Steamed Cabbage Recipe Two Ways

Steamed Cabbage in a bowl

The Spruce

  • Total: 13 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 8 mins
  • Yield: 2 portions (2 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
258 Calories
12g Fat
36g Carbs
8g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 portions (2 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 258
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 263mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 16g 56%
Protein 8g
Calcium 253mg 19%
*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.)

Whether you use the stove or the microwave, steamed cabbage is a fantastic side dish. It is quick and easy and is an excellent companion to beef, pork, ham, and sausage.

Surprisingly, cabbage is one of the few things that actually cooks well in the microwave. If you don't have a stovetop steamer or steam basket, use the microwave. No microwave or steamer? Not a problem. All you need is a large pot with a lid and a metal colander.

Steaming any vegetable is a breeze no matter what tools are at your disposal. You'll find that steaming is one of the best ways to enjoy many of your favorite veggies. You get to enjoy their natural flavor, yet it's enhanced with this simple cooking method and a little seasoning.

For steamed cabbage, you can keep it very simple. This recipe can be used with either the microwave or stovetop method and the simple addition of butter and salt lets that delicious cabbage flavor shine.

If you like, add freshly chopped dill with 2 tablespoons of sour cream instead of the butter. Or, just add a few of your favorite dried herbs to the butter and salt.


  • 1/4 small cabbage (cut into slices)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt (to taste)

Steps to Make It

How to Steam Cabbage in the Microwave 

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Cut cabbage, butter and salt
     The Spruce
  2. Place the sliced cabbage in a small microwave-safe casserole dish.

    Cabbage in a casserole dish
     The Spruce
  3. Add 1/4-inch of water.

    Cabbage in a bowl, water added
     The Spruce
  4. Cover and microwave on high for 8 minutes. (If your microwave doesn't have a turntable, turn the dish 1/4 turn halfway through cooking.)

    Cabbage in microwave
     The Spruce
  5. Drain water from the dish.

    Draining water from casserole dish
     The Spruce
  6. Add butter and salt.

    Steamed Cabbage with butter and salt
     The Spruce
  7. Serve.

How to Steam Cabbage on the Stove

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Cut cabbage, butter and salt
     The Spruce
  2. Fill a large pot with water and set a steam basket or metal colander on top of the pot. The water in the pot should be just below the basket.

    Metal basket for steaming
     The Spruce
  3. Bring the water to a boil, then add the sliced cabbage to the basket.

  4. Cover the basket with a lid and steam until the cabbage is tender and crisp. Most cabbage takes about 5 to 8 minutes. Some varieties like Napa, bok choy, and savoy cabbage may only take 3 to 5 minutes. (If using a colander, be sure that you leave a little space so the steam can escape. Tilting the lid works quite well.)

    Cabbage steaming in a pot
     The Spruce
  5. Remove the cabbage from the basket and add butter and salt.

    Steamed cabbage in a bowl with butter and salt
     The Spruce
  6. Serve and enjoy!


  • This recipe serves two people, but you can easily increase the servings. Begin with more cabbage and use 2 tablespoons butter for every 1/4 of a cabbage head.
  • If your mesh colander is too big for your pot, all is not lost, you just need to cover the gap. Simply tear off a piece of foil that reaches halfway around the pot, then tear that in half lengthwise. Wrap these two pieces of foil around each side of the pot and colander to seal the steam inside. If you fold the edge of the foil over the top of the colander it will stay in place (foil's very flexible, so mold it into place).