Quick Pickled Red Cabbage – Add A Tangy Twist to your meals

Add a delicious crunch and vibrant colour to your meals while sneaking in more vegetables with this Quick Pickled Red Cabbage recipe. In just 10 minutes, you can whip up a tangy condiment that you can add to your salads, sandwiches, tacos and wraps – the possibilities are endless!

pickled red cabbage in a mason jar

This is quite possibly one recipe along with my no cook pickled red onions that I make every week. We love red cabbage with its distinctive flavour and exceptional crunch, but it can have a slightly bitter aftertaste when eaten raw. So this is why I always lightly pickle a batch so it’s always on hand to add to our meals. Not only is this an incredibly budget-friendly recipe it is also a great way to use up any leftover cabbage you have helping to reduce food waste!

But red cabbage isn’t just a pretty addition to your plate. This vibrant vegetable is bursting with nutrition, making it a perfect addition to a whole food lifestyle, especially when we’re talking about diabetes management. This quick pickled cabbage recipe is one of teh easiest ways to get more veg in your diet as I discuss in the article below:

A plant based meal with the title 21 simple ways to eat more plants

21 SIMPLE WAYS TO EAT MORE PLANTS 

Eating more plants can improve your health but how can you easily do this? Read on to learn simple tips to eat more plants!

The Power of the Purple – Why Red Cabbage Belongs in Your Diet

Red cabbage, also known as purple cabbage, is brimming with health benefits. It is a cruciferous vegetable which means it belongs to the plant family Brassicaceae. Think broccoli, cauliflower, kale etc. 

red cabbage on a chopping board and knife

While green cabbage is a classic and most people go to, its red cousin offers a unique set of health benefits. Here are a few reasons to consider adding more red cabbage to your diet:

  • Packed with Vitamin C: This essential vitamin plays a crucial role in immune function, wound healing, and collagen production.
  • Good Source of Vitamin K: Vitamin K is vital for maintaining strong bones and blood clotting.
  • High in Fibre: Fibre keeps you feeling fuller for longer, aids digestion, and supports gut health, which is increasingly recognised as important for overall well-being. But more importantly, fibre can be particularly helpful when managing diabetes, as it can help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Rich in Antioxidants: Red cabbage has powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage.

This fantastically easy recipe for quick-pickled red cabbage is the ideal way to add a burst of colour, flavour and another vegetable to your meals.

What you will need to make Pickled Cabbage

Here’s the beauty of quick pickling – it doesn’t require any fancy equipment or hours of fermentation. With just a few simple ingredients and 10 minutes of your time, you can have a jar of delicious pickled red cabbage ready to add a nice crunch and a nutritious kick to your meals.

Ingredients for quick pickled red cabbage

Red Cabbage

  • Loaded with vitamins like C & K, antioxidants and fibre 

Apple Cider Vinegar 

  • Touted to have lots of different health benefits, but I just like teh taste
  • You can also use red wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar for a slightly different flavour profile

Xylitol 

  • ​Has a low glycemic index and doesn’t raise blood sugars
  • Or use a natural sweetener of your choice

Salt

Equipment

How to Make Quick Pickled Red Cabbage

red cabbage on a chopping board with some shredded using a wave cutter

Step 1

Shred the Cabbage: Using a sharp knife, wave cutter (my favourite) or mandoline slicer, thinly shred the red cabbage.

red cabbage in a bowl with salt & xylitol

Step 2

Combine the Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, apple cider vinegar, xylitol, and salt.

pickled red cabbage in a bowl with a spoon

Step 3

Toss everything together until well coated and the colour transforms into this beautiful pink.

 Leave it in the bowl if you’re using it straight away. Just give it 10 minutes to soften a lightly pickle

Step 4

Transfer to Jar: If you are making teh cabbage in advance then pack the cabbage mixture into your clean glass jar. The longer you leave it, the tangier the flavour will become.

Top Tip: Give the jar a gentle shake every now and then to redistribute the pickling liquid.

The best part? Your quick-pickled red cabbage only needs 10-15 minutes to infuse before it’s ready to eat so there is no need to prep ahead of time.

