This chicken and cabbage stir fry recipe is fast and easy. The chicken is soft and tender, and the onions and cabbage melt in your mouth. It's ready in just over half an hour!
If you can't get enough cabbage, try my Cabbage Soup with Bacon and Potatoes or Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry next.
Why you'll love it
I based this chicken and cabbage recipe on my popular Sautéed Cabbage and Kielbasa Recipe. It's cooked in a similar fashion, and it's just as delicious! Since I grew up with plenty of Czech and central European food, it's no wonder that I love cabbage so much. Somehow I don't manage to eat it that often, though. I'm always so surprised at just how flavorful fried cabbage is. It's so good.
Making chicken sautéed with cabbage is easy. You really don't need much in the way of seasoning to make this recipe taste totally delicious. I used your standard mild paprika, some fresh garlic, and an onion along with salt & pepper. That's about it for a quick and inexpensive meal with pantry ingredients!
What you'll need
- Chicken - we're using boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
- Olive oil and butter - for sautéing
- Onion - use whatever you've got on hand, but our kitchen likes sweet (Vidalia) onions best
- Cabbage - we use green cabbage here
- Garlic - if you're a garlic lover, go ahead and use even more than I suggest. It's effortless to mince with a garlic press since there is no chopping or peeling involved.
- Paprika - you'll find mild paprika in the spice aisle of any grocery store
- You don't have to be super precise with measurements here. Use 2-3 chicken breasts or whatever you buy or feel like putting in. I say a medium cabbage, but I bought half of a MASSIVE cabbage that I cut into half again, and that totaled about what you'd expect from a medium cabbage, so don't worry about precisely measuring.
- Keep in mind there's a lot of cabbage in here, so it's important to add enough salt to draw out the flavors!
How to make chicken and cabbage stir fry
This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
- In a skillet, add the chicken to the olive oil. Season with salt & pepper, and sauté until it's just done, then set it aside. Sauté the onion in butter for a few minutes.
- Add the cabbage and cook, tossing or stirring frequently, for about 10-15 minutes or until it starts to get nice and tender. Kitchen tongs make it easy.
- Stir in the garlic and paprika, and finish by adding the chicken back it into the pan and heating it through to 165F. Give it a taste, add extra salt & pepper, and enjoy.
Substitutions and variations
- I don't feel like this recipe needs anything else, but you could always swap the mild paprika for hot paprika or smoked paprika if you wish. If you want to add more paprika or garlic or whatever, go ahead. I suggest tasting and adjusting until it's perfect for you!
- Want to make a vegetarian version of this dish? Try my Simple Sautéed Cabbage Recipe.
- You can always use chicken thighs if you prefer, but I find chicken breast is fine since we don't overcook it. It remains juicy and tender.
- To make it next-level good, add in some crumbled Oven Cooked Bacon.
What to serve with chicken and cabbage
- It's totally optional, but a dollop of sour cream adds a nice contrast and a little creaminess.
- As written, this is a low-carb chicken and cabbage recipe, but if that's not your thing, pair it with something like rice to round out the meal.
- A side salad makes a great accompaniment too. Try mixed greens with my Creamy Balsamic Dressing. Craving roasted veggies? Go for my Easy Roasted Green Beans.
Leftovers and storage
- I actually quite enjoyed the leftovers too! The chicken was still tender, even after being microwaved the next day.
- Store in a covered container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- I don't really recommend freezing this one since the texture of the cabbage may change, but you're welcome to experiment.
If you give this cabbage sautéed with chicken recipe a go, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below! Talk to me if the blog post didn't answer your questions. You can also find me on Instagram.
Easy Chicken and Cabbage Stir Fry
- 2-3 large chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 medium green cabbage cored & chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Add the olive oil and chicken to a skillet. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Turn the burner to medium-high heat and sauté for about 7 minutes (stirring fairly often), or until the chicken is just cooked through.
- Take the chicken out of the pan and set aside.
- Add the butter and onion to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add the cabbage to the pan and cook for about 10-15 minutes uncovered, stirring fairly often, until the cabbage is nice and soft (or cooked to desired tenderness). The cabbage at the bottom of the pan will start to wilt after a few minutes and it will become easier to stir. The onions will also start to lightly brown and become more flavorful.
- Stir in the garlic and paprika.
- Add the chicken back in, and cook until it's heated through, stirring fairly often. This should only take a few minutes.
- Taste and season with salt & pepper as needed (there's a lot of cabbage so I used a fair amount of salt). Serve immediately.
- You can use smoked paprika or hot paprika if you prefer.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Mary Ingram says
This sounds delicious! Wonder how swapping sesame oil for the olive oil would be?
Do you mean regular sesame oil or the more concentrated, darker toasted sesame oil? For the latter, I think it would be too strong with that quantity. I just use a small amount typically to add a little flavor.
I want to add carrots to this dish, what do you suggest? Also what is a good side dish to this entree? Thank you in advance!!!
Hi! Hmmm it's hard for me to guess on timing for the carrots... it really depends how thin you slice them. Maybe buy those matchstick cut carrots and ensure they have at least 5 minutes of sautéing time? I'd make a salad with this one.
