14 Easy And Delicious Red Cabbage Recipes

cabbage noodle salad
cabbage noodle salad - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Red cabbage doesn't often stand center stage in the kitchen, but that only makes it all the more versatile of an ingredient. As you'll quickly discover from this list, red cabbage is most commonly used as a slaw or in salads and is more commonly associated with Asian dishes — though it's far from exclusive.

How a dish looks is surprisingly important, and red cabbage provides great visuals for any meal thanks to its bright purple color. But looks aren't everything; red cabbage is also cherished for its crunchy mouthfeel, which works well both raw and cooked. It can get a little fibrous if served fully raw, but a little citrus is often enough to soften it up.

Of course, we can't forget how well red cabbage handles fermentation, which is why both sauerkraut and kimchi make good use of the stuff. Red cabbage is rarely ever cooked, though that is a perfectly fine way to enjoy it. Stir-fries and other veggie medley-type dishes are more typical for this. These 16 recipes showcase a wide range of what red cabbage is capable of and highlight its more typical uses, but it's far from a definitive list. There are quite a few side dishes here but there are also plenty of main courses in the second half to try out. The main courses tend to use red cabbage as a supplemental ingredient, which highlights the protein source, while the side plates often feature the cabbage more prominently.

Read more: 30 Healthy Snack Ideas That Won't Ruin Your Diet

Crunchy Purple Cabbage Salad

purple red cabbage salad
purple red cabbage salad - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Starting off simple, this crisp salad softens the sliced cabbage with a splash of red wine vinegar and olive oil. You also get a little variety with the addition of shredded carrots and diced red onion. It all comes together for a flavorful side dish that's perfect for any outdoor event or as a way to introduce some vegetables into a meat-heavy meal. Eating red cabbage raw like this is also a great way to preserve all of the nutrients that otherwise get cooked down.

Recipe: Crunchy Purple Cabbage Salad

Creamy Tangy Apple Slaw With Blue Cheese

apple cabbage slaw
apple cabbage slaw - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

If you find yourself craving big flavor with your red cabbage, this slaw recipe with blue cheese is sure to fill the void. This recipe also adds red onion and carrots but goes a step further with the addition of apple chunks, parsley, and delicious blue cheese. The inclusion of mayonnaise does mean that the dish has a slightly higher fat content, but it's still a perfectly healthy dish with the added benefit of being more appealing to those of us who would otherwise shy away from a salad.

Recipe: Creamy Tangy Apple Slaw With Blue Cheese

Grilled Cabbage And Mango Slaw

cabbage and mango slaw
cabbage and mango slaw - Rachel Vanni/Tasting Table

This slaw takes flavor in a different direction with a tropical twist. Both the cabbage and mango are grilled, which lends the dish a delectable char you can't miss out on. The slaw has a sweetness to it thanks to the mango, a bit of molasses, and a splash of orange juice, but the addition of jalapeño makes this a perfect choice for a crowd that likes a little heat. It comes together mighty quick as well, so there's really no reason to pass up on this one.

Recipe: Grilled Cabbage and Mango Slaw

Asian-Inspired Coleslaw

Asian coleslaw
Asian coleslaw - Catherine Brookes/Tasting Table

Here we have another great side dish that takes the classic coleslaw formula and gives it an Asian makeover by subbing in rice vinegar and soy sauce for the mayonnaise alongside a squeeze of fresh lime juice. The result is a bright, flavorful dish that's as healthy as it is tasty. You can even add some kick by chopping up and adding a serrano pepper. The combination of flavors makes it a great side to accompany other Asian dishes, like stir fry or bibimbap (which we have a recipe for further down).

Recipe: Asian-Inspired Coleslaw

Kale Slaw

kale cabbage slaw
kale cabbage slaw - Susan Olayinka/Tasting Table

Here's another slaw dish for you. This one stands out by placing kale at the forefront with red cabbage acting in a supporting role. Kale's texture can sometimes be too dense and fibrous for raw dishes like this, but there are tips you can follow when cooking with kale that will soften it up, like removing the stem and massaging the leaves. The apple cider vinegar in this recipe will also work to soften up the kale, elevating this slaw above and beyond. It's plenty healthy and comes together in a flash.

Recipe: Kale Slaw

BBQ Mushroom Sandwich With Carrot-Apple Slaw And Homemade Aioli

bbq mushroom sandwich slaw
bbq mushroom sandwich slaw - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

We have arrived at our first main dish, and boy, it does not disappoint. There is a good amount of prep work that goes into this beauty, but it's well worth the trouble. The red cabbage is a key component in the carrot-apple slaw, which sits on top of the mushroom patty made from shredded, baked portobello. Because of the long prep time, this is a great candidate for meal prep since you can make a big batch of each component and combine the ingredients when you eat.

