This roasted Cabbage Steaks recipe takes regular cabbage and turns it into a rich, tender, and caramelized vegetable side dish! It’s a simple 5-ingredient recipe that’s easy to make again and again.
Introducing a new and improved way to eat cabbage: Cabbage Steaks! Just like cauliflower steaks, they aren’t pretending to be like real steaks. Instead, a whole cabbage is sliced into thick “steaks”, dressed with oil and simple seasonings, then roasted until you have tender, lightly caramelized, and richly flavored cabbage leaves.
All my life I’ve been assuming cabbage is only good for coleslaw. Boy have I been wrong! Cabbage is an amazing vegetable, just like brussels sprouts or cauliflower, and deserves more attention.
Vegan cabbage steaks will change how you look at cabbage. As they cook, the edges become golden and slightly crisp while the inner leaves soften and tenderize. All of the bitterness from the raw cabbage is left behind as the finished result is addictively rich, smoky, and savory.
How to make cabbage steaks
Find the complete recipe with measurements in the recipe card below.
Tear off and discard any loose or dark leaves from the cabbage. Slice the whole cabbage into thick slices to end up with around 6 steaks, depending on the size of your cabbage.
Stir the oil, garlic, salt, and smoked paprika in a bowl.
Lay the cabbage steaks on a baking sheet and brush the seasoned olive oil mixture over each slice. Flip, then repeat on the other side.
Roast the cabbage steaks in the oven until they’re browned on both sides and the middle is tender.
Season the baked cabbage steaks with freshly cracked pepper and/or the garnishes of your choice, then enjoy!
Air fryer instructions
Making air fryer cabbage steaks is easy and doesn’t require any flipping. Start by pouring ¼ cup of water in the bottom of the basket (underneath the grates), then place one or two steaks in the basket. Air fry at 360ºF for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly crisp on the outside and tender in the middle. Repeat with the rest of the cabbage wedges, then serve.
Just like brussels sprouts, cabbage steaks can be served as a side dish with any main dish you love. The mild smoky flavors pair particularly well with the dishes you would find at a summer barbecue, like my Tempeh Reuben sandwich, BBQ Tempeh Ribs, and Vegan Potato Salad.
Last time I made these, I just had them as my lunch and ate almost a whole head of cabbage! So delicious.
Slice the cabbage ahead of time, and whisk the oil, spices and salt in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to cook for a super simple vegetable side dish!
- More ways to season cabbage – Mix up the seasonings in this recipe as much as you like! You can use Old Bay, chili powder, dried herbs, or cumin instead of or in addition to the smoked paprika. Alternatively, swap the oil and seasonings for vegan garlic butter!
- Oil free – Oil is crucial for roasting the cabbage because it tenderizes the inside and forms a golden crust on the outside. You could try using vegetable broth as an oil free substitute, but it’s unlikely to work as well.
- Purple cabbage – You can easily make this recipe with purple cabbage steaks if that’s what you already have at home. Just know that purple cabbage has a stronger flavor than green cabbage, but it will still be delicious.
- Finish with a garnish – Once the cabbage steaks are done roasting, finish them off with a sprinkle of vegan parmesan, crushed nuts, fresh parsley, caramelized onions, crumbled tofu or tempeh bacon, or a drizzle of barbecue sauce.
If you end up with leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. They reheat well in the air fryer or for about 1 minute in the microwave.
You can freeze the cabbage steaks, but the texture might change a bit. Thaw, heat in the oven and serve when hot.
Want more vegetable side dishes?
- Green Bean Casserole
- Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
- Vegan Collard Greens
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Squash and Zucchini
- 1 medium-large green cabbage
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- optional: fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease with olive oil.
- Remove any loose, dark leaves from the cabbage. Slice into 1 inch thick slices, cutting from the top to the bottom (or root end). You will get 6-8 steaks.
- In a small bowl, add the olive oil, garlic, salt and smoked paprika. Stir to combine.
- Arrange the cabbage steaks on the prepared pan. Brush the cabbage with the seasoned olive oil mixture, then flip each one over and brush the other side as well.
- Roast in the oven for 20 minutes until lightly browned. Flip them over carefully with a large spatula, and place back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes, until the center of each cabbage steak is tender.
- Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper if desired and serve hot. Leftovers will keep for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave, air fryer or oven until warm.
- You can use a bit less oil if needed, or use half the oil and half vegetable broth. The oil is what makes the cabbage so tender and delicious, so try not the skip it altogether.
- Green cabbage works best, but you can also use red cabbage.
- Air fryer – Pour ¼ cup of water in the bottom of the basket (underneath the grates), then place one or two steaks (coated in the sauce) in the basket. Air fry at 360ºF for 8 to 10 minutes or longer, until slightly crisp on the outside and tender in the middle. Repeat with the rest of the cabbage.