Cabbage Braised in Red Sauce

It still confounds me what pops up on the internet when I least expect it. I’m talking recipes of course. With all of the cooking I’ve done for almost 40 years (yikes!) I just love it when something unique shows itself.

Case in point, a Bon Appetit recipe called Fall-Apart Caramelized Cabbage. It wasn’t the name that caught my attention, but the photo of charred and braised cabbage in a red sauce. I just had to make it.

Mine isn’t as beautifully styled, but it is still a beautiful dish, and most importantly, delicious.

Cabbage Braised in Red Sauce
Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit

1/4 cup double-concentrated tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne chile pepper flakes
1 medium head of green cabbage (or savoy), about 2 pounds total
1/2 cup extra-virgin oil, divided
Kosher salt
1 cup broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Creme fraiche

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix tomato paste, garlic, coriander, cumin, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

I like to use tomato paste in a tube.

Cut cabbage in half through core. Cut each half through core into 4 wedges.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, add cabbage to pan, cut side down, and season with salt.

Cook, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer cabbage to a plate.

Pour remaining 1/4 cup of oil into skillet. Add spiced tomato paste and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until tomato paste begins to split and slightly darken, about 2-3 minutes.

Pour in enough water to come halfway up sides of pan, season with salt, and bring to a simmer. I used vegetable broth mixed with tomato sauce for extra flavor. The original recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of water.

Nestle cabbage wedges back into skillet (they should have shrunk while browning; a bit of overlap is okay). I placed the wedges of charred cabbage in a baking dish instead of using the skillet.

Transfer cabbage to oven and bake, uncovered, turning wedges halfway through, until very tender and liquid has mostly evaporated, about 40-50 minutes. Cabbage should be caramelized around the edges.

Scatter chopped parsley over the cabbage.

Serve with creme fraiche.

Today I wanted lamb so that’s what I made for the protein! But the cabbage would be prettier with grilled chicken or sausages.

I think the red sauce would also be good with some oregano and a pinch of cinnamon, instead of the coriander and cumin. But leave in the cayenne!

Honestly, if the red sauce was more Italian-inspired, I could definitely see some grated Parmesan sprinkled over the top!

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Frank Fariello March 9, 2020 at 6:31 AM - Reply

    My, that does look good! And I just happen to have a half head of cabbage that needs some love.

    • chef mimi March 9, 2020 at 7:28 AM - Reply

      Perfect. You’ll love this!

  2. chezlerevefrancais March 9, 2020 at 7:26 AM - Reply

    That looks delicious and I think I would go for some cheese anyway!

    • chef mimi March 9, 2020 at 7:29 AM - Reply

      It certainly wouldn’t hurt! Cheese is always a good thing!

  3. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen March 9, 2020 at 8:07 AM - Reply

    I love that you charred the cabbage first. This looks divine.

    • chef mimi March 9, 2020 at 8:20 AM - Reply

      It’s truly a wonderful recipe!

  4. StefanGourmet March 9, 2020 at 11:39 AM - Reply

    This is intriguing. I think I have to try it, too. And I will look if there is any Italian version of it around.

    • chef mimi March 9, 2020 at 11:56 AM - Reply

      Of course it would be easy to turn Italian. And it would be fabulous!

  5. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats March 9, 2020 at 1:44 PM - Reply

    Looks delicious! Love the caramelization of the cabbage and sauce.
    I also use tomato paste in tubes. It’s so handy and easy to use.

    • chef mimi March 9, 2020 at 2:12 PM - Reply

      I don’t know how it rates cost wise, but it’s so smart and easy! I just discovered the tomato sauces with the lids as well.

      • Ronit Penso Tasty Eats March 9, 2020 at 2:36 PM

        It is more costly, but I take into consideration the many times I ended up throwing away half an opened can…

  6. Katherine | Love In My Oven March 9, 2020 at 4:56 PM - Reply

    This is the second post about cabbage I’ve read today, and I’m not mad about it! I’ve been eating a ton of cabbage lately. It’s so good, and versatile. This looks almost too good to be so simple! Yum!

    • chef mimi March 9, 2020 at 4:59 PM - Reply

      It is so versatile, isn’t it?!! I’ve never seen it charred and braised before. I’m so glad I tried it!

  7. cookingontheweekends March 9, 2020 at 9:25 PM - Reply

    What a beautiful side dish. I love the texture of braised cabbage, and imagine it’s amazing with all of those spices! So delicious. I love what you’ve plated it with and you presentation is lovely. :-) ~Valentina

    • chef mimi March 10, 2020 at 11:30 AM - Reply

      Thank you Valentina! It is really a unique and wonderful recipe. Of course, I could eat anything with red sauce!

