Braised Red Cabbage is one of my favorite easy side dishes! Serve this colorful dish alongside stuffed pork tenderloin for a healthy and easy weeknight dinner!

Red cabbage recipes go back as far as the Great Depression and still appear frequently on tables across the country all year round.  Who doesn’t have fond memories of our grandmother’s cooking red cabbage on the stove while the rest of the dinner was being prepared?

cabbage in white dish

Braised Red Cabbage

This easy red cabbage recipe is a snap to put together because it requires so few ingredients and so little real prep. Braised Red Cabbage is a traditional recipe often found served alongside German main dishes.

Some braised cabbage recipes call for coarsely chopped red cabbage or thinly sliced. This cabbage cooks for a long time so I chop it about 1/2″ thick.  In this recipe, the apples are peeled and thinly sliced as apple peels can be a bit tough and chewy. Any way you slice it, the final result is a nutritious, filling, and surprisingly low carb side dish.

cabbage in pot

How to Cook Red Cabbage

Most purple cabbage recipes call for it chopped or sliced and served cold in salads or slaws. Sauteed red cabbage is usually lightly cooked in oil or bacon grease and so that it stays a little bit crunchy.

But this easy braised cabbage recipe is simmered down slowly so the sweetness of the apple and the tartness of the vinegar soak into the cabbage to create a colorfully fragrant dish! The flavor is a light sweet and sour, and the longer cook time makes a big  difference in the flavor of the dish.

Apple cider vinegar helps maintain the bright color of the cabbage as well as marinates the apple and cabbage flavors together resulting in a side dish that can be served hot or cold. You can top this braised cabbage with apple with a dollop of sour cream or serve alongside pork chops or meatloaf. Served cold, it can be a tangy and crunchy substitute for lettuce in a sandwich or wrap or served as a side salad with a hot bowl of chicken noodle soup!

Braised red cabbage can even be frozen for future use. Just be sure it is completely chilled and then portion into freezer bags and lie flat on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, stack horizontally or vertically. When you are ready to use, simply thaw, drain and re-adjust the seasonings!

cabbage with other vegetables in pot

More Amazing Vegetable Side Dishes You’ll Love

cabbage in white dish
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Braised Red Cabbage

Braised red cabbage is one of my favorite easy side dishes! Easy, healthy, and colorful, this braised cabbage recipe goes with just about everything!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 6 cups red cabbage chopped
  • 1 apple peeled and sliced
  • ½ onion slivered
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • cup water may need more
  • teaspoon cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cover.
  • Cook covered for 90 minutes stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve warm.
4.99 from 117 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 54 | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 202mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 755IU | Vitamin C: 39.6mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 0.6mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Hi Holly,
    I have a new instant pot with which I’m trying various recipes.How can I alter this recipe for the instant pot?

    1. Donna, we haven’t tried this recipe in the instant pot. Let us know if you try it!

  2. I made this yesterday – so good and so much less hassle than my other fav. recipe. Such a treat to combine everything in a pot and simmer – who knew!5 stars

  3. Just made this for the first time (without cloves because I didn’t have any) and it’s gone down a treat. Will certainly be making it again – delicious deserves 5*****5 stars

  4. Hello, this looks delicious. I’d like to make it to go with our Christmas lunch, can I prepare it in advance and reheat? If so what is the best way, thank you!

  5. Thank you so much for the recipe. The flavor is just wonderful and was super easy in the instant pot (5 minutes). I couldn’t be happier.

    Other than the cooking vessel, I did add bacon :). Everything else was the same.5 stars

  6. Absolutely delicious! My husband & I like our vegetables more crisp so I only cooked it 40 minutes! I did substitute brown sugar for white sugar! This recipe will definitely be a part of our meals now!
    Not only does it look beautiful, it smells soo yummy as it cooks! A taste from our German ancestors! This was soo FUN! Thank YOU for sharing w/ us!!!5 stars

  7. Made this recipe up, easy, tastes great, plus with low sugar and no oil; picked this one to try due to less calories than the others one I found. Thanks5 stars

  8. This is a delicious, easy to make recipe. You can make it ahead a day or so if needed. I served it with rouladen and other German side dishes. Everyone asked for seconds. It makes a pretty presentation when served in an attracive dish and wonderful leftovers. I’m taking it to another German dinner tonight where it will compliment a pork roast beautifully.5 stars

  9. This was really good. Both my husband and I enjoyed this dish. I followed the recipe as is given, except we added bacon. We will definitely be making this again.5 stars

  10. Your recipe, I’m sure, is delicious. I make my red cabbage the same way as my mom does. I never measure anything, but I sauté some bacon (cut into 1″ pieces) about half-way, then I add the onions – to cook together w/the bacon until they’re both done. If there is too much bacon grease I drain some, but I keep some in the pan b/c it coats everything, and the flavor of the cabbage dish will be delicious. If I need to add liquid, I use low-sodium chicken stock. I also like to use light brown sugar instead of white sugar. This is seriously very tasty. My mom got the recipe from her own mother, so this has been in our family for several generations.4 stars