Roasted Cabbage Steaks with Garlic Breadcrumbs

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Roasted Cabbage Steaks with Garlic Breadcrumbs

Cabbage is the unsung hero of the produce drawer. Unlike most green vegetables, it's tough and long-lasting: the whole head stays fresh for at least a week or two in the fridge.

My favorite way to prepare cabbage is to grill thick slices of cabbage until golden brown and tender.

Roasted cabbage has a slightly sweet, mild flavor and a crisp-tender texture. There is no porridge here.

For this recipe, the cabbage is thickly sliced to resemble beef steaks, and while they don't exactly replace meat, they make a healthy vegetarian side dish or main dish.

They are quick to prepare.

Cut a whole cabbage into five or more steaks, brush each with a simple dressing of olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, smoked paprika, and honey, and place in a hot (450°F to be exact) oven.

This recipe starts with a very hot oven.

The temperature drops after putting the kale in the oven. This helps the cabbage have crisp, smoky edges without burning.

While the cabbage steaks are roasting, make garlic breadcrumbs on the stovetop to sprinkle on top.

This dish is flavorful and slightly smoky, with a satisfying garlic crunch on top.

It comes together quickly, perfect for a last minute weeknight dinner.

How to choose cabbage

The best cabbage for roasting is green or white cabbage.

They have a neutral flavor and tight leaves that make them ideal for slicing steaks, seasoning, and grilling.

Green cabbages are easy to find year-round.

Look for cabbage that is firm and heavy for its size. They will hold their shape better and cook more evenly.

While red cabbage might work, the leaves tend to be thicker, take longer to cook, and the color isn't as nice when roasted.

Collards with loose leaves such as kale and napa are not recommended. They will crumble into a heap of leaves.

How to keep cabbage steaks from falling apart

Cabbage is made up of densely packed leaves that split apart when you cut them.

To prevent cabbage steaks from falling apart, follow these steps:

  • Remove outer leaves that are dry or damaged.
  • Cut the cabbage from the crown to the stem. Many sliced cabbage recipes call for cutting the stem, but I've had better luck making consistent steaks that cook evenly when sliced in the opposite direction.
  • The stem passes only through the center of the cabbage. Cutting along the stem instead of across it (as I do) leaves only the center pieces connected, and the outer layers fall off. Slicing it crosswise means each fillet will be well packed.
  • The slices should be about 1 inch thick. Thick slices stick together more than thinner slices, which tend to fall apart.
  • Handle steaks carefully while brushing on sauce and gently flip. The sides may touch when placed on the baking sheet; this can help prevent them from unrolling.
  • When transferring the roasted cabbage steaks to the serving, use a large spatula. If any sheets come apart, simply roll them back into place. No one will be wiser.

Exchanges and Substitutions

You can treat cabbage steaks like a blank slate.

While the sauce I use to coat the cabbage gives it a nice flavor, you can simply top it with olive oil, salt, and black pepper, or use your favorite seasoning blend.

There are also plenty of opportunities to customize the ingredients.

Gluten free: Swap the soy sauce for tamari. Skip the panko breadcrumbs or switch to gluten-free breadcrumbs. Instead of breadcrumbs, you can also use thinly sliced scallions and roasted and salted peanuts.

Vegan: Swap the honey for maple or agave syrup.

Switch up the spices: Instead of smoked paprika, use five-spice powder, chili powder, or your favorite barbecue spice mix.

Chili Crisp: Swap out the garlic bread crumbs for chili crisp or top with both for lots of texture and flavor.

Gremolata: Swap out breadcrumbs for this tangy, spicy seasoning for a kick of freshness.

Bacon: Cabbage and bacon go together very well. Add two slices of crispy, crumbled bacon to the breadcrumbs for a meaty bite. If you have bacon grease on hand, swap it out for all or part of the oil.

What to Serve with Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Cabbage Steaks can be served as a hearty side dish or as a vegetarian main course.

Cabbage pairs well with pork, like these classic pork chops or slow cooker pork loin, as well as beef, like a tender roast.

Serve them with extra creamy mashed potatoes and glazed carrots for a vegetarian feast.

How to store leftovers

Roasted cabbage steaks should be served hot right after cooking.

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

To reheat them, microwave them in 30 second intervals.

Alternatively, heat them in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes or until heated through.

Store breadcrumbs separately in an airtight container on the counter for up to one day or in the refrigerator for up to five days.


  • 1 green cabbage (2 to 3 pounds)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped


Prepare the oven and baking sheet:

Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Prepare the kale:

Peel and discard the dried, browned outer leaves of the cabbage.

Lay it on a cutting board on its side, stem end to the left or right.

Use a sharp chef's knife to cut cabbage into 1-inch steaks.

Handle them carefully so they don't fall apart.

You should get 4-6 slices depending on the size of your cabbage.

Discard the end with the tough stem.

Arrange the cabbage steaks in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Their sides can touch each other.

If there is not enough space, you can use two baking sheets.

Make the sauce:

In a small bowl, combine 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, paprika, and honey.

Use a fork to beat until the honey is completely dissolved.

Brush the sauce over the cabbage slices, using half of the sauce. Gently flip the cabbage steaks and brush the other side, using the remaining sauce.

Sprinkle the cabbage steaks with 1/4 teaspoon each of the kosher salt and black pepper. It's okay to season just one side.

Roasting Kale Steaks:

Place the cabbage steaks in the oven and lower the temperature to 400°F.

Roast until the edges are golden brown, the center is crisp-tender and can be easily pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the cover:

In a small skillet over medium heat, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

As soon as the oil starts to shimmer when you tilt the pan, add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds.

It should be sizzling and fragrant, but not brown.

Add panko breadcrumbs, red pepper flakes (if using), and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix the panko in the garlic oil well.

Toast the panko, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the parsley.

Plate and serve:

Use a large spatula to transfer the roasted cabbage steaks to a platter or plates and top each with garlic breadcrumbs before serving.

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