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Braised red cabbage with apples in a blue bowl.
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5 from 1 vote

German Red Cabbage

Delicious side dish made with long-braised red cabbage, apples, and aromatic spices.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine austrian, German
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 95kcal
Author Aleksandra


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 pounds (900g) red cabbage
  • 2 large apples or 3 small apples
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Remove the wilted outer layers of cabbage, cut out the core, and cut the cabbage into very thin strips. Peel and core the apples, then grate on the big holes of a box grater, chop the onion.
  • Melt the butter in a large pot, add the onion and cloves, cook over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes, or until the onion is soft. Discard the cloves.
  • Increase the heat to high and add the shredded cabbage and grated apples. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, making sure that the cabbage is not sticking to the pot.
  • Add the vinegar, wine, orange juice, sugar, and cinnamon stick. Stir everything together, cover with a lid, and simmer over low heat for about 1.5-2 hours (the longer the better). The cabbage should be very tender but still have a little bite to it. Stir the cabbage from time to time, add some boiling water to the cabbage if it gets too dry - I added about 3/4 cup during this time. The cooking time may vary depending on how thick you've chopped your cabbage.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Enjoy!


  • Leftovers: This side dish can be easily made ahead - braised red cabbage reheat beautifully! It actually tastes better the next day. How long does it keep? It will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge, for the best flavor store it no longer than 3 days.
  • Freezing: it is surely possible and it terms of taste the cabbage tastes great, the consistency is unfortunately very soft and mushy.
  • Recipe substitutions (although I think his recipe is perfect as is!)
    • sub red wine vinegar for apple cider vinegar
    • use bacon grease/goose fat/duck fat instead of butter, use vegetable oil to make it vegan
    • use apple juice instead of orange juice
    • use any kind of apples, I prefer sweet variety, if using sour apples you may need to add more sugar to the dish
    • instead of wine - use broth + more vinegar
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/10 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!


Calories: 95kcal