This quick braised red cabbage with apple and beetroot is full of goodness and delicious festive flavours. It is vegan, gluten free and ready in just over 30 minutes.
This quick braised red cabbage recipe combines savoury and sweet flavours to create a delicious side dish that’s full of character as well as goodness.
Red cabbage tends to be used for special occasions rather than in everyday cooking. It’s a very healthy vegetable, but can be a little stringy, so not always great raw. That’s why it makes sense to cure it for example, to make it more tender and infuse with more flavour. I’ve used this method in my red cabbage sprouts coleslaw with maple gazed pecans (another festive recipe!) as well as this cured red cabbage salad with pear and walnuts.
Another great way of preparing red cabbage is to braise it with other ingredients.
How to make quick braised red cabbage
Braising red cabbage is a really delicious, easy way of preparing this vegetable. Simply fry the cabbage and beetroot with some ginger in a little oil, then add the rest of the ingredients, stir, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parsley or cilantro and drizzle with a little oil for a nice glossy finish and enjoy!
You can either shred the cabbage or slice it very thinly. I personally prefer the latter method as I like a bit of texture and crunch in this recipe.
Braising red cabbage with beetroot
Beetroot is an integral part of Polish Christmas cooking but I didn’t use it in this recipe for sentimental reasons. I used it because it really works with the red cabbage!
Red cabbage can be a little bland so it works well with other, stronger tasting ingredients. Beetroot, with its intensely sweet earthy flavour, is simply ideal to pair with the cabbage. Plus it adds lots of gorgeous colour to this dish! I really cannot recommend it enough.
Beetroot also makes a great addition to this cranberry Christmas chutney. This festive chutney with a twist is sweet and tangy, low in sugar and fantastic with Christmas turkey!
In this braised cabbage recipe it is important to use raw beetroot rather than the ready cooked beets you can buy in the shops. As the beetroot cooks its releases lots of flavour, which is something cooked beetroot cannot possibly contribute. Just wear rubber gloves when grating the beetroot or you’ll have red hands for the rest of the day!
What kind of apple is best for this braised cabbage recipe
I used a cooking apple (Bramley) in this recipe, but you can use any sour tasting apple. Just bear in mind that Bramley apples are a little bigger than other varieties so use a small one. I don’t recommend using sweet apples as the cabbage, beets and cranberries are all quite sweet. So a sour tasting apple will offset the sweetness very nicely.
After 25 minutes of cooking you’ll have a perfectly cooked red cabbage in a delicious sweet and tangy sauce with a hint of citrus and spice.
A truly fantastic festive offering!
Make ahead braised cabbage recipe
What I love about this recipe is that you can make it the day before and simply reheat it once you are ready to serve it. (You might have to add a drop of water or clementine juice). I actually think it tastes better the next day.
This festive braised red cabbage recipe can be made using lots of flavour combinations. I chose a bit of allspice and cumin. Cumin may not be a typical Christmas spice but it really lifts this dish, adding warmth and a hint of spice. A sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon would work well too.
More vegetarian festive sides
Your Christmas/Thanksgiving Main Dishes
Check out this Easy Mushroom Turkey Wellington with Chestnuts as an alternative to traditional roast turkey.
If you are looking for an easy festive vegetarian main dish try this Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash with Fruit & Chestnuts.
If you are a fan of red cabbage you may also like these 3 easy, delicious red cabbage juice recipes.
Quick Braised Red Cabbage with Apple & Beetroot
- 400 g red cabbage, very thinly sliced, approx. 1/2 of a medium cabbage
- 2 medium sized beets, peeled, coarsely grated
- 1 medium sour apple, or 1 small if you are using a cooking apple, peeled, cored, diced
- 1/2 cup dried, sweetened cranberries
- 1.5 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 2 clementines, juice only
- 2.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp olive oil, plus a little more for drizzling
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt, plus pepper to taste
- Freshly chopped parsley/cilantro for serving
- In a large shallow pan/casserole dish (with a lid) heat up the oil, add the ginger, cabbage, grated beetroot and fry over a medium heat for 4 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, stir thoroughly, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally. Serve hot. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and drizzle with a little oil before serving.
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