Braised Red Cabbage With Apples Recipe (2024)

By Martha Rose Shulman

Braised Red Cabbage With Apples Recipe (1)

Total Time
1 hour 15 minutes
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This is an adaptation of a classic cabbage dish that I never tire of. The cabbage cooks for a long time, until it is very tender and sweet. I like to serve this with bulgur, or as a side dish with just about anything. You can halve the quantities if you don’t want to make such a large amount.

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Yield:6 to 8 servings

  • 1large red cabbage, 2 to 2½ pounds, quartered, cored and cut crosswise in thin strips
  • 2tablespoons canola oil
  • 1small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2tart apples, such as Braeburn or granny smith, peeled, cored and sliced
  • About ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼teaspoon ground allspice
  • Salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

102 calories; 4 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 17 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 10 grams sugars; 2 grams protein; 453 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Braised Red Cabbage With Apples Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Prepare the cabbage, and cover with cold water while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, lidded skillet or casserole, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until just about tender, about three minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring, until the mixture is golden, about three minutes, then add the apples and stir for two to three minutes.

  2. Step


    Drain the cabbage and add to the pot. Toss to coat thoroughly, then stir in the allspice, another 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and salt to taste. Toss together. Cover the pot, and cook over low heat for one hour, stirring from time to time. Add freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt, and add another tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar as desired.


  • Advance preparation:This dish tastes even better the day after you make it, and it will keep for five days in the refrigerator. Reheat gently.Martha Rose Shulman can be reached at



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Cooking Notes


Didn't have any allspice, so I used ground cloves. Be sure to soak the shredded cabbage in cold water as suggested in Step 1. The cabbage absorbs water, which is then released in cooking, and helps to steam the cabbage for utmost tenderness.

I'm thinking of adding a tablespoon of butter just before serving.


The braised cabbage tastes even better the next day & the day after that. I decided to use 3 apples the second time I made this dish. One of my favorite go to Fall comfort foods!

Betsy B

Adjusted by making in the instant pot. Sautéed as directed, then cooked on low pressure for 15 minutes, 10 minutes slow pressure release. Was wonderful and quick.

Anna L.

Made this several times, super easy & the flavor is even better the next day. Don't be shy about adding water to make sure things don't burn/dry out. I like my braised red cabbage suuupppeerrr soft so I cook it covered for a while, going until I am satisfied with the texture. A little bit of brown sugar and pomegranate molasses absolutely ups the sweet/sour flavors.


Enjoyed it very much, cut the recipe in half since there are only two of us, popped a couple of sausages on top, great combo. I also had some reduced cider, added that , nice bit of semi-sweetness to the whole mixture.


similar but different - and still easy, healthy and delicious:Slice cabbage, apples and onionsIn big pot on top of stove:Layer like a lasagna:1 layer of the sliced cabbage, 1 layer of the sliced apples, 1 layer of onionsIn between each layer season with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon, pepper, salt Layer to the top of the pot.Pour over a couple of cups of good red wine and cook until soft.Nothing else.


I make this as a side dish to have with pierogies and add dollops of plain Greek yogurt on top. So perfect.


This tasted great and worked just as well with green cabbage.


I can agree with everyone here that this is such a nice way to cook red cabbage, and no added sugar! I have made it twice, once following the cook time listed and then once when I was pressed for time and only had it on the stove for 30 mins. I have to say, I loved the toothiness (just a little) the cabbage still has with a shorter cook time. I think, for me, the cabbage breaks down too much if cooked longer.


Chopped onion and apple, cabbage sliced added after slightly cooking those splashed in a bit of the vinegar for sweet-sour -- then the cabbage, flavored with additional vinegar,bay leaf, cloves (ground), honey, extra water.. all cooked off as if to carmelize further). Would serve with either potato dumplings as in sauerbraten with, or Czech stale bread dumplings - knedlicky (King Aruthur flour for taste), schnitzel or sauerbraten if desired, applesauce/sauteed apples cucumber salad..YUM.


Absolutely delicious! I’m making it for the second time, and we can’t wait to eat it again! I wonder if some golden raisins would add to the dish? Haven’t tried it, but welcome what others think.


Made this last night to serve with some bacon wrapped pork chops. We halved the recipe because it was just three of us and we all loved it. I followed the recipe as is with no changes other than a longer cooking time (just kept it on a back burner on warm/very low after the initial hour on low). We would make this again. Thank you.


I use 3 or 4 apples and a purple onion; substitute coconut oil for canola oil; add a chunk of french butter along with the apples; add cinammon and a small amount of honey along with the allspice.Really delicious recipe.

Condiment queen

Shortcuts: Used three 8-ounce bags of shredded red cabbage and skipped peeling the apples. Excellent! Not cloyingly sweet, like some recipes.


Add raisins during cooking!


Has anyone served this at room temperature?


I will never made boiled cabbage as a side for corned beef again! This was such a fantastic, easy, light and tasty side dish. I'm excited to try it again today, as it seems the flavors are even better after a day or so. Definitely not just for St. Patrick's day, this is going to be part of the normal rotation now.


Add half a bottle of red wine while the cabbage is cooking!

Gary R.

This recipe is rather similar to one for cabbage, created by my wife's maternal grandmother, herself a 1930s immigrant from Central Europe. As it turns out, she was a notoriously horrible cook--she burned (or grossly undercooked) nearly everything. BUT, one of the few happy surprises from her kitchen was an amazing rendition of sweet and sour red cabbage--as you might expect, the 'secret' ingredient was to burn the bejeebers out of it--not once, but TWICE.


