Slow Cooker Red Cabbage – Real Food Whole Life

Red cabbage recipes in slow cooker

This easy sweet and sour slow cooker red cabbage combines red cabbage, onion and apple for a simple and tasty vegetable dish that goes with everything.

About this recipe


ease, simplicity and taste of this healthy slow-cooked red cabbage makes it the perfect vegetable accompaniment to almost any meal


I particularly love it along with chicken, pork or fish, or in a bowl of salty grains (but honestly, it goes with so many different dishes), especially for the holidays and Thanksgiving!

One thing to keep in mind while cooking this is that as cabbage cooks, it loses its bright purple color, but gains a silky texture.

If you’ve never eaten braised or slow-cooked cabbage before and wonder how this recipe tastes, it has a lovely sweet and sour taste of apple, vinegar, and brown sugar.

After slowly cooking in the slow cooker for hours, the cabbage gets super tender and tastes like you’ve spent all day preparing it.

It will be our little secret that it only took a few minutes of practical preparation and a couple of simple ingredients to make this happen!


recipe couldn’t be easier to make and is my favorite side dish for meetings and parties

. Simply add your chopped cabbage,

onions, apples, vinegar, water, salt, and sugar (if you use it) to your cooking pot


To cut the cabbage, cut it into quarters, then trim and discard the core.

Stack the leaves, flatten slightly by hand, then cut each stack of leaves into thin strips for this recipe.

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Then let your slow cooker work, it’s magic.

After it is cooked, you can add the optional butter, adjust the salt to taste, and it will be ready to dig!

Tip: Instructions on how to cook this up for a shorter cooking time are also included on the recipe card below, keeping your options open in busy weeks.

Why slow cooker

is a great choice for making

vegetable side dishes I love using the slow cooker

because it completely simplifies the process of adding vegetarian side dishes to any meal


And, because almost all of my slow-cooker vegetables are throw-and-use (meaning no pre-browning or sautéing is required), preparation is quick and easy.

Just chop, stir and go!

As a bonus, the slow cooker

takes the load off the oven and stove, making it a fantastic choice for meals, parties, and holiday meals


Process and tips

This is a delicious way to turn this dish into a satisfying, protein-packed meal


Simply add 1 pound of sweet or hot Italian sausages to the slow cooker along with the cabbage.


This Red Cabbage Slow Cooker with Bacon

Another delicious twist on this side The dish is to make it with bacon


Simply add 1 pound of cooked and chopped bacon to the slow cooker along with the


Make red cabbage with balsamic


This is a super easy variation!

Just use balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar


Ingredients and substitutions

Red cabbage

: I love the touch of color that red cabbage brings to this garnish. But you can also use green cabbage instead.

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Onion: The onion adds a lot of flavorful flavor to this slow-cooking red cabbage. It really helps balance sweet and sour flavors. But if you don’t like or can’t eat onions, feel free to omit them in this recipe.

Apples: I used Honeycrisp apples for this recipe, but you can use any other sweet, crunchy, sour apple you like. Granny Smith apples would be another great option.

Brown sugar: Feel free to skip sugar to keep this whole grain recipe30 and sugar-free, you’ll still retain some apple sweetness. You can also substitute coconut sugar instead of brown sugar for a paleo option.

Red wine vinegar: I love how red wine vinegar pairs with the other ingredients in this recipe. But you can also use balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar instead.

Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a more subtle flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.

Butter: We love to finish this with butter (traditional or vegan), as the fat adds flavor and an extra silky texture to the finished dish. But you can skip it to reduce fat and calories from this recipe if you want.

What to serve

with sweet and sour red cabbage Pot of 5 ingredients “

grill” Whole chicken leaf

Chicken bread, kale and sweet potatoes Chicken, kale and sweet potatoes

5-ingredient garlic balsamic


This sweet and sour garnish pairs well with just about anything, including chicken, pork, or fish dishes.

Suggestion You can also build a bowl of grains with your favorite cooked grain, such as brown rice, white rice, or quinoa. Then add your slow-cooked red cabbage along with fresh vegetables, protein of choice, fresh or cooked vegetables and your favorite healthy dressing or sauce.

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This recipe is…

Dairy-freeGluten-freeNut-freePaleovegan vegetarian

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