Red Cabbage with Apples

A sweet and slightly sour red cabbage stew with apple and warming spices

This wonderfully purple recipe is a traditional Dutch dish.
Red cabbage with apples is sweet and a little sour, easy to make & an extremely good way to get kids (and adult kids!) to eat red cabbages.

Originally it is eaten with baked potatoes or potato croquettes and a beef stew that is literally translated as “sour meat”. I know, it doesn’t sound good, but believe me…it is very good!
If you are ever in the very south of The Netherlands (as this is a typical southern Dutch dish) ask the locals where you can eat the best “sour meat” and try it.

I didn’t have the time to make the sour meat beef stew, so I opted for a nice small piece of beef tenderloin. But if you want to make it vegan you can easily replace the meat with your favourite meat substitute.

This is very much a ‘taste and adjust as you go along’ kind of recipe. So please taste plenty of times when you are cooking this dish and adjust to your own taste preferences.

Like with all of these type of recipes, everybody has their own version and this is mine.

I wanted to say that I made this with a big head of red cabbage, but I think Mark would call this a small one! If you don’t know what I mean, watch this video and you will see Mark has grown the biggest red cabbages ever! There are lots of uses for cabbages in the kitchen- check out our best-ever sauerkraut recipe here.
But for now, lets get in the kitchen and make this dish!

Red cabbage with apples. Eat it the traditional way, with baked potatoes and beef or make it your own. The choice is completely yours.

Red Cabbage with Apples

A sweet and slightly sour red cabbage stew with apple and warming spices
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course lunch, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Dutch
Servings 6 people


  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Big pot/pan


  • 1 Red cabbage (About 1.3 to 1.5 KG)
  • 2 Apples (Use apples you like eating)
  • 2 handfuls Sultanas or raisins
  • 1 small pinch Ground nutmeg
  • 1 small pinch Ground cloves
  • 1 pinch Cardamon powder
  • 1-2 Tspn Cinnamon powder
  • ½ Tspn Ginger powder
  • ½ Lemon (Just the juice)
  • 1 TBspn Honey or Maple syrup
  • ¼-½ Tspn Salt
  • 2-3 TBspn Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBspn Apple Cider vinegar
  • 3 TBspn Coconut oil


  • Core your red cabbage and slice it into around 0.5cm thick. This is just a guideline, it doesn't have to be exact and it comes down to your personal preference how thick you want your slices to be.
  • Put the coconut oil and the vinegars in the base of the pot. The base should be covered nicely with a good layer of oil and vinegar, so nothing will burn.
  • Put in the sliced red cabbage pieces, honey/maple syrup, salt and all the spices.
    Meanwhile, core and cut your apples into pieces.
  • Cook the cabbage until it has started to soften slightly, stirring every few minutes, so nothing burns at the base of the pan.
    Than add in about 2/3 of the apple pieces.
  • Cook until almost ready, the cabbage is almost soft and the apple has almost broken down.
    Than add in the rest of the apple pieces, the raisins and the lemon juice.
  • Cook until the raisins have welled up a bit and the apple is just a little bit softer.
    Taste and adjust if you need to. (Does the dish need more spices, salt, vinegar or sweetness? Add in what your tastebuds are telling you)
  • Plate it with traditional accompaniments or give it your own 'swing' and enjoy!


If you do not have all the spices at hand, you can use something like pumpkin spices as a base and build up from there with the spices you do have. 
Just taste as you go along and you will be fine.
Leftovers will keep for about 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge or you can freeze it for up to 6 months.
Keyword Cabbage, Red cabbage, Side dish, Stew, Sweet and sour
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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