Made from a handful of ingredients, braised cabbage is a very typical meal in Slavic culture. And with good reason. It’s comforting, cheap, and easy to make! This braised cabbage recipe consists of a combination of shredded cabbage, onions, and sauerkraut. The slow-cooked braising technique produces plenty of caramelization, which means you end up with a perfect combination of sweet and savory!

braised-cabbage

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our full disclosure.

Braised cabbage is a popular side dish among Russians and Ukrainians, and there are several regional variants of the dish. Many also have their own family recipe which have been passed down from their parents or grandparents. Ever since my mom shared her version of braised cabbage with me, I’ve never been tempted to look at other recipes. I just find this cooking method to be so simple. It’s made with simple ingredients (cabbage, onions, and sauerkraut), and it’s all made in one pot—which means less cleanup and fewer dishes. Best of all, it’s delicious. Serve it as a satisfying side, a filling for fried doughs, a tasty topping for burgers and sandwiches, or simply enjoy it on its own—it’s that good.

IMG_9237

What is Braised Cabbage?

Braised cabbage is a traditional Russian-Ukrainian side dish. Finely shredded cabbage is fried and then braised in a small amount of liquid until cooked and slightly caramelized. There are many different recipes for braised cabbage. Other vegetables can be added to stretch the dish (like onions and carrots), and seasonings like vinegar and sugar are added to accentuate the flavor. Some even turn the classic braised cabbage recipe into a main dish by adding pork or bacon. 

As you can see, braised cabbage is not only versatile but also hearty and very economical, which is probably why it’s loved by so many people!

IMG_6268

Ingredients You’ll Need

Cabbage – one medium-sized white cabbage (purple with leave you with a darker color); you can also use Savoy cabbage, but you’ll end up with a milder flavor

Water – causes the cabbage to wilt and prevents it from sticking 

Sauerkraut – adds tangy flavor and is also a source of probiotics

Onions – use white, yellow, or Vidalia

Seasoning – salt and pepper

Vinegar – white vinegar adds a bit of tanginess

Sugar – sugar balances out the tanginess and helps with caramelization

Ketchup – adds tartness and color to the dish 

Oil – you will need to add oil throughout the cooking process; make sure to have about 7 fl. oz. on hand

Equipment Used:

Non-stick pot – I prefer a non-stick pot as it prevents the cabbage from sticking to the bottom

Mandoline – a Japanese mandoline works great for shredding, but you can also slice by hand, using a large knife

Wooden spoon – used for stirring

How to Make Braised Cabbage:

1. Keeping the core intact, cut the cabbage in half lengthwise and shred finely into a large pot (preferably a non-stick pot). Don’t worry if there seems to be a lot of cabbage, it will reduce significantly during the cooking process.

IMG_6275

2. Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat. Once the cabbage starts to sizzle slightly, add one cup of water. Cover the pot with the lid slightly tilted (this allows steam to escape). 

3. Allow the cabbage to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so until almost all the water has evaporated. Toward the end of 15 minutes, you can increase the heat to high for a few minutes to allow the water to evaporate more quickly.

4. In the meantime, prepare the onions by dicing them finely.

IMG_62815. Once the water has almost evaporated completely, add about 5 tablespoons of oil to the cabbage and stir thoroughly.

IMG_6291

6. Add the diced onions, sauerkraut, salt, ground black pepper, vinegar, sugar, and ketchup. Stir until all the ingredients are well combined.  Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook the cabbage for 1 ½ hours, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes, and adding oil when necessary (I added about 8 tablespoons of oil throughout the rest of the cooking period). The cabbage is light in color during the first stage of cooking but will darken as it continues to cook and caramelize.

IMG_9237

Tips for Making Delicious Braised Cabbage

  1. Add even more flavor by using bacon fat or garlic-infused oil instead of vegetable oil.

2.  If the sauce is too watery, you can thicken it by boiling more liquid out.

3.  Feel free to use purple cabbage instead of white or green cabbage. Just note that the dish will end up looking darker.

