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26 Meats That Go Well with Cabbage

We know what you’re thinking: “Cabbage and meat? That sounds gross!”

But we’re here to tell you that cabbage and meat are a match made in heaven.

what meat goes with cabbage

Cabbage is a great way to add flavor and texture to any meal, and it’s especially good with meat.

Meat can be dry and tough—it needs some help from something moist and flavorful.

And that’s where cabbage comes in!

It’s a perfect complement to chicken, pork, beef… let’s be real, it goes well with all kinds of meat!

So, what meat goes with cabbage?

Cabbage is known to go well with many meats, including chicken, ham and pork. Chicken is probably the most common of these three meats, and it’s often served with cabbage as a side dish or in a casserole. Ham can be used when making soups or stews with cabbage as well, while pork is a good choice for braising or roasting.

Still looking for ideas?

Then keep reading!

Red Meats That Go Well with Cabbage


Red meats are always a good choice, but when you’re eating with cabbage, it’s important that you choose wisely.

Here are some of our favorite red meat pairings:

1. Beef


If you’re looking for a classic, simple pairing, beef is your best bet.

It’s got a rich flavor and a satisfying texture—and it doesn’t take much to make a meal memorable.

If you’re going to go with beef, we recommend making sure that it’s cooked until medium-rare or medium so that it retains its juiciness.

2. Lamb


Lamb is another great choice for those who want something bolder than beef or pork without going overboard on flavor—it pairs well with the sweet and sour nature of this vegetable dish without being overpowering in any way (or overpowering other ingredients).

See Also: What to Serve with Lamb Burgers? 15 Lamb Burger Sides

Lamb should be cooked until medium-rare so it retains some of its juiciness and doesn’t dry out too much during the cooking process.

3. Pork

Pork Slices

Pork pairs well with cabbage because it has an earthy taste that goes well with the vegetable’s sweetness.

The key here is to make sure your pork is cooked until just before being done so that it still has some chewiness and moisture left in it when paired with the slaw.

4. Veal


Veal is another great option for those who want something slightly less bold than lamb but still want something that’s going to stand out from the crowd.

The sweetness of this vegetable will bring out more savory flavors in the veal, making it taste even more succulent than usual!

5. Venison


Venison is an incredibly versatile meat that can be prepared in many different ways.

It marries well with the sweetness of cabbage and makes for a delicious pairing.

Try roasting some venison chops or flank steak and serve them alongside some steamed cabbage.

6. Goat

Goat and cabbage stew

Goat meat is a great choice for when you’re eating cabbage, because it has a similar texture and flavor profile.

You’ll find that the flavors of your cabbage and goat meat complement each other perfectly.

The best way to pair goat with cabbage is by making a stew.

A stew is easy to make, so you can do it on your own or with friends.

7. Elk meat

Elk meat

Elk meat is a game-changer when you’re preparing cabbage.

It’s a lean, rich red meat that goes perfectly with the earthy flavor of cabbage.

Elk is also a good choice if you want to kick up the protein content of your meal.

If you’re looking for something quick and easy, try making an elk burger with cabbage slaw.

8. Bison meat


Bison meat is a lean, healthy red meat that pairs well with the bitterness of the cabbage.

We recommend serving bison steak with a side of sweet potato fries and a small salad with vinaigrette dressing.

You’ll get the best of both worlds: sweet and savory!

9. Steak


Steak is another great option for pairing with cabbage because it’s delicious and hearty enough to stand up to the strong flavors in this vegetable dish.

You can cook your steak however you like—the only thing you need to watch out for is overcooking!

It should also be cooked medium rare so that it doesn’t get too tough or chewy.

White Meats That Go Well with Cabbage

White meats are a great way to go when you’re looking for something healthy, but also want to avoid eating too much red meat.

They’re high in protein and low in fat, which is why they’re so popular among athletes.

The best thing about white meats is that they can be paired with almost any vegetable, so they make a great addition to your meal prep routine.

If you’re looking for an alternative to red meat without changing the flavor of your dish, try pairing white meat with cabbage!

Here are some of our favorites:

10. Chicken


Chicken is a great option if you want a lighter meal.

It’s also versatile and can go with almost any side dish.

The best way to pair chicken with cabbage is in a stir-fry—just marinate the chicken and then cook it alongside the cabbage in your favorite stir-fry sauce or seasoning blend (or just plain!).

11. Turkey

Ground turkey

Turkey is another good option for when you’re trying to eat healthier.

Just make sure not to overcook it; otherwise, it can become dry and tough.

We recommend adding ground turkey (See also these easy Ground Turkey Noodle Recipes) in place of beef or other red meats for a heartier meal without adding any extra calories or fat content!

12. Rabbit meat


Rabbit is a great option if you’re looking for something that’s a little gamey and still has a lot of flavor.

It’s also lean and low in calories, so it won’t leave you feeling heavy after eating it.

You can cook it any way you like—we recommend roasting it until it’s nice and crispy on the outside, then serving it with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy.

13. Duck

Duck Breast

Duck is another lean meat that works well with cabbage because it pairs well with other vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, or Brussels sprouts.

You can roast this duck breast recipe with just salt and pepper and serve over a bed of steamed green beans (with a little butter).

14. Turkey


Turkey and cabbage are a classic combo—and it’s no wonder why.

The earthy sweetness of the cabbage complements the rich, slightly sweet flavor of turkey.

