Often purchased with great intentions, a head of cabbage is one of those ingredients that is hard to use up in just one recipe. Instead of leaving the leftovers to wilt in your fridge, give one of these fast and easy meal ideas a try.
How to shred cabbage: Cut a head of cabbage into quarters, remove and discard the cores and use a sharp knife to slice each piece into shreds. Slicing horizontally will give you shorter ribbons, while slicing vertically yields longer ones.
1. Turn it into a slaw: This classic crunchy salad is super easy to prepare and the ideal side dish for meat, fish or tofu. Toss shredded cabbage into a large bowl with a tangy oil-and-vinegar blend or any mayonnaise-based dressing. Other raw vegetables, such as carrot, celery or radish, are tasty candidates to shred and stir in, too. Bonus: It’s easy to personalize your slaw with fresh herbs, nuts or even chopped apples for extra flavour and texture.
Try it: Asian-Style Grilled Chicken Slaw
2. Pickle it: Making a quick fridge-friendly pickle prolongs cabbage’s life without the intricacies of shelf-stable canning. Use it as a sandwich or tacotopping, or as a fresh garnish for seared fish or chicken. Pickled cabbage also makes a surprisingly tasty addition to a cheese platter—the acidity nicely complements both rich and sharp cheeses.
Try it: Quick Pickled Slaw
3. Add it to soups: Stir chopped or shredded cabbage into a variety of soups to add bulk and a hearty flavour. For an eastern European–style soup, start with chicken broth and toss in cabbage, chopped cooked potatoes, diced kielbasa sausage and chopped dill; serve it with a dollop of sour cream. Or make an Asian-inspired cabbage soup with a soy- or mushroom-based broth, noodles, cabbage, carrots and thinly sliced green onions.
Try it: Make Fall Minestrone with Turkey & Squash, using shredded cabbage in place of the broccoli.
4. Stir it into stir-fries: Chopped cabbage adds a pleasing crunch to everyday stir-fries. Add it to the pan near the end of cooking and stir-fry until tender-crisp. Mix in your favourite sauce and serve over steamed white rice. Top your dish with toasted sesame seeds, a little chopped cilantro and a lime wedge. You can also use shredded cabbage when making homemade fried rice.
Try it: Make our Teriyaki Stir-Fry and add shredded cabbage in with the other vegetables.
5. Swap it for lettuce: Finely shredded cabbage makes a delicious substitute for iceberg lettuce. Use it in sandwiches, wraps, tacos or salads. You can also try it as a pizza topper.
6. Load it onto a baked potato: For an easy, vegetable-rich meal that tastes like comfort food, top baked sweet potatoes with drained and rinsed kidney beans, a pile of chopped or shredded cabbage, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of cheese, bacon or your favourite nuts.
7. Add texture to meat-based dishes: Sauté shredded cabbage with garlic and dried parsley until the mixture softens. Let it cool slightly, and then add it to meatballs, meatloaf or a casserole. Sautéed cabbage is tasty in lasagna, too. Simply stir it into the tomato sauce and sprinkle in dried basil or oregano for flavour. Using cabbage is an easy way to bulk up your veggie intake and further stretch your meat budget.
Try it: Add shredded cabbage to our Basic Meatloaf with Creamy Tomato Sauce.
8. Load it up with delicious fillings: The cabbage’s inner leaves make a sturdy substitute for burger buns and tortilla wraps. You can also try them as cups for holding meats, cheeses and other favourite sandwich stuff.
Try it: Serve our Ultimate Burger on cabbage leaves instead of Kaiser rolls.