If you’re wondering how to cook kohlrabi, this easy sautéed kohlrabi recipe is a delicious vegan side dish and a great way to use edible kohlrabi leaves in addition to the green or purple bulb! It’s all pan fried in one skillet and comes together quickly while still packing a ton of flavor from ingredients you probably already have on hand.
Earlier this week, I put up a poll on my Instagram story asking readers if they have ever tried kohlrabi. I was surprised to see that about 75% of those who answered had never eaten this vegetable! I guess I shouldn’t be too shocked though. It’s definitely a lesser-known vegetable, mostly showing up at farmers markets, food co-ops, and in CSA share boxes during this time of year. Whole Foods and other health-oriented stores also often sell kohlrabi in July.
If you’re one of the many readers who hasn’t tried it, I highly recommend making this sautéed kohlrabi as a place to start! Kohlrabi has a mild flavor, similar to broccoli, and a crisp texture that softens wonderfully when pan fried.
In this dish, I added a few seasonings to bring out the flavor and threw in the chopped leaves towards the end. (Yes, kohlrabi leaves are edible.) If your kohlrabi didn’t come with the stems and leaves, or if you don’t like hearty greens, you can just cook the bulb! I hope you grow to love this veggie as much as I do. Please report back to let me know, and if you like it, give the Lemon Dill Kohlrabi Fritters and Pickled Kohlrabi a try next!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Kohlrabi: You can use green or purple kohlrabi.
- Onion: Any kind works. I used sweet onion. If you don’t have one on hand, add a little onion powder to the kohlrabi while it’s cooking.
- Garlic: I like to use fresh cloves, but dried minced garlic or garlic powder both work as substitutes.
- Lemon zest: YUM. Add some lemon juice too if you want!
- Red pepper flakes: A little heat is just what this dish needs.
- Dried thyme: Fresh thyme also works. Swap in rosemary or oregano if that’s what you have.
- Extra virgin olive oil: My favorite brand is Partanna.
The full recipe card, including ingredient quantities, for sautéed kohlrabi is at the bottom of the post. Here’s a preview of the steps with photos to guide you in the kitchen.
Dice the onion and kohlrabi. Check out my tutorial on how to peel and cut kohlrabi for tips. If you want to use the kohlrabi leaves, chop them into small pieces.
Warm olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and kohlrabi, and cook for about 15 minutes until the kohlrabi softens.
Add the garlic, lemon zest, and spices to the skillet. Cook for 1 to 2 more minutes.
Stir the chopped greens into the skillet. Cook for 4 to 6 more minutes until wilted. It’s optional, but you can add about ½ cup of broth to the skillet while you cook the greens and allow it to simmer off if you want them to be softer.
Storage and Reheating
Sautéed kohlrabi is best enjoyed right away, but leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave for about a minute until warmed through. You can also reheat leftovers in a skillet.
More Kohlrabi Recipes
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Sauteed Kohlrabi (with the leaves)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds kohlrabi - green or purple; about 2 medium bulbs and 3 cups diced
- ½ onion - about ¾ cup diced
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest - from about 1 lemon
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 cups chopped kohlrabi greens - optional
- Salt - to taste
- Prepare the kohlrabi. Slice off the root, stems, and greens. Chop the greens into pieces and set aside (or discard if you don't want to use them). Use a paring or chef's knife to remove the outer skin on the kohlrabi bulbs. Then, cut them into cubes. See How to Peel Kohlrabi for tips.
- Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the prepared kohlrabi and diced onion to the skillet. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the kohlrabi softens.
- Stir in the minced garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and thyme. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the chopped kohlrabi greens (if using) to the pan. Cook for 4 to 6 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until wilted. Since kohlrabi greens can be tough, you can add ½ cup of water or broth to the skillet while they cook if desired. It will steam off while they cook and soften them. Season with salt to taste.
- Remove from heat, serve, and enjoy!
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or a skillet until warmed through.