Braised Red Cabbage is an easy, tasty traditional side dish! It's perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas or any time. Cabbage, apples, and spices all mingle together in this vibrant holiday recipe.
Braised Red Cabbage is an absolute delight. It not only adds a bright purple color to your meal, but it's full of spice flavors.
If you've ever tried braised red cabbage, then I'm sure you've fallen in love with this simple, flavorful side dish.
Red cabbage with apples is a traditional sweet and sour recipe that usually accompanies a roast and is commonly served as a side dish at Christmas dinner in Germany, the United Kingdom and around the world.
It's bright purple, has a glorious texture and the flavour of the cabbage is perfect with the apples and warming spices.
Be sure to check out these other Red Cabbage Recipes.
This braised red cabbage recipe was originally published on November 27 2019 and republished with step by step images, new photos and revised text on November 23 2021.
Why You'll Love this recipe
- Perfect side dish for the holidays
- You can make it ahead and just heat it up on the day - a great time saver for Christmas and Thanksgiving.
- Easy to make
- It's sweet from the apples and spices, and tangy from the vinegar - a flavor explosion!
You only need a few simple ingredients for this red cabbage side dish!
Red Cabbage - it's more like purple cabbage, but it gives the dish its classic flavor and color.
Apples - for flavor and texture.
Red onion - to add flavor and more purple color to the dish.
Red wine (or additional water) - a little red wine adds richness and great flavor.
Brown sugar - for rich sweetness.
Red wine vinegar - to balance the sweeter flavors of the dish and brighten it.
Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Star Anise - an incredible, warming blend of spices.
Can you freeze braised red cabbage?
This dish is freezable. Just be sure it is completely cooled, then place into freezable container(s) and freeze for up to 3 months.
To use, simply thaw (in the fridge or on the counter), then reheat in a pan on the stove.
I always make this recipe ahead of time, especially at Christmas. I tend to make it 2-3 days before Christmas and store it in the fridge. Then just heat it in a pan on the stove. You may need to add a little water.
You can also reheat the cabbage side dish in a microwave. This is very useful if you're using all of your stove elements for Christmas dinner!
How long does it keep (in the fridge)?
You can keep the spiced cabbage side dish in the fridge for up to 7 days. This means it's great for the holidays and saves you making one side dish on the day! Reheat as instructed above.
Traditionally, this spiced red cabbage with apples is served over the holidays with a Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner. It is often served with roast dinners too.
We love having it along with all the Christmas dinner leftovers. It brightens up the plate and tastes so festive.
But I'm sure you'll love this dish so much that you'll want to serve it far more often!
Festive Side Dishes
If you're looking for other great gluten-free vegan side dishes, try these!
How to make braised red cabbage
This side dish is super easy to make. You can slice the cabbage by hand, or use a mandoline or food processor.
Simply slice the cabbage into thin strips. You can do this with a sharp knife, carefully, or use a mandoline or slicing blade in a food processor.
Peel the apples and onion and slice.
Add the cabbage apples and onions to a pot, along with the water, wine and vinegar.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, give it a stir, cover with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes.
Tip: Stir the pot occasionally so it doesn’t scorch. If necessary, add a little extra water.
Stir in the sugar, star anise (if using) and spices, season with salt and pepper, cover with the lid and simmer for a further 20 minutes or until the cabbage and apples are soft.
Serve immediately or keep in the fridge. You can also cool completely and freeze for later.
NOTE: scroll down for the full recipe in the recipe card.
Red Cabbage Recipes
Looking for more red cabbage recipes? Try these! They're a great way to use up the budget-friendly and nutritious cruciferous vegetables.
Holiday Side Dishes
Braised red cabbage is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table. Be sure to also check out these other holiday sides.
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Braised Red Cabbage
- 1 red cabbage
- 2 apples
- 1 red onion
- ⅔ cup (150ml) water
- ⅓ cup (75ml) red wine or additional water
- ¼ cup (50ml) red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 star anise optional
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- Salt and pepper
- Wash the cabbage, remove any old outer leaves and cut out the core. Slice the cabbage into quarters, then slice each quarter thinly.
- Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Peel, halve and finely slice the onion.
- Add the cabbage, apples and onion to a pot, along with the water, wine and vinegar. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, give it a stir, cover with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pot. If necessary, add a little extra water.
- Stir in the sugar, star anise (if using) and spices, season with salt and pepper, cover with the lid and simmer for a further 20 minutes or until the cabbage and apples are soft.
- Serve warm.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.