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How to Cut Cabbage

Learning how to cut cabbage will give you endless recipe options in the kitchen. From simple summer side dishes to elegant braised veggies, with cabbage, the possibilities are endless!

hand cutting cabbage in half


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Cabbage is such a versatile vegetable. Of course, there’s coleslaw, an essential dish for every backyard BBQ. But cabbage can also be sauteed, grilled, braised, and used in soups, stir-fries, and many other dishes.  

At first glance, a cabbage may look easy to cut, but once you make that first slice, things can get a little tricky. Some recipes call for thin pieces of cabbage, some for thicker chunks, and some require fine shredding to get the job done.

Whether you need to slice, quarter, or wedge your cabbage, this handy guide for how to cut cabbage has got you covered!

The Equipment You’ll Need

To cut cabbage, you’ll need two pieces of equipment: a chef’s knife and a cutting board.

The chef’s knife

Unlike lettuces, which have a higher water content, cabbage are dense veggies; their large size alone can also make them difficult to cut. With this in mind, when learning how to cut cabbage, you’ll want to use one of your sharper chef’s knives to cut through the cabbage’s body with ease.

What type of cutting board to use with cabbage

A cabbage’s round shape and weighty feel mean it can easily slip around on the cutting board. To safely cut your cabbage, use a non-skid cutting board or one sturdy enough to stay in place while you’re working. This is the best way to ensure the cabbage doesn’t slip out from under you while you’re working.

How to cut cabbage steaks

hand cutting cabbage steaks

Roasted cabbage steaks are tender, caramelized, and hearty addition to any dinner. Knowing how to cut cabbage steaks is a great skill. 

Like their cauliflower steak counterparts, chunky cabbage steaks are becoming a favorite addition to weeknight meals for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. They also take just minutes to prep, so you can have a healthy, delicious veggie on the table in a flash. 

Start by cutting off the bottom (the root) of the cabbage. This will help you achieve clean and even cabbage steaks. Now, set the cabbage down on the cutting board so that it’s balancing on the newly cut flat bottom. Hold the cabbage like a fresh loaf of bread and begin slicing 1” “steak” pieces. Viola! 

How to cut cabbage quarters

cabbage cut into fourths

The sturdy shape of cabbage quarters makes them great for braising and grilling. To cut cabbage quarters, cut the cabbage in half and place the cabbage facedown on the cutting board. Now, cut both halves down the center again. Cutting cabbage quarters is as easy as that!

In addition to braised and grilled cabbage, cabbage quarters are also used in corned beef recipes, a St. Patrick’s Day favorite. Try cutting the quarters again to give you wedges for a showier display on your serving platter! These can be placed around the brisket for the perfect presentation.

How to chop cabbage

hand showing cabbage beng chopped

You may need chopped cabbage for a quick recipe, like this fried cabbage or this Instant Pot cabbage. Just slice the cabbage longways and then turn the cabbage on the side. Then cut across the slices.

How to cut cabbage for slaw

hand slicing cabbage

Crunchy coleslaw is the perfect summer side dish. It’s light, crisp, and goes great with backyard favorites like grilled chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs. In other words, knowing how to cut cabbage for coleslaw is a summer requisite.

When cutting cabbage for slaw, start by cutting the head of the cabbage right down the center through the stem. Place the cabbages on the cutting with the face-side down, so that the dome of the cabbage is on top. Next, cut the cabbage in half again. This will give you cabbage quarters. 

Cut the core from the wedges, and then place the cabbage wedges on their side. If you’d like longer pieces of cabbage, slice the cabbage lengthwise, and if you prefer shorter pieces, cut it widthwise. 

Sliced cabbage has so many uses. Use sliced cabbage as a topping for tacos and in soups, salads, and stir-fries. Many recipes like this Jamaican steamed cabbage also call for sliced cabbage. Sliced cabbage cooks quicker than larger pieces of cabbage, making it a preferred cutting method for many home cooks.

Slicing cabbage with a mandolin

cabbage sliced with mandolin

If you’re making a recipe that calls for sliced cabbage, like coleslaw, stir fry, or a fresh summer salad, and you’re worried about cutting uniform slices, try using a mandolin. A mandolin will give you perfect sliced cabbage every time.

For this method, cut the cabbage into quarters or eighths and then slowly grate the end of the cabbage against the mandolin blade. 

You should use smaller pieces when working with a mandolin because they’re easier to hold. Some home cooks also use cut-resistant gloves for extra safety.