Sautéed Cabbage


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Sautéed cabbage is a simple side dish that has more flavor than you’d imagine. Sliced cabbage is tossed in ghee, garlic, and onions, then caramelized until golden brown. It’s absolutely delicious and I guarantee you’ll go back for seconds.

Sauteed cabbage in a pan on a table.

If you haven’t experimented with cabbage much, now’s the time. Aside from being shredded into coleslaw or slow-baked in the oven, it tastes amazing sautéed. The cabbage slices become meltingly tender with slightly crispy caramelized edges.

And when you cook it with garlic and onions, it makes for a warm, fragrant and delicious side dish. Not to mention, perfect for any of your Saint Patrick’s Day festivities!

What Type Of Cabbage To Use

Cabbage comes in many forms, from savoy to green to red. But for this recipe, you’ll want to grab a head of green cabbage. This is commonly used across various recipes, from salads to slaws to stir-fries. And when it’s cooked through long enough, it’s natural sweetness will come out.

Cabbage should feel heavy in size, with tightly packed leaves. You’ll also want to avoid any signs of discoloration.

Which to Use: Butter, Oil or Ghee

After trying this recipe a few different ways, I have to say that my favorite method is with ghee.

If you saute too long with butter it can easily burn and olive oil doesn’t have as sweet a flavor. You could do a combination of butter and oil (the higher smoke point of the oil prevents the butter from burning). But at that point I say just use ghee. Ghee has a high smoke point, won’t burn and you’ll get that delicious buttery flavor.

Making sauteed cabbage in a pan on the stove.

How To Make Sautéed Cabbage

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s fast and easy. Here’s how you make it:

  1. Prep the cabbage and onion. Cut the cabbage in half, slice out the core and chop into thin slices. Then chop the onion into slices.
  2. Cook the onions and garlic. Add the ghee to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions for a minute or until starting to soften. Then add the garlic and stir again.
  3. Cook the cabbage. Add the cabbage to the skillet and sauté for about 12-15 minutes. Stir the cabbage occasionally, until it becomes soft and caramelized.
  4. Season. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
  5. Serve. Remove the skillet from heat and serve immediately.
A pan of sauteed cabbage with tongs.

What Pairs Well With Sautéed Cabbage?

Before you sauté the cabbage, you’ll need to prep a main entree first. I recommend either chicken, pork, or lamb, which will complement this recipe. Here are a few of my favorites:

Tongs picking up a serving of sauteed cabbage.

More Savory Side Dish Recipes

Need more side dish ideas? These recipes are hearty and bursting with savory flavors.

And if you love this recipe….you’ll be over-the-moon for my fried cabbage recipe with bacon, spices and mustard.

Sauteed Cabbage (Easy & Healthy)

4.99 from 57 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Sauteed cabbage is a simple side dish that's full of flavor. Sliced cabbage is tossed in garlic, butter and onions, then caramelized into a golden brown.


  • 1 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoon ghee, or a blend of butter and olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Cut the cabbage in half, remove the core and chop into thin slices. Then chop the onions into slices.
  • Melt the ghee in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute the onions for a minute or until just starting to soften. Then add in the minced garlic and stir again.
  • Add the cabbage and saute for about 12-15 minutes. During this time, stir the cabbage occasionally until the cabbage becomes soft and caramelized.
  • Before serving, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.

Lisa’s Tips

  • Because the cabbage may take up most of your pan, it’s easiest to stir the cabbage with tongs. You could also saute the cabbage in batches if your pan isn’t big enough. But cabbage, similar to spinach, will wilt down once it cooks.


Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 229mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 117IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: Sauteed cabbage, sauteed cabbage recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Am just coming up with a dish that’s part of a project by the school. Hope it’s going to help me get the credits I need in order to pass.5 stars

  2. This was good, quick and easy. Didn’t know what to make with the rest of cabbage in fridge. Added roasted pepper and garlic seasoning along with salt and pepper for a more savory taste. Family said i could make it again so that’s a plus…considering they were a bit skeptical at first.4 stars

  3. I loved this! Wish your nutritional facts included a serving size as I didn’t want to measure everything out to figure out what 1/6 was!5 stars

    1. Hi Heather – the serving size will depend on how big your cabbage was. But, you can estimate around 1 cup of cabbage per serving.

  4. I always make my cabbage this way, years ago an Italian man told be to do this, love the caramelized bits. Even people who do not like cabbage, I find, like it cooked this way.5 stars

  5. Sauté some colored bell peppers ( cubed) with cabbage or carrots 🥕 and peas. Add some turmeric and red chili powder and garnish with fresh or frozen grated coconut 🥥 at the end . Yum! 

