Braised Red Cabbage and Apples with Maple and Thyme
Add some color to your plate with this pretty and delicious side dish of Braised Red Cabbage and Apples!
*Updated September 29, 2020. Originally published October 2012.
When people think of cabbage, they often think about recipes for stuffed cabbage or cole slaw. As much as I love stuffed cabbage, it’s not the quickest recipe to make. To enjoy the flavors and nutritional benefits of cabbage on a regular basis, I have found that braising is one of my favorite cooking techniques for this cruciferous vegetable, and it is tastiest and prettiest when done with red or purple cabbage.
A couple of weeks ago I saw some beautiful red cabbage at the supermarket and was inspired to come up with a new recipe. Since apples are also in season, I searched online for recipes with red cabbage and apples. As I occasionally do when developing new recipes, I took elements of multiple recipes and came up with a new variation.
Preparing Braised Cabbage
To make this Braised Red Cabbage and Apples recipe, red or purple cabbage is thinly sliced and sautéed with red onions and apples. These fall ingredients are then complemented with maple syrup, lemon juice, cider vinegar, whole grain mustard, and fresh thyme, making for a sweet and savory side dish that’s not only good for you (hello antioxidants!) and delicious, but also pretty to look at on the plate.
(Use your leftover thyme to make lemon thyme vinaigrette for your next salad!)
This side dish pairs beautifully with chicken and white fish. If I ate pork I would dare to say it would go well with that too! The recipe is easy enough for a weeknight dinner, but also a show-stopper on the table at a dinner party or for the upcoming holiday season.
Did you know? Red cabbage is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family (other members include kale, kohlrabi, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts) and is an excellent source of anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that provides anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits.
Braised Red Cabbage and Apples with Maple and Thyme
If you're looking for a pretty and delicious side dish to add to your plate, this is it. Red cabbage and apples are braised with maple syrup, cider vinegar, mustard, and thyme for a sweet and savory combination that highlights some of the most popular flavors of the fall and winter season.
Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Kosher
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small red cabbage, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced in half moons
- 2 medium crisp apples (such as Gala), cut into matchsticks, splashed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
- 1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add cabbage and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the apples and continue cooking the mixture for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the syrup, vinegar, mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender (about another 8 minutes). Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm until ready to serve.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6th serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 196mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 4gSugar: 11gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information was calculated by Nutritionix. It may not be 100% accurate.
Do you enjoy braised cabbage?
What’s your favorite cabbage recipe?
Share with me in the comments below!
These photos are so pretty! I just want to grab a fork and dive right in 🙂
Thank you! It’s amazing what a difference it makes now that I know how to take food photos!
I am so craving this now! Just need a head of cabbage, and I’ll be ready to go! 🙂
Hope you try it! I just made it again tonight and it’s so easy, delicious and pretty too!
I never thought to add apples to cabbage! What a delicious twist!
You must try it Liz – it’s a delicious combination, especially if you love sweet and savory together like I do!
I just had a big bowl of cabbage for lunch! Something so comforting about it. I need to try this version soon.
How did you make it? Always looking for new ideas!
Loving the color on this! I never eat cabbage but this looks delicious!
Thanks Maria. Hope you give it a try!
Love how simple this recipe is. That’ll get me to eat more cabbage!
I hope you do!!
I actually had no idea that cabbage had so much nutritional value. But now that I think of it, it makes sense with that bright purple color! Gorgeous!
So glad you learned that now, especially if you needed a reason to eat it 😉
This sounds really good and so nutritious for winter. I love cabbage and apple together so I’ll have to try this soon!
Thanks Deryn. If you already enjoy the combo of cabbage and apples I have no doubt you will like this!
Not only is the absolutely gorgeous…It looks so delicious + nutritious! I have not had cabbage in ages it seems, and this is the perfect recipe to start with! Thank you for sharing 🙂
Thanks so much Whitney! Hope you get a chance to make it soon, and let me know how you like it!
This look SO yummy! My husband is NOT a fan of cabbage but I love it! So many benefits!
Thanks samantha. More for you!!
I love cabbage and apples. I usually do cold salads with them but why not go warm?! Looks good
Yes! I think most people forget that cabbage can be great cooked. Hope you enjoy it.
I am obsessed with braised cabbage. Best thing ever. Love the maple and thyme flavour
Love hearing that! Hope you enjoy my variety.
Looks like such a flavorful and delicious dish!
Thanks Rachel. Made it last night and was reminded how much I love it!
this looks delicious! love the addition of the apples
Thanks Rebecca. I’m a huge fan of sweet and savory combos!
This sounds great! I only have a few go-to cabbage recipes, and very few are for red cabbage, so I’m excited to try something new.
Thanks Chrissy. Can’t wait for you to give this braised red cabbage and apples a try. Let me know how you like it!
Adding tyme to this sounds so yummy! I love the health benefits of cabbage too!
Thyme is one of my favorite herbs. Love adding it to dishes when I can!
Can this be frozen, thank you
Hi Irene, I don’t recall ever freezing it, but I think you can freeze it no problem. When you defrost it you may want to heat it in a sauce pan with the top off to evaporate any extra liquid from defrosting, but it should be fine.
I made this tonight and my family, toddler included, ate it up and had seconds! Thanks for the recipe. We’ll be making it again.
That is so awesome Erin! Thank you for letting me know. I’m thrilled to hear that your toddler enjoyed it too 🙂
Can you eat this cold?
You sure can! I like it cold, room temp, or warmed up!
So delicious and pretty! The sweetness of the maple and apple mixed with the tart apple cider vinegar makes the overall flavor almost dessert-like — I would never have guessed a cabbage dish could be so sweet (in the best way!) I enjoyed leftovers along with breakfast and I think I’ll be making this at Thanksgiving 🙂
Thank you so much for this review Isabel! I’m so glad you enjoyed the braised red cabbage recipe! I personally love the pairing of sweet and savory, so it’s something I aim for in many of my dishes. Hope you continue to enjoy it many more times!
OK just one question. How do I leave it alone until I serve my husband? It may be all gone by then. It is soo good. I had to sit for a moment and tell you just to get away for it for a minute, and I am not even usually a cabbage fan. My husband usually gets all the cabbage. Not this time!
Thanks for the recipe. Now I wish I had saved some of my purple cabbage for our Canadian Thanksgiving, but I might try using green cabbage combined with the tiny purple cabbage I still have in my garden..
Haha, Love it Carol! Thanks so much for sharing and so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Hope your husband got to try it 😉 If you make it with green cabbage I’d love to know how it came out!
What if I have no cider vinegar? Can I substitute rice vinegar or balsamic?
Hi Janet, you could try rice vinegar, white wine or red wine vinegar. I wouldn’t use balsamic or another dark vinegar. Hope you enjoy!
I had red cabbage i didn’t know what to do with and remembered you posted this so i pulled up the recipe.. i also had all the other ingredients on hand since they are not unusual but the flavors together were genius, especially the apples. I’m going to make it again for thanksgiving!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Brittany! Thank you for sharing. Hope it’s as much of a hit on your Thanksgiving table!!!