This colourful, zesty pickled red cabbage slaw with pear & walnuts is full of flavour yet contains only a handful of ingredients. Learn how to quickly pickle red cabbage and turn it into a delicious, handy ingredient perfect for adding into salads, sandwiches, burgers, and other dishes.
This pickled red cabbage slaw with pear & walnuts can be enjoyed all year round, as an everyday as well as special occasion salad. This colourful salad makes a fantastic healthy fall/winter dish perfect for the Holiday season.
Easy pickled red cabbage slaw
Red cabbage is a very healthy vegetable but I tend to avoid it in salads because of its tough often stringy texture. As I recently discovered, however, this problem disappears if the cabbage is left in a light pickling mixture overnight. It can be used already the following day! There are so many advantages to using pickled rather than raw cabbage in a salad!
Pickling infuses cabbage with flavour
First of all, it tastes great! Also, because it’s infused with flavour (sweet, sour and salty) the cabbage doesn’t require any dressing other than maybe a little drizzle of lemon juice or olive oil just before serving. This makes preparation simpler and shorter.
Pickled red cabbage slaw looks gorgeous
The process of pickling gives the cabbage a vibrant purple colour. It is so much more appealing than a faded purple greyish it would eventually turn without being pickled!
Another plus of pickling the cabbage is that it makes it softer, but not soggy, still allowing it to retain some crunch, as it is only pickled for about 12 hours. This red cabbage salad recipe does not share the life cycle of most salads made with raw ingredients (i.e. from crunchy to soggy). If left to stand for a while, its texture will not change. So you can leave leftovers in the fridge for a few hours and enjoy them later!
How to pickle red cabbage
This is very easy to do. Remove the tough middle bit from the cabbage and either shred or chop it into thin slices. Add the salt, sugar, oil and vinegar, stir thoroughly, cover and refrigerate overnight (or longer). The following day simply give a good stir and make the salad!
Easy pickled red cabbage slaw
This simple red cabbage and pear salad is really quick and easy to put together. Simply place pear slices (or cubes) on top of the cabbage and scatter the walnuts and cilantro. Then season to taste, drizzle with a little oil and lemon juice and enjoy! (If you choose to cut the pear into thin strips stir them into the cabbage before serving)
Storing and serving suggestions
Any leftover pickled cabbage can be kept in the fridge in an air tight container for 2-3 days. Add it to salads, sandwiches or soups. You can also serve this salad with Christmas/Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.
Another salad where I’ve used lightly pickled red cabbage is this festive Red Cabbage Sprouts Salad with Maple Glazed Pecans.
If you like the idea of pickling vegetables you may enjoy this Cured Sprouts Salad with Clementines and Turkey.
Be sure to check out also this collection of 15+ easy vegan salads for more salad inspiration!
Pickled Red Cabbage Slaw with Pear & Walnuts
- 350 g red cabbage about 1/2 medium sized cabbage, grated or sliced thinly
- 2 small/medium pears, conference or other crunchy variety, cubed, sliced or cut into thin strips
- 1/2 cup walnuts lightly crushed
- 2 tablespoons cilantro roughly chopped
- A drizzle of lemon juice and olive oil, black pepper to taste
- For the pickling mixture
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 level teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- Coarsely grate or slice (thinly) the cabbage (without using the tough middle bit of the cabbage which can be chopped up and added to soup). Combine the pickling ingredients and pour over the cabbage stirring thoroughly. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight (or longer).
- To make the slaw combine the cabbage with the pears, cilantro, walnuts, season and drizzle with oil and lemon juice.
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