Hearty and Healthy Irish Braised Cabbage Recipe

Looking for a hearty and delicious Irish-inspired dish to warm you up on a chilly evening? Look no further than my Irish Braised Cabbage Recipe. This recipe is packed with flavor, featuring tender cabbage cooked with savory bacon and aromatic caraway seeds. Whether you are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or just craving a taste of Irish cuisine, this dish is sure to delight your taste buds.

As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I have always been drawn to the simplicity and richness of Irish dishes. With its humble ingredients and bold flavors, Irish Braised Cabbage is an excellent example of this cuisine at its finest. So why not put down the boiled cabbage and try something new?

This recipe is also incredibly easy to make – all you need is a few simple ingredients and a bit of patience as you cook the cabbage low and slow for maximum tenderness. So grab your Dutch oven and let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Irish Braised Cabbage
Irish Braised Cabbage

Let me tell you why this Irish Braised Cabbage recipe is the one you’ve been craving for. Firstly, it’s an authentic Irish dish that dates back to St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a dish that you can have any time of year, but it’s best in the springtime when new cabbage is available.

Secondly, this recipe has many layers of flavors that are sure to excite your taste buds. You’ve got crispy bacon and tender cabbage that are cooked together with onions and caraway seeds to create a unique, savory taste. You can also add some heavy cream if you want to add a richer flavor to the dish.

Thirdly, this dish is straightforward to make and can be done in under 30 minutes! All you need is a Dutch oven or pot and some basic ingredients like white cabbage, onions, bacon, butter, and caraway seeds. You don’t have to be an expert in cooking; anyone can make this delicious comfort food.

Lastly, this recipe is so versatile and can be paired with many different dishes. The braised cabbage recipe tastes great with beef, chicken or pork roast as well as with boiled potatoes or colcannon Irish mashed potatoes. Carrots are another excellent side for this cabbage recipe.

In summary, this Irish Braised Cabbage recipe will change the way you look at cabbage forever! It’s quick and easy to make, packed with flavors and goes well with so many other meals. Try it today and discover a new love for this green veggie that’s so rich in vitamins and minerals!

Ingredient List

 Tender cabbage braised in a flavorful broth, it's the perfect side dish!
Tender cabbage braised in a flavorful broth, it’s the perfect side dish!

Let’s start with the ingredients that you’ll need to make this Irish Braised Cabbage Recipe. Don’t worry, you won’t be needing any fancy ingredients for this dish.

  • 1 medium head of green cabbage
  • 4 strips of bacon, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup water

If you want to add more flavor, you can also use additional ingredients such as shredded carrots or red onions. For a vegetarian option, simply skip the bacon and use vegetable broth instead of water.

The Recipe How-To

 With its bright green color and melt-in-your-mouth texture, this Irish braised cabbage is a feast for the senses.
With its bright green color and melt-in-your-mouth texture, this Irish braised cabbage is a feast for the senses.

Now comes the fun part, cooking the Irish Braised Cabbage! Are you ready to create an explosion of flavors in your mouth? Let’s get started!


  • 1 medium head white cabbage, cored and sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 6 strips bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream


  1. In a large Dutch oven, over medium-high heat add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pot and reserve it for later use.

  2. In the same pot over medium heat add butter until melted, then add yellow onion and cook until they are soft and translucent.

  3. Add the sliced cabbage, caraway seeds, sugar, salt, and pepper to cover everything.

  4. Once everything is mixed properly, add enough water or chicken broth so that it covers half of the cabbage mixture.

  5. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour or until the cabbage is soft enough to cut with a fork but not too mushy.

  6. Check often while cooking to see if you need to add more water/broth; add as needed.

  7. When the braised cabbage is tender enough for you liking, remove from heat and stir in bacon bits and heavy cream.

This dish is perfect on its own but it pairs well with beef, lamb or pork dishes with a nice pint of Guinness or Irish whiskey to accompany it. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your favourite meat for added personal flair.

Important Tip: Remember that this is braised cabbage – this isn’t boiled or sauteed cabbage, so make sure there’s plenty of liquid in the pot at all times! So, what are you waiting for? Grab your apron and let’s get cooking some Irish Braised Cabbage!

