Cabbage ‘Carbonara’

Cabbage ‘Cabonara’

Move over spiralized zucchini! There’s a new vegetable based pasta substitute that is even more delicious and comforting. 

Seriously, now that I’ve discovered the joy of cabbage, I don’t think I’ll ever feel the need for a bowl of pasta again.

I’m even toying with the idea of finally getting rid of my pasta machine. I’m that in love with cabbage… I know it sounds unbelievable. But I dare you to try it.

And you know what’s even better?

The cabbage cooks in about half the time it would take to boil a pot of water and cook spaghetti. Just saying.
Oh and normally for cabonara pasta dishes you only use the egg yolk so you get a lovely rich creamy sauce. With the cabbage, I prefer to use whole eggs so you don’t have to find a home for the extra whites and because I think the slightly chunkier texture works well with the cabbage.

Cabbage ‘Cabonara’
4.75 from 4 votes

Cabbage ‘Carbonara’

Course Dinner
Cuisine modern
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 people


  • 250 g 9oz bacon, diced
  • 1/2 large cabbage approx 900g / 1lb
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • 100 g (3.5oz) finely grated parmesan


  1. Heat a little oil in a large saucepan. Cook bacon over a medium high heat until well browned. A few minutes.
  2. While the bacon is cooking, finely slice cabbage into ribbons about 1/2cm (1/4in) thick. No need to be super precise.
  3. When the bacon is browned and starting to go crispy, remove it from the pan and drain on some paper towel. Add cabbage to the pan with 1/3 cup water. Cover and cook on medium high until the cabbage is soft or ‘al dente’ – about 10 minutes. Stir a few times during the cooking process.
  4. Meanwhile whisk eggs and parmesan in a small bowl. When the cabbage is cooked and the water has evaporated, reduce heat to medium low. Add eggs and cook for 30 seconds on medium low heat until almost set.
  5. Taste and season if needed, remembering the bacon is going to add more salt. Serve eggy cheesey cabbage topped with crispy bacon.

Recipe Notes

WINE MATCH: A nice big red like an Australian Shiraz or a Californian Zinfandel.

Variations & Substitutions

Short on time - Cook the bacon and cabbage at the same time in separate pots. Use pre-shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix instead of slicing yourself.

vegetarian - replace bacon with smoked tofu, smoked almonds, sun dried tomatoes or roast red peppers.

dairy-free - skip the cheese and serve with toasted almonds on top or try serving with my Brazil Nut 'Parmesan'.

egg-free - replace eggs with 6-8 tablespoons cream or butter. And serve with some roasted nuts or cooked chickpeas for extra protein.

more substantial (carb lovers) - toss in cooked spaghetti or other pasta.

more substantial (low carb) - toss in roast almonds or other nuts. Or use 6 eggs.

herby - lovely with chopped chives or flat leaf parsley.

different veg - halved brussels sprouts or cauliflower will also work. I also love a kale version using finely shredded cavolo nero leaves and stems.

Prepare Ahead

You can but best when freshly made. If you need to prepare ahead just cook the cabbage and bacon as per the recipe but keep them separately. Will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or can be frozen. To serve, warm the cabbage and bacon in a pan then add eggs and parmesan as per step number 4.

Cabbage ‘Cabonara’

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x

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  • 4 stars
    I made this for dinner one night in the last couple of weeks and definitely enjoyed it. It was very easy to make, but it was extremely rich, and I would not do it often.

    Really like the site redo. It looks good and is easy to navigate. I think I’m glad you are no longer using “print friendly”.

  • Happy belated birthday wishes. I hope you had a very happy day. You made my husband very happy when I showed him your recipe as his favourite vegetable is cabbage! Many thanks and I \really like your site redo. xx

  • 5 stars
    Hi Jules
    Congratulations on the new look blog. Great looking, modern and fresh.easy to read and navigate. The free cookbook pop up comes up a lot, a bit frustrating. Love the print button. Have a great week.

  • Cabbage is one of my favourite vegetables and I use it often, normally sautéed in butter, and sometimes with bacon. My question on this recipe is, if the saucepan is covered whilst the cabbage is cooking, how can the water evaporate off? Also, wouldn’t there be a bit of a reaction when the water is added to the fatty pan after the bacon is cooked (I usually use quite fatty bacon cooked in it’s own fat) so there will be a bit of fat in the bottom of the saucepan. Otherwise, I’m so looking forward to trying this recipe. Thank you. Oh, and the website looks much better.

    • Hi Ian
      You you do get some spitting but not that much. And because you’re not adding much water it does evaporate as you life the lid and stir.
      Yay for fatty bacon!

  • Jules, the new design looks great.
    (though I agree with another commenter that the free cook book thing is very persistent!).
    I think the cabbage ‘spaghetti’ may be the colder season answer to summer’s zucchini noodles (though big supermarkets insist they offer all
    the unseasonal stuff); look forward to trying it.

    • Thanks Cass – and good feedback on the popup – I need to get the settings right.
      And YES to cabbage as the Winter alternative to zucchini noodles :)

    • Hi Jules

      Is this recipe good as leftover? I plan to cook a big batch and eat it for next 2 days. Thanks!

      • It’s OK as leftovers – but not quite as good as when freshly made.

        Just be careful when reheating – gently gently. You want it to get warmed through without the egg overcooking

  • 5 stars
    Howsit Jules
    Loved It, loved it, loved it !!!
    Was so lovely, I made it again.
    Added liquid smoke. Oh my word! Game changer.
    This cabbage cabana is gonna appear more than twice a month on our table.
    Thanx !!

  • For the “prepare ahead” section: I usually cut a whole cabbage to 8 “boats” keeping a piece of the stem to hold the leaves together in each boat. I then put a bit of olive oil on the top edge of each, and send them to roast in the oven at 180 Celsius for 20-30 minutes.
    The cabbage can be kept for more than a week, and joined with the bacon to warm up and absorb its taste in a few minutes.

    Congrats on the new blog. I liked the shabby old one better :)

  • I’m excited to try this recipe! Your Butter Bean Carbonara and Dariya’s Egg Fried Cabbage are two of my favorite recipes, and this recipe looks like the best of both worlds.

  • 5 stars
    Love this recipe! Used turkey bacon and added some broccoli slaw with the cabbage. Also added garlic powder to the mix- delicious ? Even better the next day as leftovers ?

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