Unveiling the Best Red Cabbage Substitutes: Reinvent Your Recipes with Versatile Alternatives by Alex Bayev July 31, 2023 by Alex Bayev Published: July 31, 2023Last Updated on August 16, 2023 123 views 123 PinYumTweetShareTelegramVibeFlip0 Shares Also known as purple cabbage, blaukraut, or red kraut, red cabbage is a vibrant and nutritious vegetable that adds a unique crunch and color to a variety of dishes. While its earthy and slightly peppery flavor is appreciated in many cuisines, certain scenarios might require an alternative. You may be seeking substitutes due to dietary restrictions, ingredient unavailability, or to suit flavor preferences. The best substitutes for red cabbage are green cabbage and radicchio, owing to their similar textures and flavor profiles. 👅 Flavor Profile Red cabbage boasts a robust, earthy, and slightly peppery flavor that intensifies when cooked, often mellowing to a sweet note. Its texture is crunchy when raw, becoming softer yet maintaining a pleasing bite when cooked. Red cabbage also has a vibrant color that can turn dishes into visual feasts. The closest in terms of flavor and texture are green cabbage and radicchio. 🔄 The closest replacements/substitutes Green Cabbage Substitute Ratio: 1:1 This relative of red cabbage offers a similar crunch, although its flavor is milder. It’s the most readily available and affordable substitute. It might not offer the vibrant color of red cabbage but it blends well into dishes without altering the overall taste too much. Taste and Texture: Milder and less peppery than red cabbage but with similar crunchiness. Nutritional Facts: Slightly lower in antioxidants due to its color, but still packed with vitamins and fiber. Price and Availability: Generally cheaper and available year-round in grocery stores. Radicchio Substitute Ratio: 1:1 Known for its bitter flavor, radicchio can be a bold alternative to red cabbage. It shares the same vibrant color, making it a good option for salads and slaws where color matters. Taste and Texture: More bitter than red cabbage, but the bitterness softens with cooking. Nutritional Facts: Radicchio offers a slightly lower fiber content, but is rich in antioxidants. Price and Availability: Radicchio tends to be more expensive and less common in regular grocery stores, but it can be found in specialized or high-end markets. Savoy Cabbage Substitute Ratio: 1:1 Savoy cabbage, with its ruffled leaves, offers a tender texture and a mildly sweet flavor, making it a suitable substitute for red cabbage in both raw and cooked applications. Taste and Texture: Mildly sweet and far less peppery than red cabbage with a tender crunch. Nutritional Facts: Savoy cabbage has slightly less vitamin C but a comparable amount of other nutrients and fiber. Price and Availability: Generally cheaper and available year-round in grocery stores, but availability may vary by location. Kale Substitute Ratio: 1:1 for cooked dishes, 2:1 for raw applications. Known for its high nutritional value, kale can be used as a substitute for red cabbage in cooked dishes. It has a robust, slightly bitter flavor and a tough texture that softens when cooked. Taste and Texture: Robust and slightly bitter. Kale has a tougher texture that softens when cooked. Nutritional Facts: Kale offers more protein, fiber, and vitamins than red cabbage, making it a highly nutritious substitute. Price and Availability: Fairly inexpensive and widely available in grocery stores year-round. Swiss Chard Substitute Ratio: 1:1 for cooked dishes, 2:1 for raw applications. Swiss chard is best used as a substitute in cooked dishes due to its tender texture when cooked and its mildly bitter flavor. Taste and Texture: Swiss chard is mildly bitter with a texture that becomes tender when cooked. Nutritional Facts: Swiss chard is high in vitamins K, A, and C, making it a nutritious substitute. Price and Availability: Moderate pricing and readily available year-round in most grocery stores. Bok Choy Substitute Ratio: 1:1 Bok Choy, an Asian vegetable, can be a unique substitute for red cabbage in certain dishes, especially stir-fries. It has a mild flavor with a pleasant crunch. Taste and Texture: Bok Choy has a mild, slightly sweet flavor with a crunchy stem and tender leaves. Nutritional Facts: Bok Choy is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K and is low in calories. Price and Availability: Moderately priced and available year-round, especially in Asian markets. Napa Cabbage Substitute Ratio: 1:1 Napa cabbage, also known as Chinese cabbage, has a sweet, mild flavor and a soft texture, making it a good