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white bowl of braised red cabbage

Rotkohl (German Red Cabbage)

  • Author: Emily Dixon, One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: about 6 as a side dish 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Let’s make Rohtkohl! This German braised red cabbage recipe is bright, tangy, and absolutely delicious. Perfect for Oktoberfest or any time!


  • 1 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 apple, grated (you can leave the skin, just remove the seeds)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • *for sweeter version: 4 Tablespoons butter


  1. Combine. Add shredded red cabbage, grated apple, vinegar, water, sugar, pepper, and cloves to a large pot.
  2. Boil & Cook. Cover the pot with a lid and bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Cook about 30 minutes or until tender, but still with a small bite.
  3. Drain & Finish. Use a colander to drain extra liquid from the cabbage. Add in fresh lemon juice and stir to combine.

*If You’re Making The Sweeter Version:

  1. Brown butter in a small saucepan by cooking it over medium-low heat until foamy and golden.
  2. Add To Cabbage. Remove from heat and stir into cooked cabbage mixture with the lemon juice.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: German

Keywords: rotkohl recipe, german red cabbage, braised cabbage, braised red cabbage