World’s Best Braised Green Cabbage

One of the most dog-eared cookbooks on my shelf is Molly Stevens’s All About Braising, and my favorite recipe in it is for the “World’s Best Braised Green Cabbage.” It transforms a humble cabbage into a tender, savory, vegetable showstopper!

A side shot of oven braised green cabbage, sliced carrot coins, caramelized red onions, and topped with aged balsamic vinegar. There is a red banner at the bottom that reads: paleo, Whole30, gluten-free, low carb, vegan

Braising cabbage—cooking it in some fat and a bit of liquid in a closed cooking vessel until it’s meltingly tender—is a magical example of how patience pays off.

My adapted Whole30-friendly version of this braised cabbage recipe is a mainstay in my arsenal of vegetable sides for good reason: it transforms a lowly vegetable into a dish worth oohing and aahing over.

Yes, it takes hours from start to finish, but the total prep time is only 10 to 15 minutes. Plus, this braised cabbage side dish makes your house smell irresistibly yummy.

Ingredients

  • Cabbage: The best cabbage to use for this dish is an inexpensive green cabbage. Try to get one that’s about 2 pounds—any larger and the wedges won’t fit in a standard 9 x 11-inch casserole pan. No green cabbage? Savoy and red cabbage also work great in this dish.
  • Red onion: Thick slices of red onion add a touch of color and sweetness to this dish. If you don’t have red onions, you can use yellow or white onions or shallots. Don’t slice the onions too thinly or they may burn.
  • Carrots: Carrots pair perfectly with the cabbage and onion. Besides, everyone has a couple of carrots languishing in the crisper that need to be cooked up before they get too bendy. Don’t have any or hate carrots? Just leave them out!
  • Broth: Even though this recipe calls for only ¼ cup of broth, the quality of broth you use is important because it infuses the whole dish. I like to use homemade chicken bone broth or a high quality store-bought broth (Roli Roti Butcher’s Bone Broth is one of my faves). If you want to make this dish vegan, use a great vegetable broth.
  • Fat: Don’t skimp on the fat in this dish—it’s one of the reasons it tastes so dang good. I normally use a high quality extra virgin olive oil, but melted ghee, lard, duck fat, or coconut oil also taste delicious.
  • Seasoning: Nothing fancy—just salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper (for an optional fiery kick).
  • Acid: Splashing on a drizzle of aged balsamic acid right before serving this dish helps to perk up this comforting dish. Other acid options include sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

An overhead shot of the world's best braised green cabbage, carrot coins, and sliced onions in an oval casserole pan. Two hands are holding the handles with towels.

Make-Ahead Instructions

You can definitely cook this dish ahead of time, store it in the fridge, and reheat it just before serving it. Here’s how: braise the cabbage for 2 hours in the oven and then take it out before the final step (in which the cabbage gets browned, uncovered, at a higher heat). At this point, you can keep the braised cabbage in the fridge for up to 4 days. When you’re ready to serve the dish, pop it in a hot oven to brown the top and add the balsamic acid right before you eat it.

An overhead closeup shot of braised cabbage, carrots, and onions ready to serve.

What Do You Serve With This?

This braised cabbage dish tastes great with anything meaty! Some ideas include: Instant Pot Beef Stew, Instant Pot Magic Pork, Ollie’s Cracklin’ Chicken, and the Perfect Steak. I also love to eat leftover cabbage with a couple of crispy fried eggs for breakfast.

How to Make World’s Best Braised Green Cabbage!

Heat oven to 325°F / 163°C with the rack in the middle. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish or casserole pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil or melted fat.

A hand is using a silicone brush to coat an enamel cast iron casserole pan with extra virgin olive oil

Lop off the tough stem end of the cabbage and divide it into 6 to 8 wedges, keeping the core attached.

An overhead shot of someone cutting up a green cabbage into 8 wedges on a wooden cutting board

Place the cabbage pieces in a single layer in the greased dish – a little overlap is okay.

Overhead shot of someone arranging green cabbage wedges in an oval casserole pan.

Toss on the onions and carrots and drizzle with broth and the melted fat.

Someone in a gray apron is pouring olive oil from a liquid measuring cup onto a casserole pan filled with cabbage wedges, carrots, and onions.

Season well with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper (if using). 

An Asian woman in glasses is adding freshly ground black pepper from a Peppermill to a casserole pan filled with cabbage wedges, carrots, and onions.

Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven.

A brunette woman is placing a foil covered casserole pan filled with braised cabbage into an open oven

Braise the cabbage undisturbed for 1 hour. Crack open the foil cover and carefully flip the wedges over.

Metal tongs are turning over wedges of braised cabbage in a casserole dish

Reseal the dish tightly and braise in the oven for another hour or until fork-tender.

A gloved hand is placing a foil covered casserole filled with braised cabbage in an open oven

At this point, you can remove the cabbage to cool and store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it (up to 4 days).

Removing foil from a casserole pan filled with braised cabbage out of the oven.

If you’re eating it right away or whenever you’re ready to serve it, crank the oven up to 425°F / 218 °C and bake until browned (about 15 minutes).

Removing braised cabbage from the oven to serve.

Drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar and serve!

An Asian woman in a gray apron is pouring balsamic vinegar on braised cabbage right out of the oven.

[Originally posted on October 20, 2010. Updated with new information and photos on March 18, 2021.]


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013) and Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017)!


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An overhead shot of the world's best braised green cabbage, carrot coins, and sliced onions in an oval casserole pan. Two hands are holding the handles with towels.

Print Recipe

5 from 3 votes

World’s Best Braised Cabbage

Molly Steven’s recipe for the World’s Best Braised Cabbage, is an amazing Whole30-friendly vegetable side dish that makes the lowly cabbage a star in its own right. It reheats great so make it ahead!

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time2 hrs 15 mins

Total Time2 hrs 30 mins

Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: American

Keyword: cabbage, gluten-free, low carb, nom nom paleo, nomnompaleo, paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole30

Servings: 4 people

Calories: 271kcal

Author: Michelle Tam

Ingredients

For greasing the baking dish

For the cabbage dish

Instructions 

Notes

You can definitely cook this dish ahead of time, store it in the fridge, and reheat it when you’re going to serve it. You can braise the cabbage for two hours in the oven and then take it out before the final step where the cabbage gets browned, uncovered, at a higher heat. At this point, you can keep the braised cabbage in the fridge for up to 4 days. When you’re ready to serve the dish, pop it in a hot oven to brown the top and add the balsamic acid right before you eat it.

Nutrition

Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 11g

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