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The Best Red Cabbage Ragu

Red cabbage is one of those vegetables that most people seem to only enjoy at Christmas or with a roast. But red cabbage is so much more. It’s meaty, rich and so versatile. In this recipe it forms a great backing for this rich and decadent ragu sauce.

The sauce is thick and tomatoey. The key is to reduce the cabbage with the red wine and soy sauce before cooking. This imparts the wines rich flavours to the red cabbage and makes the cabbage so much better.

You can enjoy this red cabbage ragu with lots of dishes. I love having it on top of a bed of fluffy mashed potatoes. The lovely red wine ragu mixed with creamy mash is a match made in heaven. But the red cabbage ragu also goes great with pasta, rice and whatever you fancy. Maybe you even want to put it as a pizza topping… just kidding don’t do that you crazy person.

Let’s raise a glass to red cabbage the king of cabbages.

When to eat

Red cabbage is basically available throughout the year in the Britain. The only months it’s hard to get are June and July. Peak season for red cabbage is August to November, however it stores very well and is available until May. If you can’t find available red cabbage you can just as easily use another cabbage variety, white or january king work well. Or you can switch it out entirely for beetroot, which gives a lovely rouge colour to the dish.

The Best Red Cabbage Ragu

Red cabbage is one of those vegetables that most people seem to only enjoy at Christmas or with a roast. But red cabbage is so much more. It's meaty, rich and so versatile. In this recipe it forms a great backing for this rich and decadent ragu sauce.
4.64 from 44 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Course Main Course, Side Dish

This meal is around 88% less polluting than the average UK meal.

Eating this recipe will save around 2.58 KG CO2e per person.

That’s equivalent to the emissions produced driving 21.33 KM in a modern car.

How do I calculate this?


  • 1/2 Red Cabbage (500g)
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Oregano
  • 2 Teaspoons Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Plain Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 (400g) Can Chopped Tomatoes
  • 180 ml Red Wine
  • 500 ml Vegetable Stock
  • 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste


  • Slice the cabbage into thin 1/2 cm ribbons. Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Heat the olive oil in a large deep frying pan or saucepan over a medium heat.
  • Toss in the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is see-through. Add the spices (cinnamon, oregano, paprika) and flour to the pan and stir to evenly combine with the onion.
  • Tip the sliced red cabbage into the pan and fry for a few minutes before adding the soy sauce, red wine, tomato paste and sugar. Increase the pan heat to high and reduce the wine till it just coats the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour in the chopped tomatoes and stock and bring the pan to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is soft and the sauce is nice and thick.

Hi i'm Hugo

I started Lowly to help more people discover sustainable food. Planet-friendly food doesn’t have to be bland and boring. My recipes celebrate how diverse and flavourful it truly is.

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Leave a Reply


Diane Pleninger

July 5, 2021 at 2:43 pm

When to add the tbsp tomato paste?


    July 5, 2021 at 3:12 pm

    hey diane, you just need to add it in when the soy sauce and sugar goes in. I hope you enjoy it!


January 30, 2022 at 12:25 am

Thanks for the recipe inspiration! I added puy lentils too and it was delicious. Definitely make again. Love the sustainable ideas. Perfect for using up my seasonal veg box.👍


February 25, 2022 at 4:41 pm

Hugo, I can’t consume red wine because the tannins give me headaches. Can I increase the stock and add a bit of sherry? Or would something else work better?


    February 26, 2022 at 11:56 am

    Hey Elzke. Yes, just add a little but more with a splash of cherry and some balsamic vinegar.


March 6, 2022 at 5:41 pm

A luscious stew, thank you!


    March 8, 2022 at 9:36 am

    No problem Jocelyn, nice to hear you enjoyed it


April 20, 2022 at 2:52 pm

We had used about 2 tbs of cabbage for a dish the other night, and had this head of cabbage left over. Googled and found your recipe and it was UNBELIEVABLY delicious! It was a flavor bomb! SO good! Served with pork chops (sorry, I know you are a veg based site!) and mashed potatoes–with a little sprinkling of arugula on top. Next morning had it with the leftover pork and a poached egg on top. I’m thinking it will freeze well, so will serve again next week. YUM!


    April 21, 2022 at 8:58 am

    Thanks Dana, I’m glad you enjoyed it


February 1, 2023 at 5:27 pm

Thank you for this recipe. We have made today and loved it. We are Italian and having a vegan and low CO2 ragù to add to our collection feels right. We have made it with farro tagliatelle and the result was delicious. Will make it again.


    February 2, 2023 at 2:21 pm

    Thanks for the kind words Federica!


February 26, 2023 at 6:21 pm

Going to try this recipe out now! with some spaghetti and bang bang cauliflower bites on the side!

wish me luck
(could anyone explain the favour?)

Robert H

March 25, 2023 at 7:23 pm

I genuinely thought this was delicious. Really moreish.
I had no onion so subbed with a bit of onion salt and some scallions I added later on.


October 24, 2023 at 6:02 pm

This is the best recipe ever, since I found out about it I have made it weekly. Sooooo good!!!!