Are you looking for an easy side dish recipe that will pair well with just about anything? Braised Red Cabbage with Apples is a savory-sweet side dish that pairs well with roasted meats, turkey, or grilled chicken. This easy recipe is made in one pot and can be made ahead of time for an easy weeknight meal!
Red cabbage is a delicious and nutritious vegetable that we sometimes overlook.
This recipe for braised red cabbage showcases the flavors of purple cabbage while adding bacon, onion, and apple cider vinegar for a savory depth of flavor. Grated apple and maple syrup play beautifully with the savory elements of the dish to create a party in your mouth!
This recipe is easy enough for a weeknight but delicious enough for Christmas dinner.
Ingredients for Making Braised Red Cabbage Recipe
- Bacon: You’ll need 8 ounces of bacon, diced. I like to use thick-cut bacon for this recipe because it adds more flavor, but you can use any type of bacon you have on hand.
- Red Onion: This recipe calls for ½ cup of diced red onion. You could also substitute white onion if that’s what you have.
- Red Cabbage: The star of the show! You’ll need one head of red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced.
- Chicken Broth: 1 cup of chicken broth helps to braise the cabbage and add flavor. Homemade is excellent if you have it.
- Salt: 1 teaspoon of salt is added to the cabbage while cooking.
- Grated Apple: A Granny Smith apple is grated and added to the cabbage for sweetness and acidity. I like it because it is a tart apple. You could substitute another type of apple, like Honeycrisp or Golden Delicious, for more sweetness.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar is added for acidity and brightness.
- Maple Syrup: 1 tablespoon of maple syrup is added for sweetness. Brown sugar would also work for this braised red cabbage with bacon.
- Dijon Mustard: 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard is added for flavor.
Tips & Tricks
- Wait until the cabbage is almost done to prepare the apple to prevent browning. If you are prepping this ahead of time, make sure that you wait to add the apple until just before serving to prevent browning.
- If you don’t have chicken broth, you can use water.
- Be sure to taste the cabbage before serving and adjust the seasonings as necessary.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes to serve with apple braised red cabbage:
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, this recipe can be made up to 2 days in advance. Simply store the cabbage in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.
You can substitute white vinegar or red wine vinegar in equal amounts.
Yes, this recipe can be made vegan by omitting the bacon and substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
If the cabbage is too acidic, add a bit more maple syrup to balance out the flavors.
If the cabbage is too sweet, add a bit more apple cider vinegar or dijon mustard to balance out the flavors.
Tools Needed to Make Braised Red Cabbage with Apples
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- Dutch Oven
- Paring Knife
- Cutting Board
Store leftover braised cabbage in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat leftovers on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of water or chicken broth to moisten the cabbage as it reheats.
You can also freeze braised red cabbage for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen cabbage in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. You should expect a slight deterioration of texture when freezing.
How to Make Braised Red Cabbage
First, start by heating a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then, add the bacon and cook until crispy brown, about 10 minutes. (Cooking time will depend on the bacon you use.)
Next, remove the bacon from the heat with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
Then, add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, for two minutes.
After that, increase the heat to high and add the cabbage, broth, and salt. Bring to a boil.
Once boiling, cover and simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes until the cabbage is tender.
Uncover, and stir in the apple, vinegar, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard. Cook over high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes longer.
Finally, toss with the bacon and remove from heat. Enjoy!
More Recipes with Cabbage
Braised Red Cabbage
- 8 ounces bacon chopped
- ½ cup diced red onion
- 1 head red cabbage cored and sliced thin
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Granny Smith apple cored and grated
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- To serve: goat cheese crumbles butter, parsley, salt, and pepper, to taste
- Heat a Dutch oven or large pot to medium-high heat. Add the bacon, and cook until crispy brown, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Add the onion, and cook for two minutes.
- Increase the heat to high and add the cabbage, broth, and salt.
- Bring to a boil.
- Cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, until the cabbage is tender.
- Uncover, and stir in the apple, vinegar, maple, syrup, and Dijon mustard.
- Cook over high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes longer.
- Toss with the bacon.
- Remove from heat.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.