8 Best Red Cabbage Recipes

No matter what type of cabbage you're reaching for, it's sure to be loaded with things that are good for your health. An excellent source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, this versatile vegetable is served in any season in cultures spanning across the globe. While the green variety may be more familiar to some folks, red cabbage is like its smaller, spicier cousin with a little extra crunch. It also has a leg up in the health department, as its bold purple hue can be credited to an abundance of anthocyanins — a flavonoid that has powerful heart and brain protective properties. 

Whether you prefer to eat light, veggie-packed meals or hearty meat dishes with proper sides, there is no shortage of ways to incorporate more red cabbage into your diet. You can braise it, pickle it, sauté it, roast it, or eat it raw. We've put together a selection of our favorite red cabbage recipes so you can get more of the good stuff in your life and on your plate. Happy cooking!

Cabbage Salad

Using both napa cabbage and red cabbage for an unparalleled crunch, this Asian-inspired salad will have you gobbling up your greens with as much vigor as Popeye. The rich, creamy dressing — made with peanut butter, sesame oil, and soy sauce — perfectly complements the brightly flavored cabbage and cilantro for a balanced salad that hits the spot year-round. Try topping it with crispy fried tofu or grilled chicken for a protein-packed meal. 

Recipe: Cabbage Salad

Creamy Pineapple Coleslaw

Although most coleslaw recipes call for more green cabbage than red, the latter takes center stage in this showstopping side dish. Bold in both color and flavor, the peppery red cabbage is softened by the sweetness of chopped pineapple and rounded out with herbaceous fresh cilantro. However, if you'd like to take things back up a few notches, try tossing some jalapeño into the mix. Enjoy it as a light summer salad or piled atop fried fish tacos for a sweet and spicy summer treat. 

Recipe: Creamy Pineapple Coleslaw

Traditional Coleslaw

Pretty purple coleslaw with pineapple is a lovely "sometimes treat," but when we've got a real hankering for slaw, it's the classic iteration we're dreaming of. Made with just mayo, apple cider vinegar, carrots, and green cabbage interspersed with the signature sprinkle of red cabbage for color and crunch, this simple yet zesty recipe brings you back to fish fry Fridays at Grandma's house. To keep the red cabbage's color from "bleeding" onto the other ingredients and turning the whole ensemble purple, try tossing the red cabbage in vinegar before combining it with the other ingredients. 

Recipe: Traditional Coleslaw

15-Minute Deconstructed Sushi Bowl

Making sushi at home takes some serious know-how. Making fish-free sushi bowls, on the other hand, is perfectly doable. This recipe puts an array of fresh and colorful veggies atop a bed of soft, sticky rice for a healthy dish that can scratch that sushi itch without the need for fancy knife skills. If you really want that loaded sushi roll experience, consider topping your bowl with seared ahi tuna and a drizzle of spicy mayo. 

Recipe: 15-Minute Deconstructed Sushi Bowl

Easy Shrimp Roll

Like a charming handheld salad, shrimp spring rolls are perfect when you're looking for lighter fare without sacrificing flavor. Jam-packed with crispy vegetables and powerful herbs like bell peppers, red cabbage, carrots, cilantro, and chives, this recipe embodies the idea of eating the rainbow. Vermicelli noodles and shrimp — boiled to perfection — add just the right amount of toothsome texture. And what would a spring roll recipe be without its dipping sauce? This one combines peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, honey, horseradish, and sesame oil to cover all your taste bud bases.

Recipe: Easy Shrimp Roll

Smoked Corned Beef

This smoked corned beef recipe has the brisket soaked in brine overnight, smoked for two hours, and then roasted for another three hours. However, the groundwork for making corned beef with unparalleled juiciness is laid at the very beginning of the journey, when the brine is quite literally injected into the cut of beef with a meat injector. Tossing in some red cabbage, green cabbage, carrots, and potatoes during the roasting process transforms this meat masterpiece into a proper meal.

Recipe: Smoked Corned Beef

Ginger Maple Tofu Grain Bowls

Although the veggies can be switched up depending on what you've got on hand, using a combination of red cabbage, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and sliced avocados creates the perfect balance of textures and flavors for this grain bowl. Paired with a soft brown rice and quinoa base and a crispy tofu topper, marinated to sweet and savory perfection, there's no other way to put it — this dish is a textural (and nutritional) dream.

Recipe: Ginger Maple Tofu Grain Bowls

Classic German Sauerbraten

Because it so happily grows in cooler climates, red cabbage is the purple, crunchy darling of German cuisine. In this classic sauerbraten recipe, the cabbage is cooked down with red wine and apple juice for a slightly sour, acidic accompaniment to the rich, earthy flavors of the sauerbraten. Meanwhile, the meat — marinated for three days in a heavenly hodgepodge of herbs, spices, and vegetables — is so tender you won't even need a knife to enjoy it!

Recipe: Classic German Sauerbraten