Pennsylvania Dutch Braised Red Cabbage

I have a very special fondness for the traditional German and Pa Dutch “sweet/sour” flavor. And since cabbage is one of my favorite vegetables, I am always looking for ways to serve it to keeps things exciting!

This dish features the very traditional “Dutchie” sweet/sour flavor and uses red cabbage (and BACON!!). I love this braised cabbage alongside roasted pork loin, roast beef, or even turkey, but my absolute favorite way to enjoy this is alongside a lovely piece (or two) of pan-fried fresh (or smoked) sausage made by one of the many local meat shops or butchers still plentiful in the Coal Region; the sausages nestled next to a mound of fluffy mashed potatoes or browned butter egg noodles.  

Budget friendly, left-over friendly, and very easy to prepare, I encourage you to give it a try. (And if you can, get some true, country style bacon from one of the great butchers, shops, or farmers’ markets in the Coal Region or Pa Dutch country, too!)

Pa. Dutch Braised Red Cabbage

Recipe by A Coalcracker in the KitchenCourse: Side Dishes, EntreesCuisine: Pa. Dutch, German, Coal RegionDifficulty: Easy


  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

  • 10 cups red cabbage, shredded

  • 2 bacon strips, diced

  • 1 medium tart apple, peeled and chopped

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


  • In a large bowl, stir the cider vinegar and sugars until sugars are dissolved. Add cabbage; toss to coat. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large frying pan or dutch oven with lid, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towels to drain.
  • the drippings left in the pan, saute apple and onion until tender, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Stir in water and cabbage mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, several more minutes or until cabbage is tender.
  • Sprinkle with reserved bacon before serving.