Serving Suggestions and Storage Information

There are so many ways you can enjoy this delicious condiment so explore and have fun with discovering the endless possibilities. However here are a few of my favourite ways to enjoy this easy pickled red cabbage:

  • Salads: Add a good spoonful of quick-pickled red cabbage to your next salad for a vibrant pop of colour, a delightful crunch, and a burst of tangy flavour. Our favourite is adding them to a Mexican no burrito bowl loaded with chopped vegetables, avocado, sauteed sweet potato and slow cooked chipotle chicken.
Salad bowl with pickled red cabbage sweetcorn avocado, sweet potato and shredded chipotle chicken
  • Sandwiches & Wraps: For a quick and tasty lunch, pickled cabbage makes the perfect topping for your sandwiches and wraps. It’s a fantastic way to add a healthy dose of vegetables and an extra flavour
  • Tacos & Burgers: Ditch the boring old toppings! Liven up your taco nights and burgers with this easy pickled cabbage. It adds a refreshing crunch and a touch of acidity that perfectly complements the richness of meat.
  • Side Dish: Looking for a quick and healthy side dish? Look no further! Quick-pickled red cabbage is a fantastic accompaniment to grilled fish, roasted sweet potatoes, or even a simple whole-roasted chicken.
quick pickled red cabbage in a mason jar

Storing Your Pickled Cabbage

Your quick-pickled red cabbage will happily stay fresh in your fridge for a couple of weeks. Store it in an airtight container (which is preferably glass to avoid staining), and remember to scoop it out with a clean utensil to prevent contamination.

I prefer to serve my cabbage pickle at room temperature so I get it out of the fridge a couple of hours before I need it.

Top Tip: The pickling liquid becomes infused with the flavour of the red cabbage. Don’t throw it away! Use it as a tangy salad dressing or marinade for your next dish

Variations to try

This quick pickled red cabbage recipe is incredibly versatile and can be customised to make it your own. Here are some suggestions:

Asian Twist: For a touch of the Orient, swap the apple cider vinegar for rice vinegar and add a splash of soy sauce. This creates a sweet and savoury combination that complements Asian-inspired dishes beautifully.

Change the Vinegar: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of vinegar or even lime & lemon juice! Try red wine vinegar for a deeper, richer flavour or white wine vinegar for a lighter, more delicate touch.

Extra Flavour: Here are some additional flavours you can add to the pickling liquid:

  • Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a touch of heat.
  • Coriander seeds and bay leaves infuse the pickling liquid with a warm, earthy aroma.
  • Mustard seeds add a delightful pop of sharp spiciness.
  • Throw in a whole garlic clove for a subtle garlicky note.
  • Juniper berries offer a unique, woody aroma that pairs well with the cabbage. Start with just a few berries, as their flavour can be quite strong.

Feel free to mix and match these variations to create your own unique flavour combinations! 

Diabetes Note

This quick pickled red cabbage is a fantastic way to add a burst of flavour and colour to your meals without spiking your blood sugar. Red cabbage is naturally low in carbs, and the fibre in the cabbage helps slow sugar absorption. While the recipe uses xylitol, a sugar alcohol with minimal impact on blood sugar, remember, everyone reacts differently to food.

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Quick Pickled Red Cabbage

Quick Pickled Red Cabbage

Recipe by Michelle

Add a delicious crunch and vibrant colour to your meals while sneaking in more vegetables with this Quick Pickled Red Cabbage recipe

Course: CondimentCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Very Easy
5.0 from 2 votes
Servings

1

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

0

minutes
Pickling

10

minutes
Total time

15

minutes
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head 1/2 red cabbage (approx 500g)

  • 75 ml 75 apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tbsp 1 xylitol

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 salt

Directions

  • Using a sharp knife, wave cutter or mandoline slicer, thinly shred the red cabbage.
  • In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, apple cider vinegar, xylitol, and salt. Toss everything together until well coated
  • Toss everything together until well coated and the colour transforms into this beautiful pink.
    Leave it in the bowl if you’re using it straight away.
    Just give it 10 minutes to soften a lightly pickle
  • If you are making the cabbage in advance then pack the cabbage mixture into your clean glass jar.
    The longer you leave it, the tangier the flavour will become.

Equipment

Tips and Notes

  • Sorage – Your quick-pickled red cabbage will happily stay fresh in your fridge for a couple of weeks.
  • Don’t throw teh pickling liquid away! Use it as a tangy salad dressing or marinade for your next dish!
  • Diabetes Note – Red cabbage is naturally low in carbs, and the fibre in the cabbage helps slow sugar absorption. While the recipe uses xylitol, a sugar alcohol with minimal impact on blood sugar, remember, everyone reacts differently to food.
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I’m on a mission to prove that eating for health and managing diabetes can be easy & incredibly flavourful.

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