2. Cook. Boil lightly-salted water, a half-inch deep. Swirl in a half teaspoon of salt, then arrange the vegetables in the boiling liquid. Lower to a simmer and cook for up to 8 to 10 minutes. Turn the slices, then finish simmering for 8 minutes more or until tender.
  3. Butter and season. Toss out all the water, then evaporate all the remaining moisture over low heat. Add your melted butter and coat every slice thoroughly. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and kosher salt.
  4. Serve. Enjoy hot garnished with lemon slices, crushed pepper, and parsley.

Recipe variations:

  • Boil in broth: Use stock instead of water for more flavor. 
  • Try other seasonings: After adding the butter, sprinkle with some Italian seasoning, lemon pepper, Old Bay, or Cajun seasoning for a southern twist. 
  • Add bacon: Everything’s better with bacon! Use bacon fat in place of butter, and add crumbled bacon bits to the vegetables.
  • Chop it smaller: Instead of wedges, chop them into 1-inch chunks instead if you wish.

Is it better to boil or steam cabbage?

Either is fine! However, boiling is better for chunkier wedges, because they cook evenly. Steaming is perfect for shredded pieces. You can also steam wedges, but they’ll take a bit longer.

What cabbage is best for boiling?

I prefer the regular green variety because the bright green color is just so gorgeous. Boiling also coaxes out the vegetable’s innate sweetness.

How long does it take to boil a whole head of cabbage?

Sliced into wedges, it takes around 20 minutes more or less to boil an entire head until it’s tender and perfectly done. 

It also depends on how big your slices are, so adjust the boiling time based on their size.

What can you do with boiled cabbage?

You can eat it as-is for a very light meal! It’s also delicious as a side for most proteins, like these Grilled Pork Chops, Baked Chicken Thighs, and Garlic Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon. You can also slice some Grilled Chicken Breasts and serve them with a couple of buttery wedges on the side!

How to store:

Cool fully before transferring to an air-tight container. Place in your refrigerator, and consume within 3 to 4 days. The earlier you finish it, the better the taste and texture!

Can you reheat boiled cabbage?

Yes. Do it in a cooking pan with a sprinkle of water, over medium heat, until hot. You can also microwave it for a few seconds.

Can I freeze cabbage?

Yes. Once it’s fully cool, transfer to a freezer-friendly container with an air-tight seal. Freeze for up to 3 months.

More Cabbage Recipes:

Recipe Tips:

  • Don’t cut out the core, because they will keep the wedges together. 
  • Once the slices are coated, try increasing the heat to medium and let the surface brown and caramelize.
  • Don’t forget to salt the water while boiling, and again when you place the vegetables in it.
boiled cabbage

Boiled Cabbage Recipe

Boiled Cabbage is buttery and almost melts in your mouth with a bright vegetable flavor. So easy and healthy, it makes for the perfect side dish!
5 from 7 votes
Save Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 126kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet


  • 1 medium head cabbage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 4 lemon wedges


  • Rinse the cabbage remove the visible bad leaves and cut it into 6 wedges.
  • Add about 1/2 to 1 inch of lightly salted water to a large deep skillet or Dutch oven, and bring to a boil.
  • Add the cabbage wedges and the 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Turn cabbage on the other side, work gently, and simmer for an additional 8 to 10 minutes or until tender.
  • Discard the water and return the pan to the stove over low heat, until the moisture has evaporated entirely.
  • Add the melted butter and gently toss the cabbage to coat.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with lemon wedges and garnished with parsley.



Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 291mg | Potassium: 357mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 478IU | Vitamin C: 94mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1mg
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Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert

This Boiled Cabbage is couldn't look any more perfect!



I've never had boiled cabbage this delicious before!



My kid's favorite vegetable is cabbage. I find it so weird. But I've never buttered it up! Totally trying that next time.



This looks so delicious and tasty! I can't wait to give this a try! My husband is going to love this!


Sara Welch

Served this with dinner last night and it didn't disappoint! So easy and delicious; the whole family loved them!


Patricia @ Grab a Plate

What a great side dish that's healthy, too! This looks quiet easy to make, which is even better!



Thank you so much for the tips! This has been one of our favorite side dishes!


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