This Braised Cabbage and Apples recipe 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!
Table of Contents
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 unstuffed cabbage rolls and Instant Pot cabbage soup, this braised cabbage with apples is quickly becoming a favorite!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Goes well with meat: Sauteed cabbage and apples is a great accompaniment to beef, pork, chicken and turkey. We love it with eye of round roast, Instant Pot pork chops, baked boneless chicken thighs or baked turkey legs.
- Easy: Braising cabbage in a skillet is super easy. You throw everything in one skillet and your dish is ready in under 45 minutes.
- Healthy: According to Healthline, cabbage is packed with vitamins C, K and fiber. It is full of antioxidants that may reduce inflammation, potassium that may regulate the blood pressure, and soluble fiber that may lower cholesterol levels. This dish is also gluten-free and vegan.
- Delicious: 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 dish or vegetarian main!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Simple ingredients make this sauteed cabbage and apples an easy comforting side dish for fall or winter.
- Cabbage: You can use green cabbage or red cabbage. The only difference is the color of final dish but both taste the same.
- 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 or avocado oil will work.
How to Make Braised 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 or use a mandoline or food processor 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 5 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.
There are several ways you can adapt this braised cabbage and apples recipe.
- Butter: Buttery cabbage is another-level delicious, feel free to add a little butter to the pan and stir in just before serving. If you wish your dish to remain vegan, use dairy free butter.
- Acid: When combining cabbage with an acidic ingredient like lemon juice, red wine vinegar 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 or allspice would also be great. Add cinnamon or nutmeg to compliment your Thanksgiving or Christmas table.
- 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 cheese.
What Do You Serve With This Dish?
- Pork: This pairs well with recipes that have pork like these Instant Pot ribs.
- Chicken: Oven baked chicken breast is a reader favorite.
- Lamb: Like lamb chops or boneless leg of lamb recipe.
- Vegetables: This will pair will all kinds of veggie sides like this roasted cauliflower with Parmesan cheese.
How to Store and Reheat
Store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freeze: Freeze any leftovers for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Reheat: You can reheat the braised cabbage either in a microwave or on the stovetop over low heat until heated through.
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!
Yes, feel free to use savoy cabbage. Because it is a softer cabbage than green or purple cabbage, I recommend to check on it after 20 minutes of braising.
Yes. I suggest 20 minutes for crunchy vs. 30 minutes for tender cabbage. This may vary somewhat on your stovetop.
Yes you can use pre-shredded cabbage known as coleslaw mix. You will need approximately 2 regular size bags.
Yes, you can make this dish in slow cooker. Saute ginger and garlic in a skillet on the stove top, then transfer to a large slow cooker along with remaining ingredients. Cook on low heat for 5 to 6 hours or on high heat for 3 hours. Time will vary based on your slow cooker and its size.
More Cabbage Recipes to Try
- Instant Pot cabbage rolls
- Cabbage stir fry
- Savoy cabbage salad
- Borscht recipe
- Vegetarian borscht
- Russian cabbage soup
Braised Cabbage and Apples
- 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
- 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.
- 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.