Easy, and delicious, my big family of 6 was licking their dishes clean for this one! It's not often I'm so easily impressed by a recipe, never mind a unique, simple one. Adding this to our regulars for sure!
That's so great to hear, Sarah!! 😀
uh, yum. i just threw mine in a dutch oven to cook it low 250 and slow. lovely
Love this tasty recepe! Easy to make and delicious! Thanks ❤️
You're very welcome!
Laurie Marshall says
Considering how quick and easy this is, it's a five. It's very good, too!
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Thanks so much!! Glad you liked it, Laurie.
Susan Keller says
Very easy and very tasty. Great comfort food! Loved it!!
So glad to hear it, Susan! Thanks for your review! 🙂
This was delicious. I seriously had some doubts but it all comes together so easily and so darn tasty! I will be doing this again for sure.
I'm so pleased you enjoyed it!
Irene Starkey says
It was delicious! Will definitely make again!
That's great!! Thank you!!
Irene Starkey says
What are the carbs from?
Hi! I'm not entirely sure... maybe the onion? It just calculates the nutrition info from a database automatically. I am not a trained nutritionist and I only provide the info as an estimate since some people are curious. You could probably plug the recipe into something like My Fitness Pal for a more detailed breakdown if you need the info for health reasons.
I added a couple of pieces of bacon, about a cup of diced potatoes that I cooked in the microwave, about 1 1/2 Tbsp of paprika and a splash of apple cider vinegar at the end. It was delicious!
Sounds good to me!
We loved this. It's simple, but so delicious. We'll be having this often.
I'm so happy to hear that, Hannah! Thanks for your review! 😀
Easy affordable recipe done in just a few minutes that is tasty and healthy … i did use smoked paprika … yummy
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
So happy you enjoyed it! Thank you for taking a moment to review the recipe 🙂
So easy, and so delicious! Super healthy too! Used smoked paprika, because we love that flavour. Will be making it regularly!
Thanks so much!! Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 I love smoked paprika too!
Can I add shrimp to this?
Sure! I'd add them in towards the end since they cook quick.
I literally googled "what to do with left over chicken breast and cabbage" and your recipe popped right up! Quick, easy, and no wasting leftovers! Delicious! Thank you!
That's awesome!! 😀 Glad you liked it!
I just found this recipe and anxious to try it!
Have you tried putting in individual packages and freezing?
Just wondering as I like to keep a couple of meals in the freezer for nights we don’t feel like cooking.
Hi Cindy! I haven't tried freezing this one. I'm personally always a bit iffy on freezing chicken breast since it dries out so easily once you thaw and reheat it again. In my experience, thawed cabbage gets very wilted and a bit watery, so I'm not sure this is the best dish to freeze. I'd suggest making it and freezing one to two portions of leftovers to test without having it all go to waste if it doesn't work out. I'd thaw in the fridge overnight and warm slowly in a covered saucepan over a low heat. In any case, I hope you enjoy the recipe! 🙂
Donna Murphy says
I have been making this dish for years. I also do it many different ways. The basic chicken, cabbage,seasonings is great but try it with broccoli florets(steamed) and julienned carrots strips/I don't care for cooked carrots and also can use pork or beef pieces and use a sauce made with 1/2 cup soy sauce,1 top grated fresh ginger,1 tsp sesame seeds toasted . If you like heat add some hoisin sauce to taste. The original recipe is great but omg there are many different ways to make and each one is amazing. Oh and don't forget the bell peppers too or jalapeños for some heat. We could actually make a recipe book for all the idea's that started out with the original recipe. Thank you and I hope you will give my idea's a try.
I love your suggestions and need to give some of them a try!!
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Awesome to hear, Shahayla 🙂
If there was a sixth star, I would have added it without any hesitation. I've just finished my meal, and I had to leave a review right away.
I'm kicking myself for not trying out this dish/cabbage dish before. I'm watching my calories these days after indulging more than I should have during the holidays, and I thought this dish was perfect, but I didn't think it would be THAT good!
You will have to excuse me though as I made some slight changes to your recipe. I added some carrots and lardons and omitted paprika. Before eating (it was in fact devouring), I added a dollop of Dijon Mustard. That's how I ate sauerkraut back in France, and thought it would go well with your dish, and it sure did!
Thank you Natasha for sharing this recipe. Absolutely loved it, and I'll probably make it WEEKLY with some adjustments.
You're welcome! I'm so happy that you enjoyed it so much, Dimitri! I appreciate your review! 🙂
Just got back from Chinese New Year trip, and after stuffing myself with Chinese food for over a week, I’m craving your dish again.
If I wish to add potatoes, when should I add them, and how long should I cook them for? As you can see, I’m a total rookie when it comes to cooking, and would appreciate some guidance ^^
Have a wonderful day!
Haha that's too funny. I hope you had an amazing trip! So, for adding the potatoes in, I would say that boiling them in a separate pot until they're cooked is probably your best bet. Then I'd drain them and mash them in and let them kind of fry up with the rest of the dish... so I'd probably add then in towards the end of step 4. Let me know how it goes! You could probably try that method and then do a little experimenting if it's not quite what you were hoping for.
