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Italian Cabbage
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Italian Cabbage

Italian cabbage with sweet and smoky notes from fennel, tomato, onion and smoked paprika. Add some buttery cannellini beans or some plant based sausage to make a meal of things, It’s the perfect meatless weeknight dinner, easy, super flavorful and nutritious.
Course Entree
Cuisine Italian
Keyword beans and cabbage, Italian cabbage, Plant-Based, Vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 131kcal
Author Florentina



  • Preheat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium heat and add a good lug of olive oil.
  • Add the sliced onions and a pinch of sea salt. As the onion starts to soften and release its water content turn up the heat so the liquid evaporates and the onion starts to get some color.
  • Pan fry the onions until nicely golden with crispy edges. Stir in the chili flakes if using. Add 1 tablespoon of the fennel seeds and toast with the onion until fragrant.
  • Stir in the smoked paprika and tomato paste and cook for a few minutes until the sugars begin to caramelize.
    Italian cabbage ingredients.
  • Add the shredded cabbage, season with a pinch of salt and black pepper then mix everything well, scraping any brown bits from the bottom.
  • Stir in the liquid smoke if using and cook down the cabbage until wilted and softened and the sugars start to caramelize again on the bottom. You want little golden bits only so be careful not to burn it.
  • Push the mixture to the side and add a light drop of olive oil to toast the remaining fennel seeds and infuse a new layer of flavor into your dish.
  • Stir in the cannellini beans and toss to coat well. Cook only until warmed through. Adjust seasonings and serve with fresh parsley or dill, fresh bread or bruschetta.


  •  “Salsiccia e Cavolo"  - To make Italian sausage and cabbage follow this exact recipe and add some pan seared plant based Italian sausage like "Beyond Meat".
  • Seasoning - remember to season at different stages with salt and pepper to build layers of flavor throughout the cooking process.
  • Savoy Cabbage - if using Savoy cabbage make sure to use and entire head as the leaves are loosely packed unlike green cabbage. 
  • Soup - make an Italian cabbage soup by adding a quart of vegetable stock at the last minute and worming it through.
  • Storage - if you happen to have any leftovers transfer them to a lidded glass container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.


Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 303mg | Potassium: 355mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 706IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 4mg