Quick Pickled Cabbage

Pickled Goods, Southern Sides
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This pickled cabbage recipe is fast (hence the quick pickle) and leaves yummy cabbage you can keep in the refrigerator for weeks.

Some type of pickles have been around for thousands of years, dating as far back as native India where cucumbers were pickled in the Tigris Valley.

Pickling is a quick method for capturing delicious flavors and spices, canning them, and enjoying for days!

While pickles may have been around for a long time, the types of veggies being pickled have changed as cooks get more and more creative. These pickled cabbages take a southern veggie and give it a new twist!

shredded cabbage in a jar with spices ready to quick pickle

What to eat with your refrigerated pickled cabbage

Pickled cabbage are tasty alone but can be paired with other dishes to complete your summer menu.

  • Side dish with ham, pork chops, or beef roast
  • Add to a relish tray with cheese and crackers
  • Side with scrambled or fried eggs
  • Taco topper
  • Add to BBQ sandwiches, burgers, or fish

Benefits of eating pickled foods

Pickles are overflowing with crunchy, briny deliciousness. Studies show that pickled veggies are loaded with probiotics for a healthier gut.

Although cooking can break down some of the nutrients, the fermentation process preserves their nutritional value and fighting power.

Pickle juice — the brine — yields even greater amounts of radical-fighting and immune boosting antioxidants C and E. Maybe that is why frozen pickle juice was so popular when I was in high school…as the saying goes, “You had me a pickles”!

veggies shredded in mason jars ready for quick pickling

Your cookware matters when pickling!

Do not use reactive cookware or storage containers such as aluminum or copper pots. These, when combined with vinegar, create toxic chemicals.

Instead, use stainless steel or ceramic cookware.

I also recommend these mason jars for your pickled goodies!

What you need to pickle cabbage


To pickle cabbage you need a fresh head of cabbage (we prefer purple for color), mustard seed, cloves, black peppercorn, celery seed, a cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and a yellow onion.

These ingredients all combine together in a vinegary brine to make appetizing and crunchy cabbage pickles that will delight you and your family.

shredded cabbage in a plastic container ready to put in jars

How to make the brine for quick pickling

You boil the vinegar when pickling so that it is hot enough to penetrate the fruit or vegetable being pickled. It’s the same principle seen in making tea. Hot water steeps more intensely than cold water.

Be careful not to over boil. The flavor and pickling comes from the vinegar, and boiling it for too long will cause the vinegar to evaporate.

shredded cabbage in a jar with spices ready to be refrigerated

Here are some quick pickle brine ratios that work

Here is one general quick pickling brine ratio.

  • 2 parts vinegar
  • 6 parts water
  • 1 part salt
  • 1 part sugar

Here’s another that produces equally good quick pickles.

  • 4 parts vinegar
  • 2 parts water
  • 1 part sugar

And, another.

  • 6 parts vinegar
  • 6 parts water
  • 2 parts sugar
  • 1 part salt

Our other refrigerated quick pickles!

Pickled Cabbage

Holli Medley
This pickled cabbage recipe is fast (hence the quick pickle) and leaves you yummy cabbage you can keep in the refrigerator for weeks.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 1 jar
Calories 190 kcal


Cabbage Mixture

  • 1/4 head purple cabbage, small can use green as substitute
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seed whole
  • 2 each cloves whole
  • 1/4 tsp black peppercorn
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 2 each bay leaves
  • 1/4 each yellow onion thinly sliced

Vinegar Brine

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt


Cabbage Preparation

  • Wash the cabbage and shred thinly into bite-size pieces. You're going to use enough (depending on the specific size) in this recipe to fill 16 oz. jar.
  • Add the cabbage, mustard seed, cloves, black peppercorn, celery seed, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and yellow onion into your jar. Don't worry that the spices settle at the bottom, they will rise up again and evenly distribute their flavor when you add the brine.

Preparing the Brine

  • Mix the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a stainless steel pan and bring to a boil.
  • As soon as it reaches a good boil, pour it over the cabbage mixture in the jar until the cabbage is just covered.
  • Put the top on immediately and put into the refrigerator.
  • Leave in refrigerator overnight before eating.


  • You can substitute green cabbage if desired or purple not available. It will have a different look and be slightly less sweet and soft than the purple cabbage. 


Calories: 190kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 7015mgPotassium: 93mgFiber: 4gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 124IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 61mgIron: 2mg
Keyword quick pickle
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