Killer swamp cabbage recipe!! Cooked on the stove or in a dutch oven with bacon this can be a side dish or add kielbasa for dinner.
This could be made as a swamp cabbage stew or delicious side dish, either way it is PACKED with bold flavors and a bit of heat. Want it super spicy, no problem. Never heard of it? Well you’re in for a treat when you take one bite of our creation here. We love simple cabbage recipes and so should you. (affiliate links present)
Swamp Cabbage Recipe
First start with our post on how to cut cabbage into cubes. Then read on to the ingredients you’ll need for this. If you clicked on here just because you love this cheap green vegetable and want to know what the heck this is, welcome! 😉 I heard about this food typically found in Turks and Caicos and the South and thought I’d make my own variation.
It’s a little bit like our Instant Pot Mountain Dew stew….that has a funny name too. Sometimes I hear a hmmmm term and it just makes my imagination go wild. This one was not only kid approved, but picky husband approved too!!
What is Swamp Cabbage
Yes, in fact it is just called something different in different areas of the country. If you went into a five star restaurant they would refer to it as the latter term, and as a delicacy.
In Southern US states, Cuba and the Bahamas it sounds a bit more fun. 😉
No you don’t have to harvest it yourself, you can buy cans of them here and just slice them up. If you haven’t tried them and are really just interested in making this fun dish you can certainly skip that ingredient all together. It is a bit pricey, but tastes great, so either way this recipe is a winner for or with dinner.
What does cabbage palm taste like?
It does have a similar flavor than the crispy veggie but more of a nutty flavor. Long cylinder shapes that are removed from the very center of the leaves it is rather labor intensive to get them thus the higher price.
It is a bit delicate so it is best to add your diced pieces at the very end before putting the lid on and letting it sit for a few minutes. Ok let’s move on to all the other ingredients that are the core of this dish. I think the biggest tip when making baked cabbage steaks or our Instant Pot fried cabbage is to add lots of seasonings.
We certainly do that here + make it just a tad spicy. I don’t like a lot, but just enough takes it from good to fabulous. You can definitely add more than I suggest below but I would say this is between mild and medium.
Best Cabbage Side Dish
- One head of cabbage is used, cubed or shredded if you want it to get really soft
- I diced up 1/2 package of bacon, if you wanted a vegetarian version just omit this
- Used 1/2 onion and diced that up
- Sauteed those two things with 3 tbsp of butter
- Beef broth was handy so that was used, vegetable could be used as well
- Minced garlic goes into everything
- A small can of tomato sauce brought some depth to the dish
- could use tomato juice or canned tomatoes style instead
- And then if you want to make it “authentic” add your diced or slices of hearts of palm
Once you have your bacon and onions cooked and softened you basically just add everything else in. Gently fold together and cook a few minutes, then add the lid. This will help your leaves to soften. Tomato products typically taste more intense with a bit more time so I let it sit without any heat, with the lid on for 5 minutes longer.
Swamp Cabbage Stew
OH MY seriously it was even better an hour later when I had more. Remember this, don’t rush it y’all. You can certainly of course enjoy it after cooking it down to the texture you want, but letting it sit while the rest of your meal is cooking will only make it better.
- First add the butter into a large pot or dutch oven on skillet over medium high heat. Cook bacon that’s been diced small and onion.
- leave bacon fat and liquids inside the pot
- Saute until bacon is cooked and onions are softened to your liking. Then add garlic and cook 1 more minute.
- Remove end of cabbage, slice in half, then into 1×1″ cubes. Add into pot and stir contents together. (add hearts of palm drained now if you want to add that)
- Pour broth in with onions and cabbage. Add in the tomato sauce and stir. Then sprinkle in all your seasonings. Reduce heat to low.
- Stir together and bring to a boil for 10 minutes until the cabbage softens slightly. Cover and let it sit and continue to boil inside for at least another 5 minutes.
Remember that you will need a decent sized pot because the leaves take up a lot of space, you’ll only get a pot 1/2 full though when done. If you wanted to make this more of a stew instead of a thicker side dish I would fill a 2 c. measuring cup 1/2 full with water or broth and add that with your sauce.
Add sliced kielbasa in with your bacon too if you’re making this as a full on meal. That will add even more flavor since you are going to dilute it a bit with water or more broth.
Instant Pot Swamp Cabbage
- Use saute function for the first 2 steps
- Add all other ingredients
- Close lid and steam valve
- Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes with a quick release
- Lift lid, stir, leave lid ajar for at least 5 minutes to marinate and then serve.
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- Add butter into large pot or dutch oven on stovetop at medium high heat. When melted add diced bacon and onion.
- Saute until bacon is cooked and onions are softened. Then add garlic and cook 1 more minute.
- Remove end of cabbage, slice in half, then into 1×1" cubes. Add into pot and stir contents together. (add hearts of palm now if you want to add that)
- Pour in broth and tomato sauce and stir. Then sprinkle in all your seasonings. Stir together. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes until leaves soften some. Then cover and let it sit inside for at least 5 minutes.
- ** Instant Pot change: Use saute function for the first 2 steps Add all other ingredientsClose lid and steam valveCook on high pressure for 3 minutes with a quick releaseLift lid, stir, leave lid ajar for at least 5 minutes to marinate and then serve.