Pan Seared Red Cabbage Wedges

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Don’t knock these uber simple Pan Seared Red Cabbage Wedges until you’ve tried them ~ this quick and easy side dish is not only healthy, it’s positively addictive!

Red Cabbage is one of ‘those’ foods.  You feel a twinge of guilt every time you pass a gaggle of them at the grocery store.  You know they’re good for you, but what the heck do you do with them?

I eat it maybe twice a year.  Once at Thanksgiving, when we make my great-grandmother’s braised red cabbage, cooked with apples and vinegar.  It gets more polite passes than takers, but even though I think it’s really good, I never think to make it at any other time of year, it’s just a Thanksgiving thing.  And then, maybe, once a summer, I make homemade slaw and I’ll throw in some red cabbage for color.  That’s about it for me and red cabbage.

So when I saw this simple recipe in the NYT for seared red cabbage wedges, and I read that: “The seared flavor of the cabbage is so appealing it is almost addictive.” I knew I had to try it. I know it’s possible, because I’ve had that experience with Brussels sprouts, where the flavor just explodes when the sprout is caramelized by high heat.  After all, the two are related, so it makes sense that what works for one would be just as good with the other.

A good hot skillet and some olive oil is all you need for this.  I drizzled the seared wedges with a tiny bit of pomegranate molasses just before serving, and that turned out to be a stroke of pure genius.  If there’s a better, healthier, easier side dish, I haven’t heard of it.

other colorful side dishes to try ~

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3.73 from 11 votes

Minimal Monday: Pan Seared Red Cabbage Wedges

Course Gluten Free, Healthy, Paleo, Side Dish, vegetarian, Winter
Yield 4


  • 1 small head red cabbage
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper


  • Wash the cabbage and remove any loose outer leaves.
  • Cut the cabbage into quarters, and then into eighths. Leave the core in so the wedges don't fall apart when you sear them.
  • Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan, cast iron works well, and put the wedges in when the oil is very hot. You will see the heat rippling across the surface. The cabbage should sizzle on contact.
  • Let the wedges cook for about 4-5 minutes per side, and get nice and browned before you flip them. Tongs work best for this. Add more oil if the pan gets dry.
  • Serve hot with salt and pepper.


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  • Reply
    March 17, 2019 at 7:40 am

    My hubby and I love red cabbage. We make slaw all the time. This time I tried your pan fried and added granny apples. it was fabulous

    • Reply
      March 17, 2019 at 8:37 am


  • Reply
    January 19, 2013 at 8:30 am

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  • Reply
    Joy Bee
    December 4, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    This is a great idea. I have half a head in my fridge (left over from slaw the other day). I will definitely try this.

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    November 27, 2012 at 10:31 am

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    Magnolia Verandah
    November 27, 2012 at 4:53 am

    I love cabbage and brussels raw or cooked. My nan use to pickle red cabbage at Christmas along with her own pickled onions and we would be sent home from her house laden with preserved jars of the stuff. Must dig out her recipe and post it. Lovely with cold turkey leftovers.

  • Reply
    November 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    I’ve grill (outdoors) cabbage but never thought of preparing it on the stovetop … duh !! Thanks for sharing. I really enjoy your blog.

  • Reply
    The Café Sucré Farine
    November 26, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    You got me convinced Sue, I’m picking up red cabbage next time I’m at the market! It will be a wonderful respite from all the crazy rich holiday foods, thanks!

  • Reply
    November 27, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Wow Sue – this is so interesting and looks amazing. I adore Brussels Sprouts so I think I would love this too. Red cabbage is going on the list! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  • Reply
    November 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    I love cabbage–red, green, savory, whatever. Seared wedges like this sound perfect for winter!

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    November 26, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    It’s gorgeous! and I just roasted some brussles sprouts and stunk up my house fiercely over the weekend – gotta love the brassica family for that 🙂 I want your cabbage!