  6. If you like cabbage, this is super simple and delicious. I always sprinkle a little bit of fennel seed in with mine while sautéing. You would be surprised what a great little flavor boost it gives.5 stars

  7. Ridiculously easy and super flavorful! Followed the recipe exactly, using a blend of oil and butter. Next time, I’ll try 10-12 minutes to maintain a slight crunch. Really great side!5 stars

  8. I made this as a side dish to leftover meatloaf, potatoes and carrots. It was a perfect compliment. I fried three pieces of pastured bacon and used some of the grease with a little butter. I crumbled the bacon on top to serve. Hubby loved it. It will go on our regular rotation. 5 stars

  9. Great recipe! Unfortunately, I bought my cabbage before finding your recipe. It’s important to use SMALL heads of cabbage. Mine was large and took too long to get tender. Nex time, I’ll be sure to get SMALL heads of cabbage. My husband has kidney disease, so I couldn’t use butter. Will definitely buy some ghee for the next batch.
    Thank you.

  10. Thank you this dish is Excellent! Followed the recipe and added some thyme at the end. Will be having again very soon.5 stars

    1. Love this! I added shaved carrot, fresh ginger, aged soy sauce, mirin, sesame seeds,and a sprig of fresh thyme as a garnish. Wish I could share a pic. Thanks for this!5 stars

      1. Loving all those additions Victor, sounds delicious! Also, I’d love for you to share any of your recipe creations in my private Facebook community group (if you’re not a part of it yet)!

  11. I made this and ended up adding some ground turkey for more of a hearty meal and it turned out great! I love Lisa’s recipes, I’m 24 and a lot of my friends still don’t know how to cook but I’ve made about 10 of her recipes now and kinda feel like I know what I’m doing :) 5 stars

    1. Happy to hear you’re learning how to cook from my channel! It’s all about utilizing wholesome ingredients with easy methods :)

  12. I made this exactly as written and it was delicious. I had a Vietnamese neighbor who gave me a recipe for homemade teriyaki sauce. We put this sauce on the cabbage and it was wonderful with grilled chicken breast.5 stars

  13. This is a wonderful recipe. I’m dealing with some health problems and I’m trying very hard to boost my immune system. So I’m looking for healthy options that are fairly easy to make. This fit the bill. Tastes so good and I’ve read that cabbage has wonderful health benefits. Thanks for this great recipe!5 stars

  14. This recipe helped me fall in love with cabbage. I never knew how to prepare it well, and this is it. The perfect side dish.5 stars

  15. Making this for the  second time tonight….SO good.  I think it speaks to the Hungarian in me : )
    Thank you for all your terrific, well-tested recipes Lisa!5 stars

    1. Hi Cristina – This is definitely a quick and easy side dish to keep on hand! It’s simple, but the flavors are so good :)

  16. This is one of the simplest yet most delicious side dishes I’ve ever made in my life! The texture and the flavor of the cabbage is unbelievable and I can’t wait to make it more times in the future! Keep up the good work Lisa!5 stars

    1. Hi Valentina – This really is a great recipe to keep on hand for a quick and delicious side dish! Tons of flavor comes out of the cabbage when it’s simply sauteed :)

  17. This is a dish that we had growing up as we had a garden to feed the community. Was a cheap delishes meal. Glad your opening eyes to it and it’s so healthy. I am 72.5 stars

    1. Hi Linda – Cabbage can sometimes, be a forgotten vegetable. But, it is such a great way to feed a large crowd and the flavors come naturally as you cook it!

  18. This was so easy to make and delicious! Cabbage is such a simple and cheap vegetable but unfortunately a lot of people steer away from it. This recipe is a game changer! My boyfriend who normally doesn’t like any kind of cabbage, could not stop eating this!

