This Braised Green Cabbage and Apples dish transforms cabbage into a sweet and savory tender vegetable side dish perfect to accompany all your seasonal mains. It’s easy to make and ready in less than 45 minutes!

Braised green cabbage with apples topped with cashews and cranberries in cast iron skillet.

Cabbage is jam packed with nutrients, cost efficient, available all year, and neutral enough in flavor that it can be enjoyed in several ways. While I love it in cabbage roll casserole, this braised green cabbage with apples is quickly becoming a favorite!

It contains a delicious blend of sweet and savory, injected with tons of flavor as it braises in a mixture of vegetable broth and warm aromatics like garlic and ginger.

The results are a braised cabbage dish that is wonderfully tender and packed with flavor.

It’s not dull like boiled cabbage or greasy like fried cabbage. Top it with cashews and cranberries and you have yourself a simple, nutrient dense healthy side or vegetarian main!

What is Braising?

Braising is a method of cooking where you first saute ingredients at a higher heat, then add a small amount of liquid, cover your pot, and cook at lower temperature until your vegetables or meat are tender.

It’s a great way to tenderize the meat in this braised beef stew and it makes this cabbage both soft and flavorful!

Ingredients Needed

Simple ingredients make this a light and lively dish yet comforting for fall or winter!

  • Cabbage: Basic green cabbage is all you need.
  • Apples: I used apples from my garden. If buying store bought, you can use tart apples like Pink Lady and Granny Smith or sweet apples like Fuji and Gala based on personal preference.
  • Ginger and garlic: Freshly grated, they add warmth and flavor to the dish.
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper: To season.
  • The braising liquid: I used a combination of low sodium vegetable broth (so I can season the braised cabbage to my liking), Dijon mustard, and tomato paste.
  • Garnish: Finely chopped fresh parsley along with cashews and dried cranberries top this cabbage and apple dish wonderfully.
  • Oil: I used coconut oil. Any neutral cooking oil, like extra virgin olive oil, will work.
A serving of braised green cabbage with apples on blue plate.

How to Make Braised Green Cabbage and Apples

First, prepare the cabbage: Discard any wilting, browned, or damaged leaves from the outside of the cabbage. Then, cut it into four pieces, removing the core from each. Finally, slice thin ribbons to create thinly shredded cabbage.

Sauté the aromatics: Preheat a large, deep skillet (or Dutch oven) over medium heat with a swirl of oil. Once hot, add the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.

Add the cabbage and apples: Stir and then cook for five minutes, covered with a lid.

Add the remaining ingredients: While the cabbage cooks, combine the broth, tomato paste, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well into a sauce. After five minutes, pour this over the cabbage and stir well.

Reduce the heat: To the lowest heat and cover the pan with a lid. Cook for around 30 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. Then serve warm topped with cranberries, cashews, and fresh parsley.

Variations

There are several ways you can adapt this braised cabbage recipe for a variety of healthy dinner recipes!

  • Butter: Buttery cabbage is another-level delicious, feel free to add a little to the pan and stir in just before serving. If you wish your dish to remain vegan, use dairy free butter. Butter makes these healthy baked apples so tasty!
  • Acid: When combining cabbage with an acidic ingredient like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, it really brings zing and gives it life! Be sure to balance it by adding a small amount of sugar.
  • Spice: A few red pepper flakes will balance the sweeter apples and cranberries. Caraway seeds would also be great.
  • Carrot and onion: Feel free to add a very finely chopped onion with the garlic and ginger. You could also add some shredded carrots with the cabbage.
  • Bacon: You can fry several pieces of bacon in the pan to begin with, then use the grease for sautéing your garlic and ginger.
  • Cheese: Top with some freshly grated parmesan.

How to Slice Cabbage?

For this recipe we need shredded cabbage vs. cabbage wedges. You can use a julienne slicer, a mandoline with julienne blades, or do this by hand.

For a quicker method, you could use a food processor to shred cabbage. Alternatively, use a package of pre-shredded cabbage.

Whatever method you choose, save the cabbage core! You can use it to make homemade stock, add to borscht soup, pickle it, and more.

What Do You Serve With This?

