This is an oven version of the stovetop red cabbage we make all the time during the colder months – roasted red cabbage is a bit easier but with the same great flavour. We do German flavours with lots of mustard and some vinegar, but you could use different spice blends.
I grew up eating braised cabbage, of course, and never liked it. I think the key to good cabbage is keeping some texture in there, and cooking it for hours reduces it to mush. A quick roast makes sweet and crisp cabbage with lots of texture.
While your cabbage isn’t going to go bad in the refrigerator – not for months and months – I think it’s an overlooked vegetable that can be absolutely delicious when prepared correctly. We eat a lot of cabbage in the winter, either raw in a red cabbage salad or coleslaw, in a tasty cabbage lentil soup, or roasted as seen here.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
It’s fresh and light with a kick of mustard, for braised cabbage flavour without that mushy texture. A quick cook keeps the cabbage slightly crisp.
- It’s a good texture: if you’re very texturally driven with your food, like I am, this is just right. Enough crunch to keep it interesting but not raw cabbage.
- Not at all boring: cabbage doesn’t have the best reputation for being the most exciting vegetable, but it’s a good reliable winter crop and this is a delicious way to prepare it.
- Excellent seasonal use: cabbage is inexpensive and lasts forever, making it a good bottom of the refrigerator last-ditch option. This is just another good recipe using it.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Cabbage: you can, of course, use regular white cabbage instead of red. I don’t recommend savoy or pointed cabbage (Spitzkohl) as the leaves are a bit too loose and delicate for this recipe.
- Mustard: use a good Dijon or German mustard, absolutely no yellow mustard. You will taste the mustard as a main flavour note.
- Vinegar: other types of vinegar can be subbed for the balsamic, but don’t leave it out. Think of this as a roasted salad and the mixture is like a vinaigrette (that’s exactly what it is).
- Honey: for a fully vegan option, sub maple syrup for the honey.
Step by Step
1. Prep the cabbage: core and finely chop the cabbage, then add to a bowl with the remaining ingredients.
2. Mix it up: use your hands to massage the cabbage to coat with the dressing ingredients.
3. Transfer: spread out onto a baking sheet in an even layer.
4. Roast: cook for about ten minutes, or until some pieces are browned and crispy. Serve immediately.
Topping with pomegranate is optional, but that extra bit of brightness does improve the dish. I like a lot of acidity and adding the pomegranate means it doesn’t need an extra splash of vinegar before serving for me. You could use something like pomegranate molasses as well.
You can cut the cabbage into large wedges, rub with the dressing mixture, and bake that way, but it’s not as good. The flavours simply can’t permeate as effectively into such large pieces – it’s all about appearance and not about the best taste when cooked in that format. With the smaller pieces you get the best coverage.
We usually serve this very simply with something like potato wedges and lentil salad or eggs. It’s a go-to winter meal – cheap, nutritious, and it tastes great.
How to Store
Storing: while this can be stored for a couple of days in a sealed container in the refrigerator, it will soften during that time and is best served fresh. It tastes good cold.
Freezing: I have never tried freezing the cooked cabbage and wouldn’t recommend it. I think it would be soggy after thawing.
- Core easily: cut the cabbage into quarters and core by simply cutting a triangle out from the white base. You don’t want to include that hard white core in the dish.
- Don’t over cook: it’s key not to cook the cabbage too long, unless you want it to be very soft. A quick hot cook makes for crispy bits and the best texture.
- Use good ingredients: this recipe only calls for seven ingredients, including salt and pepper, so you should use ingredients that you like. This isn’t the time to try to hide shoddy mustard – you’ll taste everything.
More Cold-Weather Vegetable Sides
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Easy Roasted Red Cabbage
- 1 small head red cabbage about 500 grams (1 lb.)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup 1
- 1 teaspoon Dijon or German mustard
- ½ teaspoon sea salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Quarter the cabbage, then remove the white core and discard. Finely chop the cabbage and place it into a mixing bowl.1 small head red cabbage
- Add the oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Use your hands to mix very well, massaging into the cabbage, until fully coated.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup, 1 teaspoon Dijon or German mustard, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Transfer the cabbage mixture to the prepared baking sheet. Roast for about ten minutes, or until the cabbage is browned in some places and just cooked but still slightly crunchy. Serve immediately.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.