Substitutions and Variations

 This cabbage is loaded with savory flavors, making it the perfect partner for your favorite main dish.
This cabbage is loaded with savory flavors, making it the perfect partner for your favorite main dish.

Now, let’s get creative with this recipe by trying out some substitutions and variations. If pork bacon isn’t your cup of tea or if you’re a vegetarian, the recipe is still available to you. For vegetarians, you can switch the bacon with 2 teaspoons of smoked or sweet paprika for that smoky taste.

If you prefer a healthier option, replace the heavy cream with plain Greek yogurt or coconut cream. You can also skip it altogether and allow the butter to add richness to the braised cabbage.

Feeling adventurous? Try adding some sliced carrots or red onions for extra sweetness and texture. The subtle bitterness of caraway seeds enhances the aroma of the dish as well.

If you’re planning on serving it besides Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day, a beer-braised version would be an excellent addition to your table setting. Or you can try butter-braised or Irish fried cabbage as an accompaniment to your Colcannon Irish dish.

For something unique, switch out white cabbage for purple cabbage, which adds a vibrant hue and a crispy texture.

Remember, these substitutions are merely suggestions; feel free to experiment based on your palate preferences.

Serving and Pairing

 The combination of tangy vinegar, sweet brown sugar, and salty bacon make this braised cabbage recipe a dish to remember.
The combination of tangy vinegar, sweet brown sugar, and salty bacon make this braised cabbage recipe a dish to remember.

Now that you’ve got yourself a hearty pot of Irish braised cabbage, it’s time to serve it up in style. This dish is a perfect accompaniment to so many main courses, especially those savory and meaty Irish dishes. Serve with a pint of dark beer and some freshly baked soda bread to get the full Irish experience.

Pair this dish with traditional Irish fare such as corned beef and colcannon or any other type of hot meat dish for a filling meal that will stick to your ribs. A classic Sunday roast could also benefit from the addition of this delicious side.

As an alternative, try serving the braised cabbage alongside some sausages or serve it over steamed rice for a simple but satisfying dinner. For a vegetarian twist, pair with pan-fried tofu or roasted vegetables.

And don’t forget about the leftovers! Reheat this dish and eat it on its own, mix it in with scrambled eggs, or add some shredded kale and sliced almonds for a healthy lunch option.

No matter how you decide to serve it up, be sure to have this Irish-style braised cabbage available at your next St. Patrick’s Day celebration or family gathering.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This dish is vegetarian friendly, and perfect for those who are looking for a healthy and hearty meal.
This dish is vegetarian friendly, and perfect for those who are looking for a healthy and hearty meal.

Now that you’ve indulged in this traditional Irish dish, you may be wondering what to do with the leftovers. Luckily, braised cabbage is a versatile recipe that can be easily stored and reheated for future meals.

If you want to make things easier on yourself during meal prep, this dish can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Simply reheat it in the microwave or stove-top when ready to serve. The flavors will continue to blend together, creating a more intense and savory taste.

If you find yourself with too much braised cabbage, simply freeze it for later use. Be sure to place it in an airtight container or freezer bag before storing it in the freezer. Braised cabbage can remain good for up to three months in the freezer.

When you’re ready to use your frozen braised cabbage, make sure to thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. You can then reheat it on the stove-top, over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through.

Whether you’re serving leftovers or reheating frozen braised cabbage, it’s important not to overheat and dry out the cabbage. If reheating on the stove, add a little water or chicken broth to prevent dryness and ensure your dish is as delicious as when it was first made.

Trust us when we say that once you’ve tasted this delicious Irish Braised Cabbage Recipe, it’s more than likely that there won’t be many leftovers. But if there are, these tips will ensure food waste doesn’t occur and allow for a quick and easy meal later on in the week or month.

Tips for Perfect Results

 With tender cabbage and crispy bacon, this dish is all about texture and flavor.
With tender cabbage and crispy bacon, this dish is all about texture and flavor.

There are a few tips and tricks to ensure that your Irish braised cabbage recipe turns out perfectly every time. Here are some recommendations from a chef specializing in British cuisine:

1. Don’t overcook the cabbage: It’s important to keep an eye on the cabbage while it’s cooking. Overcooking can result in soggy and flavorless cabbage. You want the cabbage to still have a bit of crunch and so you should cook it for about 12-15 minutes until tender but not falling apart.

