Smothered Cabbage

Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 30 min.


8 servings

Updated: Jun. 27, 2023
Ham adds smoky and salty flavor to this southern side dish. You could also used smoked sausage, smoked turkey leg or bacon. Serve the cabbage with your favorite pork chop dinner or roast chicken. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Smothered Cabbage Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cubed fully cooked ham
  • 6 cups coarsely chopped cabbage
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; add onion. Cook and stir until tender, 3-5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until cabbage is tender, 5-7 minutes. Serve with a slotted spoon.
Smothered Cabbage Tips

What kind of cabbage should you use?

If you've ever learned about the different types of cabbage and how to cook them, you'll know that some are more tender than others, which means they take less time to cook. Green cabbage is used in this recipe, but red can be used, too. However, red cabbage will take a bit longer to cook because it's not as tender as green cabbage, and it will also turn all the other ingredients a reddish-blue color. Savoy and Napa cabbages are more tender than green cabbage, and can also be used in this recipe—but they'll take less time to cook than the recipe directs.

What else can you put in smothered cabbage?

Smothered cabbage is really versatile. Add sweetness with shredded carrots or parsnips, or by replacing the broth with apple juice or cider. Top the smothered cabbage off with cooked crumbled bacon or toasted chopped pecans for added crunch.

How do you prevent cabbage from getting mushy?

When it comes to cabbage recipes, the doneness really depends on personal preference. Most people prefer slightly past crisp-tender, but definitely before "mushy", which can easily happen if the cabbage is cooked for too long. The secret is tasting the cabbage frequently toward the end of the cooking time, so you pull it off the stovetop just before it gets to the perfect texture for you. (The cabbage will continue cooking for a couple minutes even after it's removed from the heat.)

What do you serve with smothered cabbage?

Smothered cabbage is a great stovetop side dish for roast chicken recipes or pork chop dinners. If you're looking to get more veggies at every meal, you could even serve it as a side for your favorite easy egg recipes at breakfast.

Peggy Woodward, Taste of Home Senior Food Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 65 calories, 4g fat (0 saturated fat), 5mg cholesterol, 320mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 3g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat.