Vegan Slow Cooked Red Cabbage with Cranberries Recipe

Slow Cooked Red Cabbage is one of my family’s favourite side dishes to eat with a roast on Sundays.

This vegan Red Cabbage with Cranberries recipe is a healthy dish that celebrates the flavours of Fall and Winter. It’s the perfect side dish to serve with roast turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. It’s dark red colour is fabulously festive!

Our easy & healthy vegan slow cooked red cabbage recipe features red cabbage, red onion, gala apple, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, dried cranberries, frozen cranberries, apple juice and cranberry juice.

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My Family Loves Slow Cooked Red Cabbage

Like many American and Canadian families, our most memorable meal of the year takes place during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

My family has been eating the same festive feast since I was a kid, with the rare addition here or there. I’ve tried to encourage a major change but folks always dig in their heels. The dishes at these meals feel very sacrosanct. When I suggest a new festive dish I often here, “why mess with a good thing?”

Our holiday feast begins in the late afternoon. As guests arrive we serve cold cans of craft beer, local wine and festive cocktails like Mint Chocolate After Eight Cocktail, Amaretto Disaronno Sour Cocktail, Baileys Apple Pie Cocktail, Gin and Cranberry Juice Cocktail, Pomegranate Gin Fizz Cocktail, and Bushmills Irish Whiskey and Apple Juice.

Family and friends catch up while nibbling on addictive Nuts & Bolts, which my father places in small bowls throughout the house to encourage people to mix and mingle throughout the space.

We always roast a big turkey, slathering a mix of soft butter and herbs under its skin to ensure a flavourful and crispy bird.

Side dishes typically include mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, roasted squash, dressing and broccoli cauliflower cheese gratin.

Last year I told my parents we would be skipping the cranberry sauce and that I’d be serving a recipe for slow cooked red cabbage. The dish was prepared with apples and cranberries 3 ways (whole cranberries, dried cranberries and cranberry juice).

The dish was sublime, offering a healthy vegan side dish that is best described as juicy and acidic. The sweet and tart slow cooked red cabbage offered the perfect hit of acid to help cut through the other rich dishes.

We’ll now be serving this easy slow cooked red cabbage with cranberries recipe at every festive feast!

Homemade Red Cabbage with Cranberries recipe ingredients.
HomemadeRed Cabbage with Cranberries recipe ingredients.

How To Choose & Prepare Red Cabbage

You want to purchase cabbage heads that are firm and heavy for their size but not too large.

The leaves should blemish free and crisp with a nice luster to the leaves. Look for fresh cabbages in the grocery store and at your local farmers market between October and April.

Red cabbage is quick & easy to prepare. Simply cut the cabbage head into quarters, removing the outer leaves and the white core before slicing. You can quickly slice cabbage uniformly using a mandolin, or by hand using a sharp French knife.

Add red cabbage, onions, apple, cranberries, sugar and salt to a large pot.
Add red cabbage, onions, apple, cranberries, sugar and salt to a large pot.

When To Serve Red Cabbage with Cranberries

In Ontario, cabbage, apples and cranberries are available seasonally in the Fall and Winter.

Our Red Cabbage with Cranberries recipe is a perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

We love to visit local farms to gather fresh ingredients. You’ll find great apple farms in Hockley Valley and cranberries in Bala, Muskoka (the cranberry capital of the province).

While we like to serve slow cooked red cabbage with turkey, it also pairs well with roast chicken, pork and beef.

Tender Slow Cooked Red Cabbage with cranberries.
TenderSlow Cooked Red Cabbage with cranberries.

Cooking Tips

The best slow cooked red cabbage is prepared using affordable, simple, fresh and local ingredients.

  • Use a large dutch oven with a lid to slowly cook red cabbage with cranberries until tender.
  • We have used gala apples in this recipe but you can substitute for Ambrosia, Pink Lady or Honeycrisp.
  • We have used red onions in this recipe to keep with the dishes colour theme but you could substitute for cooking onions, white onions or sweet Vidalia onions.
  • We have used frozen cranberries in this recipe but you can substitute for fresh cranberries. Just ensure you are using whole cranberries in the recipe, alongside dried cranberries and cranberry juice.
  • We have used apple juice in this recipe but you could substitute for fresh apple cider.
  • We love this holiday side dish as it can be prepared a day or two in advance. Simply store the slow cooked red cabbage in a baking dish and wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Reheat in the oven 20-30 minutes before you’re ready to eat.
  • If you’re serving Red Cabbage with Cranberries at Christmas add additional festive flare by decorating the dish with fresh holly or parsley sprigs.
For a festive holiday side dish serve Slow Cooked Red Cabbage topped with frozen cranberries.
For a festive holiday side dish serveSlow Cooked Red Cabbage topped with frozen cranberries.

