Grandma Jeanette's Amazing German Red Cabbage


This German red cabbage recipe is an easy-to-make, sweet and sour side dish that pairs well with sausage or pork.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 5 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins

Authentic German red cabbage is a uniquely delicious dish with sweet, sour, and delicately spiced flavor. It's a standout side dish that uses pantry staples, shredded red cabbage, and sliced apples to create a vibrantly colored, fork-tender bite you'll never forget. Learn how to make German red cabbage, get serving tips, and find the best methods for storing leftovers.

Grandma Jeanettes Amazing German Red Cabbage

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

How to Make German Red Cabbage

German red cabbage is a surprisingly easy recipe to master. You'll find the full recipe below with step-by-step instructions, but here's what you can expect when you make this top-rated recipe:

Begin by adding butter, sugar, apples, and cabbage to a large pot. Pour in the vinegar, water, and spices before bringing the mixture to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours — the result will be soft and irresistibly tangy cabbage that's ready to pair with some of your favorite dishes.

What to Serve With German Red Cabbage

This delightfully sweet and sour cabbage dish is traditionally served with rich, meaty options like German Beef Rouladen, beer brats, or homestyle pot roast. German red cabbage also works well with saucy barbecue dishes, dumplings, and other traditional German fares.

How to Store German Red Cabbage

Leftover cabbage can be stored for up to five days in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on the stovetop for the best result.

Can You Freeze German Red Cabbage?

Yes, leftover German red cabbage can be safely stored in the freezer for up to three months. Allow it to cool completely before placing it in a tightly sealed freezer bag or airtight container.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Made exactly as written and it was perfect for us," shares home cook Boo22Babes. "This will be a staple in our home. I also love the idea of using it as a condiment. Trying the leftovers on ham and swiss sandwiches today."

"I prepared this last night paired with grilled pork chops," says att. "It was simple, fast, and absolutely delicious with an abundance of flavor."

"I didn't have an apple this time, so I used apple sauce and it came out just as good," says reviewer gs777. "You might cut down the sugar a bit if you prefer it not as sweet, but all in all, a great dish!"

Editorial contributions by Rai Mincey


  • 5 cups shredded red cabbage

  • 1 cup sliced green apples

  • ¼ cup white sugar

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • cup apple cider vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons water

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Gather all ingredients.

    All ingredients gathered to make German red cabbage.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  2. Place cabbage, apples, sugar, and butter into a large pot. Pour in vinegar and water, then add salt, pepper, and cloves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

    Ingredients mixed together in a large stock pot.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  3. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the cabbage is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

    an overhead view of cabbage simmering in a dutch oven with a lid being placed ontop.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

    Simmered until tender.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

148 Calories
6g Fat
24g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 148
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 1375mg 60%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 19g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 51mg 257%
Calcium 47mg 4%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 266mg 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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