12 simple red cabbage recipes for all occasions - including Christmas!

Be inspired by our red cabbage recipes, delicious all year round...

Red cabbage recipes

These simple vibrant red cabbage recipes will brighten up any dish. It's so versatile and can can be cooked in anyway you can imagine and even eaten raw.

Looking for a red cabbage recipe? We're here to help! We've rounded up some of our best red cabbage recipe including some super simple options too.

Cooking red cabbage is so easy once you know how. It can be steamed, boiled or braised in a pan on the hob or roasted in the oven. As you cook red cabbage the flavour changes and it becomes sweeter. Red cabbage is great ferment or pickled if that’s your sort of thing. It’s also wonderful added to stir-frys and a plethora of other dishes.

When is red cabbage in season?

In the UK, red cabbage is in season all year - even though it usually considered to be an autumnal and winter vegetable, perfect timing for you Christmas dinner menus.

When growing red cabbage in the garden it’s most common to sow seeds in spring for crops in summer. Or for a later harvest sow in summer for a red cabbage crop in Autumn. Red cabbage grows well in nutritious soil and favours a sunny spot in the garden.

You can buy red cabbage easily from the supermarket. Pick firm and dense cabbages. For more advice on foods that are in season, take a look at our seasonal food calendar.

Red cabbage is an extremely versatile vegetable. It’s healthy and in season all year round. Enjoy this selection of red cabbage recipes to make the most of this purple wonder veg. For advice on prepping and cooking, take a look at our guide on how to cook red cabbage. 

Health benefits of red cabbage

Red cabbage is very healthy, it’s packed with nutrients and can claim superfood status. Red cabbage contains Vitamins C and K as well as being rich in phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are compounds found in some plants similar to antioxidants. They have the effect of lowering cholesterol as well as being linked to fighting infection.

Vitamin C is essential for a strong immune system. Red cabbage is high in vitamin C. In 100g of raw red cabbage, there is about 57 mg. That’s more than in oranges!

Vitamin K is essential in clotting blood so helps to heal wounds. It is also considered to keep bones healthy. Nutritionalist often rave about the health benefits of red cabbage. Celia Brooks author of SuperVeg puts cabbage on her list of the 25 healthiest vegetables on the planet. She explains that cabbages ‘nutritional superpower’ comes from ‘a rich concentration of multiple phytochemicals’.

In order to get the most nutrients from red cabbage eat it raw as phytochemicals and vitamins are broken down during the cooking process.

Can you eat red cabbage raw?

Yes, you can eat red cabbage raw. In fact, red cabbage is lovely raw as it retains its crunch and fresh flavour. Think of red cabbage as more versatile lettuce. Greek salad and coleslaw are both popular dishes made with raw red cabbage.

Before eating red cabbage raw wash it thoroughly. You may also wish to remove any coarse or damaged leaves from the outside. Next cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the tough core before shredding or slicing it finely. If you love crunchy salads then red cabbage is a fantastic addition. It will also add a lovely bright colour to your salads and makes creamy salad dressings turn pink. Raw red cabbage is also better for you. This is because all the fantastic nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants in red cabbage will deteriorate through cooking.

Simple red cabbage recipes

1. Braised red cabbage recipe

braised red cabbage recipe

This warming dish is perfect to accompany a rich Sunday roast. Especially good in the winter it’s sweet and warming.

Get the recipe: Braised red cabbage

2. Red cabbage slaw

red cabbage slaw

Another brilliant side, but this one is great with a summer spread. We also love topping our BBQ burgers with this delicious crunchy coleslaw.

Get the recipe: Red cabbage slaw

3. Pickled red cabbage

Pickled red cabbage recipe

This is a great way to preserve extra red cabbage. We like to add this sweet and sour pickle to sandwiches or eat it with meat.

Get the recipe: Pickled red cabbage

4. Chinese red cabbage recipe

Red cabbage in a dish with serving spoons

For something a little different try this Chinese inspired red cabbage recipe. We have added Asian flavours and the cabbage retains its crunchiness. It's great with rich meats such as duck.

Get the recipe: Chinese red cabbage

5. Red cabbage with apples and sultanas

red cabbage recipe with fruit

Apples and sultanas make this dish sweet and it's pepped up with nutmeg cinnamon and cloves. A real winter warmer.

Get the recipe: Red cabbage with apples and sultanas

6. Crispy fish tacos with red cabbage coleslaw

Tacos are always good fun. We used ready-made fish goujons here to make this dish extra quick. Perfect for a weeknight dinner. The rad cabbage adds a great crunchy texture.

Get the recipe: Crispy fish tacos with coleslaw

7. Moroccan style slaw

Perfect for those who don’t enjoy heavily dresses coleslaw. This Moroccan style slaw is more similar to a salad. It's packed with delicious nutritious raw veggies.

Get the recipe: Moroccan style slaw

8. Vegetarian kievs with Moroccan red cabbage

Made with potatoes and lentils in place of chicken, these gorgeously garlicky kievs will suit vegetarian and meat-eaters alike.

Get the recipe: Vegetarian kievs

9. Red cabbage, orange and walnut salad

This pretty dish looks like it's come straight from a fancy restaurant. It's lovely as a starter or as a side dish. Orange and red cabbage are both bursting with vitamin C, so this is a great one for an immune system boost.

Get the recipe: Red cabbage, orange and walnut salad

10. Warm rainbow cabbage salad

Warm rainbow cabbage salad

Who said salads have to be cold? This hearty salad is made with fennel, cabbage, carrots and seeds.

Get the recipe: Warm rainbow cabbage salad 

11. Port and cranberry braised red cabbage recipe

When you need to pull out the big guns this is the cabbage dish for you. This red cabbage side lends itself to the main events, such as Christmas Day.

Get the recipe: Port and cranberry braised red cabbage

12. Christmas dinner pie

Christmas dinner pie

Red cabbage is an essential Christmas dinner staples and we refuse to hear otherwise. Oh boy, this pie has it all! The entirety of Christmas dinner neatly packed into a pie crust. It sure is a fun way to use up the leftovers.

Get the recipe: Christmas dinner pie

Rose Fooks
Deputy Food Editor

Rose Fooks is Deputy Food Editor at Future Publishing, creating recipes, reviewing products and writing food features for a range of lifestyle and home titles including GoodTo and Woman&Home. Before joining the team, Rose obtained a Diplome de Patisserie and Culinary Management at London’s Le Cordon Bleu. Going on to work in professional kitchens at The Delaunay and Zedel.