JOIN THE EATMAIL for exclusive recipes & meal ideas

logo logo

Easy Pickled Red Cabbage

Breaking down the basics of how to add delicious and tangy crunch to your life with this guide to easy Pickled Red Cabbage!

Pickled red cabbage in a mason jar on a green background

I’ve always held a general aversion towards pickles. Something about the flavor of them just does not do it for me. So I assumed all pickled things were the worst. That is until I moved to San Antonio for a while and fell in love with the pickled cabbages found on some of the best tacos in town.

Pickled cabbage adds crunch, color, and zesty flavor, and I didn’t realize how much I was missing out by swearing off all pickled things like I had my whole life!

So in the name of swaying all you other pickle-haters out of the dark side, today I’m breaking down the basics of easy Pickled Red Cabbage.

Half a head of red cabbage with a bowl of shredded cabbage on a green background

Ingredients for Pickled Red Cabbage

  • Red Cabbage: Red cabbage is high in vitamin C and iron, making it an ultra-healthy choice. And, I mean, that color! 😍
  • Vinegar: Use apple cider or red wine vinegar to soften the cabbage and bring that distinctive flavor.
  • Seasonings: Finish it off with a quick blend of spices. I use sugar, garlic, salt, and pepper, but feel free to throw in your favorite dried herbs or spices!

How to make pickled cabbage

Making homemade pickled cabbage is so easy. You’ll just shred the cabbage, mix it together with our brine (a combination of vinegar, water, sugar, garlic, salt, and pepper), then let it sit for at least 2 hours.

We won’t ferment this (like we would do with napa cabbage to make kimchi), but rather set it in the fridge where the flavors will continue to develop and soak into the cabbage.

What to do with pickled cabbage

Pickled cabbage is the perfect zingy condiment to all sorts of meals! Try sprinkling a handful of it onto:

Pickled red cabbage in a mason jar on a green background

Love Pickles? Be sure to try our other pickling recipes

Breaking down the basics of how to add delicious and tangy crunch to your life with this guide to easy Pickled Red Cabbage!

Easy Pickled Red Cabbage

Breaking down the basics of how to add delicious and tangy crunch to your life with this guide to easy Pickled Red Cabbage!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dips, Sauces, and Salsas, Side Dishes
Keyword: pickled cabbage
Diet: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian
Occasion: 4th of July, Cinco de Mayo, Game Day
Time: 60 minutes or more
Prep: 10 mins
Resting Time: 2 hrs
Total: 5 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 22kcal
Author: Sarah Bond
4.5 from 79 votes


  • ¼ of a red cabbage
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar 120 mL
  • ½ cup water 120 mL
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper


  • Cut: Remove the core from the cabbage then shred with a mandolin slicer or knife.
  • Pickle: Add cabbage to a large glass jar or bowl, along with all other ingredients. Seal jar and shake, or simply stir bowl and cover. Set on the counter for at least 2 hours (up to 6), shaking/stirring occasionally.
  • Serve: Store tightly sealed in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks. Serve over salads, wraps, tacos, or burgers!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 22kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.6g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 396mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3.3g | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 0mg
Hungry for more?
Join our Eatmail newsletter for weekly new recipes and a complimentary copy of our vegetarian dinners cookbook!
This post may contain affiliate links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links may benefit Live Eat Learn. Read more about our affiliate linking.

Hi, I’m Sarah!

Showing you how to make easy vegetarian recipes, one ingredient at a time.  Read more

Read more

Dinner Opt-in

Comments (49)

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe Rating

  1. Naomi Phillips says:

    Thank you!💖5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      You’re very welcome 😀

  2. Jo says:

    Thanks for the recipe. Do you know how long will the pickled cabbage keep?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Jo! I would comfortably eat it for 2 to 3 weeks.

  3. Dennis says:

    Was always afraid of pickling anything but this recipe was very easy to follow and went great on my pulled pork tostadas. Will def be pickling more often 🙂 thank you!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear, Dennis! 😀

  4. Sue says:

    I have made this before but forgot what I used on the vinegar so I did it again making one of each

  5. Wendy Marshall says:

    Fab cab, will make this frequently now. I love it, don’t know why I’ve never tried it b4.5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Happy to hear it, Wendy! 😀

  6. Julie says:

    How about using green cabbage?

    1. Sarah says:

      I haven’t tried it with green cabbage, but I think it would work! 😀

  7. Christiane says:

    I love making my own pickles, but have never made it with red cabbage – until yesterday! The cabbage is now in a jar, waiting for two weeks. Can’t wait!
    I’ve just started a blog for low carb cooking and will post some of my pickles there too at some point (even though all goes slower in these crazy times). I love your recipes!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Aw so happy to hear you’re liking the recipes! And fun that you’re starting a blog! Indeed everything goes slower now adays, but it’s also a fun time to work on passion projects 😀

  8. Jane in NYC says:

    Thanks! This will keep us busy during quarantine – and slender for after it!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Oh then you’ll love our spotlight ingredient this week – we’re pickling everything! Stay tuned for the recipes coming out in the next few days 😀

  9. Mariana says:

    Do you have to leave it in the fridge for 2-3 weeks before it’s ready to be eaten? Or that’s the time it stays good for? Thank you!! Looking forward to trying it today!

