How to Make Easy Pickled Cabbage

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Learn how to make quick and easy pickled cabbage recipe in this informative post! Pickled cabbage can add a dash of crunch and tang to a variety of dishes, making it a wonderful condiment to have on hand in the refrigerator.

a white bowl filled with homemade pickled cabbage with carrots
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Sometimes you want a side dish that is acidic and can cut through other flavors and this quick pickled cabbage is just the one to consider. Offering the right balance in flavors and a bit of crunch, it is very easy to recreate this quick pickled cabbage recipe at home. It is an excellent condiment to have on hand to use again and again! 

There is just something about cabbage when it is pickled, don’t you think? The acidic flavors work well with anything from adding a spoonful to your salad, as a refreshing addition to a sandwich, and let’s not forget how great it can be with tacos. I used to buy it until I realized that I could quickly recreate it at home and it tasted so much better. So, I certainly wanted to share this easy recipe with you!

a closed mason jar laying on its side, filled with quick pickled cabbage

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Super quick and simple to make.
  • The perfect balance of acidic flavors.
  • A fantastic accompaniment or side dish.
  • You only need a knife, a jar and refrigerator to prep!
  • Naturally vegan, plant-based, gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free.
a wooden spoon is stuck into a large clear mason jar filled with pickled cabbage and carrots

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions 

Cabbage: The main star of the show. You could use any type of cabbage you prefer. Red and green both work really well. You could even use napa if you prefer it.

Water and Vinegar: This forms the brine that is a major part of pickling process. Any kind of vinegar will work—apple cider, white, wine, you name it!

Sugar and Salt: To give that balance of sweet and savory. You can use cane, turbinado, coconut or even a sugar-free sweetener if you prefer.

Garlic Cloves: Garlic can add a depth of flavor to this quick pickled cabbage. 

Carrots: Optional, however, the carrots add a level of sweetness and can really balance out the other flavors. Not to mention — added nutrition!

a white ceramic bowl filled with pickled cabbage carrots and garlic

How to Make Quick Pickled Cabbage 

  1.  Thinly slice or use a mandoline to shred the cabbage. Mince or grate the garlic and carrots (if using). 
  2. Grab yourself a jar that you want to store the picked cabbage within. Add the cabbage, garlic and carrots to the jar.
  3. Bring the water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil in a saucepan, stir well, then pour into the jar. Let the jar sit and cool to room temperature. The longer you leave it, the more intensified the flavor becomes (and the same goes for how long you refrigerate before eating!).
a fork stuck in a white ceramic bowl filled with pickled cabbage

How to Serve Pickled Cabbage

Pickled cabbage is extremely versatile. You can use it to top off tacos, sandwiches and salads, throw it into wraps or on veggie burgers—just to name a few ideas!

a white bowl of pickled cabbage

FAQ

Is there anything else I can add to this quick pickled cabbage?

The answer is yes! You can omit any of the ingredients listed apart from the water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and of course, the cabbage. You can add other spices to the liquid to give different flavors. A great addition could be cloves or black peppercorns. If you like spicy, add a pinch of red pepper flakes. You could also think about doing a combination of different cabbages or even adding onions or other vegetables into the mix. For an additional touch of sweetness, grated apple is an excellent addition, too. It is a very flexible recipe. 

How long will the pickled cabbage last?

Pickled cabbage will generally last in the fridge for 4-6 weeks. Make sure that it is stored in an air-tight container to keep the pickled cabbage fresh. 

top view of ceramic dish filled with pickled cabbage with a silver fork stuck in

Recipe Tips 

  • Have all the vegetables you want to add prepped and ready to go. 
  • While you could eat this after it cools to room temp, the longer you leave it the better it will taste. 
  • Store in an air-tight container for maximum freshness and longer shelf life. 

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Easy Pickled Cabbage Recipe

Learn how to make quick and easy pickled cabbage recipe in this informative post! Pickled cabbage can add a dash of crunch and tang to a variety of dishes, making it a wonderful condiment to have on hand in the refrigerator.
5 from 203 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: German
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Kristen Wood

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cabbage, green or red finely sliced or shredded
  • 1 medium carrot grated
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or shredded
  • 2 cups water
  • cups vinegar of choice I like to use apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar of choice I like coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt I like to use pink Himalayan salt

Instructions

  • Add the shredded cabbage, carrot and garlic to a large jar (quart mason works great!). Pack it down a little with a spoon, a tamper, or your hands. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan over high heat, add the water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil (about 5 minutes).
  • Turn off the heat and immediately pour the brine over the vegetables in the jar until covered, but while reserving at least 1-inch of headspace.
  • Let the jar cool to room temperature before placing the lid on and storing in the fridge.
  • Keep stored in the fridge for up to 4-6 weeks. Enjoy!

