our everyday life

How Do I Cook Cabbage on the Stove Top?

by Susan Lundman, studioD

Cabbage comes in an assortment of types, from loose and leafy savoy or Chinese cabbage to the tightly compact red or light green varieties All types work in dishes you cook on the stove top -- slaw is not your only cabbage option. Sauteing and grilling take only a few minutes, while braising may take up to 45 minutes. Make sure you wash cabbage thoroughly before cooking.

Skillet Cooking

Chop cabbage thinly into 1/4- to 1/2-inch shreds and place in a preheated skillet on medium-high heat; add 1 tablespoon. of oil for every 3 cups of cabbage.

Cook the cabbage until it is crisp-tender, about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring with a spatula frequently to begin with and letting the cabbage cook undisturbed toward the end of cooking so the edges get slightly browned. Cook until the cabbage is somewhat tender, but still has crunch.

Season the cabbage with salt and pepper to taste. Add a splash of vinegar, either cider or red wine, and stir to incorporate the seasonings before serving.


Dice an onion and saute it in oil in a Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat until it's soft. Add a small amount of chopped garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.

Turn the burner to low, add shredded cabbage to the pot and cook the cabbage for another 5 or 6 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock to the pot for every 3 cups of cabbage. Add seasoning, such as a bay leaf, salt and pepper, a dab of honey and a few splashes of any type of vinegar.

Cover the pot and cook the cabbage and liquid until the cabbage is soft, from 30 to 45 minutes. Serve immediately, or let the flavors meld together overnight in the refrigerator and rewarm on the stove the next day.

Skillet Grilling

Preheat a large skillet or grill pan on medium-high heat. When it's hot, add a generous amount of oil to the pan and swirl it to make sure the pan is well coated.

Cut a head of cabbage into quarters, keeping the leaves in each quarter together as best you can. Pat the cabbage dry with a clean dish towel or paper towels to minimize splattering once you put it in the pan.

Place the cabbage in the pan and let it cook undisturbed until it is charred in spots and begins to soften. Turn the cabbage with a spatula and cook on the second side. Each side may take 7 or 8 minutes to cook, depending on the size of the cabbage.

Remove the cabbage from the pan and cut out any portions of the core that have not cooked through. Sprinkle the quarters with salt, pepper and a splash of both olive oil and vinegar.

Items you will need
  •  Large skillet
  •  Large knife
  •  Cutting board
  •  Olive oil or vegetable oil
  •  Spatula
  •  Salt
  •  Pepper
  •  Vinegar
  •  Dutch oven or heavy pot and lid
  •  Chicken stock
  •  Onion
  •  Garlic
  •  Bay leaf
  •  Caraway seeds
  •  Honey
  •  Grill pan, optional


  • Add ingredients and flavorings to any cabbage dish, including apples, cooked or uncooked, bacon, blue cheese or brown sugar.


  • Inspect cabbage after cutting it in half or quarters to see if any worms are present. If so, soak the cabbage for 20 minutes in salt water, then rinse it thoroughly before finishing cooking.


  • The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion; Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst
  • One Big Table; Molly O'Neill
  • The Flavor Bible; Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
  • Recipetips.com: All About Cabbage

About the Author

Susan Lundman began writing about her passions of cooking, gardening, entertaining and recreation after working for a nonprofit agency, writing grants and researching child development issues. She has written professionally for six years since then. Lundman received her M.A. from Stanford University.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images