Caribbean Cabbage

Get the maximum taste and nutritional value out of your cabbage with this savory sweet-and-sour side with a little bit of heat.

Caribbean cabbage with Scotch bonnet peppers

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The Scotch bonnet is the pepper of choice in the islands—although you can easily substitute any pepper, especially the habanero, in this recipe. Sautéing the whole pepper infuses the cabbage mixture with its spicy flavor. Those who enjoy even more heat can experiment with either adding an additional pepper or even some red pepper flakes. The honey and vinegar combine to add a sweet and sour quality that balances the heat of the pepper.

Caribbean Cabbage can be served warm, at room temperature, or even chilled depending on your preference. No matter how you decide to serve it, this side pairs well with chicken—either a freshly prepared bird or chilled leftovers. Add a pitcher of unsweetened iced tea and serve it up on the patio or terrace for a taste of the tropics.

Tip: To get the maximum nutritional value from cabbage it’s most effective to shred your own when preparing this dish. But If your schedule is tight, buy a bag of shredded cabbage. One head of cabbage equals about 8 cups shredded.

Caribbean Cabbage
(Makes 6 servings)

Caribbean cabbage with Scotch bonnet peppers


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 scallion, including green stem, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 whole Scotch bonnet chile pepper or habanero pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 medium green or red cabbage, tough outer leaves removed, cored and shredded (about 8 cups, shredded)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 plum tomato, diced


  1. In large skillet heat oil over high heat. Stir in onion, bell pepper, scallion, and garlic. Sauté until softened (about 5 minutes). Stir in thyme and whole Scotch bonnet pepper. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. In small pot on medium heat, warm vinegar, do not boil, and stir in honey, mixing well.
  3. Add cabbage and carrots to onion mix. Stir to combine well, cover skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until cabbage begins to soften (about 10 minutes).
  4. Stir in vinegar-honey sauce and tomato into vegetable mixture. Continue stirring until cabbage is tender, about 4 minutes more or until desired tenderness. Remove the Scotch bonnet pepper and thyme sprigs. Serve. (Although typically served warm, you can also refrigerate to cool before serving.)

Nutrition Facts

Per serving

Calories: 130
Total fat: 5 g
Saturated fat: 0.5 g
Carbohydrate: 21 g
Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 3 g
Sodium: 60 mg

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