Cabbage and Beet Salad Recipe
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This cabbage and beet salad is worth discovering. It tastes a little like marinated cabbage salad (a type of sauerkraut), with a little sweetness from the beets. And it’s so colorful! The natural hue will surprise and intrigue your dinner guests, especially if they aren’t from Eastern Europe where beets are used in strange and delicious ways.
My mom grows these gigantic cabbages in her yard – I mean twice the size of my head! So ofcourse you’ll find plenty of cabbage recipes on my blog. We love cabbage raw, marinated, pickled, stuffed, braised, you name it! It’s based on a recipe shared by one of my lovely readers, Vika (I love it when you all write in with your cool recipes!).
Cabbage and Beet Salad Ingredients:
2 medium cabbages (5-6 lb total) *see note on cabbage in notes below
3 medium beets (1 lb)
3 large garlic cloves
2 cups filtered water
1 1/4 cup oil (I used light olive oil)
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup of granulated sugar
2 Tbsp sea salt (best if it’s not iodized)
How to Make Cabbage Salad with Beets:
1. In a medium sauce pan, combine all marinade ingredients: 2 cups filtered water, 1 1/4 cup light olive oil, 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup sugar, and 2 Tbsp sea salt. Bring to a boil then remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
2. Finely shred cabbage (this is much easier with a mandolin and be sure to use safety gloves to protect your fingers) and transfer to your largest mixing bowl. Grate beets or cut them into matchsticks (we love this julienne slicer), then transfer to your mixing bowl. Finely dice garlic cloves and add them to the mixing bowl.
3. Pour cooled marinade over your chopped ingredients and stir to combine. Create a press to weigh down the cabbage enough to bring the marinade to the surface of the cabbage. We used a large dinner plate and a covered bowl with water for the weight. Refrigerate or let this stand in a cool room for 7-10 hours or overnight. We set it next to an AC vent.
4. Transfer salad to a large glass jug for easier storage in the fridge and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.This salad holds well in the refrigerator for about a week. Pairs well with steak and mashed potatoes
Cabbage and Beet Salad Recipe
- 2 medium heads of cabbage, 5-6 lb total
- 3 medium beets, 1 lb
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 1/4 cup oil, I used light olive oil
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp sea salt, best if it's not iodized
In a medium sauce pan, combine all marinade ingredients: 2 cups filtered water, 1 1/4 cup light olive oil, 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup sugar, and 2 Tbsp sea salt. Bring to a boil then remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Finely shred cabbage (this is much easier with a mandolin and be sure to use safety gloves to protect your fingers) and transfer to your largest mixing bowl. Grate beets or cut them into matchsticks (we love this julienne slicer), then transfer to your mixing bowl. Finely dice garlic cloves and add them to the mixing bowl.
Pour cooled marinade over your chopped ingredients and stir to combine. Create a press to weigh down the cabbage enough to bring the marinade to the surface of the cabbage. We used a large dinner plate and a covered bowl with water for the weight. Refrigerate or let this stand in a cool room for 7-10 hours or overnight. We set it next to an AC vent.
Transfer salad to a large glass jug for easier storage in the fridge and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.This salad holds well in the refrigerator for about a week.
*When buying cabbage, buy light in color and NOT bright green (the light color indicates that it is a “late” in the year cabbage which works best for this recipe). The ones at the farmers market in Fall are best. Also, avoid using aluminum for the marinating process.
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen
Thank you Vika for sharing this wonderful recipe with us! Keep ’em coming! 😉
Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review
Regarding some of the questions below: I halved the sugar and added an extra bit of salt and garlic, and a little less oil. Basically you can tweak this however you want to your tastes. So good and so healthy.
I know our readers will find this helpful! Thank you for sharing, Dave!
Boiling beats first gives the salad much better flavor. But still it’s kind of bland. We had to add some more salt and apple sider vinegar before serving.
Thank you so much for sharing that with me.
Hