Quick Pickled Cabbage (+ How To Pickle Any Vegetable)

By Jessica Hylton - - Updated

This Quick Pickled Cabbage recipe takes only 10 minutes! It completely transforms the pickles, and adds a divine pop of flavour to any recipe. Use them in sandwiches, tacos, burgers and any recipe you like!

Purple quick pickled cabbage held up by a fork over a jar of more quick pickled cabbage.

There’s something completely satisfying about a simple recipe that’s done so beautifully well. A recipe that doesn’t need much effort or work, yet comes out so divine that you wonder, what was that flavour that made it so unique?

Often times this has happened to me in restaurants and I realised that the chef did something to a particular ingredient that I’ve never done, so of course I wouldn’t be able to figure it out. Case in point – using pickled vegetables.

On their own it’s obvious, but when in combination with other ingredients, what a beautiful medley of flavours it can create! This Quick Pickled Cabbage certainly does that.

Add this to an already delicious vegan burger with a creamy sauce. To a taco. To a slaw. It creates something close to perfection. A sweet, brine-y flavour that you almost NEED each time now!

A fork in purple quick pickled cabbage in a jar.

Pickling vegetables is one of my favourite ways to enjoy them. You transform something that already works, and make it way better, with way more flavour, thanks to our lovely friend vinegar. The vegetable becomes softer. More delicate in shape. Adds such a burst of flavour. Plus, it’s so easy to do. I love that you can pretty much pickle anything, with any flavour too. Some of my favourites:

Use this simple recipe for any of the above and see the magic to come alive. Boil the vinegar, then add the veggies, then soak. It’s really that easy. Then of course, let the fridge do the rest of the work for you. The real work happens when the vegetables are cooling, and by the next day, it’s like a true masterpiece.

Apart from the divine flavour, one of my favourite things about this quick pickled cabbage is that beautiful pink hue! It makes any meal automatically prettier, which already makes you feel like it’s going to taste better, so win, win, right?

Enjoy friends!

Purple quick pickled cabbage in a jar, overheard view.

This Quick Pickled Cabbage recipe takes only 10 minutes! It completely transforms the pickles, and adds a divine pop of flavour to any recipe. Use them in sandwiches, tacos, burgers and any recipe you like! via https://jessicainthekitchen.com
Purple quick pickled cabbage held up by a fork over a jar of more quick pickled cabbage in a glass jar.

Quick Pickled Cabbage

This Quick Pickled Cabbage recipe takes only 10 minutes! It completely transforms the pickles, and adds a divine pop of flavour to any recipe. Use them in sandwiches, tacos, burgers and any recipe you like!
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 jar
Course Jams, Sauces, Dips & Spreads, Sides
Cuisine American
  • ½ head red cabbage chopped into smaller pieces
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut/cane/brown sugar
  • lime slices
  • handful of peppercorns + any additional seasonings cumin seeds, jalapeño etc.


  • In a pot, add the vinegar, water, sea salt, sugar and peppercorns. If using any other additional seasonings, add them now too. Stir together. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
  • Add in the red cabbage, and allow to boil for 2 minutes with the red cabbage.
  • Remove from heat, let cool for 1 minute, then pour into a mason jar large enough to hold everything and that also allows the red cabbage to be completely covered in the vinegar mixture. Add in the lime slices (optional) and swirl together to mix everything together.
  • Allow the mixture to cool completely to room temperature. You can serve immediately once cooled, but if you let it sit and continue to pickle, the flavours meld incredibly. I tried mine three days later and they were perfect. A week is even better. They will last several weeks in your fridge in a mason jar that has the cover tightly screwed on.
  • Enjoy!


Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4813mg | Potassium: 1194mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 4682IU | Vitamin C: 239mg | Calcium: 206mg | Iron: 4mg
by Jessica

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Recipe Rating


  1. Jean M says:

    I am bookmarking this to try! Funny, a couple of days ago my brother and I swapped pickle recipes. He gave me a pickled onion recipe and I gave him our mom’s refrigerator pickle recipe. Maybe pickling fresh veggies is a sign of spring? Or maybe great minds think alike!

    • Jessica says:

      You’re so welcome Jean and thanks for your comment!! I hope you got to give it a try! I think it’s both – Yes pickling fresh veggies is definitely a sign of spring and great minds think alike haha!

  2. Patty Hontalas says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I had a pickled onion on a veggie burger in a restaurant that made the burger outstanding. I didn’t know it was so easy to do. Can’t wait to try pickling my veggies. I really enjoy your post!!!

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Thanks so much Patty! I hope you enjoy!!

  3. Anna says:

    I’m assuming that the sugar is optional for taste, but is the salt essential for the pickling process? I am attempting to eat zero added sugar and zero salt WFPB. Would this work at all or would I be wasting good cabbage and vinegar?

    • Jessica says:

      Hey Anna, sorry for the late response but answering in case anyone else asks and if you still need it! Yes you can skip the salt and the sugar! But if you’re skipping one and not the other, I would reduce one since they balance each other out. I have not tried it without either and I know it might affect the taste but I do know it’s very possible to pickled
      without them! I hope that helps!

  4. Billy says:

    These pictures are breathtaking. Thank you so much for sharing! Can’t wait to make my own pickled cabbage at home – I haven’t made sauerkraut in ages, but my family needs to get some more in their diets!

    • Jessica says:

      aww thank you so much Billy!! I hope you enjoy so much and get to make for your family!

  5. brinacyl says:

    Greetings from Pakistan. Thank you for a delicious and quick recipe. My pickle is about to go in the fridge. Can’t wait using it everyday.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      You’re so welcome! Thanks for leaving such a kind message. We hope you enjoy!

  6. Awesome says:

    Youuuuu Rock, Jessica! Have made this repeatedly…sooooo delicious!!!!! I also wanted to try eating seaweed but the “sea” taste I couldn’t get past until I pickled it using your recipe. Now i eat it all the time on top of my salads with a little olive oil….no need to makes a dressing!!! Thanks again!!

    • Jessica says:

      Aww yay I am so so happy to hear that!! Thanks so much for your comment!

  7. Nikkk says:

    I would love to know this too – thanks Jessica!

    • Nikkk says:

      ***Sorry, in regards to Anna’s question about if the sugar is optional and if it can still be done without it or an alternative.

      • Jessica says:

        Hi Nikkk,

        The sugar is optional but I’ve never pickled without it so I have no idea how it would taste! If there’s no sugar, you may have to adjust the salt amount too so it doesn’t actually taste salty. So that’s why it’s a little difficult to say “yes” for sure since they balance each other out! But if you’re removing the sugar I would add maybe only ½ teaspoon sea salt and see how it tastes! If you can’t do salt at all/want to cut it out try it with no salt and see how it works for you. You can always re-boil for a minute if you find it needs more, or just add more to the jar and it’ll marinate in a few hours with the extra if needed! I hope that helps!

  8. Holly says:

    5 stars
    Amazing, my new favourite snack, pickled cabbage!

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Awesome Holly We’re so happy that you like the recipe!

  9. TF says:

    Have you added beets to this recipe? If yes, how much and how did it taste? Thanks

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi TF we haven’t added beets to this recipe yet. We should though because that’s a great idea!

  10. Luka Koprivica says:

    5 stars
    I come from a country where everything gets pickled, Serbia, but cabbage gets a bit different treatment, we call it “sour cabbage”.
    However, that process takes too long and you need a huge barrel and a lot of cabbages… So, I can’t wait to try this!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Luka,

      Oh sour cabbage does sound very delicious!! I hope you enjoy this dish so very much – it goes so well on everything! Thank you so much!!

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