Quick Pickled Cabbage

I've been a big quick-pickling fan for some time now. It started with pickles a few years back. I made a dozen variations and always had jars of pickles on hand, made with fresh cucumbers in the summer. 

This is kind of like my obsession with making quick jams. It's just so easy and they taste fabulous. Sure, you can't jar them and store them in your pantry for a super long time, but that's fine by me. I'll happily eat my quick pickles within a 2-week window. 

Quick Pickled Cabbage | edibleperspective.com

I definitely do not call myself a pickler or a jam-maker (jammer? jammist?) or a canner. I know I am not that. 

But maybe I can start calling myself a quickler? 

Or, not.

Probably not.

Quick Pickled Cabbage | edibleperspective.com

I tried a few different methods of ingredient mix-ins for this recipe and landed on something pretty basic, but with a few flavor infusions to take this quick pickled cabbage to the next level.

Quick Pickled Cabbage | edibleperspective.com

And what's not to love about hot pink food? It's kind of incredible.

Quick Pickled Cabbage | edibleperspective.com

If you're wondering what the heck you'd use this for...

  • as a side dish
  • straight out of the fridge with a fork
  • veggie burger topping
  • salad topping
  • grain bowl topping
  • on an egg salad sandwich
  • etc. etc.
Quick Pickled Cabbage | edibleperspective.com

Print Recipe!

adapted from here + here

Quick Pickled Cabbage

gluten-free, vegan // serves 4-6 as a side, more as a topping

  • 1/2 small/medium head red cabbage
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons muscovado sugar (or coconut sugar, brown sugar, pure cane sugar)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper

Make at least 4 hours before serving.

Slice cabbage in half. Slice one half in half again. Remove the core. Shred cabbage finely with a mandolin slicer or very sharp knife. Place in a large glass bowl or jar.

Place water, vinegar, and sugar in a bowl and whisk together until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Stir in the smashed cloves, bay leaves, caraway seeds (if using), salt, and a good grind of black pepper. Pour over the cabbage. Seal or tightly cover the jar/bowl and let sit on the counter for 3-4 hours. Stir then seal and place in the fridge until chilled (at least 1 hour). 

Stir before serving and be sure to not grab any of the garlic cloves as you serve. 


At first the liquid will not cover all of the cabbage but it starts to soften and will be fully covered after just a few hours. Best served at least 1 day after making. Keeps for about 2 weeks sealed in the fridge.

The caraway seeds are completely optional. They lend a "rye bread" sort of flavor that I adore. I buy them in small quantities in the bulk spice section. You can really get creative with the add-ins or keep it simple without the garlic, bay leaves, and caraway seeds.

To smash a garlic clove, remove the peel and press against the cutting board with the flat part of your knife. It should still be mostly held together.

Quick Pickled Cabbage | edibleperspective.com

Happy Friday, friends!


The Quickle

p.s. Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a copy of The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook from America's Test Kitchen!