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Close-up of red cabbage on a white serving plate.
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4.94 from 15 votes

German Red Cabbage

German Red Cabbage (Rotkohl) is a popular German side dish that is very easy to make from scratch! It tastes so aromatic with a distinctive sweet and sour flavor and makes a perfect side for a roast dinner together with spaetzle or potato dumplings. This recipe for braised red cabbage with apples is a family favorite!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Servings: 6
Calories: 156kcal


  • 2 Tbsp butter or lard
  • 2 apples peeled, cored, and finely diced
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 pounds red cabbage thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
  • 1 Tbsp red currant jelly optional
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 juniper berries if you can find them
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  • In a large Dutch Oven or heavy-bottomed pot melt butter over medium-high heat and saute diced apples and onions for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the red cabbage and vinegar, stir until combined. Then add the apple cider, cloves, bay leaf, and juniper berries. Season with sugar, salt, and pepper.
  • Reduce temperature to medium, cover the pot, and let simmer for 50-60 minutes until the cabbage is soft but not mushy. Stir occasionally. Add a little bit more apple cider if needed.
  • Adjust seasoning and serve hot.


Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 272mg | Potassium: 498mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 1840IU | Vitamin C: 91mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 1.4mg