Cabbage is a delicious, nutritious way to add flavor and crunch to a meal, but sometimes you end up with more of this versatile veggie than you can (or want to) use in a week. Knowing if you can freeze cabbage (spoiler: you can! and I’ll tell you how to do it!) will save you from unnecessary produce heartache.
What’s So Great About Cabbage
It’s crisp, it’s nutritious, it adds flavor and color to a dish. This cousin to lettuce, kale, and broccoli gets a bad rap sometimes due to its taste, texture, and smell, but there are a lot of things to love about it.
Cabbage is full (FULL!) of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that are unbelievably good for you. Vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, fiber, calcium, magnesium – the list goes on. You can read more about the specific benefits of cabbage in this article.
One downside is that fresh cabbage only keeps in the fridge for roughly 5 days, max. Meaning, if you’re not careful, the days can get away from you and by the time you remember that leftover half of a cabbage head that got pushed to the back of the refrigerator, it’s too late to actually use it.
So what are your options?? Are you doomed to a lifetime of tossing forgotten cabbage out week after week, or is there a way to avoid that fate?
Can you freeze cabbage?
Can Cabbage Be Frozen?
Yes, yes, 1000% yes! You can totally freeze cabbage. Like other produce, cabbage can be frozen raw or blanched. It really just depends on how long you want to store it and how you might use it when it’s thawed.
How Do You Freeze Cabbage?
Have extra cabbage you want to use fairly soon, but not soon enough to keep it in the fridge? Freezing it raw is your best option. Frozen raw cabbage will have a better, more crisp texture when it’s thawed. Just make sure to use it within 6-8 weeks of freezing.
You can freeze cabbage heads whole, in halves, or in quarters. You could also go ahead and shred the cabbage first, then freeze it. Either way, rinse the cabbage to start, then dry it really, really well. Spread the cut or shredded cabbage out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and pop the pan in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours (or until completely frozen) to flash freeze the cabbage. Once it’s frozen, you can transfer it into zippered freezer bags or airtight, freezer-safe containers.
Note: Soaking the cabbage in cold, lightly salted water for a few hours before flash freezing it will help remove any potential pests or pesticides that might be hiding in the leaves (if your cabbage comes from your garden or the farmers’ market).
Blanching the cabbage before you freeze it is perfect if you want to keep cabbage on hand to use months from now. Frozen blanched cabbage will keep for roughly 10 months, so don’t be afraid to stock up when your favorite type of cabbage is in season.
To blanch the cabbage, all you need to do is boil a pot of water. Once it’s hot and bubbling, submerge the cabbage (whole, halved, or quartered) and let it boil for 3 minutes. It’s really important that you don’t leave it in the water too long! You want it just blanched, not fully boiled. At the 3-minute mark, immediately transfer the cabbage into a big bowl of ice water. That’ll keep the cabbage from cooking any more than it already has.
Once it’s cooled completely, use the flash freezing method from the section above to freeze the blanched cabbage.
How to Thaw Frozen Cabbage
Ok, so now we’ve tackled “can you freeze cabbage”. Fast forward a month or two. You’ve had a freezer full of cabbage for a while and you’re ready to make something tasty. How do you actually use the rock solid veggie you’ve been stockpiling?
Well, the easiest (and honestly best) way is just to transfer the frozen cabbage from the freezer to the fridge. Leave it in the bag or container it’s in (you might want to freeze it in small batches so you don’t have to thaw a whole lot later) and just let it chill (pun intended) in the fridge until it’s completely thawed. Depending on the size of the cabbage you froze and the amount you’re thawing, it may take a day or two to thaw, so keep that in mind when you’re planning your meals. Once it’s thawed, though, just drain it and use it as you need!
My Favorite Ways to Use Cabbage
- Egg Roll in a Bowl with Creamy Chili Sauce (Keto, Whole30, Paleo)
- Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage
- Red Cabbage Soup
- How to Boil Cabbage (Easy, Buttery Boiled Cabbage Recipe)
- Chipotle Coleslaw
- Paleo Chinese Chicken Salad (Whole30)
- Southwestern Egg Roll in a Bowl
- Crockpot Cabbage
- Sous Vide Corned Beef
- Kielbasa and Cabbage
- Beef Chow Mein
- How To Shred Cabbage (3 Ways)
- 15-Minute Fish Tacos (Made with Fish Sticks!)
- Breakfast Egg Roll in a Bowl (Whole30, Paleo)