Here’s a quick guide for How to Cut Cabbage for dishes like Cole Slaw and Sautéed Cabbage, plus to how to core, slice, or shred cabbage with a knife or mandolin.

Ingredients matter too, but so much of how you experience food can be changed just by how you cut it.

How to Cut Cabbage - Shown Shredded on a Cutting Board

Whenever I pick up a fresh head of cabbage from the store, this is how I prep it for cooking.

Then you can change up how you cut it depending on the dish, whether you’re making cabbage steaks, cabbage soup, or need some thinly sliced cabbage for cole slaw.

How to Prepare Cabbage:

If the cabbage comes from the store with thick, dark, and fibrous outer leaves, and you’re making something like cole slaw where the cabbage will be eaten raw, you will likely want to remove those first:

Whole Purple and Green Cabbage on Counter

Those leaves are tougher than the inner part, and I’ll remove them and save for cooked applications, like sautéed cabbage or soups:

Removed Outer Leaves from Green and Purple Cabbage

How to Cut Cabbage:

Locate the stem on the bottom, then cut the entire cabbage through the stem:

Cutting Cabbage Head in Half Through Core

Cut those halves in half to yield quarters, then it’s very easy to cut the core out, like this:

Cabbage Cut into Quarters and slicing out Core

How to Slice Cabbage:

For dishes where you want thin ribbons of cabbage, use a knife or mandolin to cut, laying the cabbage quarter on its flat side:

How to Shred Cabbage with a Knife Slicing Downward

However, if you have a mandolin, I think it’s much better for slicing and shredding.

You will get more even, uniform long strands, and it can be a little quicker than cutting with a knife:

Shredded Cabbage - On a Board After Run on mandolin

You can see the difference here between the hand-cut cabbage on the left, and the mandolin-cut cabbage on the right:

Shredded Cabbage - Side by Side Mandolin vs Hand Cut

I probably could’ve taken my time a bit more and made then knife-cut pieces thinner, but the mandolin is so much easier.

Now the cabbage is ready to be used in whatever recipe you’d like, such as a Classic Cole Slaw:

Cole Slaw - with Green and Purple Cabbage and Carrot Shreds in White bowl

For more produce cutting guides, I have How to Dice Zucchini, How to Cut a Watermelon, and more in my Vegetable Sides section of the recipe index. Happy cooking!

Finely Shredded Cabbage on Cutting Board

How to Cut Cabbage

How to Cut Cabbage for dishes like Cole Slaw and Sautéed Cabbage
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Ingredients

  • 1 head of red or green cabbage

Instructions 

  • If using the cabbage for a raw preparation such as cole slaw, I recommend removing any thick and fibrous outer leaves.
  • Rinse and dry the cabbage well, then cut in half through the stem.
  • Cut those halves in half to yield quarters, then cut the core out of each quarter.
  • Lay each cabbage quarter on a flat side, and thinly slice into ribbons. The cabbage is now ready to be used!

Nutrition

Calories: 56kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 2g, Sodium: 40mg, Potassium: 385mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 225IU, Vitamin C: 83.1mg, Calcium: 91mg, Iron: 1.1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.