Cabbage is one of those really versatile vegetables that have a lot of uses. Delicious when cooked as part of a dinner, turned into coleslaw for a salad or you can use it as a healthy alternative to tortilla wraps. You can even add it to stews, soups and hotpots. There is only one problem with cabbage and that is it is in season for a relatively short time during the year. This is why people ask, can you freeze red cabbage?
There is some good and bad news when it comes to answering this question. Yes, you can freeze red cabbage. But, you do need to be careful when you do so and make sure you take the time to do all the prep work to blanch the cabbage before freezing.
Raw cabbage will lose its texture and structure during the freezing process but blanching it first ensures successfully frozen cabbage that will be as good frozen as it would have been fresh.
Use the table of contents below to navigate through this article to answer some of the most common questions people have when it comes to freezing red cabbage:
How To Freeze Red Cabbage
You have a few options when it comes to freezing red cabbage. You can cook it cut up into shredded sections, freeze it in wedges or as whole leaves. How you want to use it when you defrost it should determine which method you choose. We would recommend that for most uses, cutting it into wedges is the best option. This gives you the most versatility when it comes to using the red cabbage when you cook it.
So let’s delve into how you freeze red cabbage.
- Remove the outer leaves, then wash your cabbage thoroughly. If you have bought it from a farmers market, or grown it your self you might want to soak it in salted water for thirty minutes. Doing this will ensure any bugs leave the cabbage and don’t get frozen with it.
- Drain the water from the cabbage.
- Cut up the cabbage into wedges, shreds or take apart the leaves.
- Fill a large saucepan or stockpot with water and boil the water.
- While the water is coming up to boiling point prepare a bowl of ice water and place it next to the cooker. You need to have it close to where you will be cooking the cabbage because you need to cool down the cabbage immediately when you take it out of the cooking pot
- Once your water is boiling then you need to put the cabbage into it and set a timer for one and a half minutes for shredded cabbage and leaves or three minutes for wedges.
- Remove the cabbage from the boiling water and immediately plunge it into the ice water. This stops the cooking process and ensures the cabbage doesn’t cook for too long. Leave it in the ice water for a few minutes – until the cabbage has cooled.
- Drain the cabbage from the ice water and allow it to dry. The drier the cabbage is at this stage, the better it will freeze.
- Pop the cabbage onto a baking sheet and put it in the freezer. You want to ensure the cabbage wedges or leaves are not touching during this part of the process.
- After the cabbage has frozen take it out of the freezer and transfer it into a freezer bag.
- Squeeze out any excess air, label the bag with the date and contents and then pop it back into the freezer.
Can You Freeze Braised Red Cabbage?
Braised cabbage is a delicious method of cooking and eating this colourful vegetable and the great news is that you can freeze it without too much hassle at all! Just follow these steps.
- Cook your cabbage using your favourite recipe.
- Portion out the braised red cabbage and pop each portion into a separate freezer bag.
- Squeeze out any excess air.
- Seal and then label the bag with the contents and the date.
- Pop the freezer bags into the freezer and freeze.
How Long Can You Freeze Red Cabbage?
Red cabbage is a really good option to keep in your freezer to add extra healthy veg to a meal and you can keep it in the freezer for up to three months. The time you can keep it frozen is the same whether you have chosen to freeze it blanched and ready to cook or already cooked or braised.
You Can Freeze Red Cabbage for Around 3 Months
How Do You Defrost Red Cabbage?
How you thaw out your red cabbage will depend on how you plan to use it and how you froze it. For many recipes or meals, you won’t need to defrost it at all!
If you are planning on cooking it as a veg to add to a meal then you can cook it from frozen. The best way to do this is to use shredded frozen cabbage. You just need to pop the frozen cabbage into a steamer or pot to cook.
If you have frozen your cabbage in wedges then you may need to defrost it first and you can do this by popping into the fridge to defrost slowly for a few hours.
Can You Refreeze Red Cabbage?
You shouldn’t refreeze red cabbage. Especially if you have thawed out blanched cabbage, ready to cook. Refreezing isn’t generally recommended for most foods due to how it changes the quality and this applies to cabbage too. Refreezing is likely to result in mushy cabbage that wouldn’t be edible.
Does Red Cabbage Freeze Well?
Whilst red cabbage does freeze fairly well, you might find that there is a little change in texture but as long as you blanch it before freezing it should still taste fantastic and cook up well. Most people can’t tell the difference between cabbage that has been frozen or cabbage that is fresh once it has been cooked.
Other Questions about Red Cabbage
Below are a few of the other common questions we have come across when it comes to red cabbage – some related to freezing and some not. If you’re still sat there with a question or two about red cabbage then drop a comment at the bottom of this article and we’ll aim to help out as much as possible.
Can You Freeze Coleslaw with Red Cabbage?
The issue when freezing coleslaw is not the vegetables you’ve used but actually the dressing. Many dressings, especially those made with a mayonnaise element, will split and can become quite grainy which means coleslaw doesn’t freeze well. To learn more, check out our dedicated article to freezing coleslaw.
Can You Freeze Red Cabbage Slaw?
The exact same answer applies to a simple red cabbage slaw. It all comes down to the dressing. The best way to freeze it would be without a dressing which you can then be applied once the red cabbage mix has thawed.