Slow cooker braised red cabbage with apples is a delicious, comforting side dish. We usually serve it with our Christmas lunch, but its rich fruity flavour is also great with other roast meats, sausages, cold meats and veggie burgers. This easy crockpot braised red cabbage is a healthy side dish, so it's good to add to your menus regularly.
What you'll love about the recipe
- A delicious way to cook red cabbage
- This healthy veggie side dish is packed with nutrients. It's also gluten-free and dairy-free
- One of the easiest red cabbage recipes - just pop the prepared veggies in the slow cooker!
- Ideal for meal prep and freezes well. You can make this Christmas side dish up to 3 months ahead to ease the pressure on the big day
- Braised red cabbage and apple is perfect for the slow cooker (crockpot) but you can also braise it in the oven
- Simple, cost-effective ingredients. Red cabbage is one of the most budget-friendly veggies
Red cabbage is a firmly packed crisp cabbage. It's actually more purple than red, and is a kind of brassica like other cabbages, kale and broccoli. Red cabbage is very good for your health. It is packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals, and it is also high in anthocyanins. These are the antioxidants that give the blue colour to fruits such as blueberries. You can find out more about anthocyanins and the health benefits of red cabbage here. If you have some of the raw cabbage left over, why not try making it into a slaw, this healthy coleslaw recipe is perfect.
Apples. Either eating or cooking apples will work well in this recipe.
Onion. Either white or red onion will be fine in the recipe.
Olive oil. Adding a little oil to your slow cooker red cabbage will help to keep it moist. If you prefer, you could use butter instead.
Spices. The warm spices add a lovely depth to this slow cooker braised red cabbage recipe. You can either use ground cinnamon, or half a cinnamon stick. Although allspice is quite a pungent spice, it does add a delicious flavour, as does nutmeg. Cloves, star anise and ginger would also make a great addition. Alternatively, just use a teaspoon of mixed spice.
Vinegar and water. Adding a splash of vinegar will help the red cabbage to keep it's colour, but it's totally optional. If you don't use vinegar, add another tablespoon of water. You want to ensure that the ingredients don't stick to the bottom of your slow cooker or pan.
Slow cooker braised red cabbage is made without sugar, which I think is nicer, and better for you. But if you'd prefer to add a little extra sweetness, add a handful or two of sultanas to the recipe.
How to make slow cooker red cabbage
It's extremely easy to make braised red cabbage and apple. You simply need to prep the vegetables, mix everything together, and the slow cooker will do the hard work. There's no need to even peel the apples, just cut the flesh away from the core and roughly chop. The long slow cooking process will ensure that everything is broken down.
Storage and serving tips
Braised red cabbage in the slow cooker is very forgiving. Once cooked, it will keep warm happily. And if you want to prepare it ahead of time, that will be fine, it will keep in the fridge for up to a week. You can reheat leftover red cabbage in a pan on the stove very successfully, and it's also nice served cold. Try serving it with cooked white beans, or cold meats. This recipe also freezes really well.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, this recipe freezes brilliantly. It's really useful to batch cook and freeze in smaller portions so that you've got some delicious, healthy side dishes ready to go.
No, you need very little liquid to braise red cabbage in the slow cooker. The slow cooker traps moisture in, so it won't dry out. Additionally, some juice will come from the apples as they cook down. If you add too much liquid the cabbage will be waterlogged and won't have such a nice texture.
Yes, this healthy side dish is packed with nutrients. It's rich in minerals, vitamins and fibre. Braising cabbage in the slow cooker with very little liquid also means that you won't be pouring the water soluble vitamins down the drain.
Other healthy side dishes
You might also like these other healthy side dish recipes. Or browse the vegetable side dishes category
You might also like to try some of our other healthy and delicious Christmas recipes here. Other seasonal recipes to pack more veg in your diet include roast potatoes sweet potatoes and carrots, and carrot and apple soup.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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Slow Cooker Braised Red Cabbage
- ½ large red cabbage
- 1 large cooking apple or 2 green eating apples
- 1 onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch ground allspice
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice not essential, but the cabbage will keep its colour better
- Peel and chop the onion. Cut the red cabbage into quarters, remove the stalk along with any tired leaves and finely slice. Cut the apple into chunks. There's no need to peel the apples, simply cut the flesh away from the core and roughly chop into pieces about 1.5 cm. Add all of the vegetables to the slow cooker pot, along with the other ingredients and stir to mix.
- Cook in the slow cooker on high for 4 hrs or low for 7-8. If you'd prefer to cook this recipe in the oven, place in a large ovenproof casserole with a lid and cook for 2 - 2.5 hours at 150 degrees. Check during cooking a couple of times, and if necessary add a splash more water.
Please note nutritional information is per serving and is provided for guidance only.