Growing up, we never ate cabbage. So the first time somebody gave me a homegrown head of cabbage, I had no idea what to do with it. Boil it? Fry it? No clue.
And then an elderly lady at church made cabbage for a potluck, and I was in love. I had to know how she made it. Of course, she didn’t have a recipe. She tried to tell me she just used a little of this, and a little of that. But try as I might, I never could get it to taste like hers.
Not until I came across this cabbage recipe, that is! When I saw it, it sounded so much like the way this lady had prepared hers, I knew it had to be good. And boy is it!! She made hers a little sweet, but I’ve been omitting the sugar with just as delicious results.
It’s simple, very inexpensive (especially if you’ve grown the cabbage!), and tasty enough that even my kids enjoy it. The secret is in the chicken broth.
Varieties of Cabbage for Simmered Cabbage
You can use just about any kind of cabbage for this simmered cabbage recipe, including green, savoy, Napa, and Red Cabbage.
Personally, I prefer using red cabbage and I pull the leaves apart so that it’s more of a leaf cabbage in form (although true leaf cabbage would technically be kale).
I just find it’s easier to manage in this way, and I also prefer the taste. If you harvest red cabbage when it’s young and tender, the flavors are unbelievable!
Red cabbage looks just like green cabbage except it’s more purple than green in color. The heads are smaller, too, but the leaves are moist and heavy. You can slice your red cabbage thinly (you would use it in coleslaw in this form, too) or you can just pull apart the leaves, as I did in this recipe.
I like using red cabbage because it is filled with antioxidants (as most colored vegetables are) and it gives the water a really cool blue color when you cook it.
That’s one of the reasons why I recommend washing and draining it first. Besides getting rid of dirt and pests, it also lets the dyes leach out so they don’t turn the broth a weird color!
If you don’t want the discoloration to happen, you can add an acid (like lemon juice) when you cook it.
Simmered Cabbage with Chicken Broth Recipe
- 1/2 head cabbage chopped into 1″ squares, or one head cabbage torn into sheets
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 T. butter
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 c. chicken broth
- 2 tsp. sugar optional
- Heat oil and butter in a large pot, till melted.
- Thoroughly wash and rinse your cabbage. I usually rinse mine several times, just so I’m sure I’ve removed any dirt along with pests like cabbage worms (they tend to hide in all the nooks and crannies). Again, using leaf cabbage can help prevent some of the pests from hiding!
- Add chopped cabbage, salt and pepper, stirring over low heat for 5 min
- Pour in the broth and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low, cover, and allow to continue cooking for 15 min., stirring occasionally, or until tender.Raise the heat to med., uncover, and cook until the liquids have reduced by half.
- Taste and season.
This recipe is not only delicious, but it’s loaded with nutritional benefits. Cabbage has less than 25 calories per cup and is a great source of fiber and vitamin K. Bone broth is also a great source of nutrients.
You could easily substitute bouillon cubes or some other form of storebought stock when you make this recipe, but I always stick to canned chicken stock that I’ve made myself. Not only is homemade bone broth rich in vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium, but it’s also a valuable source of collagen.
Collagen helps support your bone and tissues and also contains lots of iron, selenium, and manganese. It’s great for your joints and is loaded with protein, too.
You can make large pots of chicken stock up ahead of time and freeze or can them (using a pressure can) to have on hand for recipes like this.
You can also just make the chicken stock when you make your cabbage broth by boiling about three pounds of chicken bones with a gallon of water. It only takes about 12-24 hours and can be done overnight in a slow cooker.
This is seriously the only way I make cabbage now.
Do you have a favorite cabbage recipe to share?
updated 04/04/2020 by Rebekah White
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.