Recipe: Spicy Potatoes and Cabbage in Herby Tomatoes

Have you ever eaten a meal that is so humble it takes you by surprise?

potatoes and cabbage plated - edited

There are no big super foods here.  No crazy punch of unusual or particularly bold seasoning.  No exotic ingredient, rare or peculiar.

What we have here are the basics – potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage.  Staples.  Hearty, strong ingredients that have fed people for centuries.  Nothing in this dish screams of specialness or excitement, but in my mind, that’s precisely what makes it so good.  My first bites of this meal were taken with a lack of enthusiasm.  I expected nourishment, but nothing to get worked up about.  As I continued to eat it, though, working my way through my plate, then seconds, and then leftovers the next two days, I fell in love with this humble meal.

potatoes and cabbage - close up in bowl edited

While I’ve called this dish simple, I don’t mean it as a slight.  It’s a compliment.  Hearty vegetables dressed up with aromatics and emboldened with a bit of peppery-heat make for a dish that feels like the best kind of old friend – familiar and warm, but still able to catch you by surprise.


Spicy Potatoes and Cabbage in Herby Tomatoes

Adapted from Vegetarian Times

Serves 8


  • 1 small-medium head of green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 lbs potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 ½ tblspns tomato paste
  • 1 tspn agave
  • 1 tblspn olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tspn dried oregano
  • ½ tspn ground cumin
  • 5 small tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 serrano pepper, minced (optional, depending on your heat preference/tolerance)
  • 3 tblspns lime juice
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Hearty sprinklings of salt and pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Submerge chopped cabbage in water and blanch for 5-6 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Return pot of water to stove and return to a boil.  Add chopped potatoes and boil 5-7 minutes, until tender.  Drain potatoes, reserving ¾ cup of the cooking water, and set aside.
  3. Add tomato paste and agave into reserved cooking water, stir to combine, and set aside.
  4. Warm oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  When warm, add onion, garlic, and bell pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes until vegetables soften.
  5. Add tomatoes, chiles, tomato paste/water mixture, oregano, and cumin to the pot.  Continue to cook for 5-6 more minutes.
  6. Add cabbage and potatoes to the pot.  Add a hearty sprinkling of salt and pepper, too.  Stir to combine all ingredients and let cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, just to get everything combined and warmed back up.
  7. Turn off heat, add lime juice and cilantro, and stir to combine.  Taste and add extra salt and pepper if needed.
  8. Serve over rice or quinoa, or with warm tortillas.

24 comments on “Recipe: Spicy Potatoes and Cabbage in Herby Tomatoes

  1. Global Girl says:

    This looks really interesting! Will have to try it.

  2. picklesandchapstick says:

    This looks delish! I will def. have to give this a try sometime soon!


  3. The Veggie Green says:

    Love the sound of this 🙂

  4. Looks like this recipe has enough kick to really work; I will put it on my Do List!

  5. Humble food is the best and the combination of cabbage and potato is real comfort food. Looks like it would be great served with dahl and rice.

  6. mrszeg says:

    This dish looks delicious and all the ingredients are available at the farmers’ market right now. We will definitely be trying this!

  7. Joanne says:

    Veg Times typically has some really great, simple meals that just exude great flavor! Love the sound of this!

  8. Jess A says:

    Whoa, I love cabbage – this looks like something right out of Eastern Europe. Delish. Also, I can’t believe I haven’t checked out your blog before! Love your stuff!

  9. Jim Brennan says:

    And I thought I’ve eaten potatoes every possible way imaginable. This sounds unbelievable!

  10. Nice one! Wanted to use us some cabbage and potatoes and the pic of your dish brought me to your site! Pretty cool since I follow you already! Just so happened I had everything on hand!! What are the chances! Anyway it was delicious, kinda reminded me of comfort foods my mom would make and we’d call it peasant food. 🙂 Thanks for posting!

    • Oh, fantastic! I’m glad you found the recipe and that you enjoyed it! I totally agree about the comfort peasant food thing – sometimes it just hits the right spot. Thanks for letting me know you made it.

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