One of my favorite cheap ingredients to build meals around is cabbage. Here are 50 cheap cabbage recipes to give you months worth of recipe inspiration!

50 affordable cabbage recipes: Click through for all recipes!

My #1 tip for saving money on food is to incorporate more cheap foods into your diet.

Instead of basing your meals on expensive ingredients like steak, gourmet cheeses, ready-made deli items or convenient frozen meals, you’ll base your meals on affordable ingredients like beans, lentils, rice, chicken thighs and drumsticks, ground turkey, frozen vegetables and fruits, eggs – and cabbage.

Why Cabbage?

There are so many reasons to love cabbage.

First, it’s healthy. Cabbage is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, and other nutrients. It’s also low carb. I personally think cabbage should overtake cauliflower as the most popular low carb vegetable!

Next, it’s versatile. It is great eaten fresh in salads or coleslaws, but it’s great when cooked simply as a side dish. It’s also a great base for main dishes. I even throw it in to my morning smoothies occasionally! As you’ll see in this post, there are SO many ways to prepare cabbage.

And finally, it’s cheap. You can find cabbage for under $1.00 per pound at the grocery store. I found cabbage at ALDI for 85 cents per pound. An average sized cabbage (around 3.5 to 4 pounds) will yield up to 20 cups of chopped cabbage, ready to be used in all sorts of recipes. That’s about 13 cents per cup of chopped cabbage!

Today we’re diving deep into cabbage-based recipes. Why? Because incorporating more cabbage into your diet is not only healthy – it will also save you loads of money over time.

This compilation of 50 cheap cabbage recipes is heavy on the regular green cabbage recipes – but there are a few red cabbage recipes and Napa cabbage recipes sprinkled in.

How To Cut Cabbage

So you’ve bought a whole head of cabbage: Now what?

First, you have to know how to cut it.

If you’re making a cabbage-based recipe in the next day or two, you can cut the cabbage now and keep it covered in the fridge.

  • Remove outer leaves from cabbage
  • Cut off stem
  • Cut cabbage in fourths
  • You can remove any remaining stem by cutting it off at an angle, but keep in mind, most of the remaining stem is edible
  • Cut cabbage according to recipe:
    • For shredded cabbage: Finely slice cabbage quarters or use a mandolin slicer to cut into shreds
    • For chopped cabbage: Cut each quarter in half and cut cabbage into desired sizes (see recipe notes for suggested size of cabbage pieces)
    • For cabbage steaks: Cut cabbage from top to bottom into 3/4 to 1-inch slices.

A whole cabbage (uncut) will keep for 2 to 3+ weeks in the fridge covered in your crisper drawer.

Green cabbage recipes. Click through for 50+ ideas.

Cabbage-Based Salad And Coleslaw Recipes

Cabbage makes a great salad ingredient or salad base because it stays crisp and crunchy. Here are some salad and coleslaw recipes that call for cabbage as a main ingredient:

Apple coleslaw

Peanut ramen salad – Made with red cabbage

Mango-cabbage coleslaw

Jalapeño coleslaw – Great on pulled pork sandwiches

Curtido – (Salvadorian spicy slaw)

Red cabbage coleslaw with apples and carrots – No mayonnaise

Asian chicken salad

Cabbage crunch salad – With lots and lots of crunchy ingredients

Cabbage crunch salad: This salad makes delicious use of affordable cabbage. Click through for recipe.

Swedish pizza salad – A vinaigrette-style coleslaw

Cabbage salsa – Goes great on fish or shrimp tacos

Cabbage-Based Soups And Stews

Cabbage is a low-cost ingredient that adds bulk and nutritional value to all kinds of soups and stews. Here are a few recipes that call for a good amount of cabbage:

Braised cabbage stew with ground beef

Egg roll soup – The flavors of egg rolls, in soup form

Chinese cabbage soup – With Napa cabbage

Cabbage soup – With lots of vegetables

Ham and cabbage soup – With potatoes

Colcannon soup (cabbage potato soup) – A very creamy cabbage-based soup with bacon

Creamy vegetable soup – Veggies, including cabbage, are cooked and blended to make a creamy soup.

Cabbage roll soup – This paleo-friendly soup has the flavor of a cabbage roll but is so much easier to make!

Paleo cabbage roll soup: So hearty, so savory. Comfort food in a soup.

Cabbage-Based Side Dishes

As you’ll see in these recipes, it doesn’t take much to make cabbage taste great as a side dish. A little olive oil or butter + simple seasonings goes a long way!

Oven-roasted cabbage steaks – Master the art of making cabbage steaks at home

Slow cooker cabbage – With just 3 simple ingredients

Southern fried cabbage with bacon

Southern fried cabbage with bacon, from Life's Ambrosia.

