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: 
Serves: 4
This is a great recipe to use up leftover cooked pasta.
  • 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?

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  1. That looks really good! I’m told that some of the best meals I make in this house is when we don’t have that much food. I end up having to be extra creative, it’s also fun. :)

  2. I’m not the biggest cabbage fan, but this looks delicious. I’ll have to give it a shot. Thanks!

  3. You are a woman after my heart. I consider wasting food a sin. Somehow combining mustard and cream never occurred to me. This looks like a worthy way to use the last frozen savoy cabbage.

  4. 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. :)

  5. Nicole S. says:

    Great idea, sounds really good!

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

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

    • Missy yanchuck says:

      Love this! Especially if the cabbage is finely shredded, and a finely chopped onion is added!

    • 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.

  8. 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!

  9. Looks great! I also love the printable recipes!

  10. I would be all over a dish of this pasta for a quick weeknight dinner. Hooray for cabbage!

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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.”


  1. […] a warm pasta dish for dinner, based on a recipe I found on the Web: Northwest Edible Life’s Cabbage and Pasta with Mustard Cream Sauce. Sounds yummy, and both the roomie and I like cabbage. The roomie and I have been trying to cut […]

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