This easy braised red cabbage recipe is comforting, simple, and the perfect side dish to any meal.
The best part?
It only requires 5 ingredients and comes together in 20 minutes.
Why You'll Love This Recipe:
What You'll Need
Simple pantry staples that turn this beautiful red cabbage into the easiest side dish.
I love red cabbage for it's color, but you can use other cabbage varieties, such as green or savoy cabbage, for different flavor profiles and textures.
The sprig of fresh rosemary adds an aromatic and piney flavor to the cabbage.
If you don't like the taste of rosemary, you can use thyme, sage, or other dried herbs such as oregano or a bay leaf.
If you love the flavor of rosemary, you'll definitely love this recipe for rosemary and garlic beans.
Mustard and cabbage pair so well together.
I used coarse ground dijon mustard in this recipe but you can also use yellow mustard and adjust the seasonings accordingly.
One of my favorite ingredients to use in cooking! The balsamic vinegar brings a subtle sweetness that rounds out the other flavors in this dish.
Balsamic vinegar is extremely versatile and can even be used in sweet dishes including this pear crisp recipe.
Soy sauce here adds an umami and saltiness that adds a layer of complexity.
It's my favorite way to pack a punch of flavor in a short amount of time.
Heavy Bottom Skillet or Dutch Oven
You'll need a lid or a way to trap the moisture and steam to allow the cabbage to cook until tender.
What Else can I Add?
Garlic and Onions: Sauté minced garlic and sliced onions along with the cabbage for extra depth of flavor and aromatic goodness.
Apples or Pears: For a touch of natural sweetness, you can also add sliced apples or pears to the cabbage that will complement the cabbage beautifully.
Nuts: Toasted chopped nuts like almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts can add a delightful crunch and nutty flavor to top off dish.
Raisins or Cranberries: Dried fruits like raisins or cranberries can lend a burst of sweetness and a chewy texture.
Spices: Add your favorite spices including red pepper flakes for a kick, herbs de provence, thyme, coriander seeds.
Red Wine: If you're really feeling fancy, you can use red wine instead of water to infuse a rich, complex flavor into the cabbage.
Orange or Lemon Zest: Grated orange and lemon zest at the end of the dish is so simple but can add a brightness and fresh element to this dish.
Parmesan or Feta Cheese: Crumbled Parmesan or feta cheese can bring a creamy and salty element to the dish.
Bacon or Pancetta: Cooked and crumbled bacon or pancetta as a base of this recipe would add deep savory and umami notes to this dish.
What to serve with braised red cabbage?
This simple side goes great with a variety of meals but here are my favorites!
Ok, enough talking, show me the recipe...
Simple Braised Red Cabbage
- 3 cups red cabbage chopped
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 tablespoon mustard dijon, coarse, or any other variety
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup water
- Heat a large skillet or pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and allow it to heat up.
- Once the oil is hot, add the chopped red cabbage to the skillet. Sauté the cabbage for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften.
- Add the sprig of rosemary to the skillet, tucking it among the cabbage.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and water until well combined.
- Pour the mustard-balsamic mixture over the sautéed cabbage. Stir well to coat the cabbage evenly with the sauce.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet with a lid, and let the cabbage braise for about 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and to ensure even cooking.
- Check the cabbage for desired tenderness. If it's still too crisp, continue to cook for a few more minutes.
- Once the cabbage is tender to your liking, remove the rosemary sprig from the skillet and discard it.
- Season the braised red cabbage with salt and pepper to taste. Keep in mind that it is already salted from the soy sauce.
- Transfer the braised red cabbage to a serving dish.
- Serve the quick braised red cabbage as a flavorful side dish alongside your favorite main course.
- Cabbage Varieties: While this recipe specifically calls for red cabbage, you can experiment with other cabbage varieties, such as green or savoy cabbage, for different flavor profiles and textures.
- Adjusting Seasonings: Feel free to adjust the quantities of mustard, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce according to your taste preferences. You can increase or decrease these ingredients to achieve the desired balance of flavors.
- Rosemary Intensity: The amount of rosemary can be adjusted based on your preference for its herbal flavor. If you're a fan of rosemary, you can add more sprigs or even finely chop some leaves and mix them into the cabbage for a stronger rosemary presence.
- Braising Time: The braising time can vary depending on the size of the cabbage pieces and your desired level of tenderness. If you prefer a softer texture, you can extend the braising time by a few minutes. Conversely, if you like your cabbage with a bit more crunch, you can reduce the braising time slightly.
- Serving Suggestions: This braised red cabbage makes a versatile side dish that pairs well with various main courses. It complements roasted meats, grilled poultry, sausages, or even vegetarian options. Consider serving it alongside mashed potatoes, rice, or quinoa for a complete meal.
- Leftovers and Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Reheat the cabbage gently in a skillet over low heat or in the microwave, adding a splash of water if needed to prevent drying out.
- Garnish Options: Besides rosemary, you can get creative with additional garnishes. Chopped fresh parsley, toasted nuts, or even a sprinkle of grated cheese can add extra layers of flavor and texture to the dish.
Whether paired with a savory protein, or a comforting grain, this braised red cabbage side dish is a versatile and easy side dish using pantry staples.
With 5 ingredients, you can transform this beautiful vegetable into something flavorful and delicious.
Want other easy side dishes? You'll love these recipes.