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This sautéed cabbage recipe is an incredibly flavorful low-carb side dish that’s easy to make from a handful of ingredients. 

fried cabbage in a serving bowl

This recipe came about when I was making my kielbasa soup. It was very spur-of-the-moment. I had more than half a head of cabbage left, so I figured that I should really do something with it then and there. This doesn’t always happen when I am cooking, mind you. 😛 The motivation was there that day.

My chicken and cabbage stir fry and my cabbage and kielbasa recipes continue to go strong, so I took inspiration from them. This cabbage recipe has the same cooking technique and similar ingredients, but it does not contain any meat. It could even work as a meatless main course if you want to serve it over rice or with noodles or something. Or, if you’re on a low-carb/keto diet, this could quite easily become a staple since it’s just that yummy. 

It’s hard for me to describe just how tasty sautéed cabbage is. You basically just have to try it. Growing up with a Czech mom, I definitely ate my fair share of cabbage when I was little. The lightly browned onion imparts a delicious flavor into this dish. And the butter and smoked paprika take it up another notch. Oh, and this recipe did pass my mom’s taste test. 🙂 

You can easily control how crisp the cabbage remains in this recipe depending on your personal preferences. I like mine to be slightly softer than tender-crisp, but you can cook it even longer (or less) if you prefer. 

easy sautéed cabbage in a skillet

How to make sautéed cabbage

  1. Prep your ingredients. Slice the cabbage into thin-ish strips (you don’t need to be too precise);
  2. Sauté the onion in the olive oil + butter for 3 minutes;
  3. Add the cabbage to the skillet and cook for 10-15 minutes (toss occasionally) until it’s tender-crisp;
  4. Add in the paprika and garlic;
  5. Season with salt & pepper and enjoy!

(full instructions are in the recipe card below). 

What kind of cabbage to use?

I just use a regular green cabbage (also sometimes called “cannonball” cabbage). Red cabbage or savoy cabbage would work too, but the red cabbage will discolor a bit when you cook it, so keep that in mind. 

What size of cabbage to use? 

Size-wise I usually just eyeball it, but to give you an idea of weight, a small-to-medium cabbage for this recipe weighs around 3 pounds. You don’t have to worry about being too exact. If you’re using a much smaller cabbage, you might want to cut the butter to 1 tablespoon. 

Love cabbage? Try my stuffed cabbage roll soup or this Crockpot cabbage soup

sautéed cabbage and onions close-up

Will you give this easy cabbage side dish recipe a try? Do you cook cabbage often?

Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions. 

fried cabbage in a serving bowl
4.96 from 21 votes

Simple Sautéed Cabbage

This sautéed cabbage recipe is an incredibly flavorful low-carb side dish that's easy to make from a handful of ingredients. 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 medium head green cabbage cored & sliced into thin strips
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Prep the cabbage and chop your onion. I just slice the cabbage thin (cut out the core) and chop the onion like usual.
  • Add the butter and oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for 3 minutes.
  • Add the cabbage to the pan and toss/stir it as best as you can (use 2 spoons or tongs to make it easier). Don't worry, as it cooks the cabbage goes down and it becomes more manageable. Stir/toss it often and let it cook until it's just about as soft as you want it (about 10-15 minutes).
  • Add in the paprika and garlic. Cook it for a couple more minutes. If the cabbage starts to brown too quickly, turn the heat down. Some browning is good - it adds extra flavor.
  • Season with salt & pepper as needed and serve immediately.


  • Serves 4-6 as a side dish. 
  • 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.


Calories: 87kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 62mg, Potassium: 292mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 429IU, Vitamin C: 57mg, Calcium: 67mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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  1. Elaine says:

    5 stars
    Simple, easy side dish! My family loved it. Thanks for the recipe, will make it again and again and again!

    1. Natasha says:

      You are very welcome, Elaine!

  2. Christie says:

    I grew up in a large Polish family and ate a lot of cabbage growing up! My husband did not and was unfamiliar with cooked cabbage. I checked this out, and had made a plain version using a bit of bacon, but when I made this with the kielbasa my husband was totally sold! He asks for it all the time! Thanks for reminding me to add kielbasa like my mom (and aunts) did!

    1. Natasha says:

      Excellent!! You’re very welcome, Christie!

  3. Betty says:

    Can you make up ahead of time——maybe 6 hrs.

    1. Natasha says:

      That should be fine.

  4. Aggie May says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for this simple but homey recipe my guest loved it too.
    I put a few smokies on top to heat through and add flavour as well as provide some protien. ( I skin my smokies before heating )

    1. Natasha says:

      Love that!!

  5. Nancy Young says:

    5 stars
    Love this! Made it several times and will be again! So easy.

    1. Natasha says:

      Thanks so much, Nancy!! 😀

  6. Linda says:

    5 stars
    Made this twice. Second time I added the garlic and paprika after cooking the onions and I think it really drew out the flavors more. Super easy and the smoked paprika really tastes good.

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful! Thanks, Linda!

  7. Caroline Kiley says:

    5 stars
    Made this and added some cooked and crumbled spicy Italian sausage. Made a full meal. Delicious and quick. Will definitely make again

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful!! So glad you liked it. Love the Italian sausage addition!

  8. Rita Arnett says:

    5 stars
    Delicious!!!! We both loved it!!!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you, Rita!! 😀

  9. Christie says:

    Delicious! Made it for New Years day dinner. I left out the onion and garlic because I had other dishes with it but I did add some garlic and onion powder. As it cooked my pan got too hot so I poured in some corn beef broth I had in a crockpot and it added some wonderful flavor. I will make it again and follow the recipe because I’m sure no matter how you cook it it’s amazing. That smoked paprika takes it over the top. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m glad it was a hit! Thank you and happy new year!

  10. Roe says:

    I used coleslaw mix — Delish !!!

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful! Thank you, Roe!