Secret Air Fryer Red Cabbage Recipe for a Colorful Crunch

One of my favorite vegetables for fall is cabbage! It’s a budget friendly ingredient that looks beautiful on the table, and can be prepared in many tasty ways. I love making air fryer red cabbage to get the perfect level of caramelization in a simple side dish.

air fryer red cabbage recipe dinners done quick

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

I love making air fryer cabbage because it’s just so simple, and a healthy choice as well since it’s loaded with antioxidants! It only takes around 15 minutes to cook up this side, and little attention is required, so you can focus on the other components of your meal.

The thing that’s great about cabbage is that you can cut it any way you like it. I’m making air fryer cabbage steaks today. However, you can cut your cabbage head into wedges, ribs, fries, or even just shred it!

Cabbage pairs wonderfully with a variety of flavors as well, meaning you’ll never get bored with different ways to season it up. In this recipe, I’m using savory flavors like mustard and garlic for bold tastes.

several slices of air fryer red cabbage on a serving platter

However, you could always go with apple, onion, and vinegar, like I use in my Microwave Red Cabbage recipe. Speaking of which, that’s another great way you can prepare it if you’re using your air fryer for something else!

Ingredients List

ingredients to make air fryer red cabbage at home
  • 1 head red cabbage 
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste) 
  • ½ tsp black pepper (or more to taste)

Ingredient Tips and Variations

  • The butter may be swapped for olive oil if preferred
  • Any kind of mustard is fine, or you can use vinegar such as red wine, white, apple cider, or balsamic for tanginess
  • Other good seasoning choices would be paprika, seasoned salt, parsley, barbecue, or Cajun
  • Variations: Feel free to add cooked, diced bacon on top or parmesan cheese for different flavor variations

Preparing Your Cabbage

  • Wash. Make sure to wash your cabbage thoroughly to get rid of any dirt. Remove wilted and damaged outside leaves as well
  • Core. If you are preparing steaks, slices, or wedges, you do not need to core your cabbage. For shredding, core the cabbage by cutting it out in a wedge using a sharp knife
  • Steaks. Cut your cabbage steaks into approximately ½” thick slices. This should allow them to cook through and caramelize properly, without falling apart

How to Make Air Fryer Red Cabbage Steaks

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (or the closest setting your air fryer has)
  2. Cut your cabbage into approximately ½” thick slices using a sharp knife (do not core the cabbage, as this helps keep it together)
cut red cabbage into half inch thick slices
  1. In a small bowl, combine butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix until well combined
in a small bowl combine mustard, butter, worcestershire, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder
  1. Place the slices of cabbage into the air fryer basket, then brush the tops with half of the mustard mixture
place red cabbage slices in air fryer basket and brush the tops with the sauce
  1. Cook for 10 minutes on the air fry setting at 375°F. Then, flip the steaks, brush with the other half of the mustard, and cook an additional 5-10 minutes, until tender and browned to your liking
  2. Serve hot
overhead view of air fryer red cabbage steaks

What to Serve With Cabbage Steaks

Side Dishes

  • Onion petals
  • Caramelized onions
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Glazed carrots
  • Roasted beets
  • Garlic bread

My Air Fryer Blooming Onion Petals, Air Fryer Brown Sugar Carrots, or Air Fryer Beets and Sweet Potatoes are all great options!

Entrees

  • Pork chops
  • Fried fish
  • Pot roast
  • Italian sausage
  • Corned beef
  • Kielbasa
  • Scallops
  • Soups

Try my Air Fryer Kielbasa, Air Fryer Leek and Potato Soup, or Air Fryer Breaded Scallops for some great options!

Sauces

  • Tahini
  • Gremolata
  • Chimichurri
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Garlic aioli
  • Herb butter
  • Sriracha mayo

There are many great pairings to serve with cabbage steaks! You can serve the cabbage as your main course and add sides to complete the meal, which is perfect for a vegetarian option.

However, roasted cabbage is an equally delicious side paired with a different protein as the main course! Complete your meal any way you like, and then add the perfect complimentary sauce to top things off!

Recipe FAQs

How Long Does it Take to Air Fry Red Cabbage?

The time it takes to air fry red cabbage varies depending on your specific air fryer and the size of the cabbage pieces. In general, small cabbage wedges or chips take about 12-15 minutes at 375°F (190°C) for a crisp texture, while larger wedges or chunks require 15-20 minutes.

It’s a good practice to check the cabbage’s doneness by piercing it with a fork or knife. The cabbage should be tender and slightly caramelized when it’s done.

Can I Store Leftover Air Fryer Red Cabbage, and if so, How?

Yes, you can store leftover air fryer red cabbage. To maintain its freshness, allow it to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Store the container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

When reheating, you can use the air fryer again for a few minutes to restore its crispiness or simply warm it in the microwave.

What Are Some Common Seasonings For Air Fryer Red Cabbage?

Seasoning options for air fryer red cabbage are versatile. You can use olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and even a touch of balsamic vinegar for a tangy flavor.

Experiment with different herbs like thyme, rosemary, or cumin for added depth of taste. Cabbage is very neutral, allowing you to season with flavors you love most, or what compliments the other dishes you’re making with it.