    1. Sarah says:

      2 to 3 weeks is the amount of time it’s good for. You can usually start chowing down after 30 to 60 minutes of it sitting in the brine! 😀

  10. Anna says:

    Thanks for the recipe! Will try this today. Quick question on the brine- do you boil this together and then fill the jar or mix all the spices in cold water & vinegar? Thanks in advance!

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Anna! You don’t need to boil it – doing so would just make the salt and sugar dissolve more quickly. I like to just shake or stir the jar every once in a while and that does the trick!

  11. Melissa says:

    Talk about a great recipe for quarantine cooking. I made some of this, and we have used it in our Mexican night rotation, in rice bowls, on tacos, in salads, etc. I have to say that a small bowl of pickled cabbage with pumpkin seeds on top is a great combo! Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear you liked it, Melissa! 😀 Sounds delish with the pumpkin seeds.

  12. Rach says:

    Hi, should the liquid completely cover the cabbage?? I’ve done it as it seems like such a great recipe but worried my liquid to cabbage ratio isn’t right!!

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Rach! It’s okay if the liquid doesn’t cover it completely. Just push the cabbage in as much as possible, then stir every day or so 😀

  13. Vanessa says:

    So I’ve followed the recipe and the liquid part doesn’t even get to half of the cabbage… is that correct or should I add more liquid? I’m using a large mason jar

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Vanessa! Your cabbage may have just been a little larger maybe. You can add more liquid to nearly cover it (though the cabbage will soften and release some liquid with time). Thanks for pointing that out though, I’ll retest as well!

  14. andy aangaak says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Wow this is the very first “pickled red cabbage” recipe that I have googled that doesn’t require boiling the liquid and you have succeeded , so I will be following this and THANK YOU !!! I will try this in few minutes <3

    1. Sarah says:

      We’re all about easy recipe here, and boiling just wasn’t on our priorities list! 😅 Enjoy!

  15. Margaret Piddock says:

    Just made this, looking good, looking forward to the results. Thanks for the recipe x

  16. Alanah says:

    Looking forward to trying this! I bought a red cabbage and have a whole lot leftover, this will be the perfect way to use it. Is it possible to cut down the amount of sugar to half a tablespoon?

    1. Sarah says:

      Yep that shouldn’t be a problem! 😀

  17. Ninette says:

    Looking forward to trying this but I don’t have any apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar on hand. Do you know if white wine vinegar or regular vinegar would work as a substitute?

    1. Sarah says:

      Yep, white vinegar will work here! 😀

  18. Emma says:

    This was so delicious!!! Made these to go on top of my slow-cooked chicken tacos and I think they stole the show! It was so delicious, we ended up eating the whole jar! I definitely will be doing this a lot in the future. Thanks for such an easy, awesome recipe!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear it, Emma! Enjoy! 😀

  19. JIM CAVINESS says:


    1. Sarah says:

      1 Tbsp should work well 🙂

  20. Melanie says:

    Do you store it in the liquid or drain?

    1. Sarah says:

      Store it in the liquid! 😀

  21. CJ says:

    Hi Sarah. This is great, and my first foray into pickling (which I have wanted to try for ever!! Bit late to the party, buy this was so simple it got me there!)

    Can I check – there was no heat/boiling required? I just used cold vinegar and cold water. Some of your other pickling recipes talk about preparing the brine and mention boiling the water and vinegar and dissolving the sugar etc. I didn’t do this to pickle this red cabbage – Is that incorrect?

    Thanks again for a great and inspirational site!

    1. Sarah says:

      Nope, no need for that! I usually just heat the water if I want to dissolve the sugar more quickly, but it’s not totally necessary. Happy pickling!

  22. Christina says:

    I actually froze these after making, and they were fine that way. I was able to make a big batch and use one jar at a time! Delicious. Even my three year old son loves them!

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear it, Christina! Thanks for the tip! 😀

  23. Shelley says:

    Have you ever tried canning this?5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      I have not, but it is certainly possible!

  24. Maria says:

    Should I blanch or cook my vegetables first?

  25. Hanneke says:

    Third time I’ve made this, which is saying something because I’m a slave to variety.

    Love it with poke bowls, but I have it with pretty much anything: chilli, fried rice, stew, curry. Great flavour and so easy to make.

    Thanks for the recipe, Sarah.5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      YAY! This makes me so happy to hear, Hanneke! Enjoy! 😀