This red cabbage recipe is simply the best. Deliciously crispy edges, perfect caramelization, and a smooth heart that melts in your mouth. Plus it only takes minutes to prepare and 4 ingredients (cabbage, olive oil, salt and pepper).
The benefits of red cabbage
I have always been a big fan of red cabbage. Or what some people call purple cabbage – which is a more accurate descriptor. Not only is it nutrient-rich and budget-friendly, but it boasts a wealth of plant compounds with a wide range of health benefits These include reduced inflammation, a healthier heart, stronger bones, improved gut function, and perhaps even a lower risk of certain cancers.
Plus, red cabbage fascinates me on a metaphysical level… I love the way it looks when you slice it open. Sometimes, I see an angel, for instance. Sometimes a spider. Or just a tree… You never know what your cabbage has in store for you!
Why is this the best red cabbage recipe?
The secret is this: the cabbage wedges are first seared in a cast iron pan then finished in the oven.
I have tried just roasting the wedges in the oven, but the inside never gets cooked enough (or if it does, the outside is literally burnt). I have tried just braising it on the stove top, but that doesn’t produce the crispy edges I like.
Searing in a cast iron pan (or an oven-safe stainless steel pan) guarantees the outer caramelization, and finishing in the oven ensures the insides are perfectly cooked.
How to make the best caramelized cabbage
Only 4 ingredients: cabbage, olive oil, salt and pepper. Just a few steps for a perfect result! What more do you want?
First, slice your cabbage into wedges. Keep the core intact so the leaves stay attached. It makes it easier to flip them over. Cut half a cabbage head into 8 wedges for the perfect thickness – that way, the inside will cook perfectly.
Next, preheat your pan over medium high heat for a few minutes (this will ensure a nice sear). Add some olive oil to the pan and carefully place half of the wedges in the pan. About 3 minutes per side should do it, but there’s nothing like a little peak to let you know if they are ready to flip. Reserve them to a plate while you sear the last four wedges.
Finally, turn your stove top off, add the reserved wedges back to the pan, nestling them between the others. Place the pan in the oven and bake 20 minutes.
In short, this simple red cabbage recipe is a must-try! I don’t know about you, but looking at these nicely crisped edges just makes my mouth water. Wait until you hear all the oohs and aahs around the dinner table!
Other recipes to try
Somewhere over the rainbow there’s a salad
Best red cabbage recipe
- 1/2 red cabbage
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cut cabbage into 8 wedges. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large cast iron pan over medium high heat.
- Add 3 tbsp olive oil and half of the cabbage wedges. Cook 3 minutes on each side until nicely seared. Reserve to a plate.
- Add the last tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and the second half of the cabbage wedges. Sear both sides like the first batch.
- Once done, turn the heat off and nestle the first batch of wedges back into the pan.
- Place in the oven and bake 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the pan rest in the oven for 5 minutes. The cabbage will continue softening and caramelizing.
- Serve warm.
Incredibly delicious! A wonderful side dish for many meals as the flavor is mild and will not detract from the main attraction!