Rode Kool met Appel (Dutch Red Cabbage with Apple)

Rode Kool met Appel / Dutch Red Cabbage with Apple is a traditional Dutch side dish that is often eaten with stewed meat. The best known dish it is eaten with is a stewed meat dish named Hachee. Rode kool met appel is often eaten during winter and served as a side dish at Christmas.

Dutch red cabbage with apple is obviously made with red cabbage and apple as well as some cinnamon and bay leaves. I also like to add juniper berries. Vinegar and sugar are used to give a nice sweet and sour flavor to the dish. The combination of the sweetness of the apple with the cabbage and vinegar is really nice. I also like how easy it is to adapt this dish to your own palette, some enjoy a more sour, tangy taste, others prefer things sweet. Whatever you fancy, you can adjust it to your liking.

Ingredients for red cabbage recipe, bottle of vinegar, butter and sugar/salt in white bowls, red cabbage, two apples, 3 bay leaves, one stick of cinnamon, two juniper berries and three cloves on a wooden surface.

Dutch red cabbage with apples is an easy dish to make it just takes time. You basically add all the ingredients except for the apples to a large pan and leave to simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. Next you stir in the apples and leave to simmer for another half hour and that’s about it.

Collage of 4 photos: 1. Red cabbage in a Dutch oven with remaining ingredients on top. 2. Red cabbage in a Dutch oven being stirred. 3. Apples on top of red cabbage in a Dutch oven. 4. Apples being stirred into red cabbage.

I like to finish it with a knob of butter stirred in. There are versions out there that are faster, but I prefer to take some time making my ‘Rode Kool met Appel’.

left photo: close up of red cabbage with apples, a stick of cinnamon and butter. right photo: red cabbage with apples in a with bowl on a white wash wooden surface with a blue background

There are many variations possible with this ‘Rode Kool met Appel’ dish. Some people like to start off by first frying the red cabbage till wilted before simmering with the other ingredients. Others like to add an onion or use apple sauce in addition to or instead of fresh apples. This recipe is a basic recipe to get you started and you can adjust it to your liking.

Dutch red cabbage with apple is often served with a Dutch stewed meat dish named “Hachee” but it also pairs really well with wild game meat.

red cabbage with apples in a white serving bowl on a white wash table with a blue background

Rode Kool met Appel (Dutch Red Cabbage with Apple)

Rode kool met appel / Dutch red cabbage with apple is a traditional Dutch side dish that pairs well with stewed meat. Make your own Dutch red cabbage with apple with this recipe.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Dutch
Keyword: dutch food, dutch recipe
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 165kcal


  • 1 red cabbage a small red cabbage – 1.5 lbs / 700 gram
  • 2 sweet and sour apples
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 juniper berries optional
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar can be substituted with regular vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core, the hard white stem of the cabbage. Finely slice the red cabbage (approximately ¼" / ½cm).
  • Next, add the finely sliced cabbage into a large pan (e.g. a large saucepan, soup pot or Dutch oven). Add the cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaves, juniper berries, vinegar, sugar, two teaspoons of salt and pour over the water.
  • Cover and leave to simmer for about 1 hour stirring occasionally. If the water starts to evaporate too fast add some more water.
  • Peel and cut the apples. I prefer to cut them into dice but you can also quarter them or finely slice them. Everyone prefers them differently.
  • Add the apples to the red cabbage, stir, and leave to simmer for another 30 minutes.
  • Add the butter and leave to simmer for another 5-10 minutes with the lid slightly tilted to make sure any remaining water evaporates. If the water is already evaporated you can just stir in the butter.
  • Season with salt and pepper, taste and if needed add more sugar or vinegar depending on your preference.
  • Serve with Dutch hachee (a stewed meat dish) or another stewed meat dish. Red cabbage is also served with wild game meat.


  • If you prefer a finer sliced cabbage you can use a food processor to shred the cabbage finely. Or slice them a little thicker if you prefer.
  • Add the cloves and juniper berries to a tea egg/ball so they are easily taken out again when done
Please Note:
  • The Nutrition facts in this recipe are based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in the recipe and are based on statistical averages. The exact nutritional values may vary depending on the ingredients used etc. Nutritional facts exclude side dishes.


Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 1252mg | Potassium: 607mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 2477IU | Vitamin C: 124mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 2mg
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  1. Strijder
    24 January 2020

    5 stars

    1. Ellen
      19 January 2021

      5 stars

  2. Margaret
    20 June 2020

    This tasted soooo good

    1. 22 June 2020

      I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe 🙂

  3. Hanny ziegler
    26 January 2021

    Because I dont care to bite into whole cloves, I push them into a slice of apple to be discarded later

  4. Ido van Doornum
    24 February 2021

    5 stars
    Lekker met Hachee en aardappel puree

    1. Amilie Van den Berg
      15 November 2022

      Galo, do you have a recipe for the hachee???

  5. Trudy Costantino
    15 June 2021

    5 stars
    Really good.

  6. Bea McPherson
    18 October 2021

    I always make a little cornstarch/water mixture (2 T cornstarch, 3 T water) and add with the apple. We always had it with gehakt ballen or pork chops and, of course, gekookte aardappelen and jus gravy.

  7. Loes Coen
    30 December 2021

    Every Christmas I prepare a huge pan of red cabbage for my family in the UK but I add towards the end a couple of tablespoons of redcurrant jelly which not only sweetens the cabbage but gives it a lovely shiny glaze. I also use a couple of spoons of red wine vinegar and a large diced onion goes in the pot as well and above all give the cabbage plenty of time to soften.

  8. Lorraine
    9 June 2022

    5 stars
    Dank je wel for this delicious recipe which was much like our Dutch Momma would make us as kids and into our adulthoods too..only Mom did not measure she cooked this favourite by just knowing what amounts tasted great. Mom also would finely cut up a 1/2 pound of bacon and saute it with a finely chopped onion, then she would add all the other ingredients. A combination of your recipe along with our Mom’s made a delicious red cabbage and a sweet walk down memory lane.

  9. Wilma
    25 September 2022

    I do my red cabbage with potatoes and bacon

  10. Grace Van Meekeren
    30 September 2022

    Sounds delicious! Has anybody canned red cabbage? If so can you share your recipe?? Thank you!

  11. Dina Johanna Ouwinga
    14 October 2022

    4 stars
    I use normal vinegar, with sugar and cinnamon powder to taste.
    In staid of cinnamon sticks.

  12. Nella Ellams
    18 February 2023

    5 stars
    Exactly like I make it ❤️

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