Red Cabbage and Brats

If you are looking for a meal that contains a classic side dish that comes together quickly, is tasty, and healthy, then make a pot of Red Cabbage and Brats. Our recipe is a simple Polish sweet-and-sour braised red cabbage that is virtually carb-less and certainly delicious. We love it with sausage or brats, pork, or ham. You can make it with any meat and it is basically a fool-proof recipe. It is perfect every time!

This is a classic Polish version known as “czerwana kaput zasmażana.” A German version of braised red cabbage would normally use apple slivers (rotkohl). You will see recipes using brown sugar, red wine, bay leaf, cloves, and bacon. For such a simple dish there are many variations on the theme so feel free to add your own touch, as long as you keep it low carb.

The health benefits to cabbage have been touted for years and are becoming even more and more apparent in healthy cooking today. Naturally filled with antioxidants and anti- inflammatory properties, it should become a staple of your low-carb lifestyle. We have many cabbage based recipes – this is one of our favorites!

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Red cabbage is sweeter than the green or white varities and as long as it is cooked in vinegar it will retain its brilliant color. Without the vinegar, it will turn blue when cooked. The flavors in braised red cabbage will become even more pronounced when re-heated the next day. Sometimes we even make it a day in advance knowing that the next day’s planned meal will include an even tastier side dish.


Red cabbage is the star of this recipe. A small onion braised with the cabbage adds a traditional flavor. Many recipes call for bacon fat for braising, but we like butter for this dish. Although crumbled bacon pieces on top will take the flavor up a notch. What doesn’t taste better with bacon? Either way, it will be wonderful.

Some recipes call for balsamic vinegar or a red wine vinegar. The apple flavor is also traditional so our choice is apple cider vinegar. We use Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. You may have trouble finding it in your local market, but you can order it here for quick and safe delivery. It is truly worth the effort to use the best. Bragg is the best, and it is certified organic!

For a sweetener we use either Liquid Stevia or EZ Sweetz drops. The amounts do vary depending on your choice so make sure you follow the recipe below. These sweeteners are staples in our pantry. You may want to order them for your low-carb pantry, as well. You can order them here. We used Liquid Stevia for this recipe, but lately we tend to use EZ Sweetz a lot. It is liquid sucralose and it is without fillers so it has no carbs and no after-taste.

The Bratwursts you see pictured above are from our local meat shop. It is appropriately named “The Meat Market.” Click to read about their store at their website. They deal only with local herders and ranchers who provide free-range animals for meat. The animals are healthy, and are raised with natural feed, and no antibiotics. They butcher the meat themselves in their shop and it just tastes fresh and delicious. If you have a real meat store or butcher shop nearby, and they ascribe to healthy standards, we urge you to pay a little more for quality and stay healthy. The brats we had from The Meat Market were truly delicious!

We par-boiled our uncooked brats in water for 10 minutes and then grilled them on our outdoor grill. If you purchase smoked or pre-cooked meats (like kielbasa or ham) par-boiling is not needed. For a choice, we topped our brats with our low-carb honey-mustard and also with just the red cabbage. Variety is the “spice of life,” as they say!

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Red Cabbage and Brats – A Traditional Polish Recipe

We did use our left-over cabbage tonight with a Tasty Low Carb beef roast from our local meat shop. As we expected, the Red Cabbage tasted even better tonight! Give this recipe a try and make sure to include it as part of your low-carb lifestyle!

Red Cabbage and Brats

Recipe by Joanie and Chris
4.9 from 60 votes
Course: Meat, SidesCuisine: PolishDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Net Carbs


Total time



Red Cabbage and Brats – is it a low-carb essential? Well, cabbage comes close! It is delicious with a sweet and sour sauce that adds the perfect taste. Brats make the recipe and you will love the combination!

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  • 1 small head 1 small head Red Cabbage sliced

  • 1 small 1 small Onion sliced

  • 4 tablespoons 4 tablespoons Butter

  • 1/3 cup 78 g Apple Cider Vinegar Bragg Organic

  • 9 drops 9 drops Liquid Stevia or 3 drops EZ Sweetz

  • 1 teaspoon 1 teaspoon Sea salt to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon Pepper to taste


  • Melt butter in a large pot and sauté the cabbage and onions for 10 minutes over medium heat. Toss as it cooks.
  • Mix the apple cider vinegar and sweetener drops together in a small bowl, add to the cabbage mixture and stir into the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes or until softened and liquid is absorbed. Stir often so cabbage cooks evenly.


Chef’s Notes

  • Make sure the cabbage has wilted to your taste and liquid has been absorbed.  Ranges do vary and it may take less time or more time to soften. You can also use bacon fat instead of butter, if you prefer, and can then use crumbled bacon on top to garnish. Sukrin gold brown sugar substitute can also be used in place of the drops, although the carbs will increase. 

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 156.1kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 7.4g
  • Protein: 2.4g
  • Fat: 11.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.2g
  • Cholesterol: 30.1mg
  • Sodium: 711.4mg
  • Potassium: 391.3mg
  • Fiber: 2.6g
  • Sugar: 6.3g
  • Vitamin A: 350IU
  • Vitamin C: 1.3mg
  • Calcium: 74mg
Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Wide Dutch Oven, 6.75 qt., Cerise
  • Wide loop handles provide a safe and comfortable grip
  • The wide base is great for browning meats on the stovetop before slow braising or roasting in the oven and sloped sides facilitate stirring

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