If your family likes the sweet-tart flavor found in many German dishes, they'll enjoy this recipe. The cabbage, apples and onions are cooked with vinegar, sugar and a variety of spices-the end result can't be beat!

Allrecipes Member

Recipe Summary test

10 mins
1 hr 20 mins
1 hr 30 mins
6 servings


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a Dutch oven, toss cabbage, apples and onion. Add water, vinegar, sugar, butter and salt. Place the peppercorns, allspice, cloves and bay leaf on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and stir with kitchen string to form a bag. Add to Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/4 hours.

  • Discard spice bag. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir in cabbage mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.

Nutrition Facts

185 calories; protein 2.6g; carbohydrates 40.6g; fat 2.3g; cholesterol 5.1mg; sodium 445.8mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (218)

Rating: 5 stars
This is THE BEST recipe ever! It does not need any adjustments. I didn't have a cheesecloth so I just added all the ingredients in the pot and picked out the big pieces when I saw them. Very authentic and delicious. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I ruined it :( (I still gave it a 5 so that its rating wouldn't suffer from my mistakes). I didn't have whole spices so I used ground ones and way too much of them. It was inedible. My advise: if you don't have whole spices either omit them or use ground ones VERY sparingly. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
We have visited Germany 5 times and I did not have any cabbage any better than this. If you had 6 stars, that is what I would rate. I made an all German meal but it was the cabbage everyone raved obout. Even my wife who does not usually like cabbage said she would eat this any time I made it. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This is an excellent and authentic tasting German red cabbage recipe. I did have to add more sugar at the end of cooking, however, as mine was mouth puckering tart. It could have been my apples, but I would definitely give it a taste test before serving. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I made this recipe as a Christmas present for my mother. When my grandfather was still alive, they would have this with thier dinner every Christmas. She said it was exactly like the traditional German recipe and loved it very much. It truly is INCREDIBLE! The aroma that fills the house with the apples and vinegar and spices...it's just the epitome of winter. We will be using this recipe often. Thank you. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This is good and pretty. I wish I'd sliced the cabbage and onion thin, though. And I suspect that there should be 2 TABLESPOONS rather than 2 teaspoons cornstarch, since no amount of simmering made it thicken or glossy as I'd hoped. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This is the real thing. The Germans call it Apfelrotkohl and it can be found in every market and most restaurants. Living in Germany for the past four years, I've tried many different versions, but this hands down the best. True German red cabbage! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was wonderful! Reminded me of the red cabbage my very German grandmother used to make when I was a child. I made it for an Oktoberfest dinner we hosted (also used the Jaegerschnitzel and Easy Apple Strudel recipes from this website). My kids wrinkled their noses at the smell of the cabbage while I was cooking it, but it was so worth it! I also served spaetzle (I used a box brand because I didn't have time to make it from scratch). Yum! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I was looking for a recipe like this one for an Oktoberfest dinner. When I was in Germany, this was a traditional dish served at holiday dinners, etc. and wanted to find a recipe that tasted just like the one found in Germany. This is it! So good and really authentic tasting. I used ground allspice in my cheesecloth, but it worked. I also added a little more butter at the end. I made this in the crock pot and it turned out great. Don't mess around with other recipes unless you use your grandma's from Germany or something. Make this recipe. Read More