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.

Eating German Cabbage in Ireland

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.

What to pair it with?

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

German Style Sweet & Sour Cabbage

Slightly sweet and tangy, this German style red cabbage can easily be modified for a Whole30 or Paleo diet. It pairs beautifully with pork, chicken, squash and potatoes and is great for feeding a crowd.

Recipe by The Jam Jar Kitchen
5 from 11 votes
Course: Side DishCuisine: GermanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 1 tbsp butter or ghee

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 green apple, halved, cored and thinly sliced

  • 3 tbsp raisins

  • 1 medium head of red cabbage, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (omit for Whole30 or sub with maple syrup for Paleo)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves)

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)

  • 1/2 tbsp butter or ghee (optional)

  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Heat oil and 1 tbsp of butter (or ghee) in a large dutch oven over medium high heat until hot and butter has melted.

    Add in sliced onions and cook over medium high heat for 2 minutes.
  • Add in apple slices and continue cooking for about 3 minutes.

    Stir in raising and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Pour in sliced cabbage and stir to fully coat with the butter/oil mixture. Cook over medium heat for around 5 minutes until slightly softened.

    Add in apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar or maple syrup (if using), salt, thyme and cayenne, Stir to fully combine.
  • Turn the heat down to 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 occasionally.
  • Remove from heat. If desired, stir in about 1/2 tbsp o f butter or ghee. Taste and season woth salt & pepper to your preference. Enjoy!


  • This cabbage reheats beautifully so it’s a great dish to make ahead of time.

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  1. Pingback: German Style Sweet & Sour Cabbage - Yum Goggle

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