Close up on the chunky braised red cabbage in an oval serving dish on a wooden table
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5 from 1 vote

Christmas Spiced Braised Red Cabbage

Learn how to make this simple braised cabbage recipe that is just the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner or Sunday Roasts. With the delicious flavors of apples, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, it is so easy to make and has no wine in it so you can serve the kids without any worries. It does have an extra special ingredient that adds so much flavor and fruity sweetness!!!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Side
Cuisine: English
Servings: 8
Calories: 173kcal
Author: Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts
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  • 1 red cabbage
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 green apples
  • 1 cinnamon stick - see note 1
  • 1 star anise  - see note 1
  • 4 whole cloves or ¼ tsp ground cloves  - see note 1
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg  - see note 1
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup blackcurrant jam/blackcurrant cordial - see note 2
  • 2 tbsp boiling water - see note 2


  • Remove the core and any thick leaves from the red cabbage then, cut into a chunky shred and set to one side. (see post for pictures)
  • Peel and finely chop the onion.
  • Melt the butter in a large pan, over a medium heat and add the onion.
  • Cook the onion in the butter for a 3-4 minutes, until soft but not coloured.
  • Add in the cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves and nutmeg.
  • Stir and set over a low heat.
  • Add in the cabbage and sauté  for 5 minutes.
  • Whilst the cabbage is cooking cut the apple into quarters and remove the core, then cut into small chunks.
  • Add the apple, brown sugar and vinegar and water to the pan. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to very low, place on the lid and cook for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn't stick.
  • After 50 minutes remove the lid and bring the liquid back to a simmer.
  • Stir in the blackcurrant cordial or blackcurrant jam and boiling water and cook for 10 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated.
  • Remove the spices and serve immediately or chill and keep refrigerated for up to 3 days or in the deep freeze for 2 months.


  1. The spices in this give the dish a real Christmassy flavor, however feel free to leave them out if you prefer a plainer red cabbage dish.
  2. If you cannot find blackcurrant cordial then use 1/4 cup of blackcurrant jam and thin it down with 3 tablespoons of boiling water.


Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 160mg | Potassium: 353mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 1370IU | Vitamin C: 62.9mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1.1mg
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