substitute in cooked applications. Taste and Texture: Napa cabbage has a sweeter and milder flavor than red cabbage, with a softer texture. Nutritional Facts: Napa cabbage has a lower fiber content but is a good source of vitamins A and C. Price and Availability: Napa cabbage is readily available in grocery stores, especially Asian markets, and is moderately priced. Brussels Sprouts Substitute Ratio: 1 cup of shredded red cabbage to 1 cup of halved Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts, when shredded or sliced, can be an interesting substitute for red cabbage, especially in cooked applications. They have a similar flavor profile with a dense texture. Taste and Texture: Brussels sprouts have a dense texture and a flavor profile similar to cabbage but with a slight nuttiness. Nutritional Facts: Brussels sprouts are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Price and Availability: Brussels sprouts are widely available and moderately priced in most grocery stores. Beet Greens Substitute Ratio: 1:1 for cooked dishes, 2:1 for raw applications.Beet greens, with their earthy flavor, can be used as a cooked substitute for red cabbage in certain dishes. Taste and Texture: Beet greens have an earthy flavor, and their texture becomes tender when cooked. Nutritional Facts: Beet greens are packed with vitamins K, A, and C, as well as fiber, making them a nutritious substitute. Price and Availability: Beet greens are usually sold with beets and are readily available in grocery stores at a moderate price. Broccoli Slaw Substitute Ratio: 1:1 Broccoli slaw, made from shredded broccoli stems, can substitute for red cabbage in raw applications like salads and slaws. It has a sweet, mild flavor and a crunchy texture. Taste and Texture: Broccoli slaw has a sweet, mild flavor with a crunchy texture. Nutritional Facts: Broccoli slaw is high in fiber and vitamins A and C. Price and Availability: Broccoli slaw is available in the salad section of most grocery stores at a moderate price. 🔪 How to Use Red Cabbage Substitutes in Recipes Salads Incorporating red cabbage substitutes like green cabbage, radicchio, or kale in salads can bring a new level of flavor and texture to your dish. Green cabbage pairs well with creamy dressings, while radicchio can hold up to robust vinaigrettes. If using kale, remember to massage the leaves with a bit of oil to soften them before adding to your salad. Slaws Slaws are traditionally made with cabbage, and substitutes such as green cabbage, Savoy cabbage, and broccoli slaw fit in perfectly. They all offer the desirable crunch, while their flavors add a unique touch to the slaw. Remember to slice your substitute thinly to mimic the texture of shredded red cabbage. Stir-fries Substitutes like Bok Choy, Napa cabbage, and Swiss chard can really shine in stir-fries. Their ability to absorb flavors while maintaining some crunch makes them ideal for quick, high-heat cooking. Just remember to add them later in the cooking process to avoid overcooking. Soups For soups, a more tender substitute like Savoy cabbage, Swiss chard, or spinach can be an excellent choice. These leafy greens wilt nicely in hot liquid and infuse their flavors into the broth. Add them towards the end of the cooking process to retain some texture and color. Pickling Green cabbage, radicchio, or even Brussels sprouts can be pickled just like red cabbage. Their firm textures stand up to the pickling process well. Depending on the vegetable, the pickling solution may also take on a unique color, adding a visual appeal to your pickled goodies. Roasted Dishes If you’re roasting vegetables, substitutes like Brussels sprouts, Bok Choy, and radicchio can add interesting flavors and textures. Brussels sprouts become sweet and slightly crispy when roasted, while radicchio’s bitterness mellows out. Bok Choy leaves crisp up beautifully, and the stems retain some crunch. PinYumTweetShareTelegramVibeFlip0 Shares Leave a Comment Cancel Reply Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Recipe Rating Recipe Rating Δ You may also like Champignon Guide: All About the Most Popular Mushrooms... Cabbage Guide Sweet Potatoes Guide String Beans Guide Potato Guide Onion Guide Garlic Guide Eggplants Guide Cauliflower Guide Carrot Guide Alex Bayev Hi, I'm Alex Bayev, bayevskitchen.com founder and food blogger who is passionate about cooking and photography. Since starting my blog in 2015, I have been sharing simple yet elegant recipes made with high-quality ingredients that anyone can recreate at home. I believe that food has the power to create unforgettable experiences.