I have a steak of a different sort for you today! Crispy Roasted Cabbage Steaks. A whole head of cabbage that’s thickly sliced, then roasted until it’s tender and caramelized inside, browned and crispy the outside, and pick-it-off-the-pan addictive throughout, this easy side dish takes all of five minutes to prep and can be served with just about anything.
If you’ve been suspicious of cabbage up until this point, I hear you. And now, I’m going to change your mind.
Eaten raw, cabbage is bland and can even be bitter. Perhaps that’s why we so often douse it with mayo, rename it coleslaw, and shove it next to a pile of baked beans. (This healthy Asian Cabbage Salad is an mayo-free exception.)
It doesn’t (and shouldn’t!) be this way. Cabbage is related to Brussels sprouts (both are cruciferous vegetables), and they have similar qualities when cooked.
Boiled to death or left raw, they’ll leave you struggling to take a second bite (I’d argue that goopy coleslaw is an even more egregious crime, but we can save that debate for a different day).
Where raw cabbage can taste bitter, properly cooked cabbage is richly caramelized. Roasted or sautéed cabbage tastes most like roasted Brussels sprouts, but cabbage is more mild (it works perfectly in this easy Cabbage Stir Fry).
It wasn’t until I started my recent mini recipe project to come up with extra fast and easy vegetable side dishes, however, that I got the idea to use a head of cabbage to make cabbage steaks. (Roasted Frozen Broccoli is another tasty output of this no-prep side dish endeavor.)
Prepping a head of cabbage for cabbage steaks takes fewer than five minutes. You’re likely to have the cabbage ready before the oven is fully preheated.
Like our summer favorite Grilled Cauliflower Steaks (a similar, near zero-prep recipe), you can cook these cabbage steaks in the oven or on your grill. I’ve included ideas for both methods, along with some tasty tips and topping options.
How to Make Cabbage Steaks
- Green Cabbage. In addition to being undeniably tasty once roasted, cabbage contains numerous health benefits. It’s low in calories and packed with Vitamin-K, Vitamin-C, Vitamin-B6, folate, and fiber.
- Seasoning. Simple olive oil, salt, and pepper are all you need; for an extra punch of flavor, I also add chopped garlic.
- Nuts. An optional addition but HIGHLY recommended. Toasted pecans or walnuts add a wonderful nutty, crunchy element to your steaks.
- Lemon. The lemon is optional, but the acid does help offset some of the inherent bitterness of cruciferous veggies like cabbage, so if you don’t adore cabbage right out of the oven, this is a good way to transform it into something you’ll enjoy. (And if you like cabbage already, you’ll love it with the pop of lemon.)
- Toppings. Freshly grated Parmesan or fresh herbs make this recipe even more wonderful.
- Start with a small head of green cabbage. Slice it according to the “How to Cut Cabbage for Cabbage Steaks” tips below.
- Mix up the oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Brush it liberally over both sides.
- Cook the cabbage in the oven or on the grill; see below for tips for each method. Top as desired, and DIG IN!
How to Cut Cabbage for Cabbage Steaks
- After you’ve removed any dark, loose leaves, start by cutting off the bottom (root) end of the cabbage head. Then, place the newly flattened end onto your cutting board, so it’s stable.
- Cut the cabbage head from top to bottom, making 3/4- to 1-inch thick slices. I find it easiest to start at the center and work my way out.
How to Make Cabbage Steaks in the Oven – Cooking OPTION 1
- I love this method because it’s almost completely hands free!
- Use a high temperature for roasting; I recommend 400 degrees F.
- Rotate the pan 180 degrees halfway through the baking time; ovens are often hotter in the back, so this move promotes even cooking.
- The outside edges of the cabbage will be very dark and crispy. They’re absolutely delish and you should sneak them all off the pan and eat them before anyone notices.
How to Make Cabbage Steaks on the Grill – Cooking OPTION 2
- Prepare the cabbage just as with the oven method.
- Heat your grill to medium-high heat (around 400 to 425 degrees F). Lightly brush the grill with oil.
- Place each cabbage steak directly onto the grill.
- Let cook for about 5 minutes per side, until they’re crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
- Top as desired, and ENJOY!
How to Keep Cabbage From Tasting Bitter
Because of the organic compounds in cabbage that contain sulfur, it can occasionally have a slightly bitter taste. If you find that your cabbage steaks are a little bitter, here are a few ideas of how to combat it:
- Sugar. Sweetness will help offset the bitter flavors. Try adding a pinch of sugar to your cabbage, topping it with a drizzle of honey, or cooking and serving it alongside some sweet ingredients like garlic, yellow onions or bell peppers.
