Those bags of shredded cabbage just became your new fridge staple.
Credit: Photo: Iain Bagwell

Longer, hotter days bring weekends full of cold beers and juicy burgers. Summer means a lot of grilling—but it also means a lot of sides, like classic coleslaw.

We know the easiest hack to making the perfect slaw is snagging one of those pre-shredded coleslaw kits. You know the ones: The plastic bag full of shredded green and red cabbage with matchsticked carrots. It’s the perfect veggie mixture to drench in a flavorful, mayonnaise-heavy dressing.

We’re here to vouch for shredded cabbage as so much more than a creamy side dish. We love to keep bags of the stuff on hand for easy, weeknight meals. Here are 11 ways to turn those coleslaw kits into a delicious meal.

Make a Salad

Credit: Photo: Caitlin Bensel

Shredded cabbage can replace other leafy greens in any salad like romaine and kale for an extra crunchy, flavorful forkful. Add a bag to this savory Cabbage Salad With Miso Vinaigrette or top a Sesame Cabbage Salad With Grilled Salmon. As a bonus, use up leftover burger patties from the weekend barbeque in this Thai Beef-and-Cabbage Salad.

Make a Bowl

Credit: Photo: Caitlin Bensel

When lunchtime rolls around, a hearty grain bowl is a dish we always look forward to. Cabbage is an easy way to bulk up a perfectly crafted bowl of leftover vegetables and proteins. Add shredded cabbage to this Thai Crunch Bowl With Salmon or mix it in to this Whole-Grain Veggie Burrito Bowl. If you’re looking for a grain-free packable dish, try these Orange-Almond Chicken-and-Cabbage Bowls.

Top Tacos

Credit: Greg DuPree

There’s something magnificent about the texture of crunchy cabbage packed into a soft tortilla. These Fish Tacos With Cabbage Slaw will quickly become a summertime favorite. For a meatier taco, take a bite of these Spiced Chicken Tacos With Lime-Cabbage Slaw or Beef Chorizo Tacos With Cabbage Slaw.

Or Tostadas

Credit: Caitlin Bensel

Like a taco, tostadas can be crafted to your taste with whatever additions you have on hand. Top them off with beans, meat, grilled peppers, and of course— fresh shredded cabbage. We love these superfast Black Bean Tostadas With Cabbage Slaw for a vegetarian, 20-minute meal.

Make Pancakes

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

The last thing on your mind when you think cabbage may be a pancake, but this Japanese-style dish is a traditional dinner we can’t get enough of. Shredded cabbage is the base to this eggy, bacon-filled Cabbage Okonomiyaki, and it comes together in just 30 minutes.

Top a Sandwich

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

You don’t need lettuce, tomato, and onion when you have a tangy cabbage mixture to top your sandwich. Try pickling cabbage in this Lentil-Tahini Burger With Pickled Cabbage or Pork Sandwiches with Pickled Slaw. We also love adding a mustard-forward bite to Cornmeal-Dusted Catfish Sandwiches With Tangy Slaw for a bright, beachy spread.

Add It to Pasta

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Any simple pasta dish can benefit from this versatile veg. Toss cabbage into your favorite weeknight pasta, like this Caramelized Cabbage With Whole-Wheat Penne and Provolone. It’ll help bulk out a pot of “what’s in the kitchen” pantry pasta.

Fill Potstickers

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

Fold delicate bites of cooked cabbage into veg-forward potstickers for a fresher flavor. These Shrimp, Cabbage, and Carrot Potstickers are a great start, and you can get creative with the vegetable and protein mixture you stuff in your wonton wrappers.

Make Fried Rice

Credit: Jennifer Causey

Fried rice is a classic way to use up all the leftover vegetables and spices you have lying around. Though cabbage rarely makes an appearance in this delectable dinner, we definitely suggest adding it in. Our Kimchi Fried Rice uses chopped kimchi and the remaining juices, but a bag of cabbage and extra spice can add the same craveable crunch and goodness to the pan.

Make a Side Dish

Credit: Photo: Victor Protasio

So you know what protein you’re making for dinner — maybe it’s a summery barbecued chicken or citrusy grilled shrimp. Now you just need the perfect side to help round out the backyard meal. Try this Shaved Mango-and-Cabbage Salad or Red Cabbage Agrodolce With Dried Cherries. If you’re staying indoors, serve up this Roasted Pork Chops With Cabbage and Carrots.

And Make a Slaw, of Course

Credit: Photo: Iain Bagwell

The easiest dish to make with shredded cabbage is a classic coleslaw, but let's swap out the mayonnaise-heavy dressing for a lighter fix. Try this Cashew, Coconut, and Cabbage Slaw or Creamy Carrot-and-Broccoli Slaw if you crave that traditionally creamy texture.