Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage has Impressive Health Benefits

This colorful sweet and sour red cabbage has impressive health benefits and is an excellent side dish with pork tenderloin, pork chops, or ribs.
Sweet and sour red cabbage with apples in a serving bowl

How Healthy is Red Cabbage?

Like the discarded bottle of “purple stuff” in the back of the refrigerator in the SunnyD commercial, I sometimes find a partial head of red cabbage hidden in the produce drawer. I add red cabbage to slaw and stir-fries because of its gorgeous color but forget about making straight-up cabbage. That is unfortunate because red cabbage has an impressive list of health benefits.

Health Benefits of Red Cabbage

  1. Increases fiber to the diet
  2. Adds color to the plate
  3. Long shelf life
  4. Easy on the budget
  5. Reduces caloric intake – one cup raw has 17 calories; One cup of cooked cabbage has 29 calories
  6. High in nutrients – Vitamin C, K, and B6 and potassium, folate, manganese, calcium, and magnesium
  7. Boosts the immune system from powerful antioxidants in the vegetable
  8. Fights disease through anthocyanins, the plant compound that gives red cabbage its color. Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid, and studies show that they may play an essential role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), cognitive decline, and cancer.
  9. Slows down carbohydrate digestion from anthocyanins
  10. Contains anti-inflammatory properties

For more information on the health benefits of red cabbage and anthocyanins, check out this post on verywellhealth website.

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage in a bowl

Healthy Recipe for Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Apples

Let’s take advantage of the health benefits of cabbage by making this recipe. You not only receive the benefits of cabbage listed above but it is also sugar-free because it is sweetened with apples and raw honey. This makes the dish friendly with paleo, keto, and Specific Carbohydrates (SCD) diets. Red cabbage is NOT just for winter container gardens or to use sparingly with other vegetables to add color. It is a tremendous stand-alone veggie that is both delicious and nutritious.

Sweet and sour red cabbage ingredients on a cutting board

Budget Friendly

Red cabbage lowers the risk of certain diseases, makes you skinnier, smarter, and richer. I don’t know about you, but that covers all my requests. This hardy vegetable is good for your budget because it has a long shelf life. It keeps 3+ weeks in the refrigerator – Cabbage Using and Storing – Cedar Circle Farm and Education Center.

Serve With

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Sweet and sour red cabbage with apples

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage has Impressive Health Benefits


This colorful sweet and sour red cabbage recipe has impressive health benefits and is an excellent side dish with pork tenderloin, pork chops, or ribs.


Units Scale
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cups red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 granny smith apples, cored and sliced, and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons water*
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 12 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar glaze, optional


1. Cook Cabbage: Heat oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir in cabbage, onion, and salt and saute until cabbage starts to wilt for about 5 minutes. Stir in apple and water, salt, and pepper—cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or when the apples are soft.

2. Mix sweet-sour sauce: Pour vinegar and honey into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add sauce to the cabbage and stir to combine. Cook another 5 to 6 minutes. Place cabbage mixture into a serving bowl and drizzle with balsamic glaze, if desired.

3. Serve


*May need to add more water

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Category: Vegetable
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: sweet sour red cabbage health benefits

Let me know your thoughts on this post!

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  1. My family and I loved the red cabbage with apples!! Easy to make – I just chop rather than grate the cabbage. It is delicious – I will definitely make again !

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