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Oktoberfest Red Cabbage

Four generations of our family have made this dish of red cabbage and apples, known as rotkohl ("red cabbage"). We love the tart and sweet flavors. —Diana Likes, Chandler, Arizona
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 50 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 3 tablespoons bacon drippings or canola oil
  • 1 small head red cabbage (about 1-1/2 pounds), shredded
  • 2 medium tart apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar


  • In a Dutch oven, heat bacon drippings over medium heat. Add cabbage and apples; cook and stir 2-3 minutes. Stir in water, sugar, salt, pepper and cloves.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 40-45 minutes or until cabbage is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar.
Nutrition Facts
3/4 cup: 146 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 6mg cholesterol, 331mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 3g fiber), 1g protein.

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  • Deborah
    Jun 6, 2020

    I haven't tried this yet, need to know what can be substituted for the cloves (btw,I do not like caraway, etc. flavors). Thanks!

  • Regi M
    Apr 29, 2018

    My late Hungarian mother-in-law taught me how to make this, Instead of cloves, she would toss a generous teaspoon of caraway seeds into the hot bacon fat and let them sizzle for a minute before adding the other ingredients. I love this with sausages or roast pork. Thanks for sharing Diana!

  • marniehook
    Dec 21, 2015

    Fabulous! I made it exactly as directed and got rave reviews!

  • cindiak
    Oct 16, 2015

    Red cabbage is one of my favorite German foods. This was delicious. I did omit the cloves, just personal preference.

  • derlemann1
    Sep 19, 2015

    I was wondering if I can can this recipe? Anyone have any idea?

  • CatMurphy
    Oct 16, 2014

    Delicious! Perfect with pork and would be great on bratwurst or even hot dogs.

  • rwippel
    Sep 29, 2014

    This was an excellent and easy cabbage dish. It was a great accompaniment to pork schnitzel! It had the perfect amount of sugar to vinegar ratio.

  • annrms
    Sep 3, 2014

    Fantastic! Loved the sweet and sour taste. My German nana taught me to make this, but I've never used ground cloves. It's imparts a great taste. Thanks for posting; will make this again.