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.


Serves 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

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.


  • 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, sugar, paprika) and tomato paste 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 flour. Stir the pan to coat the cabbage in flour. Then pour in the soy sauce and red wine. Increase the pan heat to high and reduce the wine to 1/2 its size.
  • 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.
5 from 2 votes