Cabbage is featured in many delicious, hearty, and healthy meals and can last longer than most vegetables around. The shelf life of cabbage depends mostly on how it’s stored.

If cabbage is stored in the refrigerator with an air-tight container or lid, it can last for about 3-5 days, sometimes longer. On the counter, only expect it to last 2-3 hours.

I like adding cabbage to my salads and juices because of its health benefits, but I don’t know how to store it in my fridge correctly. Sometimes keeping it in a pantry is okay, but it's only fresh for a few days before and the leaves dry up and start to brown, or it gets a robust funny smell.

How to select the right cabbage

purple cabbage plant
purple cabbage plant

Cabbage contains very little water compared to other traditional veggies like spinach and romaine, giving it longer shelf life. When you go to the store to buy your cabbage, there are a few things you need to know so that you can select the right cabbage.

Tips

  1. An average cabbage weighs around 1-7 pounds, and a cabbage head should be large and not be fluffy, sober according to its size, and tender green leaves that don’t have any signs of damage, insect bites, blemishes, or dark spots.
  2. Fresh cabbage has a lot of outer leaves that are mostly removed as the cabbage ages. To get a new cabbage, check at the stem to ensure the leaves aren’t beginning to separate. This is an indication of how old the cabbage is.
  3. If you’re buying already shredded and bagged cabbage, remember to use it by the best before date. It saves you time, but it can be more expensive, and make sure to rinse it with cold water before eating.
  4. Cabbages either have a green or red color, look for the ones that are shiny and bright with an almost lime green color. As for red cabbage, go for the ones with a deep-maroonish color.
  5. Make sure the cabbage is firm to touch on the outside. If it feels soft and hollow inside rather than firm and compact, it could be rotten on the inside.
  6. Go for a cabbage that only has a few hanging leaves from the head. If it has many leaves that aren’t tightly pressed to the center, it may have a funny texture and flavor. Also, go for leaves that are crisp rather than soft because soft leaves could be because the cabbage is old or it’s damaged.
  7. Cabbages with a more massive head have a milder flavor than small ones that are more compact.

Cabbage in the fridge

cut, raw cabbage on table
fresh, raw cabbage sitting on table

How long does fresh raw cabbage last in the fridge?

Once you cut your cabbage, it begins to lose vitamin C and maximize your cabbage’s shelf life and refrigerate it in a plastic bag. Don’t wash it until you’re ready to use it. If appropriately stored raw cabbage in the fridge can last for 1-2 months.

Keeping your cabbage cold can help retain its crisp texture and nutrients.

You can also freeze raw cabbage; follow these steps.

  1. Wash the cabbage thoroughly and remove rough leaves
  2. Separate it into leaves or cut into thin wedge
  3. Blanch it for 2 minutes, then dip in ice cold water
  4. Drain excess moisture and place the cabbage into air-tight containers and freeze.

If properly stored, frozen cabbage can stay in good quality for more than 18 months.

What is the Shelf Life of Cabbage?

The duration that cooked cabbage in the fridge stays fresh depends on how it’s stored in the refrigerator within two hours after being cooked. To prolong its shelf life and preserve its quality, keep it safe to eat, use an air-tight shallow container or wrap it with aluminum foil before placing it in the fridge. If properly stored, it can last for about 3-5 days in the refrigerator.

Cooked cabbage can also be frozen by freezing it in air-tight containers or using heavy-duty freezer bags. If kept frozen continuously at 0 degrees fahrenheit, they will retain their quality. Cooked cabbage that has been thawed in the fridge is good for only 3-4 days before cooking, but if it has been softened in cold water or a microwave, you need to eat it immediately.

If you leave cooked cabbage at room temperature, bacteria will quickly grow and should be throw away if you leave it for more than 2 hours. If the cooked cabbage has an off smell or has a funny appearance, don’t taste it; throw it away.

Now you know how long cabbage can last in the fridge.

The good thing about cabbage is it has the most extended shelf life among all the other veggies. From selecting the right cabbage to how you store it in the fridge, all these processes are essential in determining how long your cabbage lasts in the refrigerator. Cabbage can last between 3 days to 18 months, depending on how you store it. Watch this for more on how to store cabbage in the fridge.

Other Topics about how long cabbage lasts

Does cabbage need to be refrigerated?

Once you cut off the head of cabbage, it quickly loses its freshness, so it’s best to use it the same day. If some have remained, sprinkle a few drops of water on the cut side, put in in a plastic bag, and refrigerate it.

Does cabbage need to be washed?

Although cabbage is usually clean on the inside because the outer leaves protect it, it’s good that you wash it under running water. To preserve its nutrients, especially vitamin C, cut and wash the cabbage right before cooking or eating it.

Can fresh shredded cabbage be frozen?

You don’t need to blanch cabbage before you freeze it, but you need to use it before 4-8 weeks. But you can blanch it for 90 seconds to make the frozen cabbage last longer.

Is frozen cabbage still good?

Freezing raw cabbage for months changes the texture and damages the structure. The best thing is to put it in the fridge.

How long can cooked cabbage last in the fridge?

At most 3-5 days, but for longer shelf life, freeze it in an air-tight container or heavy-duty freezer bags.