    As always Lisa’s recipe is clear and gives you the perfect result. Definitely will make tis again.5 stars

    1. Hi Eva – It definitely is a veggie that people tend to forget about, but has so much flavor and texture when cooked! Glad to hear both you and your boyfriend enjoyed this side dish :)

  19. This dish is so great and easy! I added some ground sausage and served it with some crusty bread with dijon mustard and it was so delicious!5 stars

    1. Hi Danielle – Sausage with cabbage is always a winning combination! Glad you enjoyed this one :)

  20. Made this tonight! Happy St Patty’s Day! It was super easy and delicious! Normally I would have just boiled the cabbage and added butter, salt and pepper. This has a nuttier, sweeter flavor. Yum!5 stars

    1. Hi Emily – So glad everyone enjoyed this recipe! It’s such a simple St. Patty’s day recipe :)

  21. Loved it! This was so easy to make. I tried it to taste it for salt and couldn’t stop eating it afterwards. Thank you Lisa!!5 stars

    1. Hi Brie – This really is such a simple and easy recipe that’s delicious enough to pair back with any meal :)

  22. Now why didn’t I ever think to sauté cabbage?!? We had this over the weekend and it was so perfect with pulled pork. I used sweet onion and ghee and yummmm!!!! Thank you Lisa!5 stars

    1. Hi Sasha – This dish will definitely taste amazing alongside my pulled pork! I’m so glad you enjoyed this dish though. Cabbage can often be overlooked, but once it’s simply sauteed – the flavors are amazing.

  23. Hi Lisa,

    many thanks for all of your recipes : )

     I have been sautéing cabbage with coconut oil for quite a while now and I always top it with a couple of easy over eggs … delicious ! sometimes I add mushrooms but will try your idea of adding onions next time !

    cheers … Claire5 stars

    1. Hi Claire – Yum! I love the addition of an egg on top or mushrooms. But definitely try it with onions – it gives it a sweet and delicious flavor :)

      1. I also like adding bean sprouts to mine. If you’re adventurous, try this as a topping on a hot dog. It’s the same concept as a Japadog.

    2. I know this will be my go to sauted cabbage. Usually I cook it with polish so had to find a healthier way to cook it. I usually will do half a cabbage and use other half for cabbage soup I’m sure sure I will love it. Great job5 stars

  24. Hi Lisa,
    I got a fresh cabbage from my sister-in-law’s farm. Can’t be fresher than that. Then I cooked the sauted cabbage not with ghee as I had only coconut oil in our rural upcountry home. It’s super easy to cook and tastes delicious. Will try to cook it back home in Mombasa-Kenya with ghee, but there’s a lovely taste with the coconut oil.
    There’s no receipe that didn’t come out right so far. I love your ideas as they bring a fresh wind into my international cuisine at home. I am from Switzerland originally.
    Best regards and keep it up.
    Dominique5 stars

    1. Hi Dominique – Ghee is just an option for this recipe, as you can also use oil if you’d like :) But I’m happy you enjoyed this dish overall! I love intertwining different cuisines from around the world, and I hope to do more international recipes soon.

  25. I made this the other night for dinner to pair with kielbasa sausage. They went together perfectly! That was also the night I discovered my husband doesn’t like cabbage (we have been together for 16 years and I didn’t know this), but guess what?! He loved Lisa’s cabbage! He said it tasted buttery and sinful, like you shouldn’t be eating it, cause its bad for you, but since it’s one of Lisa’s recipes, he knew it had to be healthy. He even took some for lunch the next day. This was very easy to make, and my first time using ghee. Thanks for getting me try new things! And thanks for another delicious recipe!5 stars

    1. Hi Christy – I love cabbage with kielbasa sausage! The flavors meld beautifully together. But I’m so glad I can continue to provide new inspiration for healthy recipes :)

  26. HI LIsa
    I have been watching a lot of your YouTube lately after I accidentally discovered your channel. I am always trying to improve my family’s overall health thru menus that I plan for my family every week. Your channel has given me more inspiration and purpose to do better. Thank you! I signed up my email address to receive weekly recipe but I haven’t been getting it. 5 stars

    1. Hi Lisa – So happy to hear that you’ve been learning tons of new things from Downshiftology and are able to apply it to your family’s everyday eating :) As for the weekly emails, it looks like you did receive the last email – which was the chicken fajitas :) I only send out emails once a week so if you don’t receive one by the end of the week, do check your spam/junk folder as well.

  27. Thank you so much for all the work you put into your recipes, blog, videos,shopping and the list goes on .I have a lot of health issue and was looking for someone with knowledge to help . I found that help in you . 
    Bless you !! 5 stars

    1. Hi Theresa – I am so happy to hear that I am able to help you when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle :)

  28. Hi Lisa, this sounds similar to something I used to make but it had Bacon in it. I will try this without Bacon first as it sound delicious as it is.

  29. This is so good! I sprinkled it with chili and lime and used it as a base for my taco salad!! Thanks for sharing 🤩!5 stars

  30. a really nice finishing touch on sauteed cabbage is a lovely splash of plum vinegar at the very end! If you don’t have plum vinegar, apple cider would do.5 stars