sweetheart cabbage recipe

Easy-to-Follow Sweetheart Cabbage Recipe: A Tasty and Nutritious Side Dish

A hearty, flavorful side dish can elevate any meal, turning it from good to unforgettable. Whether it’s a family dinner, a cozy meal for two, or a festive gathering, the right accompaniments make all the difference. Sweetheart cabbage, with its mild flavor and tender leaves, offers just that—an opportunity to add something special that’s delicious and nutritious to your dining table.

This article walks you through a straightforward sweetheart cabbage recipe that’s quick, easy, and oh-so-delicious. Ideal for both novice cooks and kitchen pros, this recipe aims to simplify the process while maximizing flavor. 

From selecting the perfect cabbage head to the final touches that make the dish shine, every step is detailed to ensure you can easily recreate this tasty and nutritious side dish in your kitchen.

What is Sweetheart Cabbage?

Sweetheart cabbage stands out as a distinct variety among the cabbage family. This one comes with a pointed head, unlike its more common counterparts, green or white cabbage. It’s often referred to by other names like pointed or hispi cabbage. The heads are generally small, usually weighing between 1.7 and 3.3 lbs. 

This makes it convenient for single-meal preparations or small families. Its unique shape is not the only distinguishing feature; its texture is notably softer, making it easy to cook and chew.

However, sweetheart cabbage’s real charm lies in its flavor profile. It has a milder, sweeter taste compared to other types of cabbage. This makes it exceptionally versatile in the kitchen, suitable for various cooking methods such as stir-frying, steaming, and grilling. 

Beyond its culinary advantages, sweetheart cabbage is also a nutritional powerhouse. It’s rich in essential vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, K, and B6, and nutrients like calcium and folate. Whether you aim for taste or nutritional benefits, this particular cabbage variety checks all the boxes.

Selecting the Perfect Head

When it comes to buying sweetheart cabbage, quality is key. Look for heads that feel fresh and crisp when lightly squeezed. A vibrant, bright green color is often a good indicator of freshness and quality. 

These factors ensure you’re getting a cabbage full of flavor and nutrients. While you may notice some outer leaves with minor blemishes or damage, this is typically not a cause for concern. These leaves are usually removed before cooking and don’t affect the quality of the inner leaves.

Aside from appearance, texture also matters when choosing the right sweetheart cabbage. The leaves should be tightly packed, and the head should feel heavy for its size. This usually means the cabbage is juicy and fresh. 

On the other hand, avoid heads that appear wilted, have discolored spots, or feel light. These signs often indicate that the cabbage has been sitting on the shelf for too long and has likely lost some flavor and nutritional value. By taking a little extra time to choose the perfect head, you set the stage for a delicious and nutritious meal.

Storage Tips

  • Whole Head: This cabbage variety is best when consumed within a week if stored in the fridge.
  • Cut Wedges: If cut, wrap the leftover pieces in cling film and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, chop, blanch, and freeze the cabbage for up to 6 months.

Preparation Steps

  1. Removing Outer Leaves: Start by peeling off and discarding damaged outer leaves.
  2. Rinsing: Wash the cabbage under cold water.
  3. Halving: Cut the cabbage into two halves.
  4. Coring: Make a V-shaped cut to remove the core.
  5. Quartering and Shredding: Cut the halves into quarters and then shred them into thin slices.


  • Cabbage: One small head (approx. 2 lbs)
  • Unsalted Butter: A small dollop
  • Olive Oil: A splash
  • Soy Sauce: For flavor
  • Optional: Black pepper, salt, and parsley for garnishing

Cooking the Sweetheart Cabbage

  1. Heat Up: Place a pan over medium heat.
  2. Butter and Oil: Add butter and olive oil to the heated pan.
  3. Cabbage In: Toss in the shredded cabbage.
  4. Stir and Cook: Stir for 5-7 minutes until the cabbage softens.
  5. Soy Sauce: Add a splash for flavor enhancement.
  6. Season: Optionally, add black pepper and a pinch of salt.
  7. Final Touch: Stir for 2-3 minutes and garnish with parsley, if desired.

The Bottom Line

This simple sweetheart cabbage recipe is more than just a side dish; it celebrates flavor and nutrition. This guide has covered everything from selecting the freshest cabbage to storing it properly and finally cooking it to perfection. Whether new to cooking or an experienced chef, this recipe offers a quick and nutritious addition to any meal. So why wait? Dive into the kitchen and elevate your next meal with this tasty and nutritious sweetheart cabbage side dish!






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