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Cacio e Pepe Cabbage Is Quick, Hearty, and Delicious

Our contributor puts a spin on Cacio e Pepe featuring cabbage instead of pasta for a fast, hearty, and delicious weeknight dinner.

Cacio e Pepe Cabbage.

Cacio e Pepe Cabbage. Photo by Danielle Kaye.

Simple, no-fuss recipes are often the most delicious, which is true of this cacio e pepe-inspired cabbage dish. One of Italy's most loved pasta exports, Cacio e Pepe, originated in Rome and true to its name, is made of cacio (cheese), pepe (black pepper), butter or olive oil, and pasta.

Cabbage is an often-unappreciated vegetable, but it's hearty and lasts forever in the fridge. When cooked, it develops a delicious caramelized sweetness while maintaining a crisp bite, which is why it works so well in this dish. For our cacio e pepe, we sub traditional pasta for ribbons of thinly sliced cabbage leaves. Sauteed in olive oil and butter, our ribbons go from green to perfectly browned and jammy. Lastly, we finish with heaps of Pecorino Romano cheese and, of course, lots of black pepper. Cacio e Pepe Cabbage turns a heavy pasta into a healthy-ish veggie side while keeping the bold Italian flavors we all love. 

I like to serve this as a side dish or on its own over a bed of farro for a quick and hearty weeknight meal. It comes together in less than 20 minutes and requires ingredients you most likely already have in your fridge — like that head of cabbage you bought last month. :)

Cacio e Pepe Cabbage

Cacio e Pepe Cabbage

Recipe by Danielle Kaye
4.0 from 10 votes


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 medium 1 head of cabbage, sliced into ¼-inch ribbons

  • 2 tablespoons 2 butter

  • 1 tablespoon 1 olive oil

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 grated Pecorino Romano cheese

  • 1 tablespoon 1 black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 salt


  • Heat a very large skillet over medium heat. Add butter and olive oil.
  • Once melted, toss in the cabbage, ensuring all the cabbage is coated in butter and olive oil.
  • Add salt.
  • Sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is cooked and slightly charred.
  • Remove from heat, toss with pepper, and add half the cheese.
  • Plate the dish, sprinkling the remaining cheese on top and adding extra black pepper.
  • Enjoy!

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