Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage


A reader emailed the other day asking if I was Austrian on account of all the sauerkraut and cabbage recipes on Simply Recipes. My father’s grandparents on both sides were from Austria and he grew up with many traditional German and Austrian dishes and a love for cooked cabbage in all forms.

This is one of our favorite ways to prepare red cabbage—sautéed with butter, sprinkled with sugar and balsamic vinegar and simmered until tender. When the holidays come round, we take it up a notch, adding chopped apples, onions, and roasted chestnuts. It’s wonderful served alongside pork chops or a pork roast.

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage Recipe

  • Prep time: 7 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8


  • One 2-pound red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1 Cut the cabbage in half, cutting through the core as you do this. Cut the cabbage halves in half again, again through the core. Cut out the core from the quartered cabbage and discard. Thinly slice the cabbage.

2 Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced red cabbage and toss to coat with the butter. Sauté until slightly wilted, about 5 minutes.

3 Sprinkle sugar over the cabbage and toss to coat evenly. Add the balsamic vinegar to the pot. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and simmer until the cabbage is completely tender, stirring often, about 30 minutes total.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Sweet Sour Red Cabbage

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Showing 4 of 51 Comments

  • Maureen

    This was awesome!! I used honey instead of sugar and it worked out great. It was so easy, and the balsamic really makes it the dish. Exactly what I was looking for, thank you so much!

  • Emily Summer

    My German Mamma made this as part of Sauerbraten Christmas dinner, but nowadays I make it all during the year. Her recipe started with a few slices bacon cut into cubes and then sautéed with onions and apples and then the chopped red cabbage was added. Then cider vinegar and a little brown sugar and water.. It simmered all day.

  • Jay

    Wonderful, tasty way to serve red cabbage. I didn’t change a thing, and it came out splendidly.

  • Chris


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