Balsamic Braised Red Cabbage

Bright and punchy both in flavor and color this meltingly tender braised cabbage is a great addition to all kinds of savory main courses like mustardy pork chops and pan-seared salmon.

A green and white speckled bowl filled with braised cabbage on a marble tabletop.

Balsamic Braised Red Cabbage transforms a humble head of cabbage into a side dish that’s both simple and sophisticated. It’s the kind of revelation that makes you question why cabbage was ever relegated to mere coleslaw duty.

The magic of this dish lies in the balance of sweet, savory and tangy notes, brought to life as the cabbage simmers with balsamic vinegar and a touch of honey.  The result? Tender, melt-in-your-mouth ribbons of cabbage that are anything but boring.

Serve braised red cabbage alongside savory main courses like; Pork Chops with Apples and Mustard, Pork Tenderloin au Poivre, Roasted Chicken Thighs with Citrus and Fennel.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

Half a red cabbage, small glass bowls filled with; butter, balsamic vinegar, and honey.

Recipe Steps:

Step 1. Thinly Slice the Cabbage

Use a mandoline slicer (see tips below), food processor or a sharp knife to thinly slice the cabbage into ribbons.

Red cabbage shaved into thin slivers with a beige mandolin slicer off to the side.

Step 2. Sauté

Sauté the onion and olive oil together in a large pot then add the cabbage along with a generous pinch of salt. Depending on the size of you pan, you may need to add the cabbage in stages, it will cook down quite a bit. Cook until the cabbage is tender and soft then add the balsamic vinegar, water and honey. Cover and cook for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cooked red cabbage in a beige dutch oven.

Step 3.

When it’s ready the cabbage should be soft and meltingly tender. Just before serving, fold in the butter, taste and season with additional salt, vinegar or honey as needed.

How to Slice Cabbage with a Mandoline

Red cabbage, with its vibrant hue and satisfying crunch, is a versatile ingredient that can elevate salads, slaws, or tacos. For the most delicate, paper-thin slices, the mandolin is your friend.

  • Halve and core. Cut the cabbage in half through the center, then remove and discard the tough core.
  • Set the thickness. Adjust your mandolin’s thickness setting. Start thin, about 1/4-inch, but not so thin that the cabbage disintegrates. You can always adjust later.
  • Secure and slice. Using the mandolin’s hand guard, firmly press the flat surface of the cabbage against the blade and slide it across. Let the mandolin do the work.
  • Repeat and adjust. Continue slicing, adjusting the thickness if needed, until you have the desired amount of cabbage.

Safety Note: Mandolins are sharp! Always use the hand guard to protect your fingers. If the cabbage piece becomes too small, stop slicing and use a knife instead.

I love to hear from readers and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. If you make this recipe be sure to leave a comment and/or give it a rating! Don’t forget to follow along on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram for all the latest updates!

A green and white speckled bowl filled with braised cabbage on a marble tabletop.

Balsamic Braised Red Cabbage

Bright and punchy both in flavor and color this meltingly tender braised cabbage is a great addition to all kinds of savory main courses like mustardy pork chops and pan-seared salmon.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 172kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 small red cabbage, about 1.5 pounds cored and thinly sliced, see notes
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • kosher salt

Instructions

  • Place a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the butter followed by the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent then add the cabbage and a generous pinch of salt.
  • Sauté the cabbage until it begins to soften and wilt, about 5 minutes, then add the vinegar, water and honey – stir to combine. Turn the heat down to medium-low, cover and cook the cabbage, stirring every so often to ensure nothing sticks or scorches to the bottom of the pan, about 30-45 minutes or until soft and tender.
  • To serve, fold in the butter, taste and season with additional salt, honey or vinegar as needed. Serve warm.

Notes

 
How to thinly slice cabbage with a mandoline:
  • Halve and core. Cut the cabbage in half through the center, then remove and discard the tough core.
  • Set the thickness. Adjust your mandolin’s thickness setting. Start thin, about 1/4-inch, but not so thin that the cabbage disintegrates. You can always adjust later.
  • Secure and slice. Using the mandolin’s hand guard, firmly press the flat surface of the cabbage against the blade and slide it across. Let the mandolin do the work.
  • Repeat and adjust. Continue slicing, adjusting the thickness if needed, until you have the desired amount of cabbage.
 
Safety Note: Mandolins are sharp! Always use the hand guard to protect your fingers. If the cabbage piece becomes too small, stop slicing and use a knife instead.
 
Storing and Re-heating Leftoverss:
  • Sautéed cabbage will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat on the stove top in a sauté pan over medium-low heat or in the microwave. 

Nutrition

Calories: 172kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 285mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1172IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg
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