How to Cut Cabbage

5 from 4 votes

Learn how to cut cabbage for coleslaw, salads or tacos. Follow my easy step-by-step tutorial for how to cut and shred green or purple cabbage effortlessly!

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Learn how to cut cabbage so you can add its tart, crunchy goodness to tacos, Asian salads, or make coleslaw. Below I’ll share with you how wash cabbage, cut the cabbage and then shred it using a sharp chef’s knife. This tutorial will help you be less intimidated by the idea of cutting cabbage.

Tutorial for how to cut cabbage, showing cabbage sliced in half

Obviously, cabbage is the basis of sauerkraut and kimchi, two fermented foods with loads of probiotics for gut health. But whether fermented, raw, or cooked, cabbage is a nutritional dynamo. One half-cup serving packs in hunger-slaying fiber and almost half of a day’s requirement of vitamin C.

How to wash cabbage

First, remove and throw away any brown or damaged leaves.

Since cabbage grows very tightly with the outer leaves protecting the insides, I just wash the outside thoroughly under cold water. If you want, rinse the cut bits separately later, but it is not usually necessary.

Collage of green and red cabbage being washed in a sink

How to cut and prepare cabbage

After washing, I assess again and peel off any outer leaves that look very tough.

Removing the outer layer of the cabbage - collage of green and purple cabbage

Next, use a large chef’s knife, slice off the root of the cabbage and discard.

Cutting the cabbage stem off - collage of green and purple cabbage

Now, stand the cabbage upright with the stem side down.  Cut in half right through the middle all the way down to the stem.

Cutting the cabbage in half - collage of green and purple cabbage

Then, place the cabbage cut side down and cut the cabbage again in half to create four quarters. Remove the rest of the root of the cabbage by cutting it out diagonally.

Cutting the cabbage in half again - collage of green and purple cabbage

Using a claw grip, thinly slice the cabbage alongside the short edge of the cabbage.

Knife slicing the cabbage thinly

How to shred cabbage

Alternatively, you can use a wide vegetable peeler (affiliate link), sometimes called a cabbage peeler (!), to peel alongside the short edge for thinner shaved pieces. It usually helps to do this with the cabbage quarters for best results.

Collage of green and purple cabbage being shrredded using a peele

Now you can cook with the cabbage, toss it in salads or coleslaw or store in the fridge for up to three days until you’re ready to use it.

Collage of green and purple cabbage stored in tupperware

Recipes with cabbage

Frequently asked questions

How do you store cut cabbage?

Cut cabbage will oxidize, or turn brown, and is best eaten when freshly cut or shredded.  If you’ll be using later, minimize browning by storing tightly wrapped in plastic or in an airtight container. Additionally, you can toss with lemon juice to fend off browning. Use within three days.

How long does cabbage last?

The whole head of cabbage can last up to two weeks in the crisper part of your fridge if wrapped in plastic. Cut or shredded cabbage, however, will last 2-3 days in the fridge.

Can you shred cabbage without using a knife?

Yes! If you have a box grater or a mandolin, you can use them to shred the quartered pieces of cabbage.

Can you freeze shredded cabbage?

Yes, you can blanch and then flash freeze on a cookie sheet like many greens, but I only recommend if you plan on using the defrosted result in a cooked recipe like soup or a stir-fry. Defrosted cabbage will not retain its crispness.

Green cabbage sliced in half on cutting board

While their cruciferous cousins, the Brussel sprout and cauliflower, might get more love on restaurant menus and in recipes these days, don’t forget about cabbage. Hope the tutorial helps ease the idea of cutting cabbage so you can include it in more of your meals.

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How to Cut Cabbage

Learn how to cut cabbage for coleslaw, salads or tacos. Follow my easy step-by-step tutorial for how to cut and shred green or purple cabbage effortlessly!
5 from 4 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Main Course
Calories 57
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cabbage

Instructions

  • Remove any damaged, stiff and/or browned outer layers of the cabbage and discard them.
  • Wash the cabbage head thoroughly under cold water.
  • Using a large chef’s knife, slice off the root of the cabbage and discard.
  • Stand up the cabbage upright with stem side down and cut the in half through the stem.
  • Place the cabbage cut side down, and cut the cabbage again in half to create 4 quarters.
  • Remove the root of the cabbage by cutting it out diagonally.
  • Thinly slice the cabbage alongside the short edge of the cabbage.
  • Alternatively, use a wide peeler to peel alongside the short edge for thinner shaved pieces.
  • Use in recipe or transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Notes

Storage: Store any cut cabbage in an airtight container or plastic bag in the crisper in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can add a paper towel to absorb the moisture and help keep them fresh.
Tools: I love using a wide vegetable peeler (affiliate link) for shredding cabbage. It’s so much faster and the result is finer slices of cabbage.
Nutritional Data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It may vary based on the specific cabbage you use.
Photo Credit: Erin Jensen

Nutrition

Calories: 57kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 41mg, Potassium: 386mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 222IU, Vitamin C: 83mg, Calcium: 91mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

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Tutorial for how to cut cabbage, showing cabbage sliced in half

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