Cabbage is one of the more underrated vegetables. It has a high concentration of minerals and vitamins and is versatile.
Whether you’re making a savory coleslaw, whipping up stir-fries, or looking to add a splash of color to your salads, there are many different types of cabbages to choose from.
This cruciferous vegetable belongs to the Brassicaceae family, which includes other crops like collard greens, kale, cauliflower, and broccoli. These crops can either have less tightly packed leaves or form tight heads with wrinkled or flat leaves.
Our detailed guide covers the various types of cabbages.
Table of Contents
Some common types of cabbages include the following.
1. Green Cabbage
Green cabbage is one of the popular cabbage you’ll find in most grocery stores and farmer’s markets. It has a round shape and smooth green leaves on the outside.
Green cabbage has a peppery flavor when raw and a sweet and creamy texture when cooked.
The vegetable is versatile as you can sautee it for stir-fries, use it in salads and slaws, and make sauerkraut.
Common green cabbage varieties include pointed cabbage, which has a conical head with loose leaves, domestic cabbage, which has curled leaves and a loose head, and Danish cabbage, which has compact leaves.
2. Purple Cabbage
Purple or red cabbage is one of the varieties that takes time to mature. These cabbages are drier compared to the white and green varieties.
Red cabbage changes color depending on the soil pH value. The leaves are purple when the pH is neutral and turn reddish in acidic soils.
Thanks to its crunchy texture and unique flavor, you can use purple cabbage in your traditional salads and coleslaw.
Purple cabbage can also be pickled and added as a side accompaniment to other meals.
Although you can cook purple cabbage, the color turns blue and can leach into other ingredients. Additionally, tap water contains alkaline substances that can change the color of cabbage.
When cooking this cabbage, adding vinegar or lemon juice can prevent a color change.
3. Savoy Cabbage
Savoy cabbage has lacy, ruffled, and ridged leaves, which is why it’s also known as curly cabbage. Savoy cabbages have a small round head. Some people prefer this cabbage due to its tender leaves and mild taste.
The cabbage has loosely layered leaves, unlike the green cabbage. Additionally, it’s more tender than other cabbage types, making it ideal for a crunchy, fresh wrap.
Unlike other types of cabbage, Savoy cabbage retains its color and texture. You can use Savoy cabbage instead of tortillas and add your favorite fillings to the leaves.
Savoy cabbage is also perfect for quick stir-fries and salads.
There’s also the Savoy Express, which is a smaller type of cabbage that’s sweeter. This hybrid variety has a white center and light green leaves.
4. Napa Cabbage
Napa cabbage is also known as Chinese cabbage and has a yellow-green color and crispy leaves.
Its thick stems and oblong shape are distinctive features that differentiate it from green cabbage.
Being a mildly flavored vegetable, Napa cabbage can be eaten raw in salads or cooked to bring out the sweet flavor.
5. Bok Choy
Bok choy is another cabbage with leaves growing from a central stalk.
Although some people confuse bok choy with Swiss chard, bok choy has pale green leaves and stalks.
Bok choy is a common vegetable in Southeast Asian and Chinese cooking.
Bok choy’s mild flavor makes it perfect for stir-fries. You can also get the vegetable’s sweet flavor by braising it.
While some people prefer cooking bok choy whole, it’s best to separate the leaves and cook them loose.
6. January King Cabbage
January king cabbage has curly leaves with shades of cool turquoise that can also be royal purple. The cabbage is planted in autumn and harvested in winter, which makes it one of the hardy vegetables to grow.
The cabbage has a Savoy cabbage texture but a white cabbage shape. Its head is small to medium.
You can roast the January king cabbage with some spices and butter to enjoy its savory taste. The cabbage can also be added to a dish to give it some color.
7. White Cabbage
Another popular cabbage variety is white cabbage. The variety is also known as Dutch cabbage as it’s originally from Holland.
It’s a green cabbage type with pale-colored leaves.
Exposure to the sun turns the pale green leaves white with tight leaves at the center. Storing this cabbage through the winter can also make it turn white.
8. Portuguese Cabbage
Portuguese cabbage has a thick stem and oval-shaped leaves.
It’s one of the few varieties that don’t form a cabbage head and instead grow like kale. However, unlike kale, Portuguese cabbage has a sweeter and succulent taste.
You can also add the leaves to stews and soups as it’s an excellent source of minerals and vitamins.
Portuguese cabbage grows in both cold and hot conditions.
9. Tuscan Cabbage
Tuscan cabbage also referred to as black cabbage, is a dark-green, black-leafed kale.
The cabbage has large leaves that look like those of a palm tree. Its thin, crinkly leaves are a distinctive feature that differentiates it from other cabbages.
Although Tuscan cabbage has leaves that are blue-green, they turn black when cooked. The leaves also have a shiny and silky texture.
10. Leaf Cabbage or Kale
Leaf cabbage or kale is another cabbage that doesn’t form a cabbage head. It has dark green crinkled leaves and a central stem.
There are different varieties of kale, ranging from plain-leaf kale to bumpy-leaf kale. They vary in terms of their leaf shape and color.
Unlike most common types of cabbages that can be consumed raw, kale leaves aren’t usually eaten raw as the leaves are tough.
Kale is best consumed when blanched, which softens the leaves. You can also stir-fry it and add it to your stews.
11. Earliana Cabbage
Earliana cabbage is one of the fast-maturing cabbage varieties: It’s ready to harvest in 60 days. Because of its fast growth, it has a smaller head and bright green leaves.
It can be eaten raw in salads or cooked like regular green cabbage.
12. Cannonball Cabbage
Cannonball cabbages have firm, small heads. Their leaves are tender and sweet, which is why some people mistake them for Brussel sprouts.
You can shred cannonball cabbage as it has tightly packed leaves and use it in your sauerkraut, coleslaw, and stews.
13. Gonzales Cabbage
Gonzales cabbage is a compact type of cabbage with a firm texture. It has both white and green leaves.
Most people love this cabbage’s spicy and robust flavor. You can add it to your salads and coleslaw for that peppery taste.
There are different cabbage varieties, and at least one will suit you, depending on your preferences. Whether you’re looking to plant a particular variety with a specific flavor or you need a variety that grows quickly, our list has some of the common types to consider.