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Savoy Cabbage: Kitchen Basics

Cabbage savoy1
Savoy cabbage salad
Savoy cabbage salad with corn, onions and bell pepper

Savoy cabbage is considered by many to be the best eating cabbage. It has a very delicate texture and a flavor most consider much superior to smooth leaved cabbage.  The savoy cabbage has a yellow-green nearly round head with wrinkled leaves.

Because savoy cabbage is so tender, it requires much less cooking than other cabbage varieties.

How to Choose Savoy Cabbage

  • Select cabbage that is heavy for its size and is compact.
  • Savoy cabbage should be crisp with well-colored leaves.
  • Avoid Savoy cabbage that has thin, wilted leaves or a cracked head.

How to Prep Savoy Cabbage

  • Soak cabbage in saltwater or vinegar for about 15 minutes before using to free the tightly packed leaves of insects.
  • After soaking, rinse the head thoroughly in cold running water.
  • For the mildest flavor and tenderness, cut out and discard any fibrous thick ribs from the outer leaves.
savoy cabbage salad
Savoy cabbage salad with corn, onions and bell pepper

Savoy Cabbage Serving Suggestions

  • Savoy cabbage can be eaten raw or cooked.
  • Savoy cabbage has a flavor affinity for garlic, olive oil, polenta, potatoes, sweet onions, and white beans.
  • Quick Cook Recipe. Slice savoy cabbage into 1/4 inch strips. Heat 2 cloves garlic and a quarter cup extra virgin olive oil in a nonstick pan. When the oil is hot, add the cabbage and a dash of salt. Cook and stir until the cabbage is just tender. Cabbage that is cooked tender-crisp will remain sweet. Overcooked cabbage will lose texture and flavor.

How to Store Savoy Cabbage

  • Cabbage will keep for about 2 weeks in the vegetable drawer or in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator.
  • Cut cabbage should be stored away from other foods.

Savoy Cabbage Varieties

  • ‘Savoy King’, ‘Savoy Ace’, and ‘Quintal D’Alsace’ are the best know savoy cabbage varieties.
  • ‘Spivoy’ is unusual; it has a pointed head is. It is a great selection for the home garden because it can be closely planted and holds well after maturing so that the harvest can be extended over a longer period.
Savoy cabbage in garden
Savoy cabbage in the garden

About Savoy Cabbage

  • Savoy cabbage is named for the region where it is believed to have originated: the Savoy which straddles the Alpine regions of Italy and France.
  • Savoy cabbage is also called curly cabbage.
  • Cabbage is a cool-season crop. In regions where it gets neither too hot nor too cold, cabbage will keep in the garden for quite some time. 

Also of interest:

How to Grow Cabbage

How to Harvest and Store Cabbage

Seven Ways to Cook Cabbage


Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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