Skip to Content

How to Make Quick Pickled Cabbage

This post may contain affiliate links.

When you need that balance of acidic flavors this quick pickled cabbage is here for you! Beautiful, bright purple colors of this red cabbage are a pop of natural color to make any sandwich pop with tangy vinegar and a touch of sweet.

Sandwiches, tacos, burgers… quick pickled cabbage is first and foremost, ridiculously easy to make. So besides being naturally, super colorfully amazing, pickled red cabbage comes together in no time, and I think that’s something we can all appreciate.

steeping the sliced red cabbage to be pickled

How to eat quick pickled cabbage

Any way you like, really! You know, like most things, do what makes you happy. 

But in a foodie way, that vinegary pickle acidic tang is the perfect yin to the yang of any rich sauce, like aioli, or to balance out the fat in other eats – think burgers or charcuterie.

Quick pickled cabbage will add not just flavor, but when using red cabbage the color is out of this world. It’s a little purple, a little red and kinda fuscia.

quick pickled cabbage in a bowl

Our favorite way to crush on this cabbage is on tacos. The melty cheese and toasty tortilla are great on their own, but a little pop of acid with the texture of the crunch is really going to bring your tacos to the next level.

The best part is you can customize your pickled cabbage to your choosing! So if you want to add spice or maybe sliced carrots or switch up the type of vinegar, it’s all good!

quick pickled cabbage in a bowl

How to make quick pickled cabbage

Are you ready to make yourself some tangy, crunchy goodness in no time? It’s very, very simple.

In the container you plan to use for your pickled cabbage, add the vinegar, sugar, and any spices you want. Black peppercorns are usually my go to, but just vinegar and sugar are well balanced flavors on their own. Shake or stir everything to combine.

Overhead view of quick pickled cabbage in a mason jar

red cabbage steeping in a bowl

Set water to boil in either a tea kettle or sauce pan. Pour the hot steaming water over the red cabbage in a colander. Shake off the excess water and transfer to the jar with the sugar-vinegar mixture.

Then all you have to do is patiently wait 30 minutes and your quick pickled cabbage is ready to go. The flavor will get better the longer it sits, up to 3 days.

How are you planning to use your quick pickled cabbage? Spill your plans in the comments!

quick pickled cabbage in a bowl

How to Make Quick Pickled Cabbage

A tangy, crunchy topping or side ready to go in 30 minutes! This quick pickled red cabbage is the great on top of tacos, sandwiches or to put on a cheeseboard for a pop of color and balance of acidic taste!
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to quick pickle, quick pickled cabbage, red cabbage, toppings for tacos
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 77kcal
Author: Lauren


  • 1 cup sliced red cabbage
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • optional: add spices like black peppercorn


  • Set 2 to 3 cups of water to boil in a kettle or a sauce pan.  In a container with a lid, like a mason jar, add vinegar, sugar, salt and any spices if you choose.  Stir to combine.
  • Place the sliced cabbage in a colander.  Once the water is boiling, pour slowly over the cabbage until all the water is gone.  This can be done over the sink or over a large bowl.
  • Transfer the red cabbage to the container with the vinegar mixture.  Let sit for 30 minutes before using.  Flavor will develop and the harshness of the vinegar will mellow the longer it sits.  Store covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days.


Calories: 77kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1191mg | Potassium: 220mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 993IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg





Peanut Butter Banana Bread with Salted Chocolate Chips
← Previous
Low-Calorie Spicy Thai Peanut Dressing
Next →
Recipe Rating


Thursday 21st of January 2021

It provided what I sought, a quick way to pickle red cabbage

Sarah Elkin

Sunday 6th of December 2020

If i don't use the boiling water &.just put the shredded cabbage into the jar/mixture, woujd it stay crunchy for longer? Thinking of making it as gifts!


Tuesday 8th of December 2020

The cabbage will still be crunchy even with the water! It's just a quick pass of water over the cabbage, not a soak.


Wednesday 28th of October 2020

does this work equally as well with other firm veggies (thinking carrots, for example)? either on their own or mixed with the cabbage


Thursday 29th of October 2020

Yes! I use this same recipe for red onions all the time. I would just cut the vegetables thin so the hot water blanches them enough.


Thursday 27th of August 2020

Can I mix the varieties of vinegar? say, using 1/4 cup of each?


Tuesday 1st of September 2020



Wednesday 24th of June 2020

Hey there. Do you actually drain all of the liquid after it has been marinated?


Friday 26th of June 2020

I drain some of it depending on the container I use, but for storing leftovers, I leave them sitting in the liquid (think like the pickles you get at the grocery store.)