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An image of a bowl of rotkohl, a traditional German red cabbage dish.
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4.95 from 19 votes

German Red Cabbage (Rotkohl)

This delicious German Red Cabbage (also known as Rotkohl or Blaukraut depending on which part of Germany you are in) is a fantastic sweet and sour recipe that is served with many traditional German dishes. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Calories: 131kcal
Author: Amy Nash


  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple peeled and chopped
  • 1 head red cabbage sliced very thin
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 juniper berries
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Melt butter in large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and apples and saute for 7-10 minutes until soft.
  • Add the cabbage to the onions and apples, and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the red wine vinegar, apple cider, sugar, bay leaf, cloves, juniper berries, and salt. Bring the liquids to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 1 hour until cabbage is soft but not mushy. Serve warm or cold.


Many traditional recipes also called for 2 tablespoons of cherry preserves or red currant jam, but that's not as easy to find and I never have it on hand, so I leave it out and don't really notice a difference.
A mandoline makes slicing an entire head of cabbage quick and easy. Just be careful of your fingers!


Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 268mg | Potassium: 451mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 1699IU | Vitamin C: 83mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg