One-Pot Wonders

Creamy Cabbage with Pancetta and Caraway Seeds

October  7, 2014
2 Ratings
Photo by Alpha Smoot
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Cabbage is my favorite vegetable -- hopefully I'm not alone! The creamy cabbage is laced with salty pancetta and earthy caraway seeds; it almost melts in your mouth. I adapted this recipe from a pasta dish in one of my favorite cookbooks, Domenica Marchetti's "The Glorious Pasta of Italy" (recipe: Whole Wheat Fettucine with Savoy Cabbage, Cream, and Caraway Seeds). Domenica uses the creamy cabbage as a sauce for whole wheat pasta. But the cabbage portion is so delicious it can stand on its own, so I've adapted here for the perfect cold weather side dish. —Shannon Cummings Morris

Test Kitchen Notes

This dish is comforting and delicious thanks to tiny tidbits of salty pancetta and smooth, sweet onions. The caraway seeds add crunch, depth, and warmth. I used a new cabbage from our farmers market -- a flat, spaceship-shaped variety that lives up to its name: Tender Sweet. Quick and easy to make with little hands-on time, this dish will find its way to my table more often than just during holidays through our long, cold New England winters. In fact, it's on my breakfast plate right now -- gotta go! —jmwh

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1 1/2 pounds savoy cabbage (about one small to medium head), halved, cored, and finely shredded
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Heat a dutch oven or large, deep frying pan with a lid over medium heat. Add pancetta and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until the fat renders and pancetta just starts to crisp.
  2. If your pancetta is on the lean side, add about a 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add chopped onion and caraway seeds and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until onion is translucent.
  3. Add half of the shredded cabbage to the pan along with 1/2 cup of the broth, the salt, and a couple grinds of black pepper. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage wilts by half. Add remaining cabbage and broth to pan; stir. Cook for another minute, stirring every 20 seconds or so, until cabbage begins to wilt.
  4. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes, removing the lid to stir once, until the cabbage is tender but still slightly crunchy.
  5. Taste, and add more salt and/or pepper if necessary. Stir in cream. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened. Top with parmesan cheese, if using. Serve immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Paula Markowski
    Paula Markowski
  • mauigirlcooks
  • Ellie Betzen
    Ellie Betzen
  • mare

7 Reviews

Paula M. February 26, 2018
I just made this tonight! It was super delicious & heartwarming. A couple of substitutions—using what I had on hand— bacon instead of pancetta, and shallots instead of yellow onion. Will certainly make again.
mare November 23, 2014
can i get away with green cabbage here instead of savoy, do ya' think? i've got a lonely one in the crisper...
Shannon C. November 23, 2014
Hi mare- I think green cabbage would work just fine. It may be a bit crunchier, but that's no big problem! Enjoy:)
mauigirlcooks November 21, 2014
I love cabbage, particularly cooked cabbage. This sounds phenomenal! Thanks for sharing!
Ellie B. October 27, 2014
Ohhh yummmo~It looks so good, and simple enough for anyone to make. Best kind of recipe sometimes.
anne October 27, 2014
This sounds delicious. I am a vegetarian, have made a similar recipe but with chopped apples rather than pancetta.
Shannon C. October 27, 2014
Thanks, Anne! Caramelized apples could work as a pancetta substitute.