Braised Spicy and Sweet Red Cabbage

Braised Spicy and Sweet Red Cabbage

My idea of the best comfort food is a simple dish of red or purple cabbage slowly braised with red onion, jalapeño, creamy organic pastured butter, maple syrup, and a hint of acidity added to enhance the flavor. Slow cooking cabbage yields a sweet and tender cabbage that is full of flavor and so delicious! I could enjoy cabbage prepared this way almost every day and never tire of it.


I enjoy eating this Braised Spicy and Sweet Red Cabbage recipe with other vegetables like sweet potatoes along with green onion and slices of tomato on the side. It is also good with baked organic chicken.


When you make this recipe make sure you pick a firm head of red or purple cabbage with vibrant colored outer leaves. Choosing the right cabbage will make a big difference in the texture and mouth feel of the dish once it finishes cooking.



Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that has an impressive array of healing nutrients that can help you maintain vibrant health when eaten on a regular basis. I recommend trying to include cabbage and other members of the cruciferous family into your diet at least 3 to 5 times per week.


Cabbage is a rich source of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin K, folate, beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, amino acids, and fiber. To find out more about the unique benefits of including cabbage into your diet please check out my cabbage post.


If you don’t have jalapeño you can substitute any other pepper you like. You can also use dried red chili flakes.


I have also tried making this cabbage with different vinegars like balsamic and with wine and it turns out great.


Looking for more wonderful side dishes to have with dinner? Check out  92 delectable real foods recipes perfect for entertaining! There are 18 tasty side dishes to choose from plus drinks, entrees, salads, soups, sauces and more all made with real foods that are perfect for all your dinners and celebrations!


What is your favorite cabbage red, purple, or green? Please contribute to the conversion by leaving a comment.  Share this recipe with family and friends and let’s all get healthy and radiant together!


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Braised Spicy and Sweet Red Cabbage

Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Lacto-Vegetarian

Serves 4-6
1 head red or purple cabbage— around 8 cups
1 medium peeled red onion
3 tablespoons organic pastured butter
1 diced jalapeño —remove stems and seeds if you like it milder
2 peeled garlic cloves—grated or minced
Himalayan or Celtic sea salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
⅓ cup filtered water


1. Peel off and discard any bruised outer leaves. Cut cabbage head in half and remove hard core. Thinly slice the cabbage halves into shreds. Rinse cabbage well in water and drain.
2. Remove ends of onion and cut into thin slices. Melt butter over medium heat in a sauté pan with a lid. Add drained cabbage, onion slices, jalapeño, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, vinegar, and maple syrup. Stir cabbage to mix all ingredients together and add water.
3. Cover pan with lid and cook slowly over medium heat until tender, around 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Once cabbage is tender enjoy immediately.
Feel free to substitute olive oil for the butter if you want to make a vegan version of this recipe.


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  1. Hi Shelley,

    Braised Spicy and Sweet Red Cabbage – it looks really tasty and reminds me of visiting Germany. Now you have given me a project to find red cabbage I have not seen it for sale for a while. Have a fantastic weekend. Take care Rosemary
    Rosemary O’Shaughnessy recently posted..My Acer Iconia A500 Tablet Works Simply with Any USB PC Full Sized KeyboardMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Rosemary, Red or purple cabbage is one of my favorite varieties. I hope you find it and enjoy the recipe. Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

  2. Cabbage is one of our favorite vegetables and braised is my go to. I love the sweet and tangy mixture you used here with just a tad of spice. Lovely recipe.
    France recently posted..Kamut Herb Salad with Feta and HazelnutsMy Profile

  3. Hi Shelley,

    another yummy recipe!
    Thank you for the detailed information and instructions!
    I grew up with a lot of cabbage in Germany and I think my mum used red wine and pineapple in her recipes and she seemed to cook it for ages, with caraway seeds.
    Yorinda recently posted..Discover how to BE the ChangeMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Thanks Yorinda! I have made cabbage with red wine but never with pineapple. I think I will give it a try since I love pineapple. Thanks for sharing this story. 🙂

  4. It’s great to supplement your diet with Vitamin C, antioxidants and all those healthy things, but nothing supplies nutrients in proper balance and composition than whole food sources.

    Thanks for showing us how beneficial (and delicious) red or purple cabbage can be, Shelley.
    David Merrill recently posted..The Internet As An Evolving Communications MediumMy Profile

  5. I like to eat spicy food, but almost everyone else in the house does not. I may have to reduce the recipe and try it so I do not waste anything. I find that cabbage is best as fresh as it can get.
    Nile recently posted..Repurposing Versus Republishing Blog PostsMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Nile, I love spicy foods but you can make this recipe for your family without the peppers and it is good. Try it without and see how you like it. 🙂

  6. Great recipe except I would leave out the pepper. Not much of a spicy food lover. It also reminds me of the time I spent in Germany. I think I had it everyday.
    Joyce Edwards recently posted..Another Side Effect of Cholesterol Lowering DrugsMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Joyce! I have made the recipe without the pepper and it is good that way too. I bet you enjoyed eating cabbage in many different recipes when you were in Germany. Thanks for sharing.

  7. This looks really good. I have to admit that although I eat lots of fruits and veggies, I rarely cook with cabbage. I tend to use red cabbage with green cabbage and carrots in a coleslaw or just use little bits of it for color in a green salad. Thanks for the suggestion for something new.
    Mary recently posted..Festival Blend SmoothieMy Profile

  8. Yum! Sounds delicious. I’ve never heard of this made with Maple syrup. Now I have to try it out!
    Angel recently posted..Sollicitatiebrief schrijven: OpbouwMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Thanks Angel! The maple syrup with the cabbage is really wonderful together, I hope you enjoy it.

  9. I just made this recipe but used local honey instead as I am out of maple syrup at the minute and I substituted three diced pepperoncini peppers (not as spicy) for the one jalepeno. It is delicious!

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Hannah, I bet it was wonderful with honey and the pepperoncini peppers probably added just the right hint of heat and acidity. I will have to try this version next time! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  10. Great blog! I like it a lot!

  11. ok, so this was my first time making and eating braised cabbage (don’t judge) 🙂 I was really surprised at how easy and tasty it was! This is a keeper, will be making it again and again and again….thanks for sharing a great recipe!

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