This quick pickled red cabbage is my favorite crunchy condiment to make when I’m looking to use up some leftover cabbage. It’s tangy flavor and bright pink color makes it the perfect topping for burgers, BBQ sandwiches, tacos, etc. the list is truly endless! It also only takes a few minutes to throw together and can sit in your fridge for 4-6 weeks! In fact, the longer it sits, the more zingy, fermented, and delicious its flavor profiles become!
Why make this quick pickled cabbage recipe?
Not only is this an extremely budget-friendly recipe, it’s also my favorite way to use up some leftover red cabbage! It’s tangy crunch and sour flavor make it a unique topping but the best part about picking cabbage (or any vegetable for that matter) is that it really extends the life of the vegetable too. If you have vegetables that are going bad in the back of your fridge and you don’t know how to use them, quick pickle them and they’ll last for weeks longer!
Pantry staples you’ll need for the pickling brine:
- White vinegar
- Rice wine vinegar
I used a combination of vinegars in this recipe but you can just use one if you like! I have listed some other vinegar options further down in the post.
How to make this quick pickled red cabbage recipe:
- Remove the core from the purple cabbage: The core is the pure white part in the center of the head of red cabbage.
- Thinly slice the cabbage… it should look more like shredded cabbage. Try to use a sharp knife or mandolin for this if you have one!
- Bring the pickling brine to a simmer on the stove.
- Pack the raw cabbage into a sterilized jar, and pour the hot brine overtop to completely cover the cabbage.
- If you like, add in any garlic, or spices you like to take your jar to the next level!
- Screw on the top of the jar, set it in the fridge and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes before eating.
There are a few simple steps to make sure you follow in order to end up with delicious pickled vegetables every time! Vinegar-based pickling is what I use in this recipe and it is much faster than fermentation pickling. All you really need to do is make sure you boil the pickling solution and make sure that have a nice, large glass jar with a lid (mason jars are great for this).
Yes! I use 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar in this recipe but that is because I was planning to use this cabbage for a sushi wrap so I wanted the flavor of rice vinegar. As long as you are using a 1 to 1 ratio of water and vinegar, it doesn’t matter what kind you use. Try using all white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, etc.
For red cabbage, I like to add in some sliced raw garlic and whole black peppercorns to kick it up a notch but you can add all sorts of different things! Some other options that would be fun to experiment with are things like mustard seeds, caraway seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, fresh herbs, bay leaves, raw ginger slices, fresh chilis, etc!
Yes! These measurements obviously work great for cabbage but you can use this same pickling solution for pickling many other vegetables too. Red onions are another one of my go-to’s but things like cucumbers, carrots, green beans, red onion, beets and cauliflower are all popular choices as well! Adapt this recipe to work for you.
Quick Pickled Red Cabbage
- 1 small pot
- 1 mason jar (32 ounces or larger)
- 1 small head red cabbage (2-3 cups sliced)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 garlic cloves (sliced)
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- Slice your red cabbage in half, remove a few of the outer leaves, then remove the core of the cabbage by cutting a 'v' shape and pulling it out.
- Take each half of the cabbage and slice it very thinly. Then set it aside for later.
- In a small to medium sized pot, add in the water, both vinegars, sugar and salt. Allow that to come to a simmer.
- Grab your large glass jar and pack in the cabbage.
- Carefully pour the hot pickling liquid over the cabbage, making sure it is completely covered.
- Add in the sliced garlic cloves and peppercorns then screw on the lid and shake it up.
- Allow this to macerate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and it's ready to eat.
- You can keep this in the fridge for as long as 4-6 weeks.