Vegan Slow Cooked Red Cabbage Health Benefits

Our healthy vegan Red Cabbage with Cranberries recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients! Did you know red cabbage has more iron than green cabbage and is a higher source of vitamin A?

Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

An excellent source of vitamins K and C, cabbage helps keep your bones, blood, and immune system healthy.

A useful source of vitamins C, K and B6, apples support your immune, skeletal, and circulatory systems. Phytochemicals in apples may also keep your eyes healthy and help reduce bad cholesterol. 

Many people consider cranberries to be a superfood due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content. In fact, research has linked the nutrients in cranberries to a lower risk of urinary tract infection, the prevention of certain types of cancer, improved immune function, and decreased blood pressure.

Rich in energy-boosting manganese, cinnamon is also antibacterial and may protect your brain against Alzheimer’s disease.  

We love serving Slow Cooked Red Cabbage with Cranberries at Thanksgiving and Christmas as a holiday side dish.
We love serving Slow CookedRed Cabbage with Cranberries at Thanksgiving and Christmas as a holiday side dish.

What To Serve with Slow Cooked Red Cabbage

We suggest serving this Red Cabbage with Cranberries recipe as a side dish at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

The festive dish offers a burst of flavour and acidity, which is a nice contrast while eating heavier dishes like gravy slathered turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and cauliflower cheese gratin.

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian you might also enjoy, Burrata Bruschetta Crostini with Tomato Chutney, Semmelknödel German Bread Dumplings, Cheesy Vegetarian Cheddar Broccoli Almond Soup, Creamy Vegetarian Parsnip and Pear Soup, Easy Healthy Vegetarian French Onion Soup, Healthy Oven Baked Sweet Potato, Vegetarian Roasted Pumpkin Feta Salad, Leeks in Cheese Sauce and Cheese and Onion Muffins.

Why not serve some of our favourite holiday desserts? You’re guests will love our Maple Black Walnut Ice Cream, Moist Baileys Banoffee Cake, Flaky Swedish Rhubarb Cherry Pie, Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies, Gevulde Speculaas Dutch Cherry Almond Filled Spiced Cookies, Ginger Spiced Banana Pear Muffins, Kardemummabullar Swedish Cardamom Buns, Banana Pumpkin Muffins, Sweet Potato Muffin, Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Apple Fritter Muffins, Sticky Toffee Banana and Date Muffins and Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies.

Prepare Slow Cooked Red Cabbage a day in advance then simply reheat the baking dish in your oven before serving.
PrepareSlow CookedRed Cabbage a day in advance then simply reheat the baking dish in your oven before serving.
We like to double our easy Red Cabbage with Cranberries recipe and store leftovers in the freezer.
We like to double our easy Red Cabbage with Cranberries recipe and store leftovers in the freezer.

Other Vegan Recipes You May Enjoy Reading…

Now you're an expert on how to make the best Slow Cooked Red Cabbage with Cranberries recipe!
Now you’re an expert on how to make the bestRed Cabbage with Cranberries recipe!

How To Make Slow Cooked Red Cabbage with Cranberries

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Vegan Slow Cooked Red Cabbage with Cranberries

How to make Slow Cooked Red Cabbage with Cranberries. Our healthy vegan holiday side dish recipe features cranberry, apple & spice!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Slow Cooked Red Cabbage
Servings: 8
Calories: 134kcal

Equipment

  • French knife
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • Dutch Oven
  • Wooden spoon or spatula

Ingredients

  • 2 lb Red Cabbage sliced
  • 1 Large Red Onion peeled and sliced into half moons
  • 1 Gala Apple peeled and grated
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 2 cups Frozen Cranberries
  • 4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 cups Apple Juice
  • 1 Cranberry Juice

Instructions

  • Put all the ingredients into a large pot or dutch oven and stir.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, stir again and cook for 10 minutes. Fasten with a lid, lower the heat and leave to simmer for 90 minutes to 2 hours, or until tender.

Nutrition

Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 1189mg | Potassium: 334mg | Fiber: 5.5g | Sugar: 25.3g | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1mg

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