Sweet and Sour German Red Cabbage

Side DishCabbageRed Cabbage

Braised Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage, German-style! Only 4 basic ingredients, so easy to make. Perfect with to serve with pork.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

German Red Cabbage

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 if we have them, roasted chestnuts. It’s wonderful served alongside pork chops or a pork roast!

Sweet and Sour German Red Cabbage Recipe

  • Prep time: 7 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-4


  • One half a large red cabbage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1 Sauté sliced cabbage in butter: 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.

2 Add sugar, balsamic vinegar, cover and simmer: 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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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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73 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Linda

    I’ve been using this recipe for several years and it’s a necessary side dish for sausages on the grill. I found a new local sausage shop in the Milwaukee area and this cabbage is perfect alongside a brat or a spicy Hungarian! I also use Stevia or Splenda in place of the sugar.


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  2. Elizabeth

    I used Fig Reserve Balsamic Vinegar! Delish!

  3. Tasha

    Yum! All I had was apple cider vinegar and rice vinegar so I mixed them instead of the balsamic and it was still great. I also eat Keto, so I used swerve seeetner in place of sugar.


  4. Kathy

    Made with a black berry balsamic- excellent


  5. Marianne

    So easy and delicious! I added a small apple too like one other poster did only because I only hard a partial head of red cabbage! It tasted yummy, thank you for the recipe!


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