Recipe: BBQ Mushroom Sandwich with Carrot-Apple Slaw and Homemade Aioli

Yum Yum Chicken Sliders

yum yum chicken sliders
yum yum chicken sliders - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Here's another great main dish recipe that similarly uses red cabbage in a slaw that tops the protein. This one gets a big flavor boost from the yum yum sauce, which is a key feature in some of the best dishes you can find in Japanese steakhouses and hibachi restaurants. Of course, the chicken is a star of the show here as well. It gets a buttermilk bath before being fried, which makes the chicken supremely succulent and tender. Combined with the slaw, this is one sandwich you won't want to miss.

Recipe: Yum Yum Chicken Sliders

Light And Fresh Spring Rolls

spring rolls
spring rolls - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

It's hard to beat a good spring roll, and this recipe delivers the goods. Red cabbage is joined by lettuce, carrot, bell pepper, mint, and cucumber for a supremely healthy handheld snack that the whole family can enjoy. Spring rolls are good on their own but they really shine when paired with a flavorful dip, such as peanut sauce. The entire cooking process is chop and roll, so you don't even need to be that good of a cook to make these spring rolls happen.

Recipe: Light And Fresh Spring Rolls

Best Duck Confit Tacos

duck confit cabbage tacos
duck confit cabbage tacos - Ksenia Prints/Tasting Table

Tacos are normally associated with Latin America, but these duck confit tacos give Taco Tuesday a French makeover. Duck confit originated in 19th century France, where it was used as a way to preserve meat. It has the added benefit of being downright delicious. The red cabbage is prepared as a slaw to top the duck alongside some spicy cranberry salsa. You can even add jalapeño if you want a little more bite. The dish goes great with white wine as well if you're interested in the whole package.

Recipe: Best Duck Confit Tacos

Gaji Mari (Korean-Style Eggplant Rolls)

gaji mari eggplant rolls
gaji mari eggplant rolls - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

If the spring rolls caught your eye but you were hoping for something a little more unique, these Korean-style eggplant rolls could be just what you're hoping for. The interior of the rolls is similar to a regular spring roll but, instead of the typical translucent wrapping, we use cooked slices of eggplant to hold it all together. This adds a healthy dose of umami to the dish, which is amplified even more if you dip it in soy sauce.

Recipe: Gaji Mari (Korean-Style Eggplant Rolls)

Vegetarian Bibimbap

vegetarian bibimbap mushrooms
vegetarian bibimbap mushrooms - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

It's not exactly unknown in the West, but bibimbap is criminally underrated all the same. This vegetarian version substitutes chunks of mushrooms in place of meat alongside cabbage, zucchini, and spinach for a healthy dinner served with rice. The flavor comes primarily from gochujang, which is arguably the greatest version of chili paste that currently exists; here are some extra facts about gochujang. The recipe says you can use it as a dip but you might prefer to smother the dish in the sauce for a more consistent flavor.

Recipe: Vegetarian Bibimbap

Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad

ramen noodle salad
ramen noodle salad - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

If you have a pack of instant ramen noodles that has been sitting in your pantry for a while, this recipe is a great opportunity to put it to use in a fun new way. Instead of boiling the noodles and dumping the seasoning packet in, we're going to break the noodles up and bake them with some almonds. When we add the noodles to the salad and toss it with the tangy dressing, we get a much healthier alternative that's full of flavor and has a pleasantly tactile mouthfeel.

Recipe: Crunchy Ramen Noodle Salad

Roasted Rutabaga And Eggplant Tacos

rutabaga eggplant tacos crema
rutabaga eggplant tacos crema - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

If you were looking at the duck confit tacos recipe and wishing there was a heavier focus on veggies, this recipe substitutes in the meaty flavors of roasted rutabaga and eggplant. The recipe is pretty simple seeing as the bulk of the cooking involves chopping up the veggies and placing them in the oven. Tacos are all about flavor and, while baked veggies are delicious, they aren't quite able to achieve the full-bodied taste we're looking for. That's why these tacos come topped with some cilantro lime crema for a rich mouthfeel and taste.

Recipe: Roasted Rutabaga And Eggplant Tacos

Winter Chicken And Vegetable Stir-Fry

chicken noodle stir fry
chicken noodle stir fry - Chanel Murphy/Tasting Table

Stir-fries are famously simple to make given how delicious they turn out, and this chicken and vegetable stir-fry is a great example. Although this version uses winter veggies, stir-fries are also very forgiving when it comes to substitution. Red cabbage shines here, but all of the veggies can be swapped out for whatever you have on hand, making this a versatile dish perfect for people who often have random leftover veggies piling up in their fridge. It's served over noodles with chicken, so you won't go hungry with this one.

Recipe: Winter Chicken And Vegetable Stir-Fry

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