It’s also a great way to get some greens in if you’re not a fan of eating salad or veggies on their own.

15. Pork

Pork Slices

Pork is great because it adds flavor to dishes without overpowering them—it’s subtle and mild enough to let the other ingredients shine through.

Try making pork and cabbage tacos or eating pork tenderloin with sauerkraut and applesauce.

16. White fish

White Fish

White fish is a great option if you want to keep your meal light and healthy, but still flavorful and satisfying.

It’s also easy to cook, so it’s perfect if you’ve never cooked fish before or if you don’t have much experience with it.

Cured Meats That Go Well with Cabbage

There are a lot of great cured meats out there, but cabbage is a tricky one.

Here’s our list of cured meats that go well with cabbage:

17. Bacon


Bacon is a staple of the American diet, but it’s also an amazing complement to your cabbage dishes.

Try adding some pieces of bacon to your next cabbage-based meal for a salty, smoky taste that will spice up your dish without overpowering it.

You can even make bacon-wrapped cabbage rolls if you’re looking for something new!

18. Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

Carb-free diets have been all the rage lately, but let’s not forget about the humble meatloaf!

Meatloaf is one of those comfort foods that everyone loves, and it pairs perfectly with cabbage.

This recipe uses both ground beef and ground pork to create an amazing texture and flavor profile.

Topped with bacon, this dish is sure to be a hit at any dinner party!

19. Pancetta


Pancetta is kind of like bacon’s Italian cousin—it’s made from pork belly and cured with salt and spices like black pepper and garlic.

It has a slightly sweet flavor that pairs wonderfully with the slightly bitter taste of cabbage.

When you use pancetta in your cabbage recipes, you’ll get a tasty combination of salty and sweet flavors that will make your mouth water!

20. Prosciutto


Prosciutto is a dry-cured ham made from either pork or beef that’s usually eaten as an appetizer or side dish, but it’s also perfect for adding flavor to your cabbage dishes because it adds meaty richness without overwhelming any other flavors in your meal—so long as you don’t eat too much at once!

Just like bacon, prosciutto is great for wrapping around smaller chunks of cabbage so that every bite has some meaty goodness along with some greens on top.

21. Pastrami


Pastrami is made from beef brisket that has been brined and then smoked (usually over wood).

The result is juicy and tender meat that pairs perfectly with cabbage because they both have bold flavors!

Try making pastrami sandwiches or wrapping them together in cabbage leaves for an authentic experience!

22. Salami


Salami is a classic Italian sausage made from pork, beef, or veal.

It’s usually cured with garlic or other spices, which makes it perfect for pairing with cabbages that have a similar flavor profile like red cabbage or savoy cabbage (to name just two options).

Salami goes great as an appetizer with crackers and cheeses or as part of an antipasto platter alongside olives and pickles!

23. Chorizo

Chorizo sausage

Chorizo is a Spanish sausage made from pork and paprika.

It has a spicy flavor and is often served with rice or potatoes as an accompaniment to any meal.

We recommend pairing this type of sausage with sauerkraut or other types of pickled vegetables like kimchi or coleslaw!

24. Bologna

Bologna sausage

Bologna is a great addition to any cabbage-based meal.

It’s mild enough that it won’t overpower the taste of your cabbage, but it will add a salty kick that will make your dish more interesting.

You can use it in place of bacon for a similar smoky flavor and texture.

25. Cured Pork Sausage

Cured Pork Sausage

Pork sausage has a similar flavor profile to bacon, but with less fat—making it better for your health and easier on your wallet!

You can use this meat in place of bacon when cooking up your next batch of soup or stew; or try making some tasty Polish kielbasa with it instead of ground beef or turkey!

26. Pepperoni


Pepperoni is one of the most versatile cured meats out there. It’s great on pizza, sandwiches, salads…and even desserts!

If you’re looking for something different than the classic bacon-and-lettuce wedge salad this summertime, try adding some pepperonis to your next batch of coleslaw for a spicy kick that will leave your guests craving more!

what meat goes good with cabbage

26 Meats That Go Well with Cabbage

Cabbage is great for pairing with meat because it's a vegetable that can be used in a variety of ways. You can use it raw or cooked, as salad or coleslaw, as a side dish, or even as an appetizer.
And it's super versatile—if you're not sure what to do with cabbage in the kitchen, just think about what kind of flavor profile you're going for and then brainstorm ways to incorporate cabbage into those flavors.
For example: if you're going for spicy orange chicken, you could make a slaw out of red cabbage and carrot to go alongside it.
Or if you're going for something more Italian-inspired (like spaghetti and meatballs), add some shredded purple cabbage to your sauce! You can also use shredded cabbage as a topping on tacos or pizza instead of lettuce leaves if that sounds better—the possibilities are endless!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course, Meat
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 340 kcal


  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Veal
  • Venison
  • Goat
  • Elk meat
  • Bison meat
  • Steak
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Rabbit meat
  • Duck
  • Turkey
  • Pork
  • White fish
  • Bacon
  • Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf
  • Pancetta
  • Prosciutto
  • Pastrami
  • Salami
  • Chorizo
  • Bologna
  • Cured Pork Sausage
  • Pepperoni


  • Pick your favorite piece of meat from this list to use with your meal.
  • Prepare the rest of your dish.
  • Be ready to munch in no time!
Keyword what meat goes with cabbage