Grilled cabbage browns and caramelizes with a nutty sweetness, along with smoky bacon, onion, and BBQ spice rub. The combination of flavors is nothing short of grill magic!
Cabbage almost always shows up at a BBQ in the form of coleslaw. However, if you are looking for something new and different to do with cabbage, keep reading!
There are numerous ways to cook a head of cabbage on the grill, but this method is probably the easiest way to grill it. The green cabbage is cut into wedges and wrapped with a couple of strips of bacon. The bacon-wrapped wedges are then placed on sheets of foil with slices of sweet onion and sprinkled with BBQ seasoning. The cabbage wedges are wrapped tightly in the piece of foil and grilled over indirect heat until they are caramelized and tender.
Summer vegetables don’t have to always cook in your kitchen. Keep the heat out of the kitchen and cook your veggies outside on the grill. This summer side dish is definitely one that your friends and family can enjoy.
David and I love to make grilled cabbage and toss it on the grill with some smoked meat. It takes longer to cook the cabbage at such a low temperature, but they are usually ready when the meat is, if not before. If they are ready before the meat is, they will stay warm nestled inside the foil until you are ready to eat.
Let’s grill some cabbage!
Things Needed to Make this Recipe
Ingredients Needed to Make Grilled Cabbage
A detailed list of ingredients is provided in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Green Cabbage: For this recipe, you can use either cannonball or savoy cabbage. With either type of cabbage, choose a cabbage with a tight, compact head that feels heavy for its size. The leaves should look fresh and crisp with a firm stem.
- Bacon: Use any kind of bacon you prefer. However, don’t use a thick cut because it doesn’t wrap around the cabbage wedge easily.
- Onion: any large onion works for this recipe. We prefer sweet Mayan onions because they are so sweet.
- BBQ Seasoning: Don’t be shy with the seasoning the wedges can handle it. We believe a teaspoon or so per wedge of our Spicy Dry Rub is about right. This BBQ rub goes with just about everything you put it on and it’s great on this cabbage!
You can find the Spicy Dry Rub recipe HERE or use any BBQ spice rub you like. Cajun Seasoning also works well.
CAUTION: Pay attention to the sodium content when using other BBQ seasonings. Some contain a lot of sodium. You don’t want to over season the cabbage.
Watch Our Video on How to Make Grilled Cabbage:
How To Make Grilled Cabbage
Set up the grill for indirect heat and preheat to 350 to 400 degrees F.
Cut the Cabbage:
- Peel any dark green or wilted outer leaves off the cabbage; discard.
- Place the cabbage onto a cutting board. Use a sharp knife or meat cleaver, cut the cabbage in half.
- Cut the two halves in half to get four equal-sized wedges of cabbage, leaving the stem intact, which helps keep the cabbage together when cooked.
Prepare the Cabbage Wedges for Grilling:
- Wrap the Bacon: Wrap each wedge with two strips of bacon then place each on a large sheet of foil.
- Add the onions: Divide the onions up equally among the four wedges, tossing them onto the foil with the bacon-wrapped cabbage.
- Season: Sprinkle each cabbage wedge with BBQ seasoning, to taste.
- Wrap: Wrap tin foil around each cabbage wedge and seal tightly.
Grill the Cabbage:
David uses a charcoal grill if you don’t have one apply the same principles of offset cooking, time, and temperature on a gas grill.
- Place the foil-wrapped cabbage wedges onto the grill grate over indirect heat (the cool side of the grill).
- Grill the cabbage at 350 to 400 degrees for about 45 to 60 minutes or until the cabbage is tender, turning twice during cooking.
When the cabbage is tender remove it from the grill. Serve inside the foil or pour them out onto a plate or bowl. (Use Caution: the liquid inside the foil is hot and may drip!)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Bake the foil wrapped cabbage wedges for 30 to 45 minutes or until cabbage is tender and carmelized. Use tongs to gently sqeeze the foil packet to check for tenderness.
Tips for Making Grilled Cabbage
- Stems: Leave the stem of the cabbage intact when cutting the cabbage into wedges. This will hold the cabbage together and help them cook evenly.
- Wedge Size: Cut the wedges equally so that they cook evenly and are all done at the same time.
- Bacon Thickness: Use regular cut bacon. Thick bacon strips are not as easy to wrap around things.
- Roatation: Rotate the cabbage every 15 to 20 minutes to ensure even cooking.
- Size Matters: The time it takes to grill cabbage is dependent on the size of the cabbage wedges and the temperature at which they are cooked. Larger cabbage wedges will take longer to cook than smaller ones.
- Temperature: If the cabbage wedges are cooked at a lower temperature they will take longer.
- Doneness: Check cabbages for doneness by gently squeezing them with grilling tongs after about 45 minutes. They should start to give when they become tender. If they are firm, keep on cooking.
How to Store Leftovers
Sometimes there may be leftovers. If the cabbage is still in the foil, leave it wrapped up and place it in the fridge until the next day if the foil is smutty from the grill or has holes in it. It is best to store in an airtight container. Eat within a day or two.
Reheating Grilled Cabbage
To reheat, place the foil-wrapped cabbage on a baking sheet and warm in a 350 degree F oven until heated through (about 20-30 minutes).
Toss the cabbage wedges on the grill or smoker with whatever meat you are cooking. This is a great summer side dish to enjoy without a lot of fuss!
- Heavy-Duty Aluminum Foil
- Sharp Knife or Meat Cleaver
- 1 cabbage medium, quartered leaving stem intact!
- 1 large sweet onion sliced
- 8 bacon slices Regular Cut (2 per quarter)
- 1 tablespoon BBQ Dry Rub or any BBQ spice rub you prefer
- Set up the grill for indirect heat and preheat to 350 to 400 degrees F.
Cut the Cabbage:
- Peel any dark green or wilted outer leaves off the cabbage;discard. Place the cabbage onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife or meatcleaver, cut the cabbage in half. Next, cut the two halves in half to get fourequal-sized wedges of cabbage, leaving the stem intact, which helps keep thecabbage together so it will cook evenly.
Prepare the Cabbage Wedges for Grilling:
- Wrap each wedge with two strips of bacon then place each ona large sheet of foil. Divide the onions up equally among the four wedges,tossing them onto the foil with the bacon-wrapped cabbage. Next, sprinkle eachcabbage wedge with BBQ seasoning, to taste. Wrap the tin foil around eachcabbage wedge and seal tightly.
Grill the Cabbage: (skip if grilling)
- Place the foil-wrapped cabbage wedges, over indirect heat (the cool side of the grill). Grill the cabbage at 350 to 400 degrees for about 45 to 60 minutes or until the cabbage is tender, turning twice during cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.Bake the foil wrapped cabbage wedges for 30 to 45 minutes or until cabbage is tender and carmelized. Use tongs to gently sqeeze the foil packet to check for tenderness.
- When the cabbage is tender remove them from the grill. Serve inside the foil or pour them out onto a plate or bowl. (Use Caution: the liquid inside the foil is hot and may drip!)
Updated recipe originally posted on July 15, 2015.