Quick Pickled Red Cabbage


If you’re looking to add a kick of flavor and a punch of color to your meals, pickled red cabbage is the way to go. Not only does it bring a delightful tanginess to your dishes, but it also offers health benefits. Red cabbage is rich in vitamins C and K, and the pickling process helps to preserve these nutrients while adding probiotics.

Quick Pickled Red Cabbage

What is Pickled Red Cabbage?

Pickled red cabbage is a type of preserved vegetable made by fermenting fresh red cabbage in a mixture of vinegar, salt, and often sugar. This process is known as pickling, and it results in a tangy, flavorful product that is often used as a condiment, side dish, or ingredient in a variety of recipes.

The pickling process not only imparts a unique flavor to the cabbage but also helps to preserve it, allowing it to be stored for longer periods. It can be prepared easily at home or bought pre-made from a store.

Pickled red cabbage is particularly popular in European cuisines, where it is often served alongside dishes like roast meats and sausages.

What are Quick Process Pickles

Quick process pickles, also known as quick pickles or refrigerator pickles, are a type of homemade pickle that are made using a simple method that requires only a few hours or days to complete.

Unlike traditional pickling methods which can take several weeks or months, quick pickling involves soaking vegetables or fruits in a pickling solution (usually a mixture of vinegar, water, salt, and sugar) and then storing them in the refrigerator.

The result is a crisp, tangy pickle that retains much of the original texture and flavor of the fresh produce. Quick process pickles are a fantastic way to preserve seasonal produce, and they can be customized with a wide variety of flavors, from classic dill and garlic to more adventurous combinations like ginger and chili.

However, because they are not fully fermented, quick process pickles do not have the same probiotic benefits as fermented pickles, and their shelf life is shorter (typically 1-2 months in the refrigerator).

How to Make Pickled Red Cabbage

To start off on your pickling adventure, you’ll need a few simple ingredients:

  • 1 medium-sized red cabbage
  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar

You’ll also need a knife, a large bowl, a saucepan, and glass jars for storing your pickled cabbage.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Thinly slice the red cabbage using a sharp knife or mandolin and place it into the large bowl.
  2. In your saucepan, combine the apple cider vinegar mixture, water, salt, and sugar. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Once boiling, pour the brine over the sliced cabbage.
  4. Let the cabbage sit in the brine until it cools down to room temperature.
  5. Once cooled, transfer your pickled red cabbage into glass jars and store it in the fridge. It will be ready to eat after 24 hours and can last for several weeks.

Quick Pickle Red Cabbage

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Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


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  • 1 medium 1 sized red cabbage

  • 1 cup 1 apple cider vinegar

  • 1 cup 1 water

  • 2 tablespoons 2 salt

  • 1 tablespoon 1 sugar

  • 2 tablespoon 2 caraway seeds


  • Slice the red cabbage and put into a bowl.
  • Combine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to boil.
  • Pour brine over cabbage.
  • Let cool then transfer into glass jars.
  • Store in fridge for at least 24 hours before serving.

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You can tailor this basic pickled red cabbage recipe to suit your tastes.

For a spicy version, add sliced jalapenos or red pepper flakes into the brine. If you prefer a sweeter pickle, increase the amount of sugar or add some honey. For those following a low-sodium diet, reduce the amount of salt and add more herbs or spices for flavor.

Caraway seeds or mustard seeds can be used instead of coriander seeds. You can swap the vinegar for red wine vinegar.

See Also: Kool Aid Pickles

Tips & Tricks

Avoid common mistakes by slicing your cabbage thinly for better absorption of the brine and using fresh produce for best results. To achieve the best taste and texture, let your pickled red cabbage chill in the fridge for at least 24 hours before serving.

Storing your pickle in a clean and tightly sealed glass jar keeps it fresh for longer. Make sure your cabbage is submerged in the brine to avoid spoilage.


Can I use white cabbage instead of red?

Yes! The process is the same; however, red cabbage tends to have a more robust flavor and adds a vibrant color to dishes.

Why is my pickled red cabbage too sour or too sweet?

The flavor depends on the balance between vinegar (sour) and sugar (sweet) in your brine. Adjust these components according to your preference.

Is Pickled Red Cabbage Healthy?

Yes, pickled red cabbage is indeed healthy. Red cabbage is a nutrient-dense vegetable that is rich in essential vitamins like vitamin C and K. The pickling process helps to preserve these nutrients, extending their shelf-life and enhancing their bioavailability.

How long does pickled red cabbage last in a jar?

When properly stored, quick pickled red cabbage can last for several weeks in the refrigerator. It should be kept in a clean glass jar, tightly sealed, and fully submerged in the brine to prevent spoilage. For the best taste and texture, it is recommended to consume the pickled red cabbage within a few weeks

Serving Suggestions

Pickled red cabbage can be served as a side dish or used as an ingredient in salads, sandwiches, tacos, or stir-fries. It pairs well with rich meats like burgers or duck as its tanginess cuts through the fat.

Here are some suggestions on how to use it:

  1. Side Dish: Serve pickled red cabbage as a side to complement your main course. It pairs particularly well with rich meats like pork or duck, as its tanginess helps to cut through the fat.
  2. Salads: Incorporate pickled red cabbage into your salads for an added crunch and a burst of flavor.
  3. Sandwiches and Tacos: Use pickled red cabbage as a topping on sandwiches and tacos to elevate their taste.
  4. Stir-fries: Add pickled red cabbage to your stir-fries for a unique twist.

Storing Quick Pickled Red Cabbage

Once your pickled red cabbage has cooled down to room temperature, transfer it into clean glass jars. Ensure the cabbage is completely submerged in the brine to avoid spoilage.

The jar lid should be sealed tightly and stored in the refrigerator. It’s recommended to let the pickled cabbage chill for at least 24 hours before serving to achieve the best taste and texture. Properly stored, quick pickled red cabbage can last for several weeks in the fridge. Remember, always use a clean utensil when serving to prolong its shelf life.


Now that you know how easy it is to make quick-pickled cabbage at home, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and give it a try! Not only is it delicious and versatile but also packed with health benefits. We’re eager to hear about your pickling experience—don’t hesitate to share your results or any creative variations you’ve tried! Happy pickling!

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