In 1991, Congress in the USA designated March as Irish-American Heritage Month.

When I think of Ireland, I think of green and I think of shamrocks and family. I also think of potatoes. Don’t laugh! I’m not the only one, I’m sure. Shredded cabbage is also something I always associate with Ireland. (It’s also part of my southern heritage.)

Herb Butter Pan Fried Cabbage
Herb Butter Pan Fried Cabbage

If you think of potatoes when you think of Ireland, you probably know about the famine, Nicole here to talk a little history with ya before our shredded cabbage recipe today.

Beginning in 1845, a potato famine began in Belgium and spread across Europe and it devastated Ireland since the poor there almost completely subsisted on potatoes by this time in history. With no potatoes, the population began to turn to cabbage for sustenance. The numbers from the time, show that the annual intake of the Irish around that period would have been around 65 pounds per person per year, based on the crop production.

The famine would last a little more than five years and as millions were dying, waves of Irish immigrants began to hit the American shores. People find identity in their homemade dishes, so they brought with them colcannon – traditional potatoes with boiled cabbage mashed together and Irish bacon and cabbage.

Today’s Recipe – Keeping Shredded Cabbage Simple

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is a slight variation of Irish bacon and cabbage. I love adding bacon to boiled cabbage, but today, I wanted to do something a little different.

I recently came across herb butter recipes and decided that I wanted to try a few of them, but I kept this recipe simple so it could be used as a springboard for trying different seasonings or herbs that you like! My favorite herbs are garlic, rosemary, and fresh ground black pepper. I didn’t have rosemary for this dish, so I went with garlic, ground black pepper, and lemon juice. If I had used a real lemon I would have zested some into the cabbage as it cooked.

The Butter

Use 5 ounces of unsalted butter at room temperature with sea salt to taste, and about 1/4 tsp of black pepper from my grinder. After these three ingredients, the decision is yours! I added 1/2 tbsp of garlic powder to my butter. Use 1 tsp lemon juice and add a minced clove of garlic to my cabbage as it was cooking. Here are a few ideas to get your creativity going on how you might want to prepare your butter:

Capers butter

  • 1 tbsp small capers
  • 1 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp Dijon mustard

Tomato butter

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • A tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder

Horseradish butter

  • 1 oz. fresh horseradish, grated
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar

Olive Butter

  • 10 olives, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • A tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, use 1 tsp of juice and a pinch of the zest

Shredding The Cabbage

Cut Cabbage in Half
Cut Cabbage in Half

Yes, you can cut your cabbage into chunks and throw it into a food processor. I have a very small one, so I chose to chop my cabbage into a small “shredded like” size.

Start by cutting your cabbage in half. Then, cut the halves in half. So you have four pieces.

Cut cabbage into four pieces
Cut Cabbage into Four Pieces

Now remove the core by cutting a triangle shape down the sides of the core, like so:

Remove the core
Remove The Core

Then take each piece and cut into shreds as big or small as you want them. Here’s what mine looked like once I finished.

Shredded Cabbage
Shredded Cabbage

Throw all your shredded cabbage into a bowl and set aside while you make your butter.

Shred Cut Cabbage
Shred Cut Cabbage

Herb Butter For Shredded Cabbage

As stated above, I used five ounces of unsalted butter at room temperature. I added the garlic powder, sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, and lemon juice to mine. Once you’re happy with your butter flavor, it’s time to start pan-frying your shredded cabbage.

Confession time, I stopped frying my shredded cabbage too soon. Getting a tad of brown on the edges of your cabbage is a very tasty thing to do. I, however, am always so nervous that I’ll burn it, that I stop short of that sometimes. After taking the photo below, I turned the heat back on and went till I saw it starting to brown.

I put my butter and garlic into the pan. Once the garlic started to look a bit translucent, about a minute or so of heat does that, I added my shredded cabbage. Gently stir until your cabbage is as done as you want it to be. Taste it. See if you want to add any more salt, pepper, or whatever seasoning you might feel you want to be more “upfront”. Add that and stir it in evenly.

Cooked Cabbage
Cooked Cabbage

That’s it! I feel like pan-fried shredded cabbage never gets old because you can do so much with it. You can even add sausage to it. My husband and I use this as a side dish, but it can be the main dish if you add sausages to it or bacon.

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a red bowl that contains Pan Fried Herb Butter Shredded Cabbage

Pan Fried Herb Butter Cabbage

An Irish staple since the late 1800s, here's a way to make cabbage tonight that your family will love.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, side, Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Servings 10 Adults
Calories 193 kcal


Pan Fried Herb Butter Cabbage

  • lb shredded green cabbage
  • 5 oz Herb Butter That you make or buy already seasoned.
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Herb Butter That I Made

  • 5 oz unsalted butter
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp black pepper freshly ground


  • Cut head of cabbage in half, then cut the halves into fourths. Cut away the core of the cabbage.
  • Shred the cabbage to the size you desire. Set aside.
  • Mix your butter with your desired herbs and spices. Place in the pan and begin to heat your pan. Once your butter is melted, just before it starts to bubble and possibly burn, add your cabbage.
  • Stir gently until the cabbage is cooked through.

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