Pickling Red Cabbage for the Holidays

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Red cabbage is one of those with a great dose of Vitamin C, making it an antioxidant-rich, immune booster. Like all cabbage varieties, red cabbage is rich in vitamin Cvitamin K, and is a low-calorie source of dietary fiber. In comparison to green cabbage, red cabbage contains 10x more vitaminscancer-fighting flavonoids, and a winning amount of antioxidants which improve eye, teeth, bone, & immune health.

So what better way to increase a foods already nutritious stature, pickle it! 

Often times the mention of pickling cabbage is synonymous with sauerkraut, however did you know that adding warm tones of cinnamon and spices gives traditional cabbage a delicious kick.  Spiced Red Cabbage is a staple in our home around the holidays.  With pints of this gorgeous side on your pantry shelf, you can enjoy my Spiced Red Cabbage recipe anytime of the year.

Spiced Red Cabbage Recipe – makes approx. 6-8 pints

Fuchsia in color and robust in flavor, add this side dish to any meal!  Perfect for serving warm around the holidays alongside ham or pork.


3 medium red cabbages, shredded fine

1/2 cup coarse canning salt

4 cups apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

4 cinnamon sticks, broken

2 tablespoons pickling spice

Cheesecloth and butchers twine


  1. Quarter the cabbages, remove core and shred fine.  In a large plastic bowl, layer cabbage then salt until all cabbage and salt are in bowl.  Mix well and cover.  Let sit in refrigerator for 12 hours.
  2. Rinse salt well from cabbage and let drain in colander.  Raw pack into pints leaving 1/2″ headspace.  
  3. Place pickling spice in cheesecloth and tie with butchers twine to create a spice bag.    In a stock pot, add vinegar, sugar and spice bag.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Stir until sugar is dissolved and allow to come to a boil.
  4. Fill jars with hot brine, tamping down air bubbles and keeping the 1/2″ headspace.  Wipe jar rims and bands with a warm washcloth dipped in vinegar.  Add lid and ring and hand tighten.
  5. Process is a water bath for 20 minutes.  Remember, timer doesn’t start until water is at a full rolling boil.

This recipe can be served warm as a side to any dinner or may be enjoyed straight out of the jar. I will often mix 1 quart of spiced cabbage with a half-pint of jalapeno jelly, bake it covered at 350F for 20 minutes and serve. A scrumptious side-dish treat of both salty and sweet.

Happy Canning~
Diane, The Canning Diva


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