I LOVE this!!! Thank you for the recipe. It is wonderful.
You're very welcome!! 🙂 Thank you!!
Excellent! Just made this with ground chicken and added baked tofu. Simple and easy. I always forget how good sautéed cabbage is. My adult son ate dinner at 3:30 it was so good. Thank you!
You're very welcome! 🙂 Love your tweaks!
Made this tonight with a few additions. I added small bites of broccoli and some shredded carrots which I cooked with the onion. I also fried some bacon as others had said in their comments and added the bacon grease along with the cabbage, broccoli and carrots. I also added a few splashes of soy sauce. Everything else was the same. This was delicious. Even my picky son who doesn't like cabbage enjoyed it. Will definitely make again.
Sounds good to me!! 🙂
This is delish! Th4 only thing I did was add some homemade bacon bits to the top. So yum!
So happy you enjoyed it!! Thanks for letting me know! 🙂
Can this be frozen?
Hi! I haven't tested it, but I think it'll be ok. The cabbage will likely go softer when you reheat it.
This was a delicious recipe! Very easy and so good!
Glad you enjoyed it, Judith!!
I tried this recipe and found it amazing in both taste and easy of cooking. It is now added as one of our favorite.
I'm so happy to hear that, Crystal! 🙂
I made it today and we all likes it very much. Even the kids liked it. Thanks so much for the recipe.
You're very welcome!! I'm so pleased to hear that it was enjoyed by everyone.
Easy and delicious!!
Helen L says
Easy to make in my wok, plenty of room for all the cabbage. Tonight added some red pepper and a couple of rashers of smoked back bacon. Lovely.
Fabulous!! I'm so glad you liked it. 🙂
Mary P. says
I want to make this tonight. Would doing the bacon thing ruin the integrity? I think chicken and bacon are meant to be. I'm going to try it but easy on the grease and skip the butters.
Hi! What do you mean by "doing the bacon thing"? I think adding some bacon would be delicious if that's what you mean. I'd fry the chicken in the bacon fat. I have a bacon and cabbage recipe (similar to this one) you could take a look at as well... that may help give you some ideas: https://bit.ly/2QQpl3B
Mary P. says
Hi again!! I did the bacon thing... OH MY! This was amazing. My roommate does the vegetable misfit deliveries and he gets cabbage often and so today I made this!! I put some celery in there too. I fried the chicken in the bacon grease. I didn't want it tooooo greasy so I only left about a 1/2 tbsp of that. I used a whole onion and I had some celery so I threw that in there. I think there's possibly 1/2 cup leftover.... It disappeared. Needs a warning label. This dish seems to evaporate and may cause disputes over leftovers. Thank you again. I will definitely be searching your site for more great dinner ideas that make me the hero in 15 minutes... 🙂
Hi!! That's awesome!! I'm so glad it worked out for you and you liked it so much hehe. Thanks for letting me know how it went! Let me know if you try anything else.
Made this tonight. Super easy to make. So far, family approved! We love cabbage, and needed a new chicken idea. Thanks!
Fab!! You're welcome, Ashley!
Very simple, quick, and delicious! Thank you for sharing. Nice to have something different with the chicken breast so we are always looking for something new and I’m glad we did.
I'm so happy you got to try this, Ashley!! Thanks for taking the time to write me a review. XO
Caroline Michell says
I had a huge cabbage to use and found this recipe! Couldn’t believe how delicious it was and how easy.....loved it!
I'm thrilled to hear that!!
Very good! Simple & delicious!
Excellent! So happy to hear that. Thanks!
Gloria Steward says
This was a delicious meal. My family loved it. The only thing I need to do next time is add more flavor.
Was so easy to make..
I'm glad you all enjoyed it, Gloria!
I'm not sure why all the rave reviews as it was very bland. Definitely won't be making it again, but interested in what other recipies the site has as this came up through a random search
Tina Boyd says
I add soy sauce to mine... so good
I love simple recipes like this, I don't eat enough cabbage. I have tons of frozen meats in the frig I need to cook healthy and creatively . This sounds perfect for my needs.Thank you.
where does the sugar come from -- in the nutrition section??
Hi! I believe it comes from the cabbage. I just did a quick Google search and cabbage apparently has 3.2g of sugar per 100g.
R. Holloway says
So delicious!!! I added mushrooms, green and red peppers. I served on top of flavored chicken rice. It was delicious!!! Thank you! I had cabbage..and didn't know what to do with it!
So happy you liked it and were able to use up that cabbage! 🙂
This looks great! I’m planning on making it tonight and putting it over some whole wheat pasta. Any suggestions on what kind of sauce I should use? I feel like a standard red marinara-type wouldn’t go well with this. Would a lemon sauce work? TIA!
Hi! I think that an olive oil-lemon juice-garlic sauce would be delicious! Hope you enjoy the recipe! 🙂
Delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe
sounds amazing, i will definitely use this recipe for dinner. thank you
Great! Let me know how you liked it. 🙂