Cabbage is a leafy vegetable that offers many benefits. It contains antioxidants like vitamin C and phytonutrients that may help lower inflammation and reduce the risk of certain cancers. Cabbage also provides fiber, potassium, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
When purchasing cabbage, many people opt to buy a whole head and shred or slice it themselves before use. But just how long does shredded cabbage last? Here’s a comprehensive guide on the shelf life of different types of shredded cabbage and how to make it last longer.
How Long Does Shredded Cabbage Last?
Shredded cabbage typically lasts longer than other sliced or chopped leafy greens. Its dense nature gives it a longer shelf life. However, cutting into the cabbage still reduces its usable life. So shredded cabbage doesn’t keep as long as a whole, uncut head.
The exact shelf life depends on whether the cabbage is store-bought pre-cut or freshly shredded at home. It also depends on proper storage methods.
Store-Bought Shredded Cabbage
When purchasing pre-shredded cabbage at the grocery store, first check the expiration or “best by” date on the packaging. This will give you an idea of its shelf life after opening.
Unopened, store-bought shredded cabbage lasts 5-7 days past the printed date. Once opened, it lasts 3-5 days in the fridge. Make sure to tightly seal or roll up the package to help extend its freshness.
There’s a possibility it may spoil before or after the expiration date, depending on how it was handled and stored. So it’s still important to look for signs of spoilage like mold, sliminess, or foul odors. Discard any spoiled cabbage.
Freshly Shredded Cabbage
For cabbage you shred at home, proper storage is key for maximizing its shelf life. Keep freshly shredded cabbage in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. The crisper drawer will help regulate moisture and prevent sogginess.
Stored this way, shredded cabbage stays fresh for about 7-10 days. Check the cabbage daily and look for any shriveling, browning, or funky smells that indicate spoilage. Discard any spoiled portions.
Cooked Shredded Cabbage
Cooked cabbage has a shorter shelf life than raw. Store leftover cooked cabbage in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for 3-5 days. Make sure cooked cabbage is cooled properly before refrigerating.
Frozen Shredded Cabbage
For long term storage, shredded cabbage can also be frozen. Spread fresh shredded cabbage out in a single layer on a tray and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag, removing as much air as possible.
Properly frozen, raw cabbage keeps for 4-8 weeks in the freezer. For even longer frozen storage, blanch the cabbage first. Blanching helps preserve the texture, flavor, nutrients, and color. It extends the frozen shelf life to 9-14 months.
Now that you know how long shredded cabbage lasts, let’s look at some signs of spoilage.
How to Tell If Shredded Cabbage Is Spoiled
Shredded cabbage, like other vegetables, has obvious signs that indicate when it’s gone bad. Trust your senses when inspecting your cabbage.
A rotten, pungent odor is a clear sign of spoilage. Spoiled cabbage gives off an ammonia-like smell or a foul, sulfurous odor similar to rotten eggs. If you detect foul odors, discard the cabbage immediately.
Look for visible mold, sliminess, fungal growth, or unnatural colors. Spoiled cabbage may be coated in a fuzzy mold. It may also appear slimy or waterlogged in texture.
The color may turn yellowish, brown, grey, or black. Large dark spots or excessive wilting and shriveling are also indications of spoilage.
A spoiled cabbage feels mushy and slimy to the touch, instead of crisp. If the texture seems overly soft, wet and mushy, it is a clear sign to discard the cabbage.
An “off” flavor is a definite warning sign to not eat the cabbage. It may taste sour, bitter, unusually pungent, or sharper in flavor. The texture is also unacceptable, feeling mushy or extra slimy in the mouth.
Trust all your senses. If the cabbage seems “off” in any way, err on the side of caution and throw it out. Consuming spoiled foods can cause unpleasant illnesses.
6 Ways to Make Shredded Cabbage Last Longer
Proper storage goes a long way, but there are also methods to help shredded cabbage stay fresher for longer:
1. Use Sharp Utensils
Avoid torn, bruised edges by shredding cabbage with sharp knives. Dull tools cause more damage, accelerating decay. A food processor with a slicing or shredding disc attachment also works well.
2. Store with Paper Towels
Line containers with paper towels before adding the shredded cabbage. The towels soak up excess moisture to prevent sogginess. Poke holes in plastic bags or use containers with perforations for better airflow.
3. Soak in Acidic Water
Soaking freshly cut cabbage in lemon water inhibits oxidation and preserves texture. The acidic lemon juice prevents browning. Cold water keeps cabbage crisp. Store soaked cabbage in airtight containers to prevent air exposure.
4. Blanch Before Freezing
Blanching preserves nutrients, color, flavor, and texture much better than freezing raw. To blanch, briefly boil cabbage shreds then immediately submerge in ice water to halt cooking. Pat dry before freezing.
5. Dehydrate Shredded Cabbage
A dehydrator removes moisture from cabbage through evaporation. Dried cabbage has an impressive shelf life up to 8-10 years stored in airtight containers. Rehydrate by simmering in soups, stews, or boiling water.
6. Pickle or Ferment the Cabbage
From sauerkraut to kimchi, lactic acid fermentation preserves cabbage for months. The salt solution and “good bacteria” inhibit spoilage and decay while enhancing flavor. Refrigerate fermented cabbage for best quality. The probiotics also offer digestive benefits.
Using these tips helps extend the shelf life of shredded cabbage significantly. But can you freeze cabbage to make it last even longer?
Can I Freeze Fresh Shredded Cabbage?
Yes, properly frozen, fresh shredded cabbage lasts 4-8 weeks in the freezer. To freeze:
- Shred cabbage and spread out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Freeze until solid.
- Transfer frozen shreds to freezer bags or airtight containers, removing excess air.
- Label bags with the date and return to the freezer immediately.
This method helps preserve texture better than freezing cabbage directly in clumped bags. For maximum frozen freshness up to 9-14 months, blanch cabbage shreds first before freezing. Freezing works best for cooked cabbage versus raw.
Does Shredded Cabbage Last Longer In the Fridge?
Refrigerating shredded cabbage is ideal for short term storage. The cold temperature of the refrigerator slows down spoilage.
Keep shredded cabbage stored in breathable containers or bags in the fridge crisper drawer. While the refrigerator extends the shelf life of prepared veggies, don’t wait too long before using them up for maximum freshness.
Knowing how to store shredded cabbage properly lets you buy cabbage in bulk for savings, while reducing food waste. Pay attention to expiration dates on packaged cabbage. For cabbage shredded at home, use it within 7-10 days for optimum freshness.
Refrigerate cabbage in suitable containers and watch for signs of spoilage. Discard any cabbage that looks or smells funky. Implement tips like soaking in lemon water, blanching before freezing, or fermenting to prolong cabbage’s shelf life when possible.
Have any other cabbage storage questions? Let me know in the comments!
Hi, I’m Ben Holland. I love cooking, traveling, and spending time with my family! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes, travel tips, and stories about my adventures with my wife and kids.