Quick pickled cabbage recipe you can enjoy as a snack or side dish. Use pickling spices and mason jars for the best St. Patricks Day recipe.
Getting ready for St. Patrick’s Day or just obsessed with simple cabbage recipes like we are? You’ve got to try quick pickled cabbage, you’ll want to make this year round. A low carb, keto friendly dish packed with TONS of flavor. We’ll share how to make it homemade or with packaged pickling spices. (affiliate links present)
Have you acquired a taste for this green veggie yet? Ok there is a red or purple variety too, you can use either one for this. It is crunchy, and can be made into all sorts of things. From cabbage soup to salads, corned beef and cabbage or stuffed with ground beef we love it all sorts of ways.
It is a very cheap ingredient too which I love. I’ll be honest, I didn’t want anything to do with this head until I was in my 30’s. My Grandmother made it with everything, like several times a week. I had NO desire to even taste one bite and then all of a sudden when she was gone I couldn’t get enough of it, go figure.
Pickled Cabbage Slaw
You’ll want to cut this into small bite sized pieces, or you could shred it into more of a cole slaw consistency if you would rather. The smaller the pieces the more pungent the flavor in each piece. Unlike our baked cabbage steaks there is no need to use a knife when eating this jar full of goodness.
To make it the EASIEST way you’ll need:
- One 32 oz. mason glass jar
- if you wanted more than that then double everything and use 2
- Head of red or green cabbage
- this is how to cut cabbage into small cubes or thinly sliced with a mandolin slicer
- White vinegar
- Water and sugar
- Minced garlic
- Salt and black peppercorns if you like
- Red pepper flakes if you want to add heat
- Pickling spices already made
Now if you want to be a show off (just kidding, ok not really) and make your own spices you can, follow these directions. I never bother with that myself.
How to Pickle Cabbage
This is the best way to cut cabbage. Just slice it in half with a very sharp knife. Cut out the stem area and then lay the flat side on your cutting board. That will keep it from moving around at all. Then slice vertically about 6 times so they’re about 1″ wide, then turn the whole sliced head around and slice vertically again to make squares.
Remember, like I said the smaller the pieces are the more they will soak up the pickled liquid it’s submerged in. If you really want a punch then shred it with a knife like you would if you were making coleslaw. I like to leave a little “bite” to it so it doesn’t soften as much and has a bit of crunch to it even after being marinated.
- First you will want to sterilize a 32 oz. mason glass jar. Chop your green cabbage and rinse. Lay on paper towels and press to eliminate water from outside (that will thin out the marinade if you don’t).
- Add shredded/chopped cabbage into the jar. Feel free to add thinly sliced carrots in there too if you like other pickled vegetables.
- In a bowl add the vinegar and whisk in all other ingredients to make the brine. Pour into jar so cabbage is well submerged. Seal your lid tightly.
- Refrigerate overnight and eat within 48 – 72 hours for the ideal texture and flavor.
Here’s what this batch looked like. The longer it sits the stronger the flavors will be. Want a warm option for dinner too? Try our southern fried cabbage some night with chicken, it’s incredible.
To cook or not to cook
Do I have to boil vinegar for pickling?
I explain the differences for this in our homemade pickles recipe here. If you boil the mixture, then add veggies, allow to cool completely and then pop it into the fridge it will get way softer and not as crunchy. Skip the boiling and you’ll save the crunch. Think of Vlasic vs. Claussen. The latter are WAY crunchier because they don’t boil the liquid.
Pickled Red Cabbage
You can certainly follow these same steps and ingredients and swap out a head of red cabbage instead of green like our red cabbage coleslaw. That is totally up to you and your tastebuds. I will say that red, or purple as some people define it, is a lot firmer so keep that in mind as it won’t soak up as much flavor.
Another option is to buy that bagged cabbage mix near the salads at the store. Since this is so fine you could enjoy it as early as 30 minutes after soaking. Of course longer is better if you ask me but it would save you some time already having it chopped into little bits.
Choose whichever you like, jump to recipe below and get going on this easy pickled cabbage dish. Want more? Try swamp cabbage some night, it’s addicting!
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Quick Pickled Cabbage
- Sterilize a 32 oz. mason jar. Chop cabbage and rinse. Lay on paper towels and press to eliminate water from outside.
- Add cabbage into the jar. In a bowl mix all other ingredients to make the brine. Pour into jar so cabbage is submerged in it. Seal lid.
- Refrigerate overnight and use within 48 – 72 hours for the ideal texture and flavor.