Homemade Pickled Cabbage With Beets is an easy way to add a pop of color and flavor to all your meals! It’s tangy, sweet, and crunchy. All you need is a few pantry staples and a little patience for this vibrant and nutrient-dense recipe.Jump to Recipe
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Easy: There are very few ingredients and steps required for homemade pickled cabbage with beets. Just cut the veggies, boil the brine, and leave it to ferment.
- Balanced: The final result has a perfect balance of tangy and sweet flavors, making it an irresistible snack or garnish.
- Versatile: Pickled cabbage with beets can be used in so many ways. Use it to top a burger, serve it on the side of a protein-heavy dish, or add it to a wrap.
Perfect homemade pickled cabbage with beets
Homemade pickled cabbage with beets feature crisp green cabbage, tender beets, savory seasonings, and quick-pickling brine. It’s easy to make, adds a vibrant purple color to any meal, and provides a host of health benefits.
Once cabbage is pickled, the texture slightly softens but still offers a perfect crunch. With the zesty brine and touch of sweetness from the beets, this condiment goes with just about anything.
Serve it alongside sandwiches, with grilled meats, or on top of salads. You can even customize it by using different spices and vegetables. If this is your first time pickling vegetables at home, this recipe will prove that it couldn’t be easier!
Ingredients & substitutions
- Green cabbage: I prefer green cabbage since it’s more tender and takes on the color of the beets perfectly, but you can also use red. Choose a large head of cabbage for the best flavor and texture.
- Beets: Add a sweet, juicy texture once pickled. If they are available, opt for salad beets as they are generally sweeter. You can also use carrots or other root vegetables if you prefer.
- Garlic: Provides a punchy, zesty, and savory element. Cut the garlic cloves in half so they release more flavor into the brine.
- Dill: Adds a citrus, anise, and quintessential pickle flavor. Make sure to use fresh dill for the most ideal taste.
- Pickling liquid: Use a 4:1 ratio of water to vinegar. The best vinegar to use is regular white vinegar, but apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar can work too.
- Sugar: Balances the tanginess of the vinegar. Alternatively, you can use honey.
- Kosher salt: Enhances the flavor of the pickling liquid and the vegetables. Make sure you’re using kosher or non-iodized salt to prevent a cloudy brine!
- Avocado oil: Adds a rich flavor to the brine. Other neutral vegetable oils, like canola, sunflower, or safflower, will also do the trick.
How to make pickled cabbage with beets
- Prep the veggies: First, cut the cabbage in half and remove the core. Cut it into quarters and then into 2-inch pieces. Stem and slice the beet into ½-inch rounds.
- Fill the container: Layer the cabbage, beets, garlic, and dill tightly into a large pot or a container that’s big enough to fit a small plate.
- Heat the liquid: Heat the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Once it’s boiling, remove the saucepan from the heat and mix in the avocado oil.
- Ferment the veggies: Pour the pickling brine over the container of veggies, then add a plate to cover it. Place a can or something heavy on the plate, then let it sit overnight on the counter. Keep the container covered in the refrigerator once pickled.
After the pickled cabbage and beets have chilled, remove them from the liquid and add some extra dill or finely chopped green onions on top. Try using it in some fun ways like these:
- Side dish: Serve it as a side for meats like Oven Cooked New York Strip Steak or Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs.
- Topping: Top your favorite Chicken Burgers or Steak Sandwiches with pickled cabbage.
- Filling: Use it as a filling for Chicken Tacos or Salmon Tacos.
- For salad: Top a salad like Thai Beef Salad or Steak Salad with Tarragon Dressing with it.
- On a bowl: Add it to a Taco Bowl or Miso Salmon Rice Bowl.
- By itself: If you don’t feel like adding it to any recipes, just eat it right out of the jar!
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can try other types like apple cider vinegar, wine vinegar, or rice vinegar. Just note that the taste may change depending on the type you use.
Yes, you can make this recipe without sugar, but it really helps balance the acidity. You can also use sugar alternatives such as honey, agave, or maple syrup.
Yes, you can use red cabbage instead of green cabbage, but it will result in a different taste and texture. Red cabbage is tougher, so you may want to leave it out for a little extra time.
To keep your pickled cabbage with beets fresh for longer, just follow these storage instructions:
- Fridge: Store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Just make sure you keep it in an airtight container like a mason jar.
- Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing pickled cabbage with beets since the texture and flavor will become quite mushy once thawed.
- Prep ahead: For an easier time putting it together, you can prep the pickling liquid ahead of time and chop the veggies. Keep the veggies layered in the container and the pickling liquid in the fridge. When you’re ready to make it, just heat and add the liquid to the jar.
Note: This is a quick-pickling recipe. Follow the USDA canning practices if you plan on canning for long-term storage.
- Spicy: For an extra kick, mix a teaspoon of red pepper flakes or a sliced jalapeño or serrano pepper into the pickling liquid.
- Add-ins: In place of the beets, use carrots, turnips, parsnips, cocktail onions, shallots, apples, or radishes.
- Herbs & spices: In place of (or in addition to) dill, try mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, oregano, black peppercorns, cloves, aniseed, or caraway seeds.
- Use a large container: Make sure you use a large container to pickle the cabbage. This will ensure the vegetables are fully submerged in the pickling liquid.
- Let it sit overnight: For the best flavor and texture, let the cabbage sit overnight.
- Add fresh dill: Fresh dill adds so much flavor, so I recommend using it whenever possible!
Looking for more pickling recipes?
If you enjoyed this homemade pickled cabbage with beets recipe, definitely take a peek at some more of my favorite pickling recipes like these:
- Vietnamese Quick Pickled Carrots and Daikon
- Quick Pickled Radishes for Tacos
- Pickled Onions
- Pickled Veggies
If you try this Homemade Pickled Cabbage With Beets, let me know what you think! Rate and review this recipe in the comments below. Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog!
Homemade Pickled Cabbage With Beets
- 1 medium head green cabbage cut in 2-inch chunks
- 1 medium beet cut in 1/2-inch half rounds
- 6 cloves garlic halved
- 6 sprigs dill
- Cut the cabbage in half, cut out the core, cut it into quarters, and then in 2-inch pieces.
- Peel and trim the end of the beet, then cut it into 1/2-inch half rounds.
- Layer the cabbage, beets, garlic, and dill tightly into a large pot or a container (big enough to fit a small plate).
- Bring water, vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil. Once it boils, remove the pot from heat, add the avocado oil, mix to combine and pour the mixture into the container with veggies.
- Add a plate to cover the veggies, then top with a can or something heavy. Let it sit overnight on the counter. Keep covered in the refrigerator after.
- To serve, remove the cabbage from the liquid and enjoy it as a side to any dish. You can top it with some extra dill or finely chopped green onion.