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Braised Red Cabbage in Red Wine

Braised red cabbage in red wine & brown sugar may be a Christmas table favourite but it is a dish that works well on any Sunday lunch menu.

I prefer to make this on the stovetop, but I have instructions for both the slow cooker and Instant Pot for those who like to change things up.

Close-up braised red cabbage with red wine and brown sugar.

Slow Cooked Red Cabbage in Red Wine

Everyone knows that the sides for a Sunday lunch are every bit as important as the main event itself.

It doesn’t matter whether it is the Yorkshire Pudding, roast potatoes or glazed carrots, they all need to be on point.

Cabbage is another one of those dishes that you need to get right! Whilst some simple buttered cabbage is a nice option braised red cabbage really is the way to go as far as I am concerned.

I cook it any time I have a hunk of meat that takes a couple of hours to cook!

It has that whole sweet-and-sour vibe going that I like to pair up with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

But don’t think that this singles this out as a Christmas side, this dish rocks any time you do a Sunday roast.

Overhead braised red cabbage with red wine and brown sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to cook this?

I ordinarily cook this on the stovetop because I can cook it for two people rather than having to cook loads and freeze them.

There is nothing wrong with freezing this dish, I am just awful at managing leftovers in my freezer!

Both the Instant Pot and slow cooker variations of this dish produce perfect red cabbage and you can choose whatever you like.

How do I freeze leftover braised cabbage?

Scale up this recipe to whatever size you want then portion it up in thick bags then freeze.

I say use thick bags because the best way to reheat the cabbage is “boil in the bag”!

Just defrost the bag of cabbage and then drop it in some gently simmering water for 10 minutes. This works so well because we are not driving off any more moisture when we reheat.

What can I make with leftover red cabbage?

If you are making the smaller version of this it is inevitable that you will have some leftover cabbage.

If you have an Instant Pot then my Instant Pot pork chops with red cabbage recipe is a must-try option. If not how about this delicious sticky red cabbage chutney?

Portrait image of a classic Sunday lunch featuring roast duck, roast potatoes and braised red cabbage

Serving Suggestions

I serve this glorious red cabbage recipe with most of my classic British Sunday lunch recipes.

It is pictured above with my whole roast duck and below with my slow-roast pork belly, it also makes a cameo appearance in the pictures for my beer-roasted pork knuckle.

If you are knocking up a roast dinner, this dish just works, it doesn’t matter if it is roast lamb, roast beef or roast chicken.

Of course, it is also an indispensable part of a classic British Christmas dinner alongside roast turkey.

As well as traditional roast dinners, this cabbage side dish works wonderfully with game.

I’ve served it with everything from roast partridge and roast pigeon to roast venison.

Overhead slow roast pork belly with crackling, roast potatoes, sprouts, red cabbage and gravy.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop, Instant Pot or Slow Cooker.
  • 20cm or 8″ saucepan with a lid.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
  • Weighing scales and or jug, measuring cups and spoons.
Braised red cabbage with red wine and brown sugar.
Yield: 2 Servings

Braised Red Cabbage Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Whether it is Christmas, Thanksgiving or just plain ol' Sunday Lunch simply a braised red cabbage recipe is a great addition to a roast!


  • 400g (3 Cups) Red Cabbage
  • 1 Stick Cinnamon
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ¼ Tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 50g (3 Heaped Tbsp) Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 125ml (½ Cup) Red Wine
  • 5 Cloves
  • Grated Nutmeg to taste.


  1. Cut your cabbage into quarters and then remove the tough core.
  2. Finely shred the cabbage into 5mm strips. You can do this with a food processor if you are that way inclined.
  3. Heat the cooking oil over a low heat in a 20cm or 8" saucepan and when it is warm toss in the cinnamon stick and shredded cabbage.
  4. Season generously with salt and pepper and stir.
  5. Add a lid and cook on low for 10 minutes just to start the softening process.
  6. Add in the red wine, brown sugar, red wine vinegar and cloves.
  7. Grate in ⅛-¼ of a whole fresh nutmeg.
  8. Stir then add a lid and set it on a low heat for 90 minutes.
  9. Stir every 20-30 minutes or so.

Instant Pot Instructions:

  1. Double all of the ingredients, and prepare them as you would for the stovetop recipe.
  2. Throw everything into the Instant Pot, add a lid and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes, then do a quick release.
  3. Switch to saute mode and cook for 10 minutes to drive off excess moisture.

Slow Cooker Instructions:

  1. If you have a small slow cooker (1.8 litre or 2 quart) you can use the same quantities as my recipe above. If you have a 3-4 litre slow cooker you will need to double the recipe and if you have a large 6 litre slow cooker you will need to treble the recipe.
  2. Prepare all of the ingredients as above and throw them into the slow cooker and cook for 4-6 hours on low giving everything a stir every hour or so.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 349Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 663mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 7gSugar: 31gProtein: 3g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Saturday 5th of November 2022

Recipe sounds wonderful. I need to make this for 15 people at Christmas time. Could you give me the measurements in ounces or cups so I can make this correctly. My understanding is your recipe is only for two people. Thank you so much for your time

Brian Jones

Sunday 6th of November 2022

Hi Bobbi... The reason that my site exists was the frustration at the lack of recipes aimed at smaller families or couples. It is rarely a "linear" conversion in terms of scaling up and down ingredients and the timing moves massively.

As a result, it would be a huge guess for me to advise you on scaling this up to 15... my advice would be to find a large batch recipe to get the timing and liquid levels right and maybe use my seasoning which you can just multiply by 7 to get somewhere close.

I would personally avoid any recipes that have one of those scaling functions because quite often they are not calibrated by a cook and are nothing more than a mathematic calculation.


Sunday 1st of March 2020

instantpot directions? please

Brian Jones

Tuesday 3rd of March 2020

Hi Tiffani... I've never cooked this in my Instant pot, my guess would be that you replace the 90 minute cook time with a 25-30 minute high pressure cook which you can quick release.

I suspect that there will be enough liquid already in the pot so you should not need to scale this up. I'm unsure about the remaining liquid though. I'll add a caveat though, this is a guess and where I would start if I were trying to make it in a pressure cooker, I may be a little off the mark though. Good luck, let me know how you get on :)


Sunday 16th of February 2020

Very tasty! I was a little leery about the cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg but it works! I did put the whole cloves in a bouquet garni so no one would chop down on one.

Brian Jones

Monday 17th of February 2020

Glad you like it, they are all pretty traditional flavours with red cabbage across large parts of Europe :)

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