German Rotkohl (Red Cabbage)

German RotkohlRotkohl is a German side dish, and it means “red cabbage.” The way it is prepared creates a flavorful, healthy vegetable side that you won’t be able to get enough of. It goes very well with many different main courses for lunch or dinner, but my favorite main dish to pair it with is pan-fried fish and potatoes – yum! This recipe is fairly easy, but it can be a little time intensive to wait for the cabbage to simmer properly and soak in all of the flavor. One red cabbage always yields A LOT for my, so I put the rest in the refrigerator to serve again the next day or day after. It keeps very well after preparing it!

Today I worked at the San Francisco Urbanathlon sponsored by Men’s Health, which means I was up at the crack of dawn…actually before that, it was still dark when I arrived at work this morning!! I got to watch the sun rise over the beautiful Marina, and the event was a lot of fun. Here is a photo from the finish line (the participants had to climb over the wall just before reaching the finish line after running a 10 mile race full of obstacles in San Francisco – I would be way too tired to climb that wall!).

I hope you had a nice weekend! Now I am off to get my workout in for the day…after watching all of the runners that participated in the race this morning, it inspired me to run a long one today!!

5.0 from 2 reviews
German Rotkohl (Red Cabbage)
Prep time
Cook time
Type: Side
Serves: 4
  • ½ of a red cabbage ball
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 2 gala apples, peeled and chopped
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp all-spice or cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: red currant jam for extra flavor!
  1. Wash the red cabbage and remove the bottom stem.
  2. Cut in half, then into thin strips (see photo). red cabbage
  3. Add sugar and olive oil to a large pot over medium heat and stir until sugar begins to brown.
  4. Add the onion and apples and sauté for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the red cabbage and stir everything well.
  6. Add the red wine vinegar over the cabbage (to retain the red color).
  7. Add the red wine, salt, all-spice/cloves and bay leaves cover. red wine cabbage
  8. Cook on medium heat until the cabbage is tender (about 60 minutes), stirring quickly and replacing the lid every 20 minutes. red cabbage
  9. Remove the bay leaves and add the flour. Stir well and serve warm. You can add a little red currant jam for extra flavor if desired.
Makes 4 cups


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  1. Vespa Woolf says:

    My German grandfather used to make a cabbage dish very similar to this one. I like your addition of red currant jam! Red cabbage can be seasonal and hard to find here in Peru, but I’ll keep my eyes open. This one will bring back memories!

  2. Anne@FromMySweetHeart says:

    I really enjoy cabbage a lot. My dad used to braise it with noodles for my lunch when I was growing up. It’s such a comforting food for me. And yours…with the apples and the cloves…..and that gorgeous color! I may have to start a new lunchtime tradition! Beautiful photos, too! : )

  3. kitchenriffs says:

    What a great dish! Red cabbage is wonderful stuff, but I haven’t seen that many recipes using it that appeal to me. This one, though, looks terrific. Love the flavors – I’ll definitely have to try it. Thanks. And BTW, Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Claire says:

    Oh my gosh – I’m so excited to see this recipe! I ate at Suppenkuche twice over this last week because I couldn’t get enough of the red cabbage lol. Will definitely be making this asap!

  5. Hannah says:

    Oooo thank you for this! I buy it canned at my grocery story, I’m lucky they have a mini German section, but it would be so much better homemade. I love Rotkohl.

  6. Hossinger says:

    Great recipe. I tried it exactly as described and it tasted exactly as my grandma’s back in good old Germany.

    They have great stuff over there. In my family it was always combined with goose and mashed potatoes – perfect for winter!

    By the way it is called Rotkohl in the Nothern part of Germany, the Swabians Bavarians call it “Blaukraut” actually makes sense since its color is rather a bluish purple.
    Anyway the Southern German food is way better than that in the Northern Part. One tip try Swabian Rostbraten, Kaesspaetzle or Mauldasche -you will be surprised – it is poetry in food and comes very close to Italian cuisine, from where it actually is derived!

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