Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Apples and Raisins

Looking for a healthy fall side dish? Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Apples and Raisins is tangy and delish. Make quick braised red cabbage as a German side dish for your Octoberfest celebration. This goes great with German sausages and schnitzels. Try this quick braised red cabbage tonight.

a head of red cabbage for Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Apples and Raisins

Coleslaw and St. Patty’s Day corned beef dinners notwithstanding, cabbage is probably one of the most underutilized vegetables in the market.  

I don’t know why they are so often overlooked.  Not so sexy as a green bean? Perhaps.  Not as snappy as a bell pepper?  Maybe.  

But sweet and sour red cabbage hits the spot if you’re looking for fall side dishes. I understand if you don’t share my enthusiasm.

Newsletter Signup
Join our community of food lovers!

Get my latest recipes, helpful kitchen tips and more good things each week in your inbox.

prepping the vegetables for the braised cabbage

Unless I am specifically making something that calls for cabbage, I’ll all too often bypass them in the produce section.  

I was making this shrimp salad that called for red cabbage, so I went to the market to pick one up.  

The selection was limited.  They only had one, and it weighed four and a half pounds.  I shrugged as I put it in my basket.

sautéing apples and onions

It wasn’t until I got home and looked at the receipt that I found out I had paid nearly $7 for this cabbage.

 I couldn’t believe it — $1.49/lb – for cabbage— this is supposed to be peasant food not Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.  I could have bought a whole chicken.  

To make matters worse, I only needed about two cups of shredded cabbage for my recipe  – which left me with a hell of a lot of the purple stuff after the fact.  

I wasn’t going to let it rot in my crisper. Believe it or not, this quick braised red cabbage wasn’t even the first thing that came to my mind.

dressing for the braised cabbage.

First, I made a coleslaw and yes, I shredded a few handfuls to add crunch to my fish tacos — but there was still a lot left over. Since it’s October, I thought this German side dish of sweet and sour red cabbage with apples and raisins would be an ideal way to celebrate Octoberfest.  I use onion, apple and golden raisins in my quick braised red cabbage and finish off this fall side dish with a tangy dressing of sugar, vinegar and caraway seed. 

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Apples and Raisins in a dutch oven.

As you stir the red cabbage with apples, you’ll notice that the onions and apples will succumb to that vibrant magenta hue. The colors remind me of fall and I can’t help but imagine myself with a stein of beer at an Octoberfest celebration noshing on Bavarian sausages with this quintessential German side dish. Unlike most braises, which can take upwards of one hour to several hours to cook, red cabbage with apples is tender and delicious in about 15 minutes, thereby negating any “I don’t have time” reason for not making this sweet and sour red cabbage.

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Apples and Raisins on a platter.

Also try this quick braised red cabbage with apples with Grilled Pork Chops soaked in this pork chop brine or dry rubbed pork tenderloin and some stick-to-your-ribs mashed potatoes or these rosemary mustard potatoes.  

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Apples and Raisins with a spoon.
Print Pin
4.70 from 13 votes

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Apples and Raisins

Braised cabbage gets a tangy sweet hit from apple cider vinegar, sugar and pops of sweet golden raisins.  Caraway seed adds another layer of flavor.  Serve with roast pork or pork chops!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Side Dish
Cuisine German
Keyword cabbage, caraway, fall side dish, octoberfest
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red cabbage between 2 – 2 1/2 pounds, cored, outer leaves discarded, chopped into one inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 large granny smith apple peeled and cut into fine dice
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup homemade vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon italian parsley chopped (optional)


  • In a heavy pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and apples. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften.
  • Stir in cabbage, golden raisins, and broth. Cover. When broth begins to boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until cabbage has wilted and raisins have plumped.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine sugar, vinegar and caraway seeds. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  • When cabbage has cooked, add apple cider mixture and stir to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with parsley if desired.


YouTube video


Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 456mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 1645IU | Vitamin C: 81.4mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1.5mg

Pin “Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Apples and Raisins” For Later!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 5 stars
    This is my favorite way to eat cabbage now. Love the caraway and sweet raisins. I make this to go with my bratwurst or smoked sausages.

  2. 5 stars
    Sometimes I think we’re related, Lisa. This recipe…is one of those times 😉 I love (and almost always have) the produce and flavors you have going on here. Thanks for sharing…just pinned!

    1. Well, I’ve always wanted a sister, Traci!

  3. 5 stars
    Loved the recipe. Perfect for the upcoming holiday season.

  4. 5 stars
    My mom used to make a dish like this growing up so reading this has me all warm and nostalgic <3 also I can't believe that you paid 7$ for a cabbage that's wild! I am saving this for a rainy day, I just love how vibrant the colors are 🙂

    1. I know — is that a stupid price, or what???!!!

    1. Glad you like it — it’s great for Octoberfest with brats.

  5. 5 stars
    Love this colorful and healthy recipe. Adding apples and raisins make it so exotic and festive. Will certainly make it for upcoming holiday dinner. Thanks

  6. Emily Larson says:

    5 stars
    This is such a colorful dish! Can’t wait to try it.