Butter-Braised Cabbage

Butter braised cabbage

The Spruce

  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
77 Calories
4g Fat
9g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 77
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 66mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Protein 2g
Calcium 64mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Gently cooking chopped cabbage in a bit of butter and salt creates a meltingly tender, richly flavored side dish perfect to serve with roast meats of all kinds. Plus, it couldn't be easier. It's one of those the-sum-is-greater-than-it's-parts dishes, for sure. The loose, gently curly leaves of savoy cabbage are particularly perfect for this dish, but regular green cabbage works just as well.

This side dish is fabulously flexible. It goes with a huge range of main dishes: roast chicken, grilled steak, broiled fish, rice, and beans—the list is practically endless.


  • 1 small head savoy cabbage (or green cabbage)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Fine sea salt (to taste)
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for cabbage
    The Spruce
  2. Remove and discard any beat-up, wilted, or browning leaves from the exterior of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters, cutting out the thick, solid core at the center. You can either discard the core or slice it very thinly and include it in the mix.

    Remove browning leaves
    The Spruce
  3. Chop the cabbage into bite-size pieces (bigger or smaller doesn't matter too much, so don't fret over chopping them evenly for this dish unless you want to).

    Chop cabbage into piece
    The Spruce
  4. Melt the butter in a large frying pan or sauté pan over medium-high heat.

    Melt the butter in frying pan
    The Spruce 
  5. Once the butter has melted and stopped foaming, add the cabbage, sprinkle it with salt, and add 3 tablespoons of water, stirring to combine.

    Add cabbage to pan
    The Spruce
  6. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring the cabbage now and again as needed until the cabbage is very tender and liquid is completely absorbed - about 20 minutes.

    Cover and reduce heat
    The Spruce
  7. If for some reason the cabbage isn't tender, but the pan is dry, and another 2 tablespoons of water and continue cooking, adding a tablespoon of water at a time, if necessary, until the cabbage is tender to the bite.

    Add water
    The Spruce
  8. Season the cabbage to taste with additional salt, if you like, and serve hot or warm.

    Season the cabbage
    The Spruce
  9. Enjoy!


  • Add extra flavor by using chicken stock or white wine in place of the water as the braising liquid.
  • Sprinkle in some fresh herbs like parsley or thyme right at the end. The French mix of herbes de Provence or fines herbes are both good choices.
  • Rosemary is lovely, too, just be sure to start by adding very little, since its stronger flavor can easily overwhelm this more delicately flavored dish.
  • Grate on a few shavings of hard cheese, like Parmesan or aged Gouda, while the cabbage is still hot, right before serving, so it melts into the cabbage for a surprisingly tasty addition.
  • Stir in 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite spice mix to the melted butter before adding the cabbage. Ras el hanout, garam masala, and even curry powder are good options.