Red Cabbage With Cider And Pecans

The secret to great cabbage texture is cooking it only until tender, well before it gives up and becomes mushy.

Red Cabbage with Cider and Pecans recipe on a serving platter with serving forks on a green table with napkins.

Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist: Lydia Pursell

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

Being able to easily find and enjoy fresh cabbage year-round is only one of the reasons that we adore it at Southern Living. This lovely side dish exemplifies how versatile this humble vegetable can be.

You’re used to shredding it up into slaw or baking it as cabbage rolls, but this take on cabbage uses only a handful of ingredients to highlight the natural flavor of red cabbage as the star of this side dish. With a rich red purple color that instantly brightens a dinner spread, this recipe, topped with creamy goat cheese crumbles, is the perfect balance of sweet and sour. The crunchy candied pecans on top add extra sweetness, as well as nuttiness and contrasting texture.

The secret to achieving a great cabbage texture in this dish is cooking it only until tender, well before it gives up and becomes mushy. In this recipe, the cabbage is sautéed with apple slices in cider. The fruity sweetness is balanced by a splash of tangy apple cider vinegar, which also helps preserve the vegetable’s pretty red hue.

Served warm, this is exactly the kind of hearty, comfort cooking we want to get us through the cold winter months.


  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter

  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 tsp. black pepper, plus more to taste

  • 1 large (12 oz.) onion, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

  • 8 cups shredded red cabbage (from 1 [2-lb.] head cabbage)

  • 1 large (about 8 oz.) sweet, crisp apple (such as Honeycrisp), cored and thinly sliced (about 2 cups) 

  • 1/2 cup unfiltered apple cider

  • 3 Tbsp. unfiltered apple cider vinegar

  • 1/3 cup candied or toasted pecan halves

  • 2 oz. crumbled goat cheese (about 1/3 cup)


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high. Stir in sugar, salt, and pepper. Add onion, and stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens and begins to turn golden, 4 to 5 minutes.

  2. Stir in cabbage and apple. Add cider; stir to coat mixture in saucepan. Cover and cook, tossing occasionally with tongs, until cabbage is just tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl. Sprinkle cabbage mixture with pecans and goat cheese. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

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