Cooked cabbage is a versatile and tasty complement to numerous dishes, making it an ideal side. With only cabbage, butter, salt, and pepper, you can create a delightful treat in just 30 minutes.
However, despite its culinary appeal, cooked cabbage often gets spoiled because of not knowing how to freeze it
So Can You Freeze Cooked Cabbage, And If Yes Then How Do We Freeze It?
Yes, you can freeze cooked cabbage for up to three months. Cool it, portion it into airtight containers, and label it with the date. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw before use. An easy way to reduce food waste and save time in meal prep
How to Freeze Cooked Cabbage?
Freezing cooked cabbage is a smart way to reduce food waste and have this nutritious vegetable readily available for future meals. Follow these steps for proper freezing:
- Cook and Prepare: Begin by cooking the cabbage to your desired tenderness. You can steam, boil, sauté, or even roast it. Ensure it’s properly seasoned and flavored.
- Cool Down: Let the cooked cabbage cool to room temperature. This prevents condensation inside the container, which can lead to freezer burn.
- Portion and Pack: Divide the cabbage into portions suitable for your future recipes. Place these portions in airtight containers or freezer bags.
- Remove Air: Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bags before sealing them. If using containers, ensure they are tightly sealed.
- Labeling: Label containers or bags with the date of freezing for easy tracking.
- Freeze: Place the containers or bags in the freezer. Cooked cabbage can stay good for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to use your frozen cooked cabbage, simply thaw it in the fridge and incorporate it into your favorite dishes, like soups, stir-fries, or casseroles. Freezing cooked cabbage is a convenient way to enjoy its flavors and health benefits year-round.
How to Thaw Frozen Cabbage?
Thawing frozen cooked cabbage is quick and easy:
- Refrigerator Thawing – For best results, transfer the frozen cabbage to the refrigerator in the morning to thaw gradually throughout the day. This helps maintain texture.
- Cold Water Thaw – For a faster thaw, place the frozen cabbage in a colander or bowl and run cold tap water over it, stirring occasionally. It should be thawed in an hour or less.
- Microwave Thawing – Microwaving does the job fastest, thawing a package of frozen cabbage in just 5-10 minutes. But this can sometimes lead to uneven thawing and a more watery texture when cooked again.
- Stovetop Thawing – Add the frozen cabbage directly to a pot, pan, or slow cooker to thaw and heat all at once. Add a small amount of water or broth and cook over low heat, allowing it time to gradually thaw as it heats through.
No matter which method you use, be sure to cook thawed cabbage immediately rather than trying to refreeze it once thawed.
How to Tell if Cabbage is Bad?
Being able to identify signs of spoiled cabbage can help you avoid foodborne illness. Here’s what to look for:
- Sliminess – Fresh cabbage feels firm and dry. Discard any cabbage that feels slimy or excessively moist.
- Wilting – Wilted, mushy leaves mean cabbage has gone bad. Fresh cabbage leaves are rigid and crunchy.
- Mold – The presence of fuzzy mold means cabbage should be discarded immediately. Mold can occur on both intact heads and pre-cut cabbage.
- Rotten Odor – Cabbage gives off a distinctly strong, unpleasant smell when spoiled. Some describe it as rotting, sulfur, or “rotten egg” odor.
- Discoloration – Good cabbage is vibrant green. Yellow, brown, or blackish spotting signals the cabbage is past its prime.
- Bitter Flavor – Cabbage that tastes bitter or “off” should not be eaten. Fresh cabbage tastes sweet and mildly earthy.
When in doubt, remember the adage “When in doubt, throw it out.” Don’t risk getting sick from eating cabbage that has gone bad.
How To Use Frozen Cooked Cabbage?
Frozen cooked cabbage is ready to use in all your favorite recipes once thawed:
- Add to soups – Use thawed cooked cabbage as an addition to vegetable, lentil, bean, or chicken noodle soup. It adds fiber, texture, and flavor.
- Make coleslaw – For easy cabbage slaw, thaw shredded cooked cabbage and mix it with mayo, vinegar, and shredded carrots.
- Stuff cabbage rolls – Thaw chopped cooked cabbage to make the filling for delicious stuffed cabbage rolls.
- Make cabbage hash – Sauté thawed chopped cabbage with diced potatoes and onions for a hearty cabbage hash.
- Bake a casserole – Mix thawed cabbage into casserole dishes like cabbage gratin or shepherd’s pie.
- Fill pierogies – Use thawed minced cabbage as part of the filling for pierogies, ravioli, or dumplings.
- Toss with noodles – Combine thawed cabbage with cooked egg noodles, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper for a fast side.
Thawed cooked cabbage can stand in for raw cabbage in almost any recipe. Adjust cook times since it needs just a quick reheat rather than a full cooking time.
How To Store Cooked Cabbage?
To retain the fresh flavor of cooked cabbage, proper storage is important:
- Let cool – Allow cooked cabbage to cool to room temperature within 2 hours before refrigerating.
- Refrigerate – Keep cooked cabbage refrigerated at 40°F or below. Refrigerate in shallow containers to allow for faster cooling.
- Use within 3-5 days – For best quality and safety, eat cooked cabbage within 3 to 5 days. Discard if it smells or appears slimy.
- Freeze for the longer term – Freeze-cooled cooked cabbage in airtight bags or containers for up to 6-8 months.
- Choose the right container – Glass or freezer-safe plastic containers are ideal for cabbage storage. Avoid reactive metals like aluminum.
- Portion it out – Divide cooked cabbage into individual or family-size portions before freezing for easier use.
Following proper storage methods for cooked cabbage helps retain its texture, flavor, and nutrients. Properly stored, cooked cabbage can be safely enjoyed for up to a week refrigerated or about 6 months in the freezer.
Q1. Is it better to freeze cabbage cooked or uncooked?
A1. It is generally better to freeze cabbage raw rather than cooked to help maintain its crunch and texture.
Q2. Does cabbage get soggy after freezing?
A2. Frozen cabbage can become soggy if not blanched before freezing. Blanching helps lock in texture during freezing.
Q3. How long does cooked cabbage last in the freezer?
A3. Cooked cabbage that has been properly frozen in airtight bags or containers will last about 6-8 months before quality loss.
Q4. Can you freeze boiled cabbage and potatoes?
A4. Yes, boiled cabbage and potatoes can be frozen together in an airtight container and enjoyed later after reheating.
Q5. What is the best way to freeze cooked cabbage?
A5. Cool cooked cabbage completely, package in airtight bags or containers leaving headspace, label, and freeze for 6 months.
Q6. Can you freeze cabbage instead of boiling it for cabbage rolls?
A6. Boiling or blanching cabbage is still recommended for the best texture in cabbage rolls, even when freezing.