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German Red Cabbage and Apples (Rotkohl)

German Red Cabbage and Apples (Rotkohl)

Rotkohl is such a delicious dish. The balance of sweet and sour with the crunch of the cabbage makes me tingle. Sour from the vinegar and sweetness (and crunch) from the apple. As a side dish, this German Red Cabbage and Apples (Rotkohl) is perfect. Delicious, filling and healthy.

When I was young I used to love heading to Pennslvania to see a friend of the family. We will just call her Mama P (yup P for Pennsylvania). We typically only went a couple of times a year (around the holidays) but it was always exciting. When got there I knew she would have lots of hugs and that there would be some type of delicious sweet treat for me.

If she knew I was coming she would make the most moist and delicious orange cake. That was a constant. But you never knew what you’d get for dinner. One time I remember having the best pork schnitzel, with mashed potatoes and cabbage dinner ever. I swear it was like nothing I had ever had before. I promise the pork schnitzel and mashed potato recipe is on it’s way. For right now let’s just focus on the cabbage.

German Red Cabbage and Apples

So this recipe is just a bit different than the traditional recipe I had years ago. That recipe called for sugar and about an hour of cooking. But I’ve found that the apples are sweet enough to stand up to the tartness of apple cider vinegar. I also like a bit of crunch to my cabbage. Especially, if it’s served with something soft and creamy like mashed potatoes.

I think this recipe achieves the sweet/ sour balance of Rotkohl without the added sugar. If you want to add sugar feel free to. I prefer it this way. It also makes it perfect for my littles. They don’t need that added sugar before bed. It’s such a healthy dish without the sugar making it Whole30 and Keto friendly.

German Red Cabbage and Apples (Rotkohl)

Makes 8 to 10 servings

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium head of red cabbage
  • 1 cup apples, sliced
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (optional)

Tools: deep saute pan or cast iron pan, wooden spoon

German Red Cabbage and Apples Rotkohl


Cut the stem off of the cabbage and slice into thick strips.

Melt butter in a large pan over medium high heat.

Add cabbage and apples. Pour apple cider vinegar and water over the cabbage and mix.

Season with clove, salt and pepper.

Allow liquid to come to a slight boil then turn down heat and simmer.

Cook cabbage until tender but with a slight crunch. About 10 to 15 minutes.

German Red Cabbage and Apples

See …. you’re happy.

If you try this recipe, I’d love to know. Leave me a comment or take a picture and tag it #elskitchencmfrt on Twitter or @els.kitchencomforts on instagram. I’m excited to see what you cook up.



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