Delicious slow cooker red cabbage with cranberries and festive spices is so easy to make. Simply peel, chop and leave it to cook in the Crock Pot or slow cooker. A delicious holiday dish with barely any effort. Freeze ahead too.
I’ve become a red cabbage addict this winter. A bowl of braised red cabbage has never really graced my table before, for some reason I thought I didn’t really like it, but I am now a convert.
My festive slow cooker red cabbage classically cooked with apple and onions, contains fresh tart cranberries and is lightly spiced with cinnamon, cloves and star anise. It makes a delicious Christmas side dish that is so easy to prepare – simply slice and dump into the slow cooker or Crock Pot to cook. You can also make ahead of time and freeze before reheating in the slow cooker or microwave.
There is plenty to love about the humble red cabbage, it is both thrifty and robust – a red cabbage will last a week of so in the salad crisper once you have cut into it. It is easy to prepare and adaptable. That deep purple is such a glorious colour and of course it provides a healthy helping of vegetables and certainly counts towards my everyday healthy food mantra.
My one simple mantra for Fuss Free Food & Healthy Eating
“Eat a generous portion of (raw) vegetables with every meal whenever you can”
This braised slow cooker red cabbage is so easy to make, peel, chop and slice and away you go. I think that the slices of the red cabbage are so pretty with the layers of the leaves – white on the inside and that glorious Palatine purple.
When you buy a red cabbage, choose one that is firm, heavy and has crisp tightly packed leaves. Avoid any red cabbages which feel light, or are soft.
Red cabbage is easy to prepare. Simply cut into quarters, removing the outer leaves and the white core before slicing. To preserve its beautiful colour always add a little vinegar or something acidic such as lemon juice when cooking. When making this recipe I found that it lost some of its colour before reabsorbing it after a few hours of cooking.
I find it pays dividends to buy and use the best spices you can, the better the quality the more flavour they will have and the less you will need to use. Remember with most slow cooked dishes that the flavour will concentrate with time, so don’t add too much. Despite my love of strong flavours I don’t like a dish being overpowered with spice, so adjust to suit you.
Everything in this dish is fairly adaptable, use what you have the fridge and pantry. Add a extra onion or apple if you have them, and play around with the spicing. If you don’t have any fresh cranberries then add a few spoons of cranberry sauce and reduce the sugar, or add cranberry juice in place of the water.
Delicious slow cooker red cabbage with cranberries and festive spices is so easy to make. Simply peel, chop and leave it to cook in the Crock Pot or slow cooker. A delicious holiday dish with barely any effort. Freeze ahead too. Vegan and naturally gluten free.
- 1 lb red cabbage (small)
- 1 onions
- 2 apples
- 1/2 cup cranberries (fresh)
- 4 tbs soft brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 cloves
- 1 star anise
- 3 tbs red wine vinegar
Cut the cabbage into quarters, discard the core and outer leaves and then thinly slice.
Peel and slice the onions
Peel, core and chop the apples
Lightly oil the inside of the slow cooker pot, add all the ingredients and mix well.
Add enough water so it is about 1" 2.5cm deep in the pot.
Cook on high for an hour, then low for another 5 hours. Stir from time to time.
If needed leave the lid slightly ajar for the last hour of cooking to reduce the liquid.
This freezes well, reheat in the slow cooker or microwave.
The recipe is very adaptable, use more or less cabbage, apple or onions.
Substitute 2 tbs dried cranberries for the fresh. Or cranberry juice for the water.
Don't worry is the cabbage appears to lose its colour. It will come back by the end of cooking as it reabsorbs the cooking liquid. If needed grate a little beetroot in to add some colour.
For another healthy slow cooker recipes try my fat free slow cooker root vegetable soup
and this would make a delicious side for my leftover turkey and ham pot pies.