Caraway Cabbage, a Finnish Recipe

Caraway Cabbage

This week’s recipe is from the far-north country of Finland where the selection of fresh vegetables becomes sparse during long winters.

Rich in Vitamin C and inexpensive, cabbage is a winter-vegetable standby – but here is prepared in a new way, cooked on top of the stove with tomato, onion and caraway. Sautéed in butter, the cabbage softens until almost noodle-like in texture, though more flavorful.

If you’re in a rush, use pre-cut coleslaw cabbage though chopping it yourself just before cooking seems to better release the cabbage’s own natural sweetness. You can, however, successfully substitute fennel seed for caraway and canned tomatoes for fresh.

For a well-rounded, satisfying meal, serve this side dish with pork, a green vegetable and salad.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite cabbage recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Become a Kitchen Parade fan on Facebook!


Active preparation time: 20 minutes
Total preparation time: 50 minutes
Makes 6 cups
  • 2 - 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small head green cabbage, chopped (about 10 cups)
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups) or a 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons caraway seed
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Parsley, chopped fine, optional

Melt butter in a four-quart kettle. Add cabbage and onion. Cook, turning occasionally, until limp but not brown. Add remaining ingredients except parsley. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with parsley for color.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Half Cup, made with 2 tablespoons butter/4 tablespoons butter: 58/75 Calories; 2/4g Tot Fat; 1/2g Sat Fat; 5/10mg Cholesterol; 175/189mg Sodium; 10g Carb; 3g Fiber; 6g Sugar; 2g Protein; Weight Watchers 1 point
Adapted from The Finnish Cookbook by Beatrice Ojakangas, the cookbook my Finnish mother gifted to my own mother the year I was an exchange student in Finland. It is a faithful representation of authentic Finnish cuisine, adapted for American ingredients and measurements. (Please note: Product Disclosure)

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Alanna - I love anything combining cabbage and caraway, so I've added this recipe to the list of things to cook during this holiday season (we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here, but Christmas is soon approaching and your caraway cabbage would make a nice alternative to the more usual caraway sauerkraut!)

It may be a Finnish recipe, but it's also a North German one. :-)
I have a cabbage and I have been craving something like stuffed cabbage but my family is not a fan. I am so excited to try this. It looks delish.
Alanna, I partook in a fall vegetable CSA and was e-veggie-inundated! Used the celeriac, 4 butternut squash, 2 stalks of brussel sprouts, several bags of cipollini onions and fingerling potatoes, a red cabbage, a napa cabbage, and lots of beets - BUT two cabbages are still residing in my fridge, and I am SO relieved to find this recipe! Thanks! I plan on using your site for more "use 'em!" inspirations.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna