Make Easy-Peasy Boiled Cabbage with Just 4 Ingredients! (2024)

Cabbage is a versatile vegetable that makes a great side dish for everything from corned beef to roast chicken. It doesn't need much to make it tasty, either. This easy boiled cabbage recipe calls for just four ingredients—cabbage, butter, salt, and pepper—and it's done in about 25 minutes.

Make Easy-Peasy Boiled Cabbage with Just 4 Ingredients! (1)

Opt for Green or Savoy Cabbage

Use green or Savoy cabbage because they're the best cabbage varieties for boiling, becoming tender and sweet after cooking. Pick heads that feel firm and heavy in your hand. Pull off and discard any outer leaves that appear wilted, brown, or torn.

Boiled vs. Steamed Cabbage

Boiling is a traditional way to prepare cabbage, though steamed cabbage is another popular option. The two methods are really very similar—boiling cooks the cabbage in a few inches of water while steaming suspends the cabbage over the water in a steamer basket. Both methods result in fork-tender cabbage.

Why Is My Boiled Cabbage Smelly?

Boiled cabbage is notoriously smelly and steaming is often thought of as a less aromatic way to cook the vegetable. However, the pungent smell is actually the result of overcooking. Boil it just until tender, and you won't have a stinky kitchen.

How to Serve Boiled Cabbage

Once cooked, you can drizzle the cabbage wedges with a little cider vinegar, pepper vinegar sauce, or hot sauce if you like. Cooked cabbage is wonderful served alongside ham or roast chicken, and corned beef and cabbage is, of course, a popular dish on St. Patrick's Day or any time you need a hearty meal.

Tips on How to Cut Cabbage Into Perfect Wedges

  • Trim the cabbage—Remove and discard the outer leaves and excess stemfrom the cabbage and wash with water.
  • Halve the cabbage—After drying, stand the cabbage on its stem end on a cutting board and cut it in half.
  • Cut wedges—Lay a cabbage half down on a cut side and slice it into two, three, or four equal wedges, making sure each cut goes through the core to keep the wedge intact.
  • Learn more—About cabbage here.

Make Easy-Peasy Boiled Cabbage with Just 4 Ingredients! (2)

"An easy vegetable side dish can solve many weeknight suppertime woes. This cabbage is simple but delicious and fast. It pairs wonderfully with a seasoned protein, and there's plenty for leftovers." —Renae Wilson


  • 1 medium head cabbage

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt, more as needed

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Make Easy-Peasy Boiled Cabbage with Just 4 Ingredients! (3)

  2. Rinse 1 medium head cabbage in water, pat dry, then cut into 6 equal-sized wedges.

    Make Easy-Peasy Boiled Cabbage with Just 4 Ingredients! (4)

  3. Add about 1/2 inch of lightly salted water to a large skillet or Dutch oven. Cover, and bring to a boil. Add cabbage wedges and 1/2 teaspoon fine salt. Simmer, covered, until the cabbage begins to soften, 5 to 7 minutes.

    Make Easy-Peasy Boiled Cabbage with Just 4 Ingredients! (5)

  4. Turn the cabbage carefully, and continue to simmer until the cabbage is tender, an additional 5 minutes. The cabbage is ready when a small paring knife inserted into the thickest part of the cabbage near the core slides through easily.

    Make Easy-Peasy Boiled Cabbage with Just 4 Ingredients! (6)

  5. Drain the water and return the pan to low heat. Continue to cook, uncovered, until any remaining moisture has evaporated. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, turning the cabbage gently to coat.

    Make Easy-Peasy Boiled Cabbage with Just 4 Ingredients! (7)

  6. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve.

    Make Easy-Peasy Boiled Cabbage with Just 4 Ingredients! (8)

Feeling Adventurous? Try This:

  • Swap out the simmering liquid—Use chicken or vegetable broth in place of the water.
  • Swap out the seasoning—Replace the salt with about 1/2 teaspoon of Creole or Cajun seasoning or a seasoned salt blend. If the seasoning is salt-free, add salt to taste.
  • Spice it up—Drizzle the cabbage with store-bought or homemade hot sauce.

Is Boiled Cabbage Healthy?

Cabbage is packed with vitamins C and K and is a good source of potassium, magnesium, and phytonutrients. It's low in calories and fat, though the butter in this recipe adds both to the dish. Additionally, the insoluble fibers in cabbage can keep the digestive system healthy, and the soluble fiber and phytosterols may help reduce LDL cholesterol levels.

Helpful Links

  • How to Freeze Cabbage
  • What Is Green Cabbage?
  • Cheap Foods That Last a Long Time
  • Recipes for Beginners
  • Cooking Basics
  • Gluten-Free Food
  • Easter Side Dishes
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
8g Fat
12g Carbs
3g Protein


Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g10%
Saturated Fat 5g24%
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 254mg11%
Total Carbohydrate 12g4%
Dietary Fiber 4g15%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 79mg394%
Calcium 105mg8%
Iron 0mg2%
Potassium 420mg9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Recipe Tags:

  • cabbage
  • cooked cabbage
  • boiled cabbage
  • side dish
Make Easy-Peasy Boiled Cabbage with Just 4 Ingredients! (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dan Stracke

Last Updated:

Views: 5874

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (43 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dan Stracke

Birthday: 1992-08-25

Address: 2253 Brown Springs, East Alla, OH 38634-0309

Phone: +398735162064

Job: Investor Government Associate

Hobby: Shopping, LARPing, Scrapbooking, Surfing, Slacklining, Dance, Glassblowing

Introduction: My name is Dan Stracke, I am a homely, gleaming, glamorous, inquisitive, homely, gorgeous, light person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.