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Braised Red Cabbage (Slow Cooker Method)

Slow-cooker red cabbage in a pink bowl with a cinnamon stick on top.
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Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, we agree, but there are moments in the kitchen, just before Christmas Dinner is due to be served that may not feel that magical! If you are stressed about your Christmas side dishes, short on oven space, or just don’t have time to cook another dish, entrust your slow cooker to do the job for you! Our Braised Red Cabbage in Slow Cooker is an easy, yet extremely flavoursome traditional Christmas side dish that only requires minutes of your time!

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Equipment Needed

All you need is a sharp knife and a slow cooker, also known as a crockpot in many parts of the world. To cook a small head of red cabbage (up to 1kg) you will need a slow cooker that is at least a 3.5 L capacity. We used Morphy Richards 3.5 L slow cooker, and a mixture of Global and Victorinox knifes to slice, cut and shred!

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • red cabbage: a small to medium cabbage will serve approx 8 people. We used a small cabbage weighing approximately 800g after we took the core out.
  • red onions: 1 large or 2 small ones.
  • ginger: if you don’t like ginger, skip it. Otherwise, it adds a wonderful warmth to the braised red cabbage.
  • apples: we prefer a tart variety of apples here, like cooking apples, Braeburn or Granny Smith.
  • dried cranberries: ideally, unsweetened.
Ingredients for the braised red cabbage on a wooden board.
  • light brown sugar: can be substituted with other types of sugar, but brown sugar works best, adding molasses flavours to the finished braised cabbage dish.
  • allspice: a wonderful warming spice. If you don’t have any in your spice cupboard, substitute with a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of ground coriander.
  • cinnamon.
  • balsamic vinegar.
  • butter: salted or unsalted.

Method

Arrange a quarter of the shredded cabbage at the bottom of your slow cooker. Place a quarter of sliced apples and red onion on top. Scatter some cranberries and ginger. Sprinkle with allspice, cinnamon and brown sugar. Add another layer of cabbage and continue in the same sequence until you completed four repetitions.

Red cabbage, apples, red onion, sugar and slices lauered in the slow cooker bowl.

Pour the balsamic vinegar over the cabbage and add a few knobs of butter on top. Cover with the lid and cook on medium for 4-5 hours, or low for 3.5-4 hours (the cooking time will highly depend on the slow cooker you’re using, as temperatures seem to vary quite a bit).

Once the cabbage is soft, taste and season. Serve immediately, and store leftovers in the fridge or freezer (more on that, in the text below).

Recipe FAQs

Can I Make Braised Red Cabbage with Cranberries Ahead of Time?

Absolutely! That’s the beauty of braised red cabbage! You can make it a couple of days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat the red cabbage with cranberries in a large pan with a little splash of water or even in a microwave.

How to Store Braised Red Cabbage Leftovers?

Red Cabbage will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days. If you aren’t planning to eat it quickly, freeze the cabbage in zip lock bags, or containers – this way, it will keep up for up to 3 months. Simply, defrost and reheat as normal.

Red cabbage in a bowl served on a table decorated with pinecones.

Other Delicious Christmas Dinner Side Dishes

Are you that person who is more excited about side dishes than the centrepiece at the Christmas table? Welcome to the club! Have a look at some of our favourite side dishes below:

Recipe Card

Slow-cooker red cabbage in a pink bowl with a cinnamon stick on top.

Braised Red Cabbage (Slow Cooker Method)

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, we agree, but there are moments in the kitchen, just before Christmas Dinner is due to be served that may not feel that we! If you are stressed about your Christmas side dishes, short on oven space, or just don't have time to cook another dish, entrust your slow cooker to do the job for you! Our Braised Red Cabbage in Slow Cooker is an easy, yet extremely flavoursome traditional Christmas side dish that only requires minutes of your time!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine British, Christmas
Servings 8 as a side dish
Calories 155 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 small red cabbage approx 800g, shredded
  • 2 small red onions finely sliced
  • 20 g ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 apple cored, peeled and sliced
  • 70 g dried cranberries
  • 50 g light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 100 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 25 g butter

Instructions
 

  • Arrange a quarter of the shredded cabbage at the bottom of your slow cooker. Place a quarter of your apples and red onion on top. Scatter some cranerries and ginger. Sprinkle with allspice, cinnamon and brown sugar. Add another layer of cabbage and continue in the same sequence until you completed four repetitions.
  • Pour the balsamic vinegar over the cabbage and add a few knobs of butter on top. Cover with the lid and cook on medium for 4-5 hours, or low for 3.5-4 hours (the cooking time will highly depend on the slow cooker you're using, as temperatures seem to vary quite a bit).
  • Once the cabbage is soft, taste and season. Serve immediately, store in the fridge or freezer (more on that, in the text above).

Notes

Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, or freeze for up to 3 months. 

Nutrition

Calories: 155kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 2gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 56mgPotassium: 385mgFiber: 4gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 1276IUVitamin C: 64mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Braised Red Cabbage In Slow Cooker, Christmas Braised Red Cabbage, Slow Cooker Purple Cabbage, Slow Cooker Red Cabbage, Vegan Balsamic Red Cabbage Steaks
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