Whole Roasted Cabbage “Turkey” {RECIPE + VIDEO}

Lately I haven’t been experimenting much in the kitchen.
I’ve been so busy with Baby J and work, that all of my recipe
creation has been for practical everyday recipes and
meal prep
. That is great, but I really was missing the
adventure of trying and perfecting new dishes. When my
brother-in-law sent me
this recipe
for a whole roasted cabbage “turkey”, I was
intrigued and ready for a culinary adventure. He had questions
about how to veganize the original recipe (which called for dairy
butter), and I had questions about whether it would even work.
Let’s be real here, a cabbage and a turkey are two very different
things. And the original recipe only called for salt and pepper to
spice the outermost leaves, did that mean the center would be

So I gave the original recipe a go, then made it my own!

As you’ll see in the
video, the original recipe suggested that the whole roasted cabbage
be cooked whole for 5-5 1/2 hours. Only the outer leaves would be
spiced, and you’d need to baste it with the buttery drippings
every hour like an actual turkey corpse (yes I did just call it
that, because that is what it is). I did all of that, and the end
result was a roasted cabbage with very crispy and salty outer
leaves and a very chewy “flesh”. Not tender and juicy like a
cabbage could be. And not deserving of being the centerpiece to a
Thanksgiving table.

But it is still a fun concept, and I knew that a whole roasted
cabbage as turkey had potential.

The make this cabbage turkey juicy and tasty, I decided to cut
the thing in halve. No more whole roasted cabbage. That way it
could cook more quickly, take on more of the flavor from the simple
seasonings, and become tender and juicy to the core. I decided to
keep the seasoning very simple; just salt, pepper, and vegan
butter. I think that overseasoning it would take away from the idea
that this cabbage is supposed to be similar to turkey. Plus,
cabbage has so much yummy flavor on it’s own. I just wanted to
bring that out. I decided to serve it with roasted seasonal
vegetables. The more colorful veggies arranged around the roasted
cabbage makes it more festive and filling. If I decide to make this
for Thanksgiving or Christmas, I will definitely serve it with
potatoes and mushroom gravy
as well. That plus a
killer stuffing
sweet potato pie
for dessert, and you’ve got yourself a
winning holiday meal.

Let me know what you think of this whole roasted cabbage turkey
idea! Would you serve it as a vegan holiday main dish? By the way,
if you haven’t heard yet, I designed the vegan holiday meal for
Whole Foods Market this year. You can order this incredible meal to pickup at
your local Whole Foods in the US and Canada. A great option if you
don’t feel like cooking this year 😉

Whole Roasted Cabbage “Turkey”
Prep time
15 mins
Cook time
3 hours
Total time
3 hours 15 mins
This can be made ahead. Roast to
completion but skip the very last step (roasting at 400° to crisp
outer leaves) until you are ready to serve it. The original recipe
comes from
Domino magazine.
Author: Jenné
Serves: 4-6
  • 3lb green cabbage
  • 3 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Roasted Veggies
  • 2 yukon potatoes, cubed
  • 1-2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 2 small delicata squashes,
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced
  • any other herbs you like
  1. Preheat oven to 400° and
    position the lower rack on the lowest rung.
  2. Cut the cabbage in half through
    the base.
  3. In a small bowl use a fork to
    mash 2 tablespoons of the vegan butter with the salt and
  4. Carefully pull back the outermost
    leaf of the cabbage and use your hands to rub the butter mash onto
    the cabbage. Be careful not to tear the leaf. Press the leaf back
    down over the cabbage, and coat the outside of it. Coat the cut
    side with butter too. Do this with both halves.
  5. Place the cabbage cut side down
    into a baking dish or wide dutch oven. Roast for 35 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and add the
    remaining 1 tbsp of vegan butter to the tops of the cabbage,
    letting it melt and drip down to the bottom of the baking
  7. Reduce the oven heat to 250° and
    roast for another 2-2½ hours. You’ll know it is done with a knife
    slides into the cabbage with little resistance, and the outer
    leaves are golden.
  8. Turn the oven back up to 400°
    and roast for 20 minutes to burn the outer leaves. They should get
    crispy and turn dark brown.
  9. Surround the cooked cabbage
    halves with roasted veggies (instructions below) and serve.
Roasted veggies
  1. Toss the cut veggies with olive
    oil, salt, pepper, and herbs.
  2. Spread evenly onto a baking dish,
    and roast along with the cabbage (if your oven is large enough to
    fit both) for 35 minutes. If not large enough to fit both, do this
    after the cabbage is finished.

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Roasted Cabbage “Turkey” {RECIPE + VIDEO}
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Whole Roasted Cabbage “Turkey” {RECIPE + VIDEO}