Notes

You can enjoy this pickled cabbage, but like a lot of pickled produce, the longer it rests in the refrigerator, the deeper the flavors become!
You might also like 42 Vegan Gut Healing Recipes and Quick Pickled Ginger.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 45kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 221mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1385IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
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5 from 203 votes (156 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




 

57 Comments

    1. Hi! Since this is a quick pickle and not a canning recipe, it is designed to be stored in the refrigerator. Having said that, due to its acidic nature, it could probably withstand being kept in a pantry for about a week, otherwise, I do recommend storing it in the fridge.

  1. been trying to find a great way to use cabbage from my garden. I added garlic and fresh dill in the boiling water. Seems like a great recipe. we shall see!

  2. 5 stars
    This was fantastic on our pulled pork sliders! And who am I kidding. With a fork on its own. Haha.

  3. 5 stars
    This was such an easy and frugal recipe! Turned out perfectly crisp and flavorful and way better than any store bought version, indeed!

  4. 5 stars
    Super easy and tasty! Made this to top our crispy fish tacos last night, and it was perfect!

  5. 5 stars
    I love pickled cabbage on tacos and this recipe is perfectly balanced between sweet and tangy! Yum!

  6. 5 stars
    I love this pickled cabbage! I make really plain pasta or stir fry for kids and it makes any plain dish more flavorful.

  7. 5 stars
    Been searching so long for a pickled cabbage recipe to go with vegan short ribs. This is definitely the answer.

  8. 5 stars
    Never tried making pickled cabbage before. Thanks for sharing. Pinned to try this soon.

  9. 5 stars
    This was such a light, quick and flavorful recipe! Paired perfectly with dinner; even my picky eaters loved it! Definitely, a new favorite!

  10. 5 stars
    Perfect! Love the idea of making ahead of time and keeping it in the fridge for when needed. The flavors in the cabbage are fantastic.

  11. 5 stars
    This was such a fantastic, simple, and tasty dish! We’ll be adding this to the regular rotation.

  12. 5 stars
    I am a pickle fanatic, but I’d never made pickled cabbage before. This is spectacular! Thank you so much for the recipe.

  13. 5 stars
    I LOVED how crunchy this quick pickled cabbage was! I usually follow my grandpa’s long and involved pickling process and this was much easier – and crunchier!

  14. 5 stars
    This is truly a wonderful, satisfying pickled cabbage. Rich in flavor, excellent crunch. Yum!

  15. 5 stars
    I love pickled cabbage with cold meats and so many other dishes so this is the perfect idea to make it myself.

  16. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this! I love pickled cabbage and I never would have thought it was so easy to make!

  17. 5 stars
    Yum, great easy recipe! We loved this pickled cabbage in sandwiches with pastrami! Cannot wait to discover more uses for it! Might try it on a burger, as suggested next!

  18. 5 stars
    I made a batch and used it as a filling in lunch wraps with rotisserie chicken for the week. It’s so good!

  19. 5 stars
    Love this pickled cabbage recipe. I have a few cabbages from the garden and can’t wait to try this recipe.

  20. 5 stars
    I love pickled vegetables and this cabbage was just amazing. I’ll definitely be making this again!

  21. 5 stars
    Oh yum! This pickled cabbage looks fantastic. Such a wonderful condiment to help elevate meals. I love how easily it comes together.

  22. 5 stars
    Pickled cabbage tastes fantastic. I love them in pokebowls and wraps. This one is packed with so much flavour.

  23. 5 stars
    So much yes! I love pickled cabbage and your tips are super helpful for success. It’s so good. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  24. 5 stars
    I always buy this and had no idea how easy it is to make my own! Thanks so much for this.

  25. 5 stars
    Had some leftover red cabbage that I didn’t want to use right away, so this was a perfect recipe to try! Only made it yesterday, and had a little taste – amazing! I’m sure after a couple of weeks in the fridge it will be even better! Can’t wait!

  26. This was quite a hit when I served it at a recent gathering……I leave mine for long as I prefer a stronger flavor.

  27. 5 stars
    Love that I can have a pickled cabbage in such a short amount of time. I usually make sauerkraut but you have to wait for it so much longer so it’s good to have a quick recipe on hand for when I need something for tacos or a side dish.

  28. 5 stars
    We just recently made this cabbage and oh my goodness was it delicious! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

  29. 5 stars
    It’s been a bit since I had pickled cabbage and now I’m having a craving, can’t wait to try this recipe!

  30. 5 stars
    So easy and tasty on some hot dogs. Can’t wait to have this on hand for all my summer grilling!

  31. 5 stars
    I have never made my own pickled cabbage but looking at your easy recipe makes me think I so need to change that!

  32. 5 stars
    These pickled cabbage was so delicious! I made some and used them on top of tacos and stuffed them into sandwiches! I loved the tangy crunch it gives!

  33. 5 stars
    I love pickled veggies and cabbage which makes this a perfect recipe for me. Can’t wait to make this.

  34. 5 stars
    I Made for a gathering and it was a hit, everyone loved it! Will definitely make it again!

  35. 5 stars
    What a great recipe! I love that it’s so quick and easy, and you can vary the intensity of flavor. Cabbage is one of my family’s favorite veggies and this recipe is definitely a tkeeper!