Cabbage is best cooked low and slow and this is a much simpler red cabbage recipe, as it doesn't need any attention. Just put this Slow Cooker Red Cabbage on low for 5 hours, and it's done. Whilst you won't get the crispy edges like you would cooking it on the hob, it's a fuss-free hands off side dish. The perfect Christmas red cabbage recipe when you have enough cooking to do and this frees up room on the stove.
We are all about the side dishes when it comes to the holiday season, as they are an easy way to take your big meals to the next level, and add lots of colour too.
It doesn't get much easier than this Slow Cooker Red Cabbage which is the ultimate dump and leave Christmas side dish, that is also great for Thanksgiving, and goes perfectly with turkey. The recipe for red cabbage is easy to adapt with different flavours and leftovers taste even better too. Red cabbage in the slow cooker is also a great budget friendly side.
You can pick up a red cabbage pretty cheap, and all the other ingredients you probably already have. If you are looking for some more red cabbage recipes, then why not try our Best Ever Coleslaw, No Mayo Coleslaw, Asian Slaw or Broccoli Slaw.
Why you will love it
- The ultimate easy Christmas Dinner side dish - This easy red cabbage recipe is a must make this Christmas. Save the hob space for all the other things you will be making for Christmas/roast dinner.
- Vegan and gluten free - No need to worry if this is suitable for all your guests, as it is vegan and gluten free.
- Can be made ahead of time - Prep this slow cooked red cabbage ahead of time and then leave it in your slow cooker until you are ready to start cooking.
- Budget friendly - Red cabbage is a cheap ingredient, so this cooked red cabbage recipe is a good way to bulk out a meal on a budget.
- Red cabbage - This is the main ingredient. Peel the outer layer of the red cabbage up and then thinly slice it. When choosing a red cabbage, you want to make sure that it is quite hard and heavy, and then outer leaves still feel crisp. If it feels soft, then put it back and pick another. It should last in the fridge for about 5 days, even once cut.
- Onion - We like to add a brown onion for extra flavour. You could use shallots in this recipe, which would add a sweeter flavour.
- Sugar - This is a must as cooked red cabbage needs to be nice and sweet.
- Vinegar - This helps to balance out the sweetness and also helps to keep the vibrant colour of the cabbage.
- Cinnamon - This is optional, but we love the warm flavour that this adds. It gives it a real Christmas vibe.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How To Make Slow Cooker Red Cabbage - Step by Step:
Just One Step: Put all of the ingredients in to the slow cooker, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Cook on low for 5 hours.
This is a really easy to adapt recipe, and we tend to make it a different way every time. Use this as a base, and then add in extra festive ingredients, or play around with the spices to suit your own tastes.
We just used a little cinnamon, but you could use more (or less), or swap some of it for nutmeg, cloves or ginger. Something else that adds some extra flavour, and lightens it a little is a squeeze of fresh orange juice and some zest.
Bump up the nutrients and stir in some fresh (or frozen) cranberries and some finely grated apples or pears.
While you are here, have you seen our Cabbage with Cumin? It is a Moroccan twist on a cabbage side dish.
What to serve with slow cooker red cabbage
This is a delicious addition to any roast dinner. Whether it is a special occasion like Christmas Day, or a family Sunday roast. Why not try our Slow Cooker Roast Beef , Slow Cooker Gammon, Slow Cooker Lamb Shoulder or our Perfect Roast Chicken Recipe?
When it comes to other roast dinner side dishes, we have got your covered too. This red cabbage recipe would go really well with our Air Fryer Roast Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli, Roasted Swede or Garlic Spring Greens.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, and we do every year. We have enough cooking to do on Christmas Day, so any way we can save some time and effort, we do. We think put it in the microwave, or heat in a pan for a couple of minutes before serving up.
You could even just prepare everything the night before (which is what we like to do on Christmas Eve) and then turn the slow cooker on in the morning.
It will keep fresh in the fridge for 2-3 days in an air tight container.
If you want to make it even further in advance, or you have lots of leftovers, then put it in an air tight container and then it will keep in the fridge for up to a month. The perfect make in advance Christmas side dish. Just make sure to defrost thoroughly before reheating. Use those frozen leftovers for any other meal you want. Red Cabbage isn't just for Christmas Dinner.
There really is no rule here. We use a Crock Pot DuraCeramic Slow Cooker and we love it. What I love most about it is that you can put the bowl insert on the hob too. I also love that it has a clear lid, as I am so impatient that I want to keep looking and seeing what it is doing. If you don't have a clear lid, then lifting it to see will release lots of the heat and add to the cooking time.
• This recipe will have a slight vinegar taste to it, however if you swap it for water then the cabbage will lose all of the awesome purple colour that makes it such a vibrant side dish.
• Use a food processor of a coarse grater for the cabbage.
• Feel free to adjust the spices to your own tastes. You can use more or less cinnamon, and you can even add some ginger, nutmeg and cloves to make it even more festive. A little bit of orange juice and zest works well.
• Some finely grated apples or pears and a handful of fresh or frozen cranberries are a nice add in too.
• Add a splash of Red Wine for a lovely deep flavour.
• You may need to double this recipe depending on the size of your slow cooker. Remember that you should always fill your slow cooker half to three-quarters full for best results. If there isn't enough food in the slow cooker, then it can burn.
More slow cooker recipes
If you’ve tried this braised red cabbage recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Slow Cooker Red Cabbage
- 550 g (1.25 lb) Red cabbage - shredded
- 1 Onion - small; peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon Light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
- 0.25 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- Put all of the ingredients in to the slow cooker, season with salt and pepper and mix well.
- Cook on low for 5 hours.
- This recipe will have a slight vinegar taste to it, however if you swap it for water then the cabbage will lose all of the awesome purple colour that makes it such a vibrant side dish.
- Use a food processor of a coarse grater for the cabbage.
- Feel free to adjust the spices to your own tastes. You can use more or less cinnamon, and you can even add some ginger, nutmeg and cloves to make it even more festive. A little bit of orange juice and zest works well.
- Some finely grated apples or pears and a handful of fresh or frozen cranberries are a nice add in too.
- Add a splash of Red Wine for a lovely deep flavour.
- You may need to double this recipe depending on the size of your slow cooker. Remember that you should always fill your slow cooker half to three-quarters full for best results. If there isn't enough food in the slow cooker, then it can burn.
I’ve put too much cider in whilst cooking help?
How much is too much? And it is Apple Cider Vinegar, not cider.