Cabbage Schnitzel Recipe

A hearty meat-free schnitzel to enjoy all year.

Schnitzel is one of the ultimate comfort foods. It’s hard not to like a food that is fried and golden brown. Schnitzel is commonly made from chicken or veal, but you’ll also find vegetarian versions made from celery root, or in this case, cabbage.

Any recipe for schnitzel always catches my eye, and I’ve often come across cabbage schnitzel in Russian and Eastern European cooking. Meat in that part of the world could be scarce, and cooks came up with creative solutions for making vegetables taste richer. Cabbage was also often one of the only fresh vegetables available during the long winter months. Even after immigrating to the United States with its year-round abundance of all foods, cabbage is still a favored vegetable among families from the former U.S.S.R. We ate a lot of it in my own Russian Jewish home: cooked, fermented, in soups, or in salads. I especially love cabbage as a meat stand-in for its texture, volume, and versatility.

Cabbage schnitzel can be made with boiled cabbage leaves that are folded into envelope shapes that then get battered, coated with breadcrumbs, and fried just like a chicken schnitzel. But my preferred style of cabbage schnitzel requires less work, and instead employs a thick batter of shredded cooked cabbage, breadcrumbs, and beaten eggs to form the schnitzels. This style of cabbage patty ends up with a schnitzel shape and thickness, golden brown outer layer, and crispy edges.

You can serve this unexpectedly rich entrée with a squeeze of lemon and fresh dill for added brightness. Cabbage schnitzel can also be topped with a dollop of sour cream, and I’ve been known to use some hot sauce for heat. While there are a few steps to this recipe, each one is simple, the ingredients are few, the cooking time is quick, and the payoff is big. Cabbage schnitzel tastes little of cabbage and instead transforms into something savory, caramelized, meaty and satisfying.

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cabbage schnitzel
Photo credit Sonya Sanford

Cabbage Schnitzel

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4.9 from 7 reviews

This cabbage schnitzel recipe is a hearty meat-free schnitzel to enjoy all year.

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 ½ lb (680 g) cabbage, about 16 cups shredded
  • ½ small yellow onion
  • 3 large eggs
  • cup plain bread crumbs/matzah meal
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • oil, as needed
  • fresh dill, for garnish
  • lemon wedges, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Start by shredding your cabbage thin. This can be done with a mandoline, a food processor with the shredding disc attachment, or even with a sharp knife.
  2. Fill a large pot with water and bring the water to a boil. Salt the water generously and then add the shredded cabbage to the boiling water. Cook until the cabbage is tender, about 3-4 minutes. Drain in a colander, and then allow the cabbage to sit and continue to drain and cool for at least 10 minutes.
  3. While the cabbage is cooling and draining, prepare the remaining ingredients. Grate the onion or chop it very fine. Beat the eggs and reserve.
  4. Once cooled, squeeze out any excess liquid from the cabbage and add it to a large bowl. To the cabbage add the onion, beaten eggs, bread crumbs, flour, and salt and pepper. Stir until the cabbage is evenly and well-coated in the breadcrumb and egg mixture. The mixture should be thick and it should stick together to be formed into patties. If the mixture is too liquidy, add more breadcrumbs/flour. If you want to taste for seasoning, take a small spoonful of the mixture and cook and brown it in a pan before cooking off all of the schnitzels.
  5.  Heat a large skillet filled with a ¼” of neutral cooking oil (like avocado or canola). Once the oil is hot, form the cabbage mixture into schnitzel-shaped patties in the pan, about ½”-thick. Cook the patties in batches, so as not to crowd the pan and cause the cabbage to steam instead of brown. Cover the pan with a lid and brown for 3-4 minutes. Lift the lid, carefully flip over the patties (a fish spatula works well for this), cover again, and brown for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the schnitzels are golden brown and crisp on each side.
  6. Once cooked, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or rack to drain some of the excess oil. Serve the schnitzels immediately, garnished with fresh dill and lemon wedges if desired.
  • Author: Sonya Sanford
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Quick
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

14 comments

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    • Shannon Sarna

      Yes, the cooked patties can be frozen and reheated in a 350-degree oven! They may get a little darker once reheated, and if making a batch ahead of time I would cook them just slightly under and then freeze them in an even layer before transferring them to a container or bag for longer storage.

  • Madonna Pincus

    Sounds delicious – does it freeze well after cooking? While making this many patties I could freeze half for later instead of halving the recipe and making it twice.

    • Shannon Sarna

      Yes, the cooked patties can be frozen and reheated in a 350-degree oven! They may get a little darker once reheated, and if making a batch ahead of time I would cook them just slightly under and then freeze them in an even layer before transferring them to a container or bag for longer storage.

    • Shannon Sarna

      We do not recommend baking this recipe, but would suggest trying it in an air fryer instead.

  • Delphina Nicols

    I think I want to try this. I’m on a fixed income & tend to eat a lot of lightly cooked cabbage for this reason. I always see so many good ideas on your site.






  • joan

    Thank you for this recipe. It is delicious. I froze some for future enjoyment. Nice to have a variety of cabbage dishes.
    I have become addicted to cabbage, and it’s healthy. A very Happy New Year (in advance).






  • BC

    Yummy looking recipe, but once you’re shredding the veggies (or meat or fish or whatever), it’s a fritter, not a schnitzel. 🙂






  • Randy Morrison

    Looks yummy! I’m going to use an egg replacer and make it a Vegan recipe.






  • suzanne

    Made these today and they are much more like a latke than schnitzel. Easy and good. Sprinkle with more salt right after frying.






  • Susan Ginsburg

    I sent this as a foreward to my son, and tonight he cooked it for me and his wife. It’s terrific! Unexpectedly creamy, has a mysterious flavor. Since they are preparing for Passover, the sauce options weren’t available but they are not necessary.
    In retrospect, a pasta sauce could have been if there was any on hand.






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