This dish can be served as a side or main to your chicken recipes or even lean beef recipes, depending on how big a portion you choose to eat.

Make Ahead and Storage

Storing: Store any leftovers in an airtight container within the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Reheating: You can reheat the braised cabbage either in a microwave or on the stovetop over low heat until heated through.

FAQs

Can I use red cabbage instead of green cabbage?

Yes, feel free to use savoy cabbage or red cabbage. In fact, red cabbage with apples is a typical Holiday dish.

Can you freeze cabbage?

Freeze any leftovers for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or within the microwave.

Can I adjust the cooking time for a more crunchy cabbage?

Based on how tender you want the cabbage to be. I suggest 20 minutes for crunchy vs. 30 minutes for tender. This may vary somewhat on your stovetop.

More Great Cabbage Recipes

Braised green cabbage and apples topped with cranberries and cashews in cast iron skillet.
Braised green cabbage with apples topped with cashews and cranberries in cast iron skillet.

Braised Green Cabbage and Apples

This Braised Green Cabbage and Apples dish transforms cabbage into a sweet and savory tender vegetable side dish.
5 from 5 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 183
Diet Vegetarian
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes

Ingredients 
 

  • 8 cups green cabbage 1/2 small head, thinly shredded
  • 3 small apples 2 cups, cored & chopped
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • 1 small garlic clove grated
  • 2 tbsp oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth low sodium
  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp cashews chopped
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp parsley finely chopped

Instructions 

  • Preheat large deep skillet or dutch oven on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add ginger and garlic; cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
  • Add apples, place cabbage on top and cover. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk vegetable broth, tomato paste, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Pour over cabbage and stir well. Cover, reduce heat to the lowest and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Serve hot. Top with cashews, cranberries and parsley.

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Freeze any leftovers for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or within the microwave.
  • Reheating: You can reheat the braised cabbage either in a microwave or on the stovetop over low heat until heated through.
  • For thin julienned ‘noodle’ cabbage: You can use a julienne slicer, a mandoline with julienne blades, or do this by hand.
  • Quick cabbage: For super-quick ‘shredded’ cabbage, you could use a food processor. Alternatively, use a package of pre-shredded cabbage.

Nutrition

Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 483mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 18g
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American Ukrainian
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was amazing! Didn’t use any of the toppings as I was rushed (and lazy) but otherwise made exactly as written. Used Mutsu apple, but Granny Smith would be good, too.
    Husband doesn’t like cabbage, but declared this a real keeper! Will be on permanent rotation. Thanks for the recipe!!

  2. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe, Olena! In the beginning, before garlic and ginger, as you suggest, I added bay leaf, cumin seeds and fennel seeds – all these go so well with cabbage, and I also threw in a few pieces of thick European bacon, cut up, and then all the rest. Granny Smith apples gave it an awesome tart taste too. A great fall recipe! Thanks!

  3. Hi Olena, I can’t wait to try this as cabbage is a staple in my house – along with garlic… LOTS of garlic. I want to make this soon but was wondering since I have everything but the fresh ginger would it be ok to use dried ginger and, if so, how much. Please advise.
    As always…. thank you!!

      1. Thank you for quick response back. I will make it with the dried ginger this time. I think I will buy fresh ginger root when I make it next time… sure fresh lends a different flavor than dried.

        1. Yes. I always have it in my freezer. When I buy, I peel it all with a spoon and mince or freeze in chunks and then grate.

  4. 5 stars
    Great recipe, yummy taste! I ended up cooking it 1.5 hours for very soft texture. My husband said it was a bit spicy because of the ginger, but I didn’t taste it. I like nuts and cranberries.
    Поздоровлення з Сіетлу!

  5. 5 stars
    What a wonderful dish! Made it for the first time tonight to go with pork and apple dish and it was delicious! Thank you for putting all the time and effort into your recipes, the love in them shows! I was surprised how all the ingredients created such an amazing flavor!

    1. You are very welcome, Brenda! Pork! Genius! I should find some sustainable raised pork and make it with this dish. Yes, I love cooking, my food and this blog. So much fun and joy! Keeps me sane among dirty dishes, piles of laundry and taxiing everyone.

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