Braised Red Cabbage is a festive classic, and can be served hot or cold, with hot food or as part of a buffet. It is quick to prepare and can be made well in advance.
I think most people will have been served braised red cabbage at festive times of the year, whether it’s on the table on boxing day, to be served as part of the buffet, or as a valued member of the thanksgiving sides team. Either way, my vegan red cabbage recipe should make its way into your permanent repertoire for perfect, simple sides.
My traditional braised red cabbage is based on a recipe from a vintage Penguin handbook, Danish Cooking, by Nika Hazelton, and is absolutely delicious.
I love to serve my Danish braised red cabbage with my vegan meatloaf recipe, and it pairs well with my deliciously festive bread stuffing, deep fried parsnip balls, maple soy roast veg and my sticky glazed vegan pigs in blankets.
Table of Contents
- red cabbage
- dried cherries
- cranberry sauce
- vinegar and sugar, to give the cabbage a sweet/sour flavor
This is ONLY a list of ingredients for the recipe; please see recipe card below for complete printable recipe.
Remove the core from the red cabbage.
Place in a saucepan with the melted butter and sugar, plus the dried cherries, water and vinegar.
Cook until the cabbage has become silky and soft to the bite, then stir in the diced apple and cranberry sauce. Simmer for another 30 mins before tasting for seasoning.
Cooking Braised Red Cabbage in the Slow Cooker
You can leave the cabbage to cook in a slow cooker if you prefer over a medium setting for several hours, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Simply melt the butter and sugar in the slow cooker first, then stir in the cabbage, water, vinegar and cherries. Once the cabbage is tender and velvety, add the diced apple and cranberry sauce, then cook for another hour or so.
If you know how to make the recipe fit a certain diet, let the reader know here. Don’t fake it – only provide guidance on topics you have actual experience with.
- Cherries – use dried cranberries or goji berries instead
- Vinegar – I used a mixture of balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar, but use whichever you prefer
Store the cooked and cooled red cabbage in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days, and gently reheat when needed.
My braised red cabbage freezes beautifully. Once cold, place in a ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
I love to make a large batch of this in the fall, freezing it in several freezer bags, so that it’s ready for the festive meals ahead.
If you are non-vegan, red cabbage traditionally is served alongside pork or game dishes. However, for our vegan festive table, I think it’s perfect as part of a vegan cheeseboard, served in a bahn mi, or with some boiled rice and tofu. Of course, it’s perfect as a side dish with vegan meatloaf or nut roasts too!
Braised Red Cabbage with Cherries and Apple
- 1 Red Cabbage - cored, sliced thinly
- 2 tbsp Butter - vegan
- 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
- ¼ cup dried Cherries
- 120 ml Vinegar
- 120 ml Water
- 1 Apple - cored and diced, no need to peel
- ¼ cup Cranberry Sauce
- Core and finely slice the red cabbage.
- In a large-lidded saucepan, gently melt the vegan butter and brown sugar, then add the red cabbage, stirring to make sure it is coated.
- I find that this is easy to do in several batches, adding one large handful of shredded cabbage, stirring until it has started to wilted in the heat, then adding another, until all the cabbage fits in the pan. It will fit!
- Pour over the water and vinegar, plus the dried cherries and some salt and pepper, give it one last mix, then turn down to a low heat, cover and leave for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally.
- You may need to add a little water to the pan, but it's highly unlikely as the cabbage leaches out quite a lot of water as it cooks.
- Once the cabbage is silky and tastes tender to bite, stir in the cranberry sauce and diced apple. Stir once more, cover and leave to simmer gently for another half an hour.
- Finally, taste for seasoning, add a little more sugar or salt if needed.
- The cabbage is now ready to serve, or leave to cool ready for freezing.
Please note that where the recipe asks for milk, butter or yogurt, this refers to any plant-based version that you prefer.