How To Serve Braised Cabbage

Braised cabbage is traditionally served as a side, but is perfectly suitable as a main dish if made with meat. You can also use it for fillings (it makes a great filling for pierogies!) or as a topping for burgers and sandwiches.  

How To Store Braised Cabbage

Leftover braised cabbage can be stored in the fridge (in an airtight container) for up to 4 days. Freezer storage is not recommended, as the cabbage will become soggy and unappetizing once thawed.

FAQ

Is Braised Cabbage Good for You?

Yes! Cabbage in general is very healthy. It’s high in fiber, low in calories, and high in vitamins K, A, and C. It also provides folate, magnesium, and potassium, and together with sauerkraut, packs a punch of probiotics.

Can I Make It Ahead of Time

Yes, you can. Simply prepare the dish by following the recipe, then transfer to a baking dish and leave to cool completely. Once cooled, cover with foil and refrigerate.

Can I Freeze Braise Cabbage

Freezing braised cabbage is not recommended. Once thawed, the texture becomes soggy and unappetizing.

How Do I Reheat Braised Cabbage

The cabbage can be reheated in the microwave, but for best results, it’s recommended you do it on the stove. Simply place the braised cabbage and a knob of butter (or a bit of vegetable oil) in a large frying pan and slowly heat on medium until heated through.

Braised Cabbage { Тушеная капуста }

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Alyona's Cooking
It's very typical to find braised cabbage among the Slavic culture. Braised cabbage usually consists of fresh shredded cabbage and sauerkraut to create a sweet and savory cabbage blend that is caramelized from the slow cooking technique (also known as braised). 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized cabbage
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups sauerkraut packed
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 5 tbsp ketchup
  • oil up to 13 tbsp

Instructions

  • Keeping the core intact, cut the cabbage in half lengthwise. Shred finely into a large pot (preferably a non-stick pot). It will seem like a lot of cabbage, but the volume will reduce significantly during the cooking process.
  • Place the pot over medium-high heat. Once the cabbage starts to sizzle slightly, add one cup of water. Cover the pot with the lid slightly tilted, allowing steam to escape.
  • Allow the cabbage to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so until almost all the water has evaporated. Toward the end of 15 minutes, you can increase the heat to high for a few minutes to allow the water to evaporate more quickly.
  • In the meantime, prepare the onions by dicing them finely.
  • Once the water has almost evaporated completely, add about 5 tablespoons of oil to the cabbage and stir thoroughly.
  • Add the diced onions, sauerkraut, salt, ground black pepper, vinegar, sugar, and ketchup. Stir until all the ingredients are well combined. 
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook the cabbage for 1 ½ hours, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes, and adding oil when necessary (about 8 tablespoons in total). The cabbage is light in color during the first stage of cooking but will darken as it continues to cook and caramelize.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.

New Be featured here!

Hashtag #yesalyonascooking on both Instagram and Pinterest to be seen here!

Categories

Leave a comment

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

8 comments

    • Jack

    I’ve had Croatian sauerkraut before. The description sounds the same however, the Croatian version is cooked with pork shoulder or pork ribs. Do you think your recipe would be ok if I added pork meat to the dish. The restaurant where I ordered the Croatian style is closed now and I absolutely loved their sauerkraut.

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Yes, you can do it with meat. My moms side of the family would make it with pork, just start with the meat first to give it a good sear then continue on with the recipe.

    • Luba

    do I have to rinse sour cabbage before combining with regular cabbage

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi Luba, I usually peel off the outer leaves, that way it’s clean.

    • Inna

    I have finally found my favorite braised cabbage! It’s the yummiest ? my picky eaters loved it ! I did add few things like chicken , little bit of rice and couple bay leaves.
    Thank you ?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi Inna, chicken sounds good! I’m glad you found a favorite here!

    • jessica

    When do you add sour kraut? Thanks

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi, Jessica you would add it in along with the ketchup.

Explore Recipes

See What Others Made!
#yesalyonascooking on pinterest or instagram to be featured

As Seen On

  • Mashed
  • Yummly
  • Parade
  • BuzzFeed
Alyona’s Cooking