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Polish Recipes Newsletter

Polish Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage Recipe

This Polish Red Cabbage recipe is a great holiday dinner (or any event).  This recipe can serve up to 10 people as a side dish, but since spiced red cabbage is even better the next few days, I always make more than I need for excellent left-overs.  Also known as Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage, this polish dish goes really well with any meat, but it is popular to fix with ham or sausage.  

Polish Red Cabbage Recipe (Czerwona Kapusta) 

  • 2 (3-pound) head red cabbage, shreddedPolish Red Cabbage Recipe
  • 1 medium onion, shredded
  • 1 large granny smith apple, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 5 whole cloves (wrapped in cheesecloth)
  • 1.5 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 2-3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 cup raisins

POLISH Red Cabbage Recipe Directions

1.  Clean and cut red cabbage into quarters (discard core) and then coarsely shred (or use food processor).

2.  Add onion and cabbage in a large pot with butter and/or olive oil.  Cook slowly to reduce.

3.  Mix rest of ingredients (including the rest of butter) together into bowl, pour into pot. Mix well.

4.  Simmer slowly for 30-45 minutes.  Check to make sure that the water from all the juices has not 100% evaporated--you do not want anything to burn on the bottom.  You can add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar if needed. Stir occasionally.

5.  Simmer till tender. Season to taste. (Add sugar, salt, pepper, etc. to your liking. Some people like more sugar, some more salt. I noticed by adding a little bit of vinegar and salt on one batch, it helped a lot. But, you can't really do a true taste test till the next day. After you reheat it, taste again and see what you think it needs for a balance of sweet, sour, and salty.  Cabbage just happens to need more salt than people realize for flavor. We are conservative on salt in this recipe.)

6.  Best if refrigerated over night and reheated the next day!

*Click "Add New Comment" below to leave a cooking suggestion about this Polish Recipe or Polish Recipes in general.  We want your feedback!


hi, thx for the recipe! Does

hi, thx for the recipe! Does this call for 3lbs or 6 lbs of cabbage? Looking forward to making this. Thx!

For two heads of cabbage, it

For two heads of cabbage, it will be more around 6 lbs.  

Can't print red cabbage recipe

When I hit your little printer above, it will not take me to a page where I can print it. And if I try to print the page, there is just too much info that isn't necessary. Is it my computer or an error on your part? Thanks for your newsletters. Laura Czarnowski

Hi Laura, I am not really

Hi Laura,

I am not really sure. I just tested the print button and it seems to work.  Maybe you need to update your browser?  You can try just printing the page from your browser and not using our button.  

Glad you like our newsletters!

Hope that helps,


ingredient question

This sounds absolutely wonderful, but I'm a bit confused when you state in step 4 to make sure the water has not evaporated. I don't see water listed in the ingredient list. How much should we be using?

Clarification on recipe

Good point, I should reword that.  It is not really water, but the juices from the cabbage, etc.  Once you start to simmer it down, you should have plenty of liquid, but before that happens, you just don't want anything to burn on the bottom.  The vinegar should be enough liquid.  Does that make sense?  And yes, I LOVE this recipe, we make it every year for the holidays.

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