Slow cooker red cabbage is a delicious, comforting 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 braised red cabbage is also a healthy recipe, so it's good to add to your menus regularly.
The ingredients for this recipe are simple, and adaptable. You can use cooking apples or eating apples. As the recipe is slow cooked, either will soften down nicely. Vary the spices with whatever you have to hand, and for extra sweetness, add a few sultanas if you prefer.
This braised red cabbage and apple is perfect for the slow cooker (crockpot) but you could also braise it in the oven. It does take a few hours to cook, but the preparation is very quick and easy.
Ingredients for slow cooker red cabbage
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 anthrocyanins. These are the antioxidants that give the blue colour to fruits such as blueberries. You can find out more about anthrocyanins and the health benefits of red cabbage here.
Either eating or cooking apples will work well in this recipe. There's no need to peel the apples, just cut the flesh away from the core and roughly chop.
Either white or red onion will be fine in the recipe.
Adding a little oil to this slow cooker red cabbage recipe will help to keep it moist. If you prefer, you could use butter instead.
The warm spices add a lovely depth to this 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.
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.
This slow cooker red cabbage recipe 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.
Storage and serving tips
This slow cooker red cabbage recipe 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 brilliantly.
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 sweet potatoes, white potatoes and carrots, and carrot and apple soup.
If you have some of the raw cabbage left over, why not try making it into a slaw, this healthy coleslaw recipe is perfect.
Slow Cooker 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 for guidance only