German Style Sweet & Sour Cabbage

I love red cabbage. Seriously. It is such a humble ingredient but it is absolutely chock full of nutrients and there is just so much you can do with it. And while I make red cabbage in a variety of ways, this sweet and sour German recipe is my favorite.

I first had this style of cabbage in Ireland of all places at a savory pie shop in Galway called The Pie Maker (If you’re ever in Galway you should not skip this place). I ordered a chicken, leek and mushroom pie (my personal favorite) and the owner/chef had just made up a huge batch of red cabbage and asked if we wanted some. Um, of course we did. And it was. so. good. Slightly sweet and tangy, it fabulously complimented the heartiness of the pie and was just so darn delicious. I knew immediately that it was something I had to recreate at home but to be honest it took me several tries to get just the right amount of contrast between sweet and sour and heat.

This cabbage makes a fabulous fall side dish that goes fantastic with pork, squash, chicken and all your hearty autumnal dishes. It’s also a great side dish for feeding a holiday crowd or you can make a big batch to eat throughout the week. No matter how you serve it, it’s sure to become a family favorite.

German Style Sweet & Sour Cabbage

Slightly sweet and tangy, this German style red cabbage is the perfect compliment to all of your hearty fall dishes. It goes great with pork, chicken, squash and potatoes and is great for feeding a crowd or you can make a big batch to eat from all week.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, German


  • 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 green apple, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp raisins (optional)
  • 1 medium head of red cabbage , thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional, but I like the little bit of heat)
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Heat oil and butter in a large dutch oven or pot with a lid until hot and butter has melted.
  • Add in sliced onion and cook over medium high heat for 2 minutes.
  • Add in apple slices and continue to sautee for 3 minutes.
  • Stir in raisins and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Pour in sliced cabbage and stir to fully coat with the buttter/oil mixture. Sautee over medium heat for around 5 minutes until slightly softened.
  • Pour in apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, salt, thyme and cayenne. Stir to fully combine.
  • Turn the heat down the low/medium low and place the lid on the pot. Simmer for around 30 minutes until cabbage has reached your desired level of tenderness, stirring occassionaly.
  • Remove from heat and stir in a small knob of butter. Taste and season with salt & black pepper to your preference.
  • Enjoy!


This cabbage reheats beautifully so it’s a great dish to make ahead of time.ย 
Keyword cabbage, Vegetarian

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