I've made a version of this for years - caraway seeds instead of allspice, and ACV instead of balsamic. I'll try with balsamic.


Made as is but added some cubed beets. Amazing.


More spice. Like double.


Okay. I finally made this and it was a bit bland to me. I enhanced it with butter, brown sugar and a bit of cinnamon. Much improved! Next time I'll definitely replace the canola oil with butter and use red onion instead of yellow.

Erika Shaffer

loved this - of course I didn't have enough balsamic. used some other vinegars and also threw in some caraway seeds. Made to go with corned venison!


I used butter in place of canola oil, and three apples instead of two. My balsamic was a bit too sweet to get the touch of vinegar sharpness I wanted, so I added two Tbsp of white wine vinegar. Nice side with pork tenderloin and potatoes au gratin.


The salt thing is too vague. It's helpful to know exactly how much salt is needed.

Richard Arnold

Not as spicy and sweet-sour as my German grandmother made it, but I prefer this milder flavored recipe!


I thought it was a little bland, so I added a dash of red pepper, cumin and five spice powder-- just a little, but perked it up.


Made it for Christmas. It was really better the next day. I also put a stick of cinnamon. Very delicious and tender.


Tried Quinces instead of apples, the second time I made this. Cooks slightly longer (and is hard to prepare/chop). But the the taste was great! Interesting flavour, intensely quincy smell.

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Braised Red Cabbage With Apples Recipe (2024)


Is braised red cabbage good for you? ›

It is also thought to deter cancer, prevent diabetes, slow down the onset of Alzheimer's, and detoxify the body. It is also good for skin and eye care, weight loss, improving heart health and boosting the immune system. An extraordinary vegetable indeed!

How long will braised red cabbage keep in the fridge? ›

Cook for 1½ hours, stirring every 30 minutes, until reduced and tender. Serve immediately or cool and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat to serve, adding a splash of water if it seems dry.

Is it better to boil or steam red cabbage? ›

Steaming is an indirect cooking process which means delicate ingredients can be gently cooked to retain their flavour and nutrients. The benefit of steaming cabbage is that it doesn't produce the unpleasant smell associated with boiled cabbage.

What to pair with red cabbage? ›

What goes well with red cabbage?
  1. Meat: Red cabbage goes well with meats such as pork, bacon, ham, and sausage. ...
  2. Apples: Red cabbage and apples are a classic pairing. ...
  3. Onions: Red cabbage and onions are a great combination, the onion adds a nice sweetness and a little bit of sharpness to the cabbage.
Feb 1, 2023

Does red cabbage cleanse your colon? ›

Packed with phytosterols (plant sterols) and insoluble fiber, cabbage can help keep your digestive system healthy and bowel movements regular. It fuels the good bacteria in your gut that protects your immune system and produces essential nutrients.

Can you eat too much red cabbage? ›

While cabbage offers lots of vitamins and minerals your body needs, there can be a downside to eating cabbage. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea. It's best to slowly introduce these vegetables into your diet and gradually increase your intake.

Do you need to wash red cabbage before cooking? ›

Avoid any that have puffy leaves or outer layers removed. Red cabbages are easy to prepare. Strip off the outer leaves, wash, then slice into quarters, cut out the hard central core on each, then chop or shred.

When red cabbage goes bad? ›

Cabbage with an off smell should be discarded immediately. You'll also be able to tell when cabbage has spoiled if the leaves have become soft and discolored. It's best to refer to the old adage: when in doubt, throw it out.

Why does red cabbage take so long to cook? ›

The central vein in each leaf is tough, particularly on the outer leaves, so you may wish to cut this away, too, especially if you want to cook the cabbage quickly as this part is very dense and will take a long time.

What is the healthiest way to eat red cabbage? ›

You can add this versatile vegetable to soups, stews, salads, and coleslaw. It's delicious raw, steamed, sautéed, or fermented. It retains the most nutrients when it's eaten raw but is still highly nutritious when cooked. The flavor becomes a little milder when you cook it.

Why do you soak red cabbage in water? ›

Crisp it up: Shredded cabbage stays perky if it's soaked in cold water. This also helps cut the pungent edge. Drain well before combining with other ingredients.

What does cooked red cabbage do for your body? ›

Red cabbage is a nutrient-rich vegetable which has been linked to a number of health benefits including inflammation, a healthier heart, improved gut function and a lower risk of certain cancers.

How do you take the bitterness out of red cabbage? ›

I prefer to keep it simple – fresh lemon juice does the job just as well. Add a little salt and the two combine to help draw out some of the fluid and bitterness, making the cabbage slightly softer and easy one the palate.

What meat goes well with red cabbage? ›

Sweet and sour red cabbage is a perfect side dish for sausages, pork chops, schnitzel or German pork burgers. This braised cabbage also pairs well with roast chicken, duck, and roast beef.

Is cooked red cabbage still healthy? ›

When selecting a red cabbage, the color should be vibrant. You can add this versatile vegetable to soups, stews, salads, and coleslaw. It's delicious raw, steamed, sautéed, or fermented. It retains the most nutrients when it's eaten raw but is still highly nutritious when cooked.

What is the nutritional value of braised red cabbage? ›

Cook Braised Red Cabbage (1 portion) contains 15g total carbs, 15g net carbs, 2.3g fat, 1.5g protein, and 99 calories.


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