How To Cut Cabbage

Learn how to cut cabbage for slaws, stir fries, soups, and more! This step-by-step guide teaches you how to slice it into wedges, shreds, and squares.

How to cut cabbage

Ever wondered how to cut cabbage? You’re in the right place! Today, I’m breaking down my favorite easy methods for how to cut cabbage for salads, slaws, soups, and more.

This post is part of my mission to get everyone to eat cabbage more often. This humble vegetable is nutritious, delicious, and versatile (not to mention cheap!), but I’ll admit, from the outside, it can be intimidating. Where do you start with a veggie that looks like a miniature globe?

I hope that the step-by-step instructions and tips below make preparing cabbage feel simple. And if you need an idea for how to use it after you chop it up, find some of my favorite cabbage recipes at the bottom of this post!

Red cabbage next to three green cabbage wedges

Types of Cabbage

When you head to the produce section of your grocery store, you’ll likely see one or more of these types of cabbage:

  • Green cabbage (pictured above) – Its crisp, pale leaves pack densely into heavy round heads. Left raw, green cabbage is perfect for classic coleslaw, but it also cooks up nicely into soups and sautés.
  • Red cabbage (pictured above) – From the outside, it looks just like green cabbage, except it’s, well…red. Add it to a slaw or grain bowl, or roast it.
  • Napa cabbage – This variety of Chinese cabbage has a long, ovular shape. Its leaves have crisp white stems and soft, frilly pale green edges. I love napa cabbage raw or cooked in dishes like stir fries and sautés.
  • Savoy cabbage – A whole Savoy cabbage and a whole green cabbage have a lot in common. Both are round; both are green. But Savoy cabbage’s leaves are much more loosely packed, and they have a softer, rufflier texture. Though this cabbage variety hails from the French Alps, its tender texture makes it a great sub for napa cabbage in many recipes.

These types of cabbage all look different from the outside, but you can learn how to cut any of them using the guide below!

Green cabbage wedges on cutting board next to pile of chopped cabbage

How to Cut Cabbage Into Wedges

Cutting cabbage into wedges can be your end goal OR the first step towards cutting it into another shape, like shreds or squares. It breaks down a large, unwieldy head of cabbage into more manageable pieces.

  1. Start by removing any outer leaves that are tough, wilted, or discolored. Rinse the cabbage and blot it dry with paper towels or a kitchen towel.
  2. Then, locate the stem or core. It will be at the bottom of the cabbage where the leaves join together.
  3. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the cabbage in half lengthwise through the core.
  4. Cut the halves in half, again lengthwise through the core, to form four wedges.

Are wedges your stopping point? Continue to slice the cabbage pieces through the core until the wedges are your desired thickness. I think 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick is a great size for searing or roasting.

Want to learn how to cut cabbage into thin slices or squares? Keep reading!

How to cut cabbage - shredded cabbage on cutting board with mandoline

How to Cut Shredded Cabbage

First thing’s first: see the section above to learn how to cut a cabbage into wedges.

  1. Once you have four wedges, place one wedge cut side down on your cutting board.
  2. Cut diagonally along the core to remove it from the wedge.
  3. Then, use a sharp chef’s knife to thinly slice the cabbage wedge crosswise, working down from the pointy tip towards where you cut out the core.
  4. Repeat with the remaining wedges!

That’s it! Use the shredded cabbage in coleslaw, tacos, and more.

  • Variation 1: For longer shreds, cut the cabbage lengthwise instead of crosswise. Thinly slice it along one of the cut edges of each wedge.
  • Variation 2: For very finely shredded cabbage, use a mandoline slicer. Hold a cabbage wedge at the core end and run the tip over the mandoline blade to slice it. Be sure to use the safety guard!
  • Variation 3: For chopped cabbage, like I use in my cabbage soup, cut each wedge lengthwise into 1-inch uniform slices. Then, cut 1-inch slices crosswise to form a grid. The leaves will separate into squares.

How to cut a cabbage - partially shredded green cabbage on cutting board with chef's knife

Favorite Cabbage Recipes

So, you learned how to cut a cabbage. How are you going to cook it? If you need some inspo, try making one of these recipes:

Simple Feel Good Food cookbook on marble

You can find even more delicious cabbage recipes in my new cookbook, Love & Lemons Simple Feel Good Food.

In fact, it includes a 3-day meal plan that’s designed to use a whole head of cabbage! The plan recipes—Seared Cabbage Wedges, Loaded Pita Nachos (pictured below), and Chickpea Tacos with Pickled Cabbage (pictured below)—are some of my favorites in the book. Pre-order it now to get a free BONUS e-book!

Loaded pita nachos and chickpea tacos with pickled cabbage

Get This Recipe In Your Inbox
Share your email, and we'll send it straight to your inbox. Plus, enjoy daily doses of recipe inspiration as a bonus!

How to Cut Cabbage

rate this recipe:
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves 8
Learn how to cut cabbage for slaws, soups, and more! All you need is a sharp knife and a cutting board.



  • 1 head cabbage


  • Remove any outer leaves from the cabbage that are tough, discolored, or wilted. Rinse the cabbage and pat it dry. Place on a cutting board.
  • Locate the stem or core at the bottom of the cabbage where the leaves join together. Use a sharp chef's knife to slice the cabbage in half vertically through the core. Cut each half in half vertically through the core to form four wedges.
  • To cut thinner wedges for roasting or searing, continue to cut the cabbage wedges vertically through the core until they reach your desired thickness.
  • To cut shredded cabbage for slaws or sautés, place one cabbage wedge cut side down on your cutting board. Cut diagonally along the core to remove it from the wedge. Working down from the pointy tip to the core end, thinly slice the cabbage crosswise. Repeat with the remaining wedges.
  • To cut chopped cabbage for a stir fry or soup, cut each wedge into 1-inch slices lengthwise, then cut it into 1-inch slices crosswise to form a grid. The leaves will separate into squares.
  • Find recipe suggestions in the post above, or check out these 17 Best Cabbage Recipes.


5 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. octordle

    5 stars
    I enjoy eating sautéed or sauteed cabbage since it makes me more attractive. You can also prepare a variety of recipes with cabbage or just eat it raw.

  2. AMC

    Thanks! My issue is usually that the cabbage is very tightly packed and thus, even when following directions like these, several of the layers cling together. If sauteeing, the process of stirring them around tends to break them loose, but for roasting or salads the layers remain stuck. Any tips for cutting tightly-packed cabbage in a way that creates the needed separation?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi, I like to lightly toss cabbage with my hands after I cut it. That usually separates the layers before I add it to a salad or roast it. Hope this helps!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.