Is it Possible to Make Air Fryer Red Cabbage Without Oil?

Yes, you can make air fryer red cabbage without oil. However, you’ll still want to add some form of fat to aid in getting the caramelized edges during cooking.

Butter and ghee are the two most common alternatives, but you can use dressings as well.

Can I Use Green Cabbage Instead of Red Cabbage For This Recipe?

Yes, you can absolutely use green cabbage instead of red for this recipe. The preparation process and cooking time is exactly the same.

Red cabbage is usually only used over green due to its vibrant and beautiful color.

Recipe Pro Tips

  • The more evenly you cut your cabbage steaks the better, as that promotes even cooking. However, don’t panic if they’re a little uneven, you’ll just get some crispy edges!
  • I got about 8 slices from a medium cabbage, and I can cook 4 at a time in my 8-qt Ninja air fryer. You can scale up or down as needed depending on desired number of servings, and cook in batches if needed to prevent overcrowding your air fryer
  • If you notice any leaves coming loose when you flip the cabbage steaks, remove them. They can get blown up into your heating element otherwise and burn
delicious red cabbage steak slice made in the air fryer

Storage and Reheating

  • Store leftover cabbage steaks once completely cooled in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or you can freeze it for up to 3 months for longer term storage
  • To reheat red cabbage, air fry for 3-5 minutes at 350°F, until warm and crispy (add 1-2 minutes if frozen). For a quicker option, microwave for about 1 minute on high, but note that the cabbage will lose the crispy edges with this method

More Air Fryer Cabbage Recipes to Try

  • Air Fryer Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
  • Cabbage and Bacon in the Air Fryer
  • Air Fryer Cabbage and Onions
  • Easy Air Fryer Cabbage Wedges
  • Air Fryer Cabbage and Potatoes

Final Thoughts

Cooking red cabbage in the air fryer is so simple, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t tried it before! Tender cabbage with perfectly caramelized edges is a winner, whether you choose to serve this up as a side dish, or a vegetarian main course.

Cabbage is so versatile, lending itself well to these easy “steaks”, but it’s equally delicious in wedges, fries, or just shredded. You can even use leftovers in your sandwiches, wraps, and more!

Flavor your cabbages any way you like, with bold flavors like garlic, mustard, vinegar, or sweetness from cooked apples and caramelized onions. You really can’t go wrong, so try your favorite combinations!

air fryer red cabbage recipe dinners done quick

Air Fryer Red Cabbage Steaks

Air fryer red cabbage steaks cook up beautifully caramelized in about 20 minutes. They’re perfect as a vegetarian entree, or as a side dish to a protein of your choice.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Servings 4
Calories 148 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Head red cabbage
  • 2 Tbsp butter (melted)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • ½ Tsp black pepper (or more to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (or the closest setting your air fryer has)
  • Cut your cabbage into approximately ½” thick slices using a sharp knife (do not core the cabbage, as this helps keep it together)
    1 Head red cabbage
  • In a small bowl, combine butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix until well combined
    2 Tbsp butter, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 Tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 Tsp garlic powder, 1 Tsp onion powder, 1 Tsp salt, ½ Tsp black pepper
  • Place the slices of cabbage into the air fryer basket in a single layer, then brush the tops with half of the mustard mixture
  • Cook for 10 minutes on the air fry setting at 375°F. Then, flip the steaks, brush with the other half of the mustard, and cook an additional 5-10 minutes, until tender and browned to your liking
  • Serve Hot

Notes

  • The butter may be swapped for olive oil if preferred
  • Any kind of mustard is fine, or you can use vinegar such as red wine, white, apple cider, or balsamic for tanginess
  • Other good seasoning choices would be paprika, seasoned salt, parsley, barbecue, or Cajun
  • Variations: Feel free to add cooked, diced bacon on top or parmesan cheese for different flavor variations
  • The more evenly you cut your cabbage steaks the better, as that promotes even cooking
  • I got about 8 slices from a medium cabbage, and I can cook 4 at a time in my 8-qt Ninja air fryer. You can scale up or down as needed depending on desired number of servings, and cook in batches if needed to prevent overcrowding your air fryer
  • If you notice any leaves coming loose when you flip the cabbage steaks, remove them. They can get blown up into your heating element otherwise and burn
  • Store leftover cabbage steaks once completely cooled in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or you can freeze it for up to 3 months for longer term storage
  • To reheat red cabbage, air fry for 3-5 minutes at 350°F, until warm and crispy (add 1-2 minutes if frozen). For a quicker option, microwave for about 1 minute on high, but note that the cabbage will lose the crispy edges with this method
  • Exact nutritional values will vary based on brand of ingredients, any sauces or sides added, and quantity consumed, so please consider this a guideline only

Nutrition

Serving: 299gCalories: 148kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 4.3gFat: 6.2gSaturated Fat: 3.7gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 807mgPotassium: 720mgFiber: 6.2gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 688.6IUVitamin C: 161.9mgCalcium: 135mgIron: 2.4mg
Keyword air fryer red cabbage, air fryer red cabbage steaks, cabbage side dishes, easy vegetable recipes, ninja air fryer red cabbage, red cabbage recipes, roasted cabbage
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Katie Vine