Quick Pickled Red Cabbage is a fantastic condiment and it's so easy to make. It's so good you'll want to put your pickled cabbage on all your favorite dishes!
This post was originally published on June 1, 2016 and has been updated to include better photos and more information.
About Red Cabbage
Red Cabbage, is really purple (in colour) cabbage. The cabbage is purple when raw, but it turns red in the pickling brine.
Purple cabbage is a PH indicator. It turns red in acidic conditions as with the vinegar in this recipe. And it stays purple in neutral conditions and green or yellow in alkaline conditions. Check it out here on ThoughtCo.
What Are Quick Process Pickles?
Quick pickles are also called refrigerator pickles. The vegetables are pickled in vinegar, salt and/or sugar, water and various spices, like the caraway seed in this quick pickled cabbage recipe.
The "quick" part of quick pickling is that there is no canning involved. They are simply refrigerated. This pickling process is perfect when you only need or want a jar or two.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Quick pickled cabbage is super easy to make.
- The pickled shredded, cabbage retains a nice crunch, and has a delicious sweet and sour flavor.
- It also adds a beautiful pop of color and tangy flavor to salads, burgers, hot dogs, tacos or just about anything.
- This easy pickled red cabbage is a versatile recipe! You can easily change the ingredients to suit your flavor cravings. (see suggestions later in this post)
- Pickled red cabbage is a delicious side dish for tempering the heat of spicy foods, like this Blackened Cod and brightening up rich dishes like these Air Fryer Country Style Ribs.
- This is a budget-friendly recipe because cabbage is cheap!
Here's What You Need
- Red Cabbage Use a small head of red cabbage or half of a large one. You can shred the cabbage using a mandolin, food processor, or with a sharp knife and a cutting board.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Caraway Seed
How To Quick Pickle Cabbage
It's so easy, just a few simple steps! (full recipe & instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post).
- Shred the cabbage and place it in a heat proof bowl.
- In a saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and caraway seeds. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Pour the vinegar mixture over the cabbage and stir.
- Cover, and let it sit for one hour.
Finally, allow the cabbage pickle to cool completely before transferring to one or more glass jars with lids. Store in the fridge.
Variations & Notes
This recipe is a German quick pickled red cabbage, but you can try any of these combos too.
- Japanese pickled red cabbage Omit the caraway seed. Swap the vinegar for rice vinegar, add soy sauce and ginger slices.
- Mediterranean pickled red cabbage Omit the caraway seed. Swap the vinegar for red wine vinegar. Add bay leaves, peeled garlic clove, and a sprig of rosemary.
- Mexican pickled red cabbage Replace the caraway seed with red pepper flakes or sliced jalapeno pepper. Add a couple of tablespoons of lime juice and some black peppercorns.
- Indian pickled red cabbage Use white vinegar and replace the caraway with coriander seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves.
- Add thinly sliced red onions to any of the variations.
- Store pickled cabbage in a mason jar or glass container with a lid.
- Keep purple cabbage pickle for up to a month in the fridge.
- When you fill the jar, pack the cabbage in first and then pour in the brine.
- Make sure the cabbage is submerged in the pickling liquid.
- Allow the cabbage to sit in the fridge for a day or two so that the flavor develops before using.
Red cabbage is very nutritious. It's rich in antioxidants, high in fibre, and low in calories. It's also high in vitamins, especially Vitamin K (1 cup of red cabbage provides 85% of the daily value).
No sauerkraut is fermented, usually green cabbage. Quick pickles are not fermented.
Pickled cabbage will keep, covered and refrigerated for up to a month. Just be sure to have all of the cabbage submerged in the pickling solution.
This crunchy condiment is a perfect topping for shrimp or fish tacos, rice bowls, lettuce wraps, or burrito bowls. Use it to add a tangy crunch to salads, burgers, hot dogs, pizza or just about anything.
Quick Pickled Red Cabbage
- ½ large head purple or red cabbage shredded or thinly sliced
- 2 cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 3 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoon caraway seeds
- Put shredded cabbage into a large bowl.
- Put remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Stir until sugar dissolves. Pour over cabbage, stir, and cover.
- Allow the cabbage to stand for about an hour.
- Transfer the cabbage into glass jars along with the liquid, attach lids, and refrigerate for up to a month.