Mix up dinner with this easy Cabbage Stir Fry. Mellow and slightly sweet green cabbage is sauteed with lots of garlic and ginger, and umami-packed mushrooms, tossed in a homemade stir fry sauce. It’s a nutrition-loaded vegetarian meal ready in under 20 minutes!
Look no further for your next easy vegetarian dinner. It’s ready lickety-split and is filled with tender shredded cabbage, savory mushrooms, carrots, and bell pepper, and bright, fragrant, garlic and ginger. And it’s so easy to make!
Of course, it’s all sauteed with one of our favorite sauce recipes: homemade stir-fry sauce! It’s bringing the flavor, the sauciness, and the “that’s it” factor to complete the meal. Even better, it’s ready in less than 5 minutes with the shake of a jar.
Want more stir fry recipes?
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this easy stir fry recipe! Please be sure to see the full recipe card below for measurements.
- Green Cabbage: most commonly found in grocery stores, it makes a great base and is full of nutrients. Plus, it stores really well and is affordable! You can substitute napa cabbage (or Chinese cabbage) as a substitute. Just note it’s more delicate.
- Yellow Onion: with its sweet, mild flavor, it’s a wonderful addition to stir fry. If you like a more sharp onion flavor, you could use a white onion in its place.
- Mushrooms: a hearty, meaty addition to a veggie stir fry. They are added first in the cooking process so they can release all their liquid before the other ingredients are added. I use Baby Bella, because they’re easy to find, but feel free to use any variety you like.
- Garlic and Ginger: use fresh of both for the best flavor. Mince or grate them so they both infuse throughout the stir fry.
- Carrots: shredded carrots toss in beautifully with the cabbage!
- Bell Pepper: bright and colorful, use any variety of bell pepper. I enjoy red ones.
- Stir Fry Sauce: trust me, you want to make homemade sauce. It takes less than 5 minutes and is oh-so-delicious!
- I like it saucy, so I add the entire 1 1/4 cups, but if you prefer less saucy stir fry, start with about 1 cup of sauce and add more as desired. Save the rest in the fridge or freezer for next time!
Use pre-shredded coleslaw mix (usually a mix of cabbage and carrots) to make this recipe even easier!
Make this recipe…
- Gluten-Free: use tamari or coconut aminos. Be sure to check your labels to make sure it’s gluten-free certified.
- Vegan: substitute sugar for honey in the sauce.
- It’s already vegetarian and dairy-free!
How to Make Cabbage Stir Fry
Sliced cabbage cooks up quickly, so this recipe comes together fast! I recommend having all of your ingredients prepped, especially the sauce, so you’re ready to toss it all together.
If you love to make stir-fry for dinner, I highly recommend this wok. It’s the perfect size, large enough to hold all your veggies and noodles while cooking them evenly.
Slice the Cabbage
First things first, slice the green cabbage. To keep things easy, and to have larger pieces of cabbage rather than thinly shredded cabbage, I like to use my food processor with the slice attachment.
It creates a nice combination of large pieces and more shred-like pieces, too.
You can also cut the cabbage into wedges, then use a chef’s knife to slice the cabbage into strips.
If you’re using the food processor method, you can easily shred the carrots while you’re at it, too! Just replace the slice attachment with the shred attachment.
Saute the Vegetables
- Heat a large skillet or wok without any oil, and add the sliced mushrooms. Because mushrooms are so porous, they hold a lot of water. I saute them to allow the water to evaporate out of the mushrooms. In turn, they’re ready to soak in all the delicious flavor of the aromatics, and the sauce, and keep their earthiness.
- Once the mushrooms have been browned, add a little oil and then the thinly sliced onions, along with the garlic and ginger. Stir well to make sure they don’t burn.
- Once the onions are tender, add the red bell pepper to saute. If you’re using store-bought shredded carrots that are thicker than shredded them yourself, I recommend adding them here, too.
- Pour in the stir-fry sauce and simmer until it begins to thicken slightly, about 2 minutes or so. The sauce simmers before the cabbage is added so that the cabbage isn’t overcooked.
- Toss in the cabbage and shredded carrots. Saute for just a couple of minutes until tender, but not mushy. The sauce will continue to thicken, too. I like to finish with a squeeze of fresh lime.
Serve cabbage stir fry over warm white rice (or brown rice) – or cilantro lime rice! While rice isn’t absolutely necessary, and it can be enjoyed on its own, who can argue with the addition of carbs?
If you’re really feeling like mixing it up, toss in some cooked noodles with the sauce.
I like to garnish with some toasted sesame seeds for added texture or try some chopped peanuts. If I have them on hand, garnish your serving with cilantro and sliced green onions for freshness, too.
If you’re looking to add more to the meal, consider serving it alongside or with shrimp, salmon, or even chicken or beef if you’re a meat eater.
To keep it vegetarian, you can serve it with crispy tofu or vegetable potstickers on the side. Or, feel free to add tofu to the stir fry.
Make Ahead Tips
To make this recipe ahead of time, I recommend prepping the vegetables and sauce, then storing them – separately – in the fridge until you’re ready to make the stir fry. This makes weeknight dinners extra quick and makes meal prep easy.
Because it comes together so quickly, and with the tenderness of cooked cabbage, I don’t recommend cooking it too far in advance for meal prep. While leftovers are absolutely enjoyed, the texture is best texture freshly cooked.
Storage & Freezing
To store leftovers in the fridge, simply place them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove until heated through.
To freeze: I recommend placing the stir fry in Souper Cubes, then topping it with extra rice. This makes an easy go-to for lunch or dinner. Otherwise, you can freeze the stir fry by itself.
Reheat in the microwave on the defrost setting until heated through, or on the stovetop over low-medium heat.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Cabbage Stir Fry
Stir Fry Sauce
- ½ cup soy sauce, low sodium recommended
- ½ cup vegetable stock*, or water
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
Stir Fry Veggies
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 1-2 Tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups cabbage, shredded or sliced
- 1¼ cups stir fry sauce, 1 batch homemade
- Sauce: Combine all the stir-fry sauce ingredients in a bowl or jar. Whisk or shake to combine and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add sliced mushrooms and cook, allowing the water to evaporate, for about 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in the oil and yellow onion. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion slices start to soften.
- Add red bell pepper slices and cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the sauce and simmer for 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Toss in cabbage and shredded carrots until combined and cook for 2-3 minutes until just tender (you don’t want it to become soggy). Toss with a squeeze of lime.
- Serve over rice with cilantro, green onions, and sesame seeds.
- Carrots: if using thicker shredded or julienned cut carrots, add them with the red bell pepper so they have time to become tender.
- Storage: place leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months.
- Sauce: the cabbage soaks in a lot of the sauce, but if you like less saucy stir fry, start with about 3/4 cup and add additional as needed.
- Use stock with no added salt or water for a less salty version.
- See the stir fry sauce post for additional recipe tips.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.
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