Easy Cabbage and Pasta with Creamy Mustard Sauce

The dish came about as so many do. I was searching for inspiration in the fridge and found only cold, leftover cooked pasta and a head of green cabbage.

Cabbage and noodles can seem ho-hum, but more than one civilization has applied culinary alchemy to them and made greatness happen. I won’t claim this dish has some profound international pedigree, but it came together fast, it was cheap and filling and everyone – even the kids – agreed it was delicious.

Cabbage and Pasta with Mustard Cream Sauce

Cabbage and Pasta Step-by-Step

Rough shred cabbage and cook it in a large skillet. Let the cabbage brown in places – this makes it much sweeter.

Cabbage and Pasta with Mustard Cream Sauce

Add in the cooked pasta, a dollop of whole grain mustard, a healthy drizzle of cream and some water.

Cabbage and Pasta with Mustard Cream Sauce

Cook everything together until the sauce thickens and nicely coats the pasta and cabbage. Season and eat! So easy, but really delicious.

Cabbage and Pasta with Mustard Cream Sauce

Printable Recipe

Cabbage and Pasta with Mustard Cream Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is a great recipe to use up leftover cooked pasta.
Serves: 4
  • 4 cups cooked pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium head green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons mild whole grain mustard
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. If necessary, cook pasta and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is browned in places and just tender.
  3. Add cooked pasta, mustard, cream and water to the skillet and to incorporate mustard.
  4. Cook, stirring frequently, until pasta is hot through and tender and sauce has reduced to coat the pasta and cabbage.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve right away.

What’s your favorite easy meal from leftovers and pantry staples?


  1. Barb says

    Hmmm. I’m not much of a mustard fan, but I do love honey mustard dressing. So maybe I could add some honey to this. I’ll pretty much try anything that includes pasta. :)

  2. Janet says

    My chickens are not happy that you’re giving me more ways to use up cabbage! Thank you, it looks delicious, quick and easy!

  3. Debbie says

    Cabbage and pasta are classic combinations in several Eastern European cultures. I’m Polish and we call it kluski.

    • says

      Yes! Kluski (I think that’s the word for the dumplings, and haluski is the noodles with cabbage?) is standard fare at parties on the Polish side of my family, fried with plenty of butter and onions, served in quantities fit to feed an army, or course. So so good.

  4. Ronaye Tylor says

    Just went out and got some cream and “stone ground” mustard – didn’t see anything called “whole grain” but this looks good and tastes great! C’mon dinner time!

  5. BeckiB says

    Can you post a picture or diagram of your kitchen? I know that might sound intrusive, but since we got to see your lovely pantry, I hoped for at least a diagram. I recently read your posts from last year’s canning spree and I wondered how you had your kitchen work area set up, if you had a big island for working on, or if you are just incredibly resourceful in a small space. Thanks!

  6. Birgitt says

    Nice! I am always looking for things that are new, simple and meatless. I can’t eat prepared mustard because of the vinegar, but I bet I can make this with powdered mustard.

  7. jim says

    This was de-lish! Didn’t have cream, so used the butter and evaporated milk substitution as suggested. (I always have evap. milk on hand, as I use it in my coffee.) Next time. I think I’ll add some thinly sliced onion, as someone else mentioned.

  8. Kay says

    I made this mostly by the recipe a couple times and it was very tasty. I’ve landed on a permanent version of cooking 4-5 slices of bacon in the pan first, set aside and crumble when cooled. Reserve about 1 TBSP of fat in the same pan and add cabbage and garlic. Follow the rest of the recipe and finish with a handful of parmesan cheese and lots of black pepper. With cabbage usually in the fridge, pasta in the pantry, and parmesan and bacon in the freezer this is a meal I can see throwing together very often. I also usually have whole milk on hand so I just used 1/2 up of that instead of cream. Thanks for the great recipe!

  9. Wendy Boord says

    This was really good. I made two little changes; I cooked four slices of bacon in my pan to start, moved them to a towel to drain, and used the rendered fat instead of the butter called for to cook my garlic and cabbage in. Then I followed the recipe as written, adding maybe an extra tablespoon or two of cream beyond what was called for, and after everything was combined and warmed, crumbled the reserved bacon over the top. My husband was very pleased, and even though it only had 4 pieces of bacon for the whole pot he didn’t use his trademark phrase, “this is delicious, but it could use more meat.”


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