Braised Red Cabbage with Cranberries

A Calphalon skillet filled with braised red cabbage with cranberries.

If green cabbage doesn’t get enough respect, then red cabbage doesn’t get enough attention. This braised red cabbage recipe with cranberries is pretty much the only thing I ever serve with venison but it would go equally well with duck breast. [Editor’s Note: And let’s not forget turkey!]–Anne Applebaum and Danielle Crittenden

LC How Very Thanksgiving-y! Note

This braised red cabbage recipe is red cabbage as you’ve never, ever experienced it. It’s almost as if it was meant to be for the holiday table. Actually, it was meant to be an accompaniment to duck and venison and other game, though we like it just fine with our turkey, too, owing to its richly spiced taste that’s sorta reminiscent of mulled wine.

Braised Red Cabbage with Cranberries

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 1 H, 25 M
  • Serves 4 to 6
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Core the cabbage and roughly it. You should have at least 6 cups and quite possibly more. It doesn’t have to be an exact amount.

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Toss in the cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s somewhat softened but not browned, 8 to 15 minutes. Add the chicken stock, wine, and cloves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-lowish and gently simmer, uncovered, until the cabbage is tender and the liquid has reduced somewhat, 30 to 40 minutes.

When the cabbage is tender, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the microwave or over very low heat and stir in the flour to create a paste. Stir the paste into the cabbage, add the cranberries, and continue to cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries are tender and the cooking liquid has thickened, about 10 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve the braised red cabbage immediately.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This braised red cabbage recipe produces a beautiful side dish, splendid in all of its redness. The cooking liquid mellows and enhances the flavor of the cabbage, and the cloves add a spark of spiciness and warmth. It was good served alongside chicken and potatoes but could stand up to heavier meat or game as well. I would use more cranberries when making this again—I used a heaping 1/4 cup, and they seemed lost in the final product.

The flavor and color of the braised red cabbage were wonderful, and the hint of cloves mixed well with the red wine and the tart bite of the cranberries. The flavors were still excellent the next day.


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  1. Having grown up and still hunting and eating game, I have been making Braised Red Cabbage and Apples in Red Wine for over 45 years. Flour? Not. Low-Bush Cranberries? (Lingonberries) Why, yes! And usually just outside the door under the snow. My cabbage cooks for 2 hours! Hence, no reason for flour. Butter and a dash (a small dash) of Red Wine Vinegar. Nowadays, I have been enjoying Balsalmic Vinegar instead. Anyway, I love this recipe and so does everyone I serve I to. I also use it to stuff various big game hearts. Make it, Good People!

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