February 21, 2024

Pickled red cabbage

We had one of the Christmas red cabbages left which are reduced to 15p in supermarkets over the festive week.  The outside was starting to change colour and so I decided to make some pickled cabbage to use in our salads during spring and summer.  My small cabbage made 3 jars.  Last year I made pickled red cabbage by just cutting up the cabbage and pickling it in white vinegar.  Unfortunately I found that  it had a bit of a strong taste.  I decided this year to make it in a brine and water bath it so that it will last longer.  The brine ingredients are for 2 jars and so double if you are making more.


1 red cabbage

1 cup of white wine vinegar

1 cup of water

1/4 cup of sugar

1 tbsp of salt.


  1.  Wash out your jam jars and dry.
  2.  Cut the white core out of the cabbage and take any damaged leaves off the red cabbage.
  3. Thinly slice the red cabbage and place the slices into the jam jars, pressing the cabbage down firmly as you go.
  4. Fill the jars up to the top with sliced cabbage.
  5. Make the brine by mixing the ingredients together in a pan and bringing to a boil and then turning the heat off.
  6. Cool for a few minutes and then poor into the jars.  The cabbage can absorb the brine a bit and so it may need topping back up after a few minutes.  The brine may go pink.
  7. Place the lids on the jars and water bath with the water up to the neck of the jar for 10 minutes.  I started with luke warm water and counted the 10 minutes from when the water started to boil.  If you do not want to water bath the cabbage it will still be preserved for a few months but needs to be kept in the fridge.
  8. Keep any jars that do not pop in the fridge and eat first.
  9. Store in a cool, dark place.
  10. Wait at least 2 weeks before consuming for a better flavour.

I do not have a proper canner or pan to water bath in and  I just bought a large pan from the charity shop.  I put a tea towel in the bottom of the pan so that the jars do not break when the water is boiling.  The jars do not look covered in the picture but it is just a reflection.  They were covered right up to their necks.  My cabbage would have made 4 jars but I had to compost some of the red cabbage as it had started deteriorate with being stored for a couple of months in my kitchen.

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  1. Katie Naden February 24, 2024 at 3:25 am - Reply

    Oh my goodness that’ sounds like a whole new skill I need to get my head round . I pickled all mine but I’m guessing the same technique could work for all gluts of veg. Need to check how many jars fit in my big pan . I’ve an induction hob so tricky getting preserving pans to work . Thanks again Toni x

    • ToniG February 24, 2024 at 8:40 am - Reply

      It could be used with different vegetables but my understanding is that different vegetables need different lengths of time when water bathing. Yes I am new to water bathing too and so am practicing on things that are not likely to go off. Thanks for commenting.

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