Can You Freeze Cooked Cabbage? The Best Way

Cabbage is a great vegetable to keep at home. It’s delicious, nutritious, and versatile. Most people will end up cooking the cabbage in a meal. If you made too much and have some leftovers, you don’t want to throw them away. Would freezing cooked cabbage be an option to save them for later?

Can you freeze cooked cabbage? Yes, cooked cabbage can be frozen. Since it’s already cooked, they will freeze very well. To ensure that it will stay fresh in the freezer, it needs to be stored in an airtight container. Properly stored, cooked cabbage will last up to 12 months.

Types of Cabbages To Freeze

When it comes to cabbages, there are quite a few different types that freeze better than others.

Green Cabbage – Green cabbage is the most popular type of cabbage. This cabbage is best when it’s cooked. Also, cooked green cabbage freeze very well.

Red Cabbage – Red cabbage has a vibrant color of red and violet. This cabbage is mostly used raw in salads and coleslaw. Cooked red cabbage can be frozen.

Bok Choy – Bok choy is a popular type of cabbage used in Asian cuisines. It’s known for the deep green leaves and fleshy stems. Cooked bok choy can be stored in the freezer, but it doesn’t last very long due to the soft leaves.

Savoy Cabbage – Savoy is a unique type of cabbage since it has patterned leaves with a light green hue. This cabbage is mainly cooked and added to soups, stews, and stir-fries. You can freeze them cooked whether it’s part of the recipes or not.

Preparing Cabbage For Freezing

Before the cabbage can be stored in the freezer, it has to be either cooked or blanched first.

Blanching the cabbage will help retain the nutrients, taste, and texture. When you thaw them, it will be the same quality as when it was fresh.

In order to prepare the cabbage for blanching, start by cleaning them thoroughly first. This is a very important step as you don’t want bugs and other pests to be frozen along with the cabbage.

Place the cabbage in salt water for 30 minutes. This will ensure that the vegetable will be completely free of bugs. Once the cabbage has been soaked, rinse it with clean water.

The next step is to remove any yellow or damaged leaves. Then cut the cabbage into quarters. Leave the core attached as this will help hold the leaves together during blanching.

Now, it’s time to blanch the vegetable. Below are the steps to successfully blanch the cabbage:

  1. Get out a large pot and fill the water half full.
  2. Heat the water at high heat until it comes to a boil.
  3. Once the water is boiling, add in the cabbage pieces.
  4. Leave the cabbage in the boiling water for about 2 minutes.
  5. After 2 minutes, immediately remove the cabbage and place them into the ice bath. This prevents the cabbage from getting cooked any further and helps retain the nutrients, taste, and color.
  6. Leave them in the ice bath for about 10 minutes.
  7. Then remove the cabbage and place them into a colander to dry.

How To Freeze Cooked Cabbage

Before freezing the cabbage, ensure that it’s completely dry first. Any excess water on the cabbage will lead to freezer burn. Also, there are will be an excess of ice crystals forming, which will destroy the cell walls of the cabbage. When it thaws, you’ll be left with a soggy cabbage, instead of a crispy texture.

Below are the steps in details to freezing cabbage:

Flash Freezing

On a baking tray, lay a sheet of parchment paper. Then place the cabbage pieces onto the tray. Keep them from touching each other. If you have a lot of cabbage to freeze, you can use multiple trays.

Then place the tray of cabbage into the freezer. Flash freeze them for 2-3 hours or until it’s completely frozen.

Bag it

Once it’s frozen, remove the cabbage from the freezer. Immediately transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag.

Seal It

If using an airtight container, check the seal on the lid for any damage. If there are none, secure the lid to the container tightly.

For the freezer bag, squeeze out the air from it with your hand. You can also use a straw to draw any excess air out.

Label and Freeze

Using a marker, write down the date of freezing on the plastic bag or container and place them into the freezer.

Freezing Cooked Cabbage Meals

If you prepared a meal using cabbage and have leftovers, you can freeze them. The process will be a bit different from blanching and freezing the cabbage since other ingredients are involved.

Here are some of the popular meals that use cabbage, and the best ways to freeze them:

Cabbage Soup

Cabbage soup is a popular food for people that are on a diet. However, this soup tends to take a lot of time to prepare, so it makes sense to have a few portions on hand.

Freezing the cabbage soup using an airtight container. Make sure the seal on the lid is not damaged. If air is leaked into the container, it will make the soup go bad.

