Braised Red Cabbage recipe

Braised Red Cabbage recipe

Braised red cabbage is a classic dish that adds a burst of color and flavor to any meal. Whether you’re serving it alongside roast meats, poultry, or even a vegetarian main course, this dish is sure to impress. With its sweet and tangy flavor profile, braised red cabbage strikes the perfect balance between savory and slightly sweet, making it a versatile side dish that complements a variety of flavors.


  • 1 medium-sized red cabbage (about 2 lbs), thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth


Step 1: Prep the Cabbage and Vegetables

Start by removing the outer leaves from the red cabbage and then thinly slice it. Peel and thinly slice the onion and dice the apples. Set these aside for later use.

Step 2: Sauté the Onion and Apples

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil or butter over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and diced apples to the pot and sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the apples have softened slightly.

Step 3: Add the Red Cabbage

Add the sliced red cabbage to the pot and stir well to combine with the onions and apples.

Step 4: Add the Liquid and Seasonings

Pour in the apple cider vinegar, vegetable or chicken broth, and sprinkle the brown sugar (or honey), salt, black pepper, ground cloves, and ground cinnamon over the cabbage mixture. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.

Step 5: Simmer

Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let the cabbage braise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until it is tender and the flavors have melded together.

Step 6: Adjust Seasoning

Taste the braised red cabbage and adjust the seasoning if necessary. You can add more salt, pepper, or sugar to suit your taste.

Step 7: Serve

Once the cabbage is tender and the flavors have developed to your liking, remove the pot from the heat. Serve the braised red cabbage hot as a side dish with your favorite main course.


  • For a richer flavor, you can add a splash of red wine or balsamic vinegar along with the apple cider vinegar.
  • If you prefer a sweeter cabbage, you can increase the amount of brown sugar or honey.
  • Leftover braised red cabbage can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It also freezes well, so you can make a larger batch and freeze the leftovers for future meals.

Variations and Serving Suggestions:


1. Spiced Red Cabbage:

For an extra kick of flavor, you can add some chopped garlic, grated ginger, or even a pinch of chili flakes when sautéing the onions and apples. This will give your braised red cabbage a spicier, more aromatic profile.

2. Nutty Twist:

Consider adding a handful of chopped nuts like walnuts or almonds during the final stages of cooking. The crunchy texture and nutty flavor will add a delightful contrast to the soft and tender cabbage.

3. Herbed Red Cabbage:

Fresh herbs can elevate the flavor of your braised red cabbage. Add a tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, or parsley during the simmering stage for an herby touch.

Serving Suggestions:

1. Holiday Feast:

Braised red cabbage is a popular side dish during the holiday season, especially alongside roast turkey, ham, or goose. Its festive colors and flavors make it a perfect addition to your holiday feast.

2. Vegetarian/Vegan Meals:

For a vegetarian or vegan meal, serve the braised red cabbage with roasted vegetables, quinoa, or a hearty grain salad. It’s a great way to add color and nutrition to plant-based meals.

3. Sandwiches and Wraps:

Leftover braised red cabbage makes a delicious filling for sandwiches or wraps. Pair it with roasted chicken, turkey, or even grilled tofu for a flavorful and satisfying meal.

4. Breakfast Hash:

Transform your braised red cabbage into a breakfast dish by adding it to a hash with potatoes, onions, and your choice of protein like bacon or sausage. Top it with a fried or poached egg for a hearty and delicious breakfast.

Additional Tips:

1. Cabbage Selection:

Choose a firm and compact red cabbage for the best results. Avoid cabbages that feel soft or have blemishes on the outer leaves.

2. Cooking Time:

The cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the cabbage slices. Keep an eye on the cabbage as it cooks and adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure it doesn’t overcook and become mushy.

3. Make Ahead:

Braised red cabbage tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld together. You can make it a day ahead and reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

Braised red cabbage is a versatile and delicious side dish that can be customized to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or experiment with different flavors and ingredients, this dish is sure to add a pop of color and flavor to your meals. With its sweet, tangy, and savory profile, braised red cabbage is a crowd-pleaser that will elevate any meal, from casual dinners to festive feasts. Give this recipe a try and enjoy the delightful flavors and textures of braised red cabbage!

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