Caramelized Cabbage & Onion Pasta
4.35 from 41 votes

This caramelized cabbage & onion pasta is one of my favorite winter comfort food dishes! It’s savory, sweet, hearty, and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Caramelized Cabbage & Onion Pasta | The Full Helping

I’d originally thought of this as being a St. Patrick’s Day dish, thanks to the cabbage, but since that day has come and gone I’m just going to file it as another simple, flavorful, internship-inspired dinner idea.

I realized as I was making this caramelized cabbage & onion pasta that I make much more pasta in the summer than in the winter. I guess that’s not surprising—pasta lends itself so beautifully to burst fresh tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and other summer produce. This dish encouraged me to combine pasta with two vegetables that I don’t usually associate with it—onion and cabbage—and I was surprised by how much I loved the results.

Caramelized Cabbage & Onion Pasta | The Full Helping

The meal is incredibly easy to make. Simply caramelize some onions and cabbage (I started by cooking the onions for five minutes, then added the cabbage and allowed the whole thing to simmer for another ten minutes) and add some vegan bacon if you like. Olive oil is fine for caramelizing, but using a little bit of vegan butter definitely takes the meal to the next level.

The Vegan Week

Embrace the joy of eating homemade food every day with the hearty and wholesome recipes in The Vegan Week.

Whether you have three, two, or even just one hour of time to spare, The Vegan Week will show you how to batch cook varied, colorful, and comforting dishes over the weekend.

While you do that, you cook the pasta, and at the end, you mix it all together. If you like, you can even prepare the onions and cabbage ahead of time, and simply boil the pasta and mix it up when you’re ready to eat! I’ve made this dish twice now, and that’s how I batch cooked it the second time I tried it.

Caramelized Cabbage & Onion Pasta | The Full Helping

The pasta is on the smoky/earthy side, so a little bit of fresh parsley and a tiny splash of vinegar are really nice to help brighten it up. The parsley adds color, too. If parsley isn’t your favorite, chives would be excellent, too. And, as I disclaim so often these days, you could easily add another chopped vegetable of choice (like leafy greens) to the mix.

Here’s the recipe.

Caramelized Cabbage & Onion Pasta | The Full Helping
4.35 from 41 votes

Caramelized Cabbage & Onion Pasta

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegan butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small head (or 1/2 large head) green cabbage, shredded (about 4-5 cups)
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable or mushroom broth, plus extra as needed
  • 3-4 slices vegan bacon of choice, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (or 1 teaspoon sweet paprika)
  • 8 ounces pasta of choice
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Small splash red or white balsamic vinegar, optional and to taste
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley, or as desired


  • Heat the oil or butter in a large, roomy skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion. Cook, stirring every now and then, for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are gently browning. Add the cabbage, 1 cup vegetable broth, smoked paprika, and vegan bacon if using. Continue cooking the vegetables for 10 minutes, stirring often, or until the onions have darkened and the cabbage is very tender. If the vegetables get at all dry, add a few extra splashes of broth.
  • While the onions and cabbage caramelize, cook the pasta according to package instructions. 
  • When the pasta and vegetables are both ready, drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Once again, if the mixture gets a little dry, add an extra splash of broth. Warm all ingredients through. Taste, and then add salt, pepper, and/or vinegar to your taste. Serve the pasta right away with chopped parsley on top.
Caramelized Cabbage & Onion Pasta | The Full Helping

I began an oncology rotation on Monday, and I’ve already learned so much—clinical knowledge and life lessons both. More on that soon, but for now, rest. Have a wonderful evening, friends.


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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    Made this last night. It was delicious and simple to make. Very comforting on a chilly evening. My husband and I ate it up so we only got 2 servings out of it. I will make this again and keep it in my go to rotation.

  2. 5 stars
    So simple and so delicious. Have to be honest I was very dubious but it was great. I’m looking forward to the left overs for my lunch in work tomorrow. Thank you for the recipe.

  3. 4 stars
    MMMM, very good recipe, made it last night for hubby and myself with angel hair pasta, next time maybe add some garlic! A good alternative to having pasta with gravy (red/pasta sauce for non Italians!)

  4. I really want to make this but I can’t find anywhere on the page where you tell me how many servings this is for?? With a larger family I need to know so I have enough food. 🙁

    • Hey Sarah! I’m so glad you caught this—I just fixed it. Sorry for the confusion. It makes 3-4 servings. I’d say if you have a bigger family or prefer larger portions of the dish, I’d double it for sure 🙂

  5. Wow! Thanks a lot! This was an amazing recipe! I added a splash of white wine with the broth and I used chipotle seasoning instead of paprika. I will definitely cook this again soon!

  6. 5 stars
    So delicious! I wasn’t sure when to add the smoked paprika so I sprinkled it on when it was mostly finished cooking. Made some bacon-y tofu crumbles and used bean pasta. This is going on my remake list.

  7. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I added chicken along with the bacon (which I fried up first with some paprika and oregano) but left everything else the same. We will definitely make this again, thankyou! 🙂

  8. I found this recipe and your website today after googling “cabbage and ravioli.” I have never written a comment about a recipe on anyone’s website before. But, oh my goodness! Best recipe for a quick meal ever! Other than swapping vegan hot dogs for vegan bacon, I followed your directions as written. I can’t praise the results enough!
    Thank you and I’ll be reading through your website tonight.

  9. We had most of the ingredients, so we went for it. We subbed field roast sausages for the bacon and added random fridge things – celery, mushrooms and chickpeas. I was out of stock so I used Imagine brand mushroom soup. Honestly, soooo good! I had never thought about using stock to make a sauce, so the core of this recipe will be useful for a lifetime! Adding a little bit of vinegar made everything really pop. Thanks for this recipe, it will be endlessly useful and malleable!

  10. I made this. Didn’t have bacon so used vegetable sausage and seasoned it with mustard. It was great

  11. 5 stars
    I just made this. So delicious! A great way to use cabbage- different from the usual- and the onions set off the sweetness perfectly. Yum!!!

  12. I am making this for the second time because my husband asked for “that cabbage & onion” dish again. It is delish! Thank you Gena!

  13. This looks so good! I love caramelized onions on anything. I never thought of adding cabbage to pasta though! I can’t wait to make this.

  14. Looks delicious, as always! I’ve been on a cooked cabbage kick lately, but hadn’t thought to combine it with pasta! What a great idea. Will be trying your recipe soon! 🙂

  15. Gena,

    I am so doing this pasta! Thank you. During the summer I hate turning on the stove so anything that can go on top with a minimal amount of fuss is welcomed.

    I am so impressed that you are doing an oncology rotation. If there was ever a time when someone would need help eating, this would be it. Even if you just talked with the person about their struggle to eat, that would be helpful. I hope you get a lot out of this particular segment even if you never have to directly use the knowledge again.

    Have a good rest of your week and thank you for the recipe!