Rødkål Recipe a.k.a Danish Red Cabbage

Rødkål Recipe – there are plenty of Danish recipes for the holiday and one of them is rødkål. Rødkål, which translates to red cabbage is a Danish holiday dish. You can usually see the red cabbage dish served with Danish Roast Pork with Crackling (Flæskesteg). The red cabbage dish is fairly simple to make and usually involves red cabbage, vinegar, currant juice, sugar, and salt. While these are the main ingredients, you can also add some spices and alternatives to get your preferred flavoring. Another benefit of this dish is that the dish has a fairly long life. To further lengthen its shelf life, it helps to keep the rødkål in jars that have been cleaned in boiling water. To make the dish yourself, try out this recipe:

Rødkål Recipe


A Danish red cabbage dish that's usually served during Christmas and paired with pork and crackling
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Danish
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 Red cabbage head (approx. 1½ kg)
  • 40 g Butter
  • 25 g Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Vinegar
  • dl Current juice (150 ml)
  • 1 pinch Salt


  • Peel the outer, coarse leaves of the cabbage, and cut it finely without taking the stalk.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the sugar, vinegar and currant juice.
  • Put the cabbage in the pan, put the lid on and let the cabbage steam tender on low heat for approx. 1 hour time. Stir a few times in the pan along the way.
  • Remove the lid from the pan and let the cabbage steam further without the lid and with regular stirring.
  • Season the cabbage with sugar, salt, currant juice and possibly. more butter – or fat from a roast – if you think it lacks fat.

Other Information on the Rødkål Recipe

Another way to describe the Danish traditional dish is as sweet and sour braised red cabbage. You’ll find that cabbage dishes are highly popular in Scandanavian countries due to the resilience of the vegetable in winter. It is not certain where the red cabbage dish originated from, but it was noted that the recipe dates back to the 1900s. Findings resulted in the recipe being noted in a cookbook from 1902 by Fru Constanins Husholdnings. Prior to the creation of Rødkål, cabbage dishes were generally sour and involved vinegar, cumin, and salt.

When sugar became a more available item, it resulted in the development of Rødkål as a way to balance the usually sour red cabbage dish. Currently, you can find a variety of fruits and other juices being used as a sweetener for the dish. With the Danish version of Rødkål, currant juice is used to sweeten the dish. However, if you don’t have it in hand, you can use elderberry juice. Alternatively, you can use cranberry juice. Depending on the fruit juice and other flavorings added, you can end up with different results. With the classic recipe, you can experience a traditional holiday meal or a new side dish to pair with meals.

If you want to try out more Danish side dishes, check out our “Grønlangkål Recipe” and “Brunede kartofler Recipe.”

Rødkål Recipe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

More Recipes

æbleflæsk recipe apple pork

Æbleflæsk Recipe

Æbleflæsk which directly translated means Apple Pork is a traditional Danish Christmas recipe. It consists of three wonderful ingredients: Apples, Pork, and Onions. It might

Read More »