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?
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.
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!
More Amazing Vegetable Side Dishes You’ll Love
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Creamed Spinach – I can’t get enough of this one!
- Spaghetti Squash in the Microwave – easy!
- Sauteed Brussel Sprouts – a perfect side
- Homemade Creamed Corn – comfort food :)
Braised Red Cabbage
- 6 cups red cabbage chopped
- 1 apple peeled and sliced
- ½ onion slivered
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- ⅓ cup water may need more
- ⅛ 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.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Can I cook this in a slow cooker?
I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure Denise, but other readers have with great success. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!
Am I supposed to use ground cloves or what kind, please? Thank you!
I use ground cloves in this recipe. Enjoy!
This was really tasty! I followed recipe exactly as written but started with a little more water. You definitely have to keep a close eye on it while simmering for 99 minutes and continue to add small amounts of water. I’ll definitely add this to my menu rotation.
What kind of apple do you use with this?
Hi Laurie, any apple will work in this recipe. For a sweeter apple, you could use a Honey Crisp or Fuji apple.
Grandmother from Poland made red cabbage similar to your recipe. It differs in that it contains no apples, and the onion was removed after cooking. Next she added vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and bacon grease (she stored in a jar) to the cooked cabbage. It’s delicious. Perhaps her recipe was made based on ingredients available, she was born in 1903 and lived through both WW’s and Soviet occupation.
This really is so delicious and so easy. I just added 1 tbsp of blackberry jelly because I have lots as I make it every year. This will be a regular side on our table. Bonus-Red cabbage is so good for you. Yummy
What a yummy addition and great way to change up the flavor a little bit. Thank you for sharing!
Absolutely delicious! We were able to reduce the cooking time down to 45 minute by increasing the temp. We served this side with pork schnitzel!
Love your recipes.
This was super tasty. Mine needed a bit more water throughout. When it was first cooked, I thought it didn’t have enough sugar but once it rested for a few hours, the sweet taste intensified. For me, it was just the right amount. Thank you for the recipe!
You are welcome!
How long can you keep it in a preserving jar in the fridge, or in a cupboard? First time I’ve made it (just), tastes superb but too much for me to eat in one go! May have to freeze some as well.
This recipe is not intended for preserving. It’ll keep for about 5 days in the fridge, or freeze it as directed in the post. Enjoy Susan!
This is so easy and out of this world delicious. I am typing this while Eating my egg sandwich topped with red cabbage. This is how much I loved it. It has a sweet and sour taste to it, perfect pairing for your meat. I made it for the Easter dinner with a lamb and it was a perfect pairing