Whether you’re making coleslaw, soup, or stew, you’ll need this essential ingredient: cabbage. But the thing is, this versatile veggie is only in season once a year. So does that mean you can only whip up these dishes during fall?
Cabbage may only have one peak season, and it may not have the longest lifespan, but thanks to the freezer, you can make your tasty cabbage dishes anytime you want.
As long as you store and freeze cabbage properly, this leafy veggie will keep well for up to 14 months! Want to find out how? Just keep scrolling.
How to Freeze Cabbage
There are two ways you can freeze cabbage depending on how long you want it to last. If you want it to keep for over a year, stick to the blanching method. But if you only need to keep it around for 4 to 8 weeks, you can skip that step entirely.
Method 1: Blanching
- Clean the cabbage. Take out the tough outer leaves and rinse under running water.
- For cabbage that’s bought at the farmers’ market or self-grown, soak the cabbage in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes. This will eliminate grit or cabbage worms. If you bought the cabbage at your local supermarket, you can skip this step.
- Shake it off! Shake the cabbage and pat dry with a dry towel.
- Slice the cabbage depending on how you’ll use it. You can slice them into wedges, shred them, or pull off whole leaves. If you’re cutting them in wedges, be sure to keep the cores intact so the leaves won’t separate.
- Boil water in a large pot. Drop the cabbage into the boiling water and blanch it for 3 minutes for wedges and 90 seconds for leaves and shreds. This step will get rid of any remaining bacteria in the cabbage.
- Take the cabbage out of the water and transfer it into a bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process.
- Shake it off again. Try to get rid as much excess water as you can. The drier it is, the less likely it will be to develop freezer burn.
- Flash freeze the cabbage on a lined cookie sheet.
- Take the cabbage out of the freezer and transfer it into freezer-safe bags. Squeeze out excess air and seal the bags.
- Freeze the cabbage for up to 14 months.
Method 2: No Blanching
- Clean the cabbage as instructed above.
- Slice the cabbage depending on how you’ll use it.
- If you’re freezing the cabbage whole, skip this step. Otherwise, flash freeze the cabbage slices for 6 to 8 hours.
- Wrap the cabbage in plastic wrap and store in airtight containers or freezer-safe bags. If using the latter, be sure to squeeze out any excess air before sealing the bags.
- Freeze the cabbage for 4 to 8 weeks.
How to Use Frozen Cabbage
Frozen and thawed cabbage has a variety of uses. You can use it raw to make coleslaw or cabbage rolls. Or how about some sauteed cabbage with onions? Or perhaps a stew? With cabbage, you’ve got limitless options.
If you need to use it raw, thaw the cabbage in the fridge for several hours before using it. But if you need it for soups or casseroles, no need to defrost! Just toss it into the pot and it will thaw naturally from the heat.
Tips & Tricks
Before you freeze cabbage, first make sure you’re picking the right ones. You want solid and dense cabbage heads with fresh-looking leaves. Ask the vendor when the cabbage was harvested to give you an idea of how fresh it is. If you’re growing them yourself, harvest them in the early morning.