- Salt. Don’t skip the salt! Salt is essential for flavor and it can help mask the bitterness of cabbage in recipes like this one. If possible, don’t omit the salt.
- Lemon. While optional in this recipe, it plays a role in masking any bitter flavors in the cabbage and brightens it up. I know you’ll love the addition if you try it.
Tasty Recipe Options
- Cabbage Steaks with Cheese. For a nutty, salty note, I topped these baked cabbage steaks with Parmesan, and it was marvelous with the lemon. I suspect some sharp cheddar or Gruyere would also be tasty.
- Cabbage Steaks with Bacon. Sprinkle crumbled baked bacon over the top of your finished cabbage steaks (try swapping bacon with cheddar cheese for a loaded cabbage steak).
- Red Cabbage Steaks. Swap the green cabbage for red cabbage. The roasting times will be the same for green cabbage as for the red cabbage.
- Cabbage Steaks with Balsamic. Try this one with red cabbage! Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar to the mixture with the olive oil. Omit the lemon.
What to Eat with Cabbage Steaks
- Pork. Savory Crock Pot Pork Chops, simply grilled sausages, and Crockpot Ribs are all ideal with the cabbage steaks!
- Chicken. Try Crockpot Chicken and Potatoes or Rosemary Chicken Thighs with Apples and Brussels Sprouts.
- More Veggies. Serve these steaks as a hearty side for a vegetable main like Eggplant Lasagna or Portobello Mushroom Burger. They’re also substantial enough to be a meatless main on their own; try topping them with extra nuts to make them even more filling.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
- To Make Ahead. Slice your cabbage, and whisk together your olive oil mixture. Store both in separate airtight storage containers in the refrigerator up to 2 days in advance.
- To Store. Place leftover cabbage steaks in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- To Reheat. Reheat the steaks in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 4 minutes, placing them on a piece of aluminum foil that’s lightly coated with nonstick spray.
- To Freeze. Cabbage steaks can be frozen in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. The texture of the cabbage may change a little, but they will still be tasty!
Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe
- Rimmed Baking Sheets. Perfect for roasting the cabbage steaks and the nuts.
- Small Whisk. The smaller size means less splashing.
- Sharp Chef’s Knife. A sturdy, sharp knife makes slicing cabbage much easier.
If you’ve suffered bland cabbage in the past (or share my feelings towards mayo-based coleslaws), these cabbage steaks will be a revelation! If you already know how delicious cabbage can be, then here’s yet another wonderful way to enjoy it. I hope this fast and easy recipe makes figuring out what to serve with dinner a little bit easier for you.
If you try this recipe, please leave a comment letting me know how it turned out. I love to hear from you!
- 1 small head green cabbage - any dark, loose leaves removed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup raw pecan halves or walnut halves - optional
- 1 small lemon - halved (optional but very good)
- For serving: grated Parmesan (highly recommended) - chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme or parsley (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Generously coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Cut off the bottom (root) end of the cabbage and place it on a cutting board sitting up so that the flat end is on the cutting board. Cut top to bottom into 3/4- to 1-inch thick slices. Place on the prepared baking sheet. If you have more slices than fit on your baking sheet without touching, divide them between two baking sheets.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Brush over one side of the cabbage, then flip the cabbage over and brush the other side. Roast the cabbage for 26 to 28 minutes, or until crispy at the edges and tender in the center. (If you are using one pan, roast it on the center rack; if two, use the the upper and lower-third racks.) Halfway through the baking time, rotate the pan(s) 180 degrees; if you are using two pans, switch their positions on the upper and lower racks at this point too. No need to flip the cabbage over. Don’t worry about any extra crispy, dark leaves around the very outsides; they’ll taste incredible.
- While the cabbage bakes, toast the pecans in the oven at the same time: spread the pecans onto a small, ungreased baking sheet. Toast them in the oven with the cabbage until fragrant and the center of a pecan is light tan when broken in half, about 8 minutes, tossing them once halfway through. DO NOT WALK AWAY during the last several minutes of baking. Nuts love to burn the second you do. Remove the pecans from the oven and transfer immediately to a cutting board (if you leave them on the hot pan and they are super toasted already, they may burn). Let cool, then roughly chop.
- Sprinkle the roasted cabbage with Parmesan and fresh herbs. Squeeze the lemon over the top, then finish with the chopped pecans. Serve hot.
- TO STORE: Place leftover cabbage steaks in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- TO REHEAT: Reheat steaks in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 4 minutes on a piece of aluminum foil that's lightly coated with nonstick spray.
- TO FREEZE: Cabbage steaks can be frozen in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. The texture of the cabbage may change a little, but they will still be tasty!
- TO COOK THE CABBAGE STEAKS ON THE GRILL: See above blog post for cooking tips.
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