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Pickled Red Cabbage

Pickled Red Cabbage is the perfect topping for so many dishes. This tart and spicy condiment is quick to make and keeps in the refrigerator for weeks. Great for tacos and burgers!

a side view of a jar of pickled purple cabbage

Pickled Red Cabbage

Cabbage seems to get a bad rap. Everyone complains that it is hard to cook and the kids say they don’t like it more than broccoli!

Me, I love it! Especially the purple cabbage. It lends a nice pink color to dishes and has a subtle flavor.

I usually do a quick sauté with a touch of balsamic vinegar for a side dish for dinner. In planning a recipe, I was looking for the perfect topping for it. The only thing that came to mind was red cabbage!

The color and crispness the cabbage adds was exactly what I was looking for. Wanting a hint of tartness to round out the recipe, I thought pickling the cabbage would be the best way.

Keep reading to see how it turned out. And look at these pickled red onions too!

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overhead picture of a few ingredients used to make pickled purple cabbage

Ingredients Needed

Red Cabbage – You can use green cabbage but it’s not as pretty!

Jalapeno- I like to use fresh ones. Just be sure to remove the ribs and seeds or it will be very spicy!

Rice Wine Vinegar – If you don’t have it feel free to use plain white distilled vinegar.

Mustard Seeds – These are optional but I really love the tangy flavor that add to the recipe. I found yellow mustard seeds in my local market but the brown ones are great too. I usually order mine online.

Pantry Staples – Salt, sugar, garlic, ginger.

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How to make Pickled Red Cabbage

First: Place the shredded cabbage, ginger root, mustard seed, garlic clove, and jalapeno in a glass jar.

Second: Heat the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan until boiling.

Third: When the vinegar comes to a boil, gently add the vinegar over the cabbage and spices. Be sure to leave 1/2 inch space at the top of the jar.

Fourth: Let cool for 10 minutes. Cover and keep in your fridge for up to two weeks. I like to wait at least 24 hours before using the cabbage so it has time to infuse with all the vinegar and spices.

For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

overhead shot of how to make pickled cabbage

Is purple cabbage good for you?

Oh, but let me tell you!  Not only does it have less than 20 calories per half cup serving, but it is full of vitamins, minerals, and compounds that help guard against the effects of radiation, it may also help guard you from cancer*.

Cabbage is also great for helping with digestion and fermented versions like sauerkraut have tons of probiotics.

It is said that the purple cabbage has a powerful antioxidants!! You better start eating more of it pronto.

Red Cabbage vs Purple Cabbage

Purple and red cabbage are the same they just vary in depth of color based on the acidity of the soil so don’t stress about that!  Just know that cabbage is good for you. 

Red cabbage has 10 times more Vitamin A than green cabbage and double the iron. Not only does the cabbage have plenty of health benefits, it tastes great, has a beautiful color that pops when added to recipes, and is hearty enough to stand up to various types of cooking.

I love to serve it roasted in wedges, chopped up in slaw, and pickled! Now that I have made this quick pickled red cabbage, I keep finding uses for it.

Overhead of pickled red cabbage
How long does pickled cabbage last?

If you keep it stored in the refrigerator, it will last for up to two weeks. But mine always gets eaten before then!

Can I use green cabbage?

Yes, you can. But it won’t be as pretty:)

Can I add my own favorite spices?

Feel free to play around with the flavors, herbs, and spices that you and your family like. I use these because they pair well with the dishes we typically serve.

What if I don’t have rice wine vinegar?

Feel free to use any vinegar you might have on hand like white, red wine, or white wine. I wouldn’t use balsamic or apple cider vinegar because their flavors are very strong and will overpower the cabbage.

Pickled red cabbage on 3 tacos

Uses for Pickled Red Cabbage

  • tacos
  • hot dogs
  • hamburgers
  • scrambled eggs
  • spring rolls

Tapas Tips & Tricks

  • if you are worried about putting a warm jar in the fridge, cool completely before chilling.
  • it’s ready to eat after a few hours but I like to wait a full 24 hours before trying.
  • make sure the jalapeno, ginger, and garlic are thinly sliced.
  • use a sharp knife when slicing or use a mandoline slicer.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

jar of cabbage

I love this pickled cabbage on so many dishes. It’s one of my favorite condiments and I always have a jar in the fridge. Right next to my Olive Salad and my Pickled Taco Toppings!

overhead shot of how to make pickled cabbage

Pickled Cabbage

Pickled red cabbage is perfect for a variety of dishes! This tart and spicy condiment is quick to make and keeps in the refrigerator for a few weeks if it lasts that long!
4.58 from 88 votes
Print Rate
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 53kcal
Author: Jennifer Stewart


  • 1 small head red cabbage sliced thin
  • 2 cups rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 inch slice of fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 clove garlic peeled
  • 1/2 jalapeno sliced and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  • Place the sliced cabbage, ginger root, mustard seed, garlic clove, and jalapeno in a glass jar.
  • Heat the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan until boiling.
  • When the vinegar is boiling, gently pour over the cabbage and spices.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Cover and keep in your fridge for up to two weeks.



*If you like this recipes, please leave me a comment and rate it with some stars. Thank you!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 53kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 902mg | Potassium: 265mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1180IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg

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4.58 from 88 votes (73 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Saturday 1st of April 2023

I love this! I have begun to make it weekly. I use it in my layered mason jar salads and on avocado toast. It is the best tasting, and so pretty, and healthy, and easy.

Jennifer Stewart

Monday 3rd of April 2023

Oh I have to try it on my avocado toast! I am so glad you like it!


Friday 6th of May 2022

If I don't have mustard seeds, can I substitute mustard powder? Also, can I use ginger powder or paste instead of fresh ginger? Thanks!


Monday 9th of May 2022

I have never tried it with mustard powder but I think it might work. Same with the ginger. I would add less as powdered tends to be stronger than fresh.


Friday 7th of May 2021

Hi there. Would love to try making this. Can I just ask, when you say ‘cover’ the jar do you mean sealed tightly with a lid or with something breathable like muslin cloth? Thank you for any advice, Best, Mark


Monday 10th of May 2021

I place the lid on my jar and store in the fridge. If you are worried about the pressure from the heat you can place the lid on it just don't tighten all the way. Then a few hours later, or when it is cool, you can tighten the lid.


Friday 7th of August 2020

I have just made this recipe and I am yet to taste it but it looks wonderful, I added some Fennell seeds to the jar aswell! Thanks so much


Sunday 14th of June 2020

OMG. Finally I have this recipe. Reliving my childhood. Thankyou