2. Balance the flavors: The traditional Irish braised cabbage recipe typically includes bacon, which adds saltiness and a smoky flavor to the dish. If you’re not using bacon, be sure to taste and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt, pepper, and sugar.

3. Choose high-quality ingredients: Since this is a relatively simple recipe with few ingredients, it’s important to use high-quality ones for the best flavor. Opt for fresh white or red cabbage, yellow onions, and unsalted butter for this rich and comforting dish.

4. Experiment with variations: While the traditional Irish braised cabbage recipe calls for bacon or caraway seeds, don’t be afraid to experiment with other spices and additions such as shredded carrots or green apples.

5. Serve at the right temperature: For maximum flavor impact, be sure to serve this dish warm or at room temperature. Avoid serving it straight out of the fridge or reheating it too many times, which can cause it to lose its texture and flavor.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a delicious and hearty bowl of Irish braised cabbage that is perfect for any meal or celebration!


As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I know that when creating a recipe article, it’s important to include a section that addresses the most common questions and concerns that readers might have. With this Irish Braised Cabbage Recipe, I’ve anticipated some potential queries and provided answers to help ensure success in the kitchen. So let’s dive into the FAQ section and address any lingering doubts or inquiries you might have about this delicious dish!

Why do you put vinegar in cabbage when boiling it?

To maintain the lovely purple hue of red cabbage, it is essential to add a small amount of vinegar while cooking; otherwise, the cabbage will transform into a blue shade.

Why do you put baking soda in cabbage?

When preparing cabbage, a little trick to prevent it from turning an unappetizing gray and emitting an unpleasant smell is to add some baking soda to the boiling water. This simple addition can help to maintain the bright green color of the cabbage for longer and make your dish more visually pleasing.

Is cabbage an Irish dish?

The dish I will be sharing with you today is a traditional Irish recipe called Cabbage and Bacon. The dish consists of tender cabbage stewed in a flavorful broth made from boiled pork belly.

How do you make Patti Labelle cabbage?

To begin making this scrumptious British dish, take a large pot and place it over medium-high heat. Pour in the grapeseed oil and let it heat up for a bit. Add in the onions, bell peppers, and cabbage along with some flavorful seasoning such as sea salt, seasoning salt, black pepper, and cayenne to give an extra kick to the dish. Keep stirring the mixture occasionally while it cooks under the cover. After around 10 minutes, you will notice the cabbage getting tender and wilted, which is a good sign to move on to the next step.

Bottom Line


In conclusion, the Irish Braised Cabbage recipe is a must-try for any food enthusiast looking to taste an authentic Irish dish. The combination of butter, bacon, and caraway seeds gives this cabbage an excellent flavor profile that pairs perfectly with many entrees. Whether served as a side dish or as a vegetarian main course, this recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

With its versatility and straightforward cooking process, this recipe can be adapted to different variations such as beer-braised or butter-braised cabbage. Plus, with St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, there’s no better time to try your hand at making some of these dishes.

Don’t forget that it is vital to use fresh ingredients for the perfect result! So give this recipe a try and let us know which unique twist you added in for an exciting twist.

Trust us; you don’t want to miss out on this classic Irish delicacy. Cheers!

Irish Braised Cabbage

Irish Braised Cabbage Recipe

This comes from a magazine article written by a local chef in March 2001 for St. Patrick's Day. He had spent a month in Ireland years ago learning to cook Irish. All of his recipes are wonderful.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 60 Mins, European, Low Protein
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Calories 80.8kcal


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1/2 head white cabbage, cored and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


  • In a large, heavy pot, melt the unsalted butter and saute the onions, salt and pepper until the onions are clear.
  • Add the sugar and cabbage and stir 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the water and mustard, cover and simmer on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Then add the cream and cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes more.


Serving: 118g | Calories: 80.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.9g | Protein: 1.3g | Fat: 5.9g | Saturated Fat: 3.6g | Cholesterol: 17.8mg | Sodium: 638.9mg | Fiber: 1.9g | Sugar: 4g

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