How To Freeze Cabbage

Even though the cabbage worms have found their way to my cabbage bed, I’ve found that once I’ve peeled away several layers of outer leaves, there is still a nice amount of salvageable head inside.

If you plant a lot of cabbage and it all comes in at once, it’s best to harvest it at its prime rather than leave it there to pick when you need it. The longer you leave cabbage in the garden, the more chance for insects to ravage it.

Freezing cabbage is a super easy way to preserve it for future use. It only takes a few steps, and will be ready to sauté or toss into a soup or your favorite dish at your convenience. It won’t be good to eat straight, like some people do with fresh cabbage, but it’ll be great for cooking with.

Wash cabbage

Yes. There are holes in my cabbage. In my world there’s rarely such a thing as a perfect cabbage. But that’s quite alright. I figure, if the bugs are eating it then I know it’s safe for me to eat.

The first thing you’ll wanna do is strip off the first set of outer leaves, or continue stripping leaves until you’ve discarded all of the yucky ones.

If you’re working with home grown cabbage, cut the stem off. Next, soak them in a sink full of cold water with about 1/4 cup (more or less) of salt. This will cause any cabbage worms that may still be in there to die and come loose from the cabbage. I let mine soak for about 15 min.

cutting cabbage

Cut the cabbage in half, right through the stem. Do not remove the stem or the heart of the cabbage or the pieces will all fall apart.

cabbage chopped

Cut your cabbage into quarters, through the stem as shown. Examine the interior of home- grown cabbage to make sure there aren’t any little critters in there still. You might wanna spray water through the middle just to be sure.

blanching cabbage

It really helps to have a blanching basket to lower the cut cabbage into a pot of boiling water. Otherwise, you can just dump it in there and fish it out with a slotted spoon when it’s done.

Blanch the cabbage for 2 min.

cabbage cooling

Quickly remove the cabbage from the boiling water, and dunk it in a pot or large bowl of very cold water to stop the cooking process. You don’t want to fully cook your cabbage, or it’ll get mushy. Allow it to sit in cold water for about 2 min.

Drain it off well.

freezing cabbage

Pack cooled, drained cabbage chunks into Ziploc bags, removing as much air as possible. I don’t have any fancy gadgets for this, so I just use a straw to suck the air out.

Only pack as much in each bag as you think you’ll use in one recipe. You might want to use smaller bags for freezing half of a head at a time.

It’s nice to know I have these on hand for making my favorite cabbage recipe.

Now that you know how to freeze cabbage, will you be giving it a try? What’s your favorite way to preserve an abundance of fresh cabbage?

27 thoughts on “How To Freeze Cabbage”

  1. You can make freezer slaw that is very tasty. I found the recipe in the Ball BLue Book guide to preserving. It really does taste good and the cabbage stays crisp.

  2. I am going to do this I never froze cabbage before,but I am going to take half the cabbage and cut the large leaves off first then blanch them them dry them on paper towels before I freeze them so I can makes pigs in the blanket. Did you ever do this and can it be done

  3. Might I suggest Bierrocks? We make them from scratch and have a ready to eat meal for those times we’re too tired to cook. Heat in oven (abt 15 min) or micro for maybe 2 min. A great way to use up a medium head of cabbage. We usually get 25 to 27 sandwiches from one medium head of cabbage and a pound to 1 1/2 pounds ground beef.

  4. Thank you for the tutorial. I tried this the other day, but couldn’t really get the cabbage “dry”. When I checked the freezer, the inside of the bags and cabbage quarters had ice on them. Is it not going to be good? If not, do you have any suggestions on what I did wrong?

  5. I make a lot of veggie soup and use cabbage. I will be trying this very soon. We also homestead, still in the learning phase. Thanks

  6. After making about 24 quarts of sauerkraut, I’ll use this idea for the remaining heads of cabbage we have. Great idea – thanks for posting.

  7. Thanks for the recipe! We cover our cabbage with netting we buy from the local fabric store. The cabbage moths can’t get to the plants to lay their eggs, but light and rain get through unhindered. We had only one tiny hole in our four plants this year. We lay the netting over wire arches (made from hangers) pushed into the ground, and use landscape pins to anchor it. We learned this trick from the Amish in our area.

  8. Hey Kendra, have you ever canned cabbage? I did last year and it did really well. Also, it doesn’t take up freezer space for things I need the space for and it will last and taste so much better if canned over time. Just a thought. I may freeze some one day and do a comparison. E

  9. Can you blanch it in freezer bags, that’s how I blanch my corn for freezing. Wondering if it would work the same way?

  10. Great tutorial! Never thought of freezing cabbage, but it’d be so handy! Wish I would have thought of that when my mother-in-law had me plant 22 heads of it last year. 🙂

  11. Kendra, Thanks for the hints on freezing cabbage. At our age my wife and I can’t eat near as much sauerkraut as we used to. Loving it more just stir fried in butter and this will be right up our alley.
    In return May we suggest that the cabbage used in your demo is starving. It is in need of more even watering and it can definitely needs some plant food; mulch, manure, worm casings, manure tea, or hydrogen peroxide. May this year’s crop be better 🙂

    • Hi Baergy,

      Thank you for the advice! I agree that my cabbage was lacking this year. We’ve eaten all of the really big heads already, so I’ve been working on clearing out the bed of the smaller heads and freezing them. I mentioned in my June garden update post that I filled the raised beds with leaf mulch this year, and the plants really suffered because I neglected to mix in any soil with it. Hopefully this Fall might have better results. I appreciate your feedback!

  12. Or you can make a big batch of saurkraut! That’s what I did the other day with a giant cabbage I was given. I like to see the bug holes, that’s how I know its really organically grown 🙂 Thanks for sharing this, I need to learn what needs blanching and what doesn’t, I wouldn’t have thought of cutting it into chunks.


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