How to Shred Cabbage: 3 Ways

Have some cabbage that you need to shred? Here’s how to shred cabbage no matter what tools you have. You can use a box grater, a mandolin or even just a knife.

Use a box grater if you need smaller pieces, a mandolin if you want your shreds to stay long and thin, or a knife if you want more control over the size of your cabbage pieces.

Three bowls each with shredded cabbage on white background.

These methods work with multiple types of cabbage, and can also be used to shred Brussels sprouts.

What You Will Need: Tools & Equipment

Red and green cabbages.
  • Red or green cabbage

Your Pick of Cutting Tools:

Chef’s Knife & Cutting Board

Box Grater

Mandolin

Chefs Knife and knife sharpener on cutting board.

Prepare Cabbage

No matter what method you choose to shred your cabbage, follow these prepping steps first.

Step #1. Clean the Cabbage

Red cabbage and knife on cutting board.

Wash the cabbage and remove the outer leaves.

Red cabbage and knife on cutting board.

COOKING TIP: When using a knife, make sure your fingers are holding the cabbage in a ‘claw’ position so that you protect them (curl fingertips inward).

Step #2. Remove the Stem

Red cabbage and knife on cutting board.

Place the cabbage on a cutting board and cut the bottom off.

Red cabbage and knife on cutting board.

Step #3. Cut the Cabbage in Half

Red cabbage and knife on cutting board.

Make sure the cabbage is sturdy and flat against the cutting board and cut it in half.

Step #4. Remove the Inner Hard Core

Red cabbage and knife on cutting board.

Cut out the white solid core by carefully making 2 diagonal cuts towards the center.

Red cabbage and knife on cutting board.

Step #5. Cut the Cabbage into Quarters

Red cabbage and knife on cutting board.

Cut the cabbage in half again, making quarters. (Sometimes it is easier to remove the core with a diagonal cut after it has been cut into quarters. Do what works best for you.)

Option #1: How to Shred Cabbage with a Knife

Once you have followed the steps above to prep the cabbage into quarters, continue here:

Step #1. Slice the Cabbage with the Knife

Red cabbage and knife on cutting board.

Make sure the cabbage is flat and steady on the cutting surface. Begin slicing it into thin strips.

Step #2. Turn the Cabbage and Continue Shredding

Red cabbage and knife on cutting board, getting shredded.

Once it becomes hard to grasp, turn it so that it is flat against the cutting board and finish slicing.

Red cabbage and knife on cutting board, getting shredded.

If you want to shred the pieces further, cut them in half horizontally and then continue cutting vertically until they are as fine as needed.

Shredded cabbage on dark speckled cutting board.

Option #2: How to Shred Cabbage with a Box Grater

Once you have followed the steps above to prep the cabbage into quarters, continue here:

Step #1. Shred the Cabbage Quarters with a Box Grater

Grater and white cabbage on dark cutting board.

Shred the cabbage with a box grater on the side with large holes, by placing the cabbage quarter flat against the holes with your hand and using a forceful downward sliding motion. This will produce a very fine shred. Carefully keep your fingers away from the grater holes.

Shredding white cabbage with box grater on dark cutting board.
Shredding white cabbage with box grater on dark cutting board.
Shredding white cabbage with box grater on dark cutting board.
Shredding white cabbage with box grater on dark cutting board.
White shredded cabbage on dark cutting board.

Option #3: How to Shred Cabbage with a Mandolin

Once you have followed the steps above to prep the cabbage into quarters, continue here:

Step #1. Set Mandolin Thickness

Shredding red cabbage with mandolin on dark cutting board.

Set the mandolin to desired thickness. Place the cabbage flat against the mandolin and place the guard over top of the cabbage.

Step #2. Shred the Cabbage with the Mandolin

Shredding red cabbage with mandolin on dark cutting board.

Carefully shred the cabbage with the mandolin, using the guard to protect your fingers.

Ready to Use

Three bowls each with shredded cabbage on white background.

A knife will give you more control over the thickness, but might take more time to achieve the desired results than some of the other tools. You may find it more difficult to get very fine slices with a knife.

A box grater is going to give you a very fine, minced result. A mandolin can be adjusted to different thicknesses and is great for very thin slices of cabbage.

Two bowls each with shredded cabbage on white background.

Now that you have your shredded cabbage, there are a lot of great ways you can use it. For soup, adding shredded cabbage is a good way to sneak in some more servings of vegetables, as well as being absolutely delicious.

Need a cool and creamy side for dinner? Shred some cabbage finely and throw together a quick coleslaw.

If you have some more time on your hands, homemade sauerkraut is amazing and incredibly nutritious. Feeling adventurous? Shred up some napa cabbage and make kimchi, the spicy Korean version of sauerkraut.

Once you’ve shredded your cabbage, you can store it raw in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator crisper, but only for a few days. If you want to freeze your shredded cabbage, blanch it before cooling it in ice water.

Pat your cabbage dry, put it in freezer bags (making sure to squeeze out all the air before sealing the bags) and pop the bags into the freezer. Of course, only use your frozen cabbage in recipes that don’t call for raw cabbage.

Do you have any cabbage-shredding tips? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Three bowls each with shredded cabbage on white background.

How to Shred Cabbage: 3 Ways

Joss D
Have some cabbage that you need to shred? Here's how to shred cabbage no matter what tools you have. You can use a box grater, a mandolin or even just a knife.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins

Equipment

Chef's Knife
Cutting board
Optional: Box Grater
Optional: Mandolin

Materials

  • 1 head cabbage

Instructions
 

Prep the Cabbage: Do this Step Before Any Cutting Method

  • Wash the cabbage and remove the outer leaves.
    Red cabbage and knife on cutting board.
  • Place the cabbage on a cutting board and cut the bottom off.
    Red cabbage and knife on cutting board.
  • Make sure the cabbage is sturdy and flat against the cutting board and cut it in half.
    Red cabbage and knife on cutting board.
  • Cut out the white solid core by carefully making 2 diagonal cuts towards the center.
    Red cabbage and knife on cutting board.
  • Cut the cabbage in half again, making quarters. (Sometimes it is easier to remove the core with a diagonal cut after it has been cut into quarters. Do what works best for you.)
    Red cabbage and knife on cutting board.

Option #1: How to Shred Cabbage with a Knife

  • Make sure the cabbage is flat and steady on the cutting surface. Begin slicing it into thin strips.
    Red cabbage and knife on cutting board, getting shredded.
  • Once it becomes hard to grasp, turn it so that it is flat against the cutting board and finish slicing.
    Red cabbage and knife on cutting board, getting shredded.
  • If you want to shred the pieces further, cut them in half horizontally and then continue cutting vertically until they are as fine as needed.
    Shredded cabbage on dark speckled cutting board.

Option #2: How to Shred Cabbage with a Box Grater

  • Shred the cabbage with a box grater on the side with large holes, by placing the cabbage quarter flat against the holes with your hand and using a forceful downward sliding motion. This will produce a very fine shred. Carefully keep your fingers away from the grater holes.
    Shredding white cabbage with box grater on dark cutting board.

Option #3: How to Shred Cabbage with a Mandolin

  • Set the mandolin to desired thickness. Place the cabbage flat against the mandolin and place the guard over top of the cabbage.
    Shredding red cabbage with mandolin on dark cutting board.
  • Carefully shred the cabbage with the mandolin, using the guard to protect your fingers.
    Shredding red cabbage with mandolin on dark cutting board.
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Looking to further enhance your cooking skills? Check out…How to Make Fruit-Infused Water

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