Christmas red cabbage recipe

(415 ratings)

Christmas cabbage is a delicious way to cook cabbage with a festive twist. We've added port and cranberries for a simple but delicious sweet and sour edge.

  • Vegetarian
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time1 hours 45 mins
Five A DayOne
Cost RangeCheap

Made with port, and cranberry sauce, this Christmas red cabbage is a wonderfully balanced dish. It cuts through the richness of your meat and potatoes on the big day.

Christmas red cabbage is the perfect side to add colour and flavour to your traditional festive dinner. This recipe is perfect for making in advance. The flavours actually develop beautifully when made a few days in advance. You can even make and freeze it a month in advance. Just make sure the cabbage is piping hot before serving. This has to be one of our favourite red cabbage recipes (opens in new tab).


  • 75g (3oz) butter (or dairy-free spread)
  • 2 red onions, finely sliced
  • 1.5kg (3lb 5oz) red cabbage, very finely sliced
  • 300ml (½pt) port
  • 4tbsp cranberry sauce
  • 75g pack dried cranberries
  • 2tbsp light muscovado sugar




  1. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based pan, add the onions and gently cook for 15 mins until very soft. Stir in the remaining ingredients, plus 150ml (¼pt) water and salt and black pepper.
  2. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove lid and cook for a further 15 mins until all the liquid has gone. Check seasoning and serve.

Top tips for making this Christmas red cabbage

For extra flavour, add a cinnamon stick and grated orange zest before cooking.

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Rosie Hopegood is a former professional chef turned journalist with a passion for veggie food. She spent several years working as a chef aboard superyachts, catering for the culinary demands of the very rich and sometimes famous. She also worked as a private chef in the Swiss Alps, the Scottish Highlands, and the Balearic Islands. Later, she spent five years looking after the food pages at Reach Plc’s magazines. Rosie lives in New York and writes for Al Jazeera, Sunday Telegraph, and The Guardian.