Purple Cabbage

Purple cabbage, red or sometimes even blue cabbage- all names for the same vegetable!  The color really depends on the nutrient dense the soil it was grown is.  The deeper the color, the more nutrient dense.  It is packed with nutrition!  It’s high in Vitamin C, A, folate and Vitamin K!  It’s also super high in antioxidants!!  While purple cabbage is most nutrient dense when eaten raw (in a slaw, salad, etc.), it’s actually easier for the body to digest the antioxidants when it’s cooked!  So it’s win-win either way you want to eat it! 

Purple cabbage is a member of the brassica family (along with kale, broccoli, cauliflower and more!). It grows best in mild/cool conditions which is why it is considered a Fall/Spring/mild Winter veggie in many places. When stored properly, purple cabbage can last a very long time in your refrigerator which extends your season of enjoying it! If you don’t choose to grow purple cabbage yourself, make sure to try and buy it organically grown.

The recipe below is a family favorite of ours! It’s our take on German braised cabbage- a little sweet, a little tart and the perfect winter side dish (or main dish!)


This recipe is super easy to size up or down depending on the size crowd you are feeding or the size cabbage you harvested!  It stores and reheats really well so we always make extra to enjoy for several days.  


Note:  All the veggies and fruit I use in this recipe I shred or slice on my mandolin.  If you don’t have a mandolin, just julienne or shred them very finely.  You’re looking for a slaw-like consistency.  



Start with a small head of purple cabbage and remove the outer leaves. Quarter the cabbage and proceed to shred all the way down to the core. (I find the core to be quite bitter, so I tend to throw that in the compost pile or feed it to happy backyard chickens).


Next I take a small apple, quarter and core (leaving the skin intact). I use whatever I happen to have on hand- sometimes it’s sweet (like a Gala or a Fuji) and sometimes it’s tart (like a Granny Smith). Use whatever is in season!

Then I slice the apple quarters fairly thin and julienne them into matchstick size pieces.  

Then I do the same with 1/2 of a medium sized sweet onion (I like sweet onions, but again, use what you’ve got!).  Think slaw consistency- you want everything about the same size.  

Take the apple and onion and place in a large Dutch oven or good heavy pot with a lid. Add one TB of oil (I use avocado oil, but use what you have) and sauté on medium heat until the apples and onions start to soften. Then add in the shredded cabbage. Turn the heat down to low or medium-low.

Next, add 4 TB sugar, 4 TB apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, and 1 tsp yellow mustard seed. Stir to combine everything really well.

Put the lid on the pot and cook until tender (approximately 30-40 minutes). Cook less for the cabbage to have more of a bite and less for the cabbage to be softer. Open the lid and give it a stir once or twice while cooking.



Season to taste, if needed, before serving and that’s it!! This recipe is easy to notch up or down depending on your needs. We serve this alongside roasted potatoes, Hungarian Goulash (stewed beef) and buttered egg noodles. It’s our fave!  Click below for a printable PDF!