  8. 2pots2cook March 10, 2020 at 5:51 AM - Reply

    Oh yes ! You bring beautiful memories to me with this one; my grandmother used to make “red cabbage” and served it with mashed potatoes for lunch; so tasty, so healthy, so good, so comforting ! Thank you dear Mimi !

    • chef mimi March 10, 2020 at 11:30 AM - Reply

      Cabbage and potatoes – a match made in heaven!!!

  9. March 10, 2020 at 11:28 AM - Reply

    Oh My! This looks gorgeous. Never thought this lovely makeover of cabbage. The step by step recipe is so much helpful. Thank you for sharing! 😊

    • chef mimi March 10, 2020 at 11:31 AM - Reply

      Thank you! I was really impressed with how unique this recipe was. But it’s so simple and is so worth making. I’d serve it with sausages next time.

      • March 10, 2020 at 11:33 AM

        Aah….nice! I am keen to view more of your posts…😊

  10. kitchenriffs March 11, 2020 at 9:48 AM - Reply

    Charred cabbage is terrific stuff. As is braised cabbage. Haven’t combined the two methods, though, as this recipe does. Neat!

    • chef mimi March 11, 2020 at 10:20 AM - Reply

      Yeah, you’ll love it!

  11. Abbe@This is How I Cook March 11, 2020 at 10:33 PM - Reply

    I love cabbage and this seems like a fresh new accompaniment to corned beef. Thanks Mimi. (And I have no idea why you can’t comment on my blog. Sent the question to my helper and I wlll keep you posted!)

    • chef mimi March 12, 2020 at 6:57 AM - Reply

      Okay, good. It’s been happening for a while.

  12. Dahn Boquist March 11, 2020 at 11:40 PM - Reply

    Wow this looks really good, I love braised cabbage!

    • chef mimi March 12, 2020 at 6:56 AM - Reply

      It was really good. And braised, but no liquid. Really unique!

  13. Katerina Delidimou March 12, 2020 at 5:52 AM - Reply

    I bet the taste was explosive! I love these types of side dishes!

    • chef mimi March 12, 2020 at 6:56 AM - Reply

      Exactly! Really unique and wonderful!

  14. David @ Spiced March 12, 2020 at 6:35 AM - Reply

    Perfect timing on this one, Mimi…cabbage is silly cheap right now thanks to St. Patrick’s Day sales! I must admit that I’ve never heard of braised cabbage like this. I’m super intrigued!

    • chef mimi March 12, 2020 at 6:56 AM - Reply

      It’s unique, isn’t it?!! And really good.

  15. Linger March 12, 2020 at 10:02 AM - Reply

    Not only does this look DELICIOUS, but it is gorgeous as well. I’m really excited to try it. Thanks for sharing such a unique recipe.

    • chef mimi March 12, 2020 at 10:11 AM - Reply

      You are so welcome! You’ll love it.

  16. Laura March 12, 2020 at 11:24 AM - Reply

    I saw that photo, too, Mimi! I wondered how it was, really, because you know, some people (at my table) are non-cabbage-eaters. But I’m glad to know its so lovely, and I think I’m going to try it out on my fam!

    • chef mimi March 12, 2020 at 2:00 PM - Reply

      It was really wonderful. I had two girlfriends over and we had it as a side. Of course, one is Hungarian, so I knew she loved cabbage, but the other is picky!

  17. Tandy | Lavender and Lime March 13, 2020 at 4:00 AM - Reply

    I am salivating! That looks so tempting and inviting and I cannot wait for winter and cooler weather to try it.

    • chef mimi March 13, 2020 at 7:24 AM - Reply

      So simple, and yet so many great flavors in this.

  18. David Scott Allen March 14, 2020 at 11:20 AM - Reply

    And now you have (easily) convinced me to make this! Looks like a good dinner on its own! Maybe I gave you on Bon Appétit too soon!

    • chef mimi March 14, 2020 at 4:49 PM - Reply

      I would need a sausage or something, but it’s a terrific side.

  19. sippitysup March 15, 2020 at 1:32 PM - Reply

    Humble cabbage transformed into culinary art! GREG

    • chef mimi March 15, 2020 at 2:54 PM - Reply

      And, yumminess!

  20. popsiclesociety March 16, 2020 at 4:43 AM - Reply

    Wow! It is beautiful and I’m so hungry right now 😋

    • chef mimi March 16, 2020 at 7:32 AM - Reply

      Sorry, not sorry?!!

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