Grilled Cabbage with Sunshine Tahini Sauce

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Grilled cabbage is a delicious and easy side dish for your summer BBQs. The caramelized edges are perfect with drizzles of sunshine tahini sauce that’s flavoured with garlic and lime.

An up close and overhead shot of grilled purple cabbage wedges, topped with drizzles of a creamy yellow sauce, slices of jalapeño, and chopped herbs.
An overhead shot of grilled purple cabbage wedges on a baking sheet, outdoors.
Overhead shot of ingredients for a sunshine tahini sauce.
Image shows hand dipping a spoon into a blender of creamy, yellow sauce.

Popping in real short and sweet today with another awesome grilling recipe. We went on a road trip to Nashville with Mark’s family last weekend, which was honestly a total whirlwind. Then we came home, settled a teeny bit, got the garden planted.. and then we picked up the newest addition to our family!

We adopted another sweet rescue dog! Her name is Mickie and we got her from a Toronto-based rescue called Save Our Scruff. I haven’t even had any time to take properly nice photos of her yet, but I’ll try to sneak a few with my next post. If you follow me on Instagram, I’ve been sharing some cute moments of her and Cleo together on my stories. She’s very affectionate, a little bit clingy, and seriously puppy-like at times. Her and Cleo are still figuring it out, but it’s been really fun.

We’ve been laying out our summer plans, figuring out some garden and yard stuff we’d like to tackle, and just thinking about the future in general over here. There’s nothing like that in-between seasonal shift to bring about some introspection. I’m working on my summer reading list too so hit me up with your own selections.

And our recipe today! I have a great crispy roasted cabbage recipe in my cookbook that we love to eat all year. It has a maple mustard lacquer that caramelizes on the edges as it cooks in the oven. As I was working on the recipe (which seems like forever ago), I couldn’t help but think that grilling the cabbage might be tasty too. A little bit of char and smoke on those exposed edges along with a delicious sauce and some garnishes! I think cabbage is a seriously underrated vegetable (cheap, available all year, seriously nutritious, and delicious), so I’m always trying to play around with it and make it even more appealing. If you like this recipe, you’ll love my Grilled Cabbage “Steaks” (with jalapeño chimichurri and lentils).

We oil and season the wedges and char them up a bit. Then I blend up what I’m calling sunshine tahini sauce. The happy hue is from turmeric and raw carrot, but the main flavour notes are lime, garlic, and ginger with some depth from miso. This oil-free sauce is a little bit zingy and rich at the same time. Perfect for those sweet and smoky cabbage wedges. I garnish the dish with green onions, Thai basil, toasted sesame seeds, thin wisps of jalapeño, and some lime wedges. Once your sauce is made, this side comes together quite simply. It would be great with any grilled protein you’re cooking up and maybe a little bit of roasted potatoes or a hearty grain salad. Simple summer goodness!

Hope you’re all having a great week. I’ve gotta get back to wrangling my two little monsters hehe. Hugs!

Overhead shot of purple cabbage wedges coated in oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.
Image shows a sheet tray of cabbage wedges, waiting to be grilled outdoors.
Image shows wedges of purple cabbage grilling on a grill.
Image shows a dark metal tray with grilled cabbage wedges, drizzled in a creamy bright yellow sauce and topped with chopped herbs and sliced jalapeños .

Grilled Cabbage with Sunshine Tahini Sauce

Grilled cabbage is a delicious and easy side. Caramelized edges are perfect with drizzles of sunshine tahini sauce with garlic and lime.
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Grilled Cabbage with Sunshine Tahini Sauce - The First Mess
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings 6


Sunshine Tahini Sauce

  • 1 small carrot, peeled and chopped (about ⅓ cup chopped carrot)
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from 1 big juicy lime)
  • 1 teaspoon light miso
  • ½ teaspoon coconut aminos
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Grilled Cabbage & Assembly

  • 1 small head purple or white/green cabbage
  • avocado oil or olive oil
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig Thai or regular basil, leaves torn
  • handful toasted sesame seeds
  • thinly sliced jalapeño, optional



  • Like any recipe that I post with a particularly tasty sauce, this one makes extra for your bowls, salads, fresh spring rolls, and anything else you can imagine throughout the week.
  • If you don’t have access to a grill or grill pan, you can roast the oiled and seasoned wedges of cabbage in a 400 oven for about 20 minutes, flipping them over at the halfway point.
  • I used chickpea miso and coconut aminos, but traditional soy miso and tamari are also great!
  • The sunshine tahini sauce will last up to a week in the refrigerator.


  • Make the sunshine tahini sauce. In an upright blender, combine the carrot, ginger, garlic, tahini, water, lime juice, miso, coconut aminos, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Blend on high until you have a smooth, pourable sauce. Check the sunshine tahini sauce for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Set aside.
  • Preheat your grill to medium high. Remove the leathery outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise so that a chunk of the core will be in all pieces. Cut each half into 4 wedges, keeping the core intact in each wedge.
  • Place the cabbage wedges on a large baking sheet and brush with avocado oil on all sides. Season the cabbage wedges with salt and pepper.
  • Place the cabbage wedges on the grill. Grill the cabbage until char marks form and cabbage is starting to soften, about 4 minutes per side. Be very gentle when flipping. If little sections of the cabbage fall out, it’s okay. Try to salvage and grill them separately.
  • Once your grilled cabbage is lightly charred and cooked, transfer it to your serving platter.
  • Drizzle the grilled cabbage with the sunshine tahini sauce and garnish with the green onions, basil, sesame seeds, and jalapeno.

30/05/2018 (Last Updated: 30/05/2018)
Posted in: autumn, creamy, earthy, gluten free, grain-free, grill, nut free, refined sugar-free, roasted, salad, salty, side dish, smoky, spring, summer, vegan
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