Once the cabbage soup is cooled down, pour the content into the airtight container. Leave about an inch of space at the top to allow the soup to expand during freezing. Otherwise, you’ll be looking at a mess when it overflows.

Then secure the lid onto the container tightly. Label the date of freezing on the container and place it into the freezer. You can either freeze one large container for a family dinner or several small containers for single meals.

Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage rolls will need to be cooked thoroughly first before you can freeze them. If it’s not cooked, it will end up soggy when it’s thawed.

Start by placing the leftover cabbage rolls in the fridge for a couple of hours. This will allow them to cool down without the risk of having bacterial growth.

Once it’s cooled, transfer the cabbage rolls to an airtight container immediately. Seal the lid on the container tightly and place them into the freezer.

Fried Cabbage

Fried cabbage is usually mixed with bacon. These two items go well together.

If you’re planning to freeze fried cabbage, it’s recommended to not cook the cabbage fully. This will allow for having some crunchy texture when you thaw them.

Start by placing both the cabbage and bacon into the fridge for about 20-30 minutes or until it’s completely cooled down.

Once both of the food items are cooled down, spoon the portions into a freezer bag. Use a large portion if you’re using it for a family meal and smaller portions for a single meal.

Then squeeze out the air from the bag with your hands or use a straw to draw the air out. Seal the bag tight, label it with the date of freezing and place it into the freezer.

How Long Can You Freeze Cooked Cabbage?

Properly stored, cooked cabbage can last for up to 12 months. After that time, you can still safely eat them, but the quality of it will deteriorate. You may find that once it’s thawed, the texture will be softer and will have a bit of flavor loss.

To ensure the cooked cabbage is of the best quality, try using them within 6 months.

How Do You Defrost Cooked Cabbage?

When it comes to cooked cabbage, you cannot rush the thawing process. Doing so will cause the cabbage leaves to become mushy.

Avoid thawing cabbage at room temperature, in the microwave, or under hot water. Thawing using any of these methods will result in a soggy cabbage. Also, it will ruin the flavor and color of the vegetable.

The best way to thaw cooked cabbage is in the fridge. Remove them from the freezer and place them into a bowl, so it’ll collect melting water. Then put it into the fridge and let it sit overnight or for about 6-8 hours. This will allow the cabbage to thaw completely throughout and prevent bacterial growth.

Once it’s thawed in the fridge, you can cook them in the microwave or on the stovetop.

If you’re planning to use the cabbage in casserole, soups, stir-fries, or stew, there’s no thawing needed. Simply remove the amount of cooked cabbage from the freezer and place them directly into the dish while it’s cooking.

Can You Refreeze Cooked Cabbage?

It’s not recommended to refreezing cooked cabbage. Doing so will alter their texture and taste. Once you freeze the cabbage once more and thaw it, you’ll notice that the texture of the cabbage is soggy, and it will taste bland.

To avoid having to refreeze cooked cabbage, freeze them in portions. This way, you’ll only need to take what you need from the freezer without having to worry about any leftovers and refreezing them.

Other Questions about Cooked Cabbage

Can you freeze cooked cabbage rolls?

Yes, you can freeze it, but it requires a lot of time to prepare it first. If not, the cabbage roll will fall apart when it’s reheated. To prepare them, let the cooked cabbage rolls cool to room temperature. Then using a paper towel, pat them gently to remove and excess moisture from it. Place the cabbage rolls into the fridge and let them sit there uncovered overnight.

In the morning, take the cabbage rolls out of the fridge and wrap each of them tightly with plastic wrap. Wrap the cabbage roll several times around and twist the ends to squeeze the air out and seal it.

Then place the cabbage rolls into an airtight container or freezer bag and seal them tightly. Label the container or bag with the date of freezing and place it into the freezer.

Can you freeze cooked cabbage casserole?

Yes, you can freeze cabbage casseroles that are cooked, including leftovers. Simply let it cool to room temperature first. However, avoid letting it sit at room temperature for over an hour to avoid harmful bacteria.

Once it’s completely cooled, wrap the pan well with two tightly covered layers of plastic wrap. Then wrap them with a  third layer of aluminum foil. Label the date on the pan with the freezing date and place it into the freezer.

Can you freeze cooked cabbage soup?

Yes, you can freeze cooked cabbage soup. Since it consists of mostly water, it will freeze very well. Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before freezing it. Doing so will preserve the integrity of the ingredients. Then transfer the cabbage soup to a freezer-safe container, seal it tightly, label the date of freezing, and place it into the freezer.