From wedges to steaks, learn how to cut cabbage properly with this step-by-step guide.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement
a collection of different types of cut cabbage on a cutting board with a knife and mandolin
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

While it may not be considered the world's most glamorous vegetable, cabbage is a total workhorse in the kitchen. It's cheap, easy to find year-round, keeps in the fridge uncut for weeks and is delicious both raw and cooked (and boasts an impressive nutrition profile, too). Use it for simple slaws or classic cabbage rolls and everything in between. Whether your recipe calls for chopping it, shredding it or cutting it into wedges or steaks, learn how to cut cabbage with this step-by-step guide.

Types of Cabbage

A variety of types of cabbage on a marble surface
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Walk through the produce section of your grocery store and you'll likely spot at least one of these popular varieties of cabbage.

Related Items

AA head of green cabbage on a marble surface
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Green cabbage

The most common of the bunch, a head of green cabbage is light green in color and mild in flavor. It's round and compact with tightly packed smooth leaves. Use green cabbage in classic slaws, soups and sautés.

AA head of red cabbage on marble
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Red cabbage

With the exception of its color, red (also referred to as purple) cabbage is similar in appearance, texture and flavor to green cabbage. Red cabbage adds beautiful color to salads and slaws and is delicious braised and roasted.

Napa cabbage on a marble surface
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Napa cabbage

Also called Chinese cabbage, napa cabbage is typically more oblong than its green or red counterparts. Its leaves are tender and more loosely packed, similar to a head of romaine lettuce. Napa cabbage tends to be milder in flavor than green or red cabbage and works well in salads and noodle dishes.

Savoy cabbage on a marble surface
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Savoy cabbage

You may also spot savoy cabbage, which looks similar to green cabbage except for its distinct ruffled leaves. Its flavor is similar to napa cabbage. Savoy cabbage is perfect for making wraps, stir-fries and stuffed cabbage.

How to Cut Cabbage

How you plan to use the cabbage will determine how you cut it. If you're planning to make slaws or salads, learning how to core a cabbage is helpful (see Step 4, below). But, if you're preparing cabbage steaks or wedges, keeping the core intact helps hold the cabbage together.

Here's the step-by-step process to prep cabbage for chopping, slicing or shredding:

Related Items

Hands peeling leaves off a head of purple cabbage
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Step 1

After rinsing and patting dry the cabbage, remove any wilting or discolored leaves.

A close up of a head of cabbage being cut in half
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Step 2

Using a large chef's knife, cut the cabbage in half lengthwise through the stem end.

Close up of a head of purple cabbage being cut into quarters
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Step 3

Cut each half in half again through the stem end. You will now have four quarters or wedges.

Close up of cutting the core off a quarter of a head of purple cabbage
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Step 4

Cut off the bottom of each quarter at an angle to remove the core. You can now chop or slice each quarter into smaller pieces or strips.

How to Cut Cabbage for Slaw

Related Items

A wedge of cabbage sitting on a cutting board next to a knife
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Step 1

Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise through the stem end.

Next, cut each half in half through the stem end (you should have 4 quarters).

Cut off the bottom of each quarter at an angle to remove the core.

Close up of slicing a a quarter head of cabbage
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Step 2

Place a cabbage wedge cut-side down on a cutting board and cut lengthwise into very thin strips (For shorter strips, cut the wedge crosswise).

Sliced or shredded cabbage is perfect for slaws and salads. Try recipes like Simple Cabbage Salad or Vinegary Coleslaw. Or, enjoy it in hot recipes like Pan-Fried Cabbage with Bacon & Shallot or Warm Cabbage-Apple Slaw.

How to Cut Cabbage into Wedges

Related Items

Close up of a knife being used to cut an onion in half
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Step 1

Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise through the stem end.

close up of a wedge of cabbing being cut in half
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Step 2

Next, cut each cabbage half into 4 to 6 wedges (you will have 8 to 12 cabbage wedges in total). Keeping the core intact will prevent the cabbage wedge from falling apart as it cooks.

Cabbage wedges make for an easy, delicious side dish. Recipes like Melting Cabbage, Roasted Savoy Cabbage with Orange Vinaigrette and Charred Cabbage with Buttermilk-Herb Dressing are all tasty ways to use cabbage wedges.

How to Cut Cabbage into Steaks

Related Items

Close up of a head of cabbage being cut in half
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Step 1

Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise through the stem end. 

Close of up slicing a head of cabbage
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Step 2

Cut each cabbage half into 2 to 3 steaks, cutting lengthwise through the stem end (you will have 4 to 6 cabbage steaks in total). Keeping the core intact will prevent the cabbage steak from falling apart as it cooks.

Cabbage steaks make a hearty vegetarian main dish or an impressive side dish. Add recipes like Cabbage Steaks or Red Cabbage Porterhouse Steaks with Herb Butter to your next menu.

How to Shred Cabbage with a Mandoline

Related Items

Close up of cutting a cabbage head in half
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Step 1

Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise through the stem end.

Close up of cutting a head of cabbage into wedges
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Step 2

Cut each cabbage half into wedges (width should not exceed the width of the mandoline).

Close up of cutting the core off a quarter of a head of purple cabbage
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Step 3

Cut off the bottom of each quarter at an angle to remove the core.

Close up of prepping a a wedge of cabbage to go onto a mandolin
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Step 4

Set up your mandoline with the straight cut blade. Place a cabbage wedge on the mandoline and secure it with the blade guard. 

Close up of cabbage being cut on a mandolin
Credit: Carolyn Hodges

Step 5

While holding the blade guard, run the cabbage wedge up and down the slicer to shred the cabbage.

A mandoline is a useful tool to quickly and easily shred cabbage. Using a mandoline ensures uniform pieces of cabbage. We like the OXO Good Grips Simple Mandoline Slicer to get the job done (buy it: OXO, $44).

How to Store Cut Cabbage

Only using half the cabbage? Wrap the leftover cabbage half tightly in plastic wrap and store in your fridge's crisper drawer. Cut green and red cabbage will keep well for 10 days, while cut savoy and napa cabbage will last about a week. If the cut side discolors in the fridge, simply slice it off before using. You can store chopped, sliced or shredded cabbage in an airtight container or zip-top bag lined with a paper towel in the fridge for up to 3 days. (For a long-term storage solution, learn how to freeze cabbage.)