Sauteed cabbage with mustard and horseradish – Great for St. Patrick’s Day

Buttered cabbage – Sautéed in a frying pan

Savory roasted cabbage – Simple oven-roasted recipe

Savory roasted cabbage: A SUPER affordable side dish that's also super healthy.

German red cabbage – A sweet and sour braised cabbage recipe

Quick pickled red cabbage – Takes about 1 hour to make

Fermented cabbage (sauerkraut) – Recommended fermenting time is between 1 and 3 weeks

Red cabbage sauerkraut – Recommended fermenting time 2 weeks or more

Cabbage-Based Appetizers

Cabbage isn’t commonly prepared as an appetizer, but here are some recipes that totally pass the appetizer test and contain cabbage:

Cabbage fritters – These can be baked or fried

Bacon-wrapped cabbage dippers – Serve with your favorite dipping sauce

Grilled cabbage wedges with a Korean glaze

Savory cabbage pancakes – Japanese okonomiyaki recipe

Egg rolls – These have a cabbage and ground pork filling. Best best deep fried but can also be baked in the oven.

How to make egg rolls from scratch: Click through for recipe!

Cabbage-Based Main Courses

No one puts cabbage in the corner! Here are some main course recipes that have a cabbage base:

Thai stir-fried cabbage with bacon – This makes a great side dish or main course

Cabbage ramen (stir-fried noodles) – This recipe makes great use of two very affordable ingredients!

Cabbage and noodles (haluski) – A central and eastern European dish

Tomato, bacon, and cabbage sauté – This recipe goes heavy on the bacon

Egg roll casserole – This casserole tastes like the filling of an egg roll but is so much easier to make!

Egg roll casserole: If you like egg rolls, try this simple casserole recipe at home for dinner!

Cabbage rolls – Stuffed with ground beef and rice and covered with a tomato sauce

Unstuffed cabbage rolls -Deconstructed cabbage rolls that are easier to make than traditional cabbage rolls

Italian cabbage and rice – Made with savoy cabbage and arborio rice

Cabbage stir fry – With ginger and soy sauce

Spam egg roll bowls – Makes delicious use of budget-friendly pantry staples

Ground turkey egg roll bowls – Another budget-friendly spin on the egg roll bowl

Chicken and cabbage skillet – Made with ground chicken or turkey and brown rice

Sausage and cabbage pasta – Another eastern European recipe

Cabbage and ground beef casserole – The base of this casserole is just 5 ingredients + spices.

Cabbage and ground beef casserole: Affordable. Make delicious use out of cheap and versatile cabbage!

Cheesy cabbage casserole – Topped with buttered corn flake crumbs

Irish braised corned beef and cabbage – You simply must make this for St. Patrick’s Day!

Reuben bowls – All the flavors of a classic Reuben sandwich, minus the bread (with a coleslaw base)

What Are The Benefits Of Eating More Cabbage?

If I haven’t made it abundantly clear why you should incorporate more cabbage into your diet, allow me to go on:

  • Cabbage is cheap: When you buy a regular green cabbage for under $1.00 per pound, the cabbage costs about 13 cents per cup when chopped. There’s no doubt about it, cabbage is one of the best – if not the best – deals in the produce section.
  • Cabbage is neutral: Raw cabbage has a mild bite to it. But when it’s cooked, it has a pretty neutral taste. Cooked cabbage is mild and versatile – an easy vegetable to add to your diet without having an overwhelming flavor.
  • Cabbage is versatile: This list of recipes shows that cabbage is one of the most versatile veggies out there. Whether you’re making a side dish, soup, appetizer or main dish, the possibilities are nearly endless!

Can I Use A Bag Of Coleslaw Mix?

In many cabbage-based recipes, you can substitute coleslaw mix in lieu of chopping your own cabbage.

But keep in mind, most coleslaw mixes contain carrots and red cabbage – and the cabbage is shredded. Some cabbage recipes call for pieces, not shreds of cabbage, so you may need to modify the recipe.

Can I Use A Bag Of Shredded Cabbage?

Some grocers sell bags of shredded cabbage (which is different then coleslaw mix that contains carrots).

Shredded cabbage in a bag can be substituted in any recipe that calls for shredded cabbage.

If your recipe calls for bigger pieces of cabbage or cabbage leaves, you’re better off starting with a whole cabbage and cutting the pieces yourself.

What Is The Easiest Way To Cook Cabbage?

Perhaps the most simple way to prepare cabbage is to sauté it in a bit of olive oil or butter with just a pinch of salt. You can also roast cabbage in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil or melted butter. Keep salt and other seasonings minimal (a pinch of salt, garlic powder, onion powder or red pepper flakes) as it is easy to over-season cabbage.

There you have it: 50+ cheap cabbage recipes and virtually endless inspiration to enjoy this humble and inexpensive vegetable every night of the week!