Braised Red Cabbage and Apples with Maple and Thyme

September 29, 2020

Add some color to your plate with this pretty and delicious side dish of Braised Red Cabbage and Apples! 

overhead of braised red cabbage in serving bowl

*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 sautรฉed 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.

close up side view of braised red cabbage and apples


Nutrition Note

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 & Thyme is a pretty and delicious side dish to add to your plate. 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 #GlutenFree

Braised Red Cabbage and Apples with Maple and Thyme

Yield: 6 to 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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!

braised red cabbage and apples pinnable image

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  1. I just had a big bowl of cabbage for lunch! Something so comforting about it. I need to try this version soon.

  2. 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!

  3. This sounds really good and so nutritious for winter. I love cabbage and apple together so I’ll have to try this soon!

  4. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

  6. 5 stars
    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.

  7. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. 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!

  8. 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..

    1. Haha, Love it Carol! Thanks so much for sharing and so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Hope your husband got to try it ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you make it with green cabbage I’d love to know how it came out!

  9. Sooo delicious
    I had red cabbage i didnโ€™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. Iโ€™m going to make it again for thanksgiving!

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