This vegan braised red cabbage recipe with apple is full of flavour and the perfect side dish for your Christmas dinner and holiday recipes. Super easy to make in your skillet, it saves on valuable oven space for your other dishes!
While red cabbage can of course be enjoyed year-round (lovely with a Sunday roast!), it's such a traditional dish for Christmas, Thanksgiving and holiday meals. This vegan red cabbage recipe is full of flavour, and of course quite pretty too!
On my table there are always so many sides, perhaps more than there needs to be! Everyone has their favourites, but mine are the honey roasted vegetables, celeriac sweet potato mash and cranberry sauce so perhaps you would like to check them out. It doesn't quite feel like a special occasion dinner without a lot of dishes does it!
This recipe was updated on 26 May 2022 with minor amendments to the recipe, new tips and photos.
⭐ Why you will love this recipe
- Easy recipe: this won't take up much time when you want to be celebrating with your family!
- Flavourful: neither slimy nor too sweet, this has the perfect balance of a touch of sweetness from maple syrup, and a savoury flavour from cinnamon and bay leaves.
- Stovetop red cabbage with apples: this recipe doesn't take up valuable oven space as we make it in a skillet.
All the ingredients are set out in the recipe card below. The main ones are:
- Red cabbage - slice fairly finely and choose a fresh, unbruised cabbage.
- Apple - personally I think red apple is better as it has a nice sweetness, whereas green apples are more tart.
- Cinnamon - adds a hint of spice, but is optional for my low histamine readers.
- Apple cider vinegar - or white distilled vinegar, if preferred, for a tang.
📖 Variations to the recipe
If cinnamon isn't your favorite or doesn't work for you (it's debated in terms of histamine), then you can simply swap for a tiny pinch of cardamom.
You can of course leave out the apple and simply have red cabbage.
🔪 Step by step instructions
One of the things that is tricky about cooking Christmas dinner, or those for the holidays, is oven space. With at least seven around our table, and a few different dietary requirements including vegetarian and, for me, low histamine, there's a lot of dishes and baking trays to juggle around!
This is a simple vegan red cabbage recipe with just a few steps, and you can easily rope in a guest to make it . . .(!)
Remove any bruised or tough outer leaves, and then finely shred the cabbage with a sharp knife (image 1).
Add all the ingredients, with the exception of the apple, to a skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a very light simmer. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally (image 2).
Chop the apple and add to the skillet. Stir to combine (image 3).
Add the apple and cook for a further 10-15 minutes (image 4). Keep an eye on it towards the end of the cooking time to ensure that it doesn't start to stick or burn if the water has been evaporated. Add more water (or stock) if required.
💭 Recipe tips and notes
- Shred the cabbage quite finely. It is quite a tough leaf, so better to finely shred and then cook down slowly.
- Dice the apple just before adding to the skillet rather than at the same time as the red cabbage to prevent it from browning.
- For a more savoury taste you can use vegetable stock in place of water.
- Add more water (or vegetable stock) to the skillet if it is getting too dry.
📋 Frequently asked questions
No, you can simply make without if you prefer.
It's very slightly sweet from the cabbage. If you like a more savory taste you can use vegetable stock instead of water.
🍽 More side dishes to enjoy
Vegan Red Cabbage Recipe
- Sharp knife
- Add all the ingredients, with the exception of the apple, to a large skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, give it a good stir, and let simmer for 25 minutes.
- Add the apple and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on it towards the end of the cooking time to ensure that it doesn't start to stick or burn if the water has been evaporated. Add more water as required.
- Remove the bay leaf, and serve immediately.
- Add a touch more water to the skillet if it has evaporated but the cabbage isn't cooked to the texture of your preference.
- While I use water for this recipe, you can use a vegetable stock instead for a more savoury taste.
- I like my apple in bigger chunks, but cut to the size you prefer.
- For my low histamine readers, if you prefer to stick to foods that are mostly rated as 0 on SIGHI, then you can swap out apple cider vinegar for white distilled vinegar.
- Please note that nutritional information is offered as a courtesy. It is auto-generated and should be understood to be an estimate.
- red cabbage scores 0 but has a ? as a liberator.
- apple cider vinegar, which scores 1.
- black pepper, which scores 2 although small amounts are stated to be well tolerated.
- bay laurel is not rated with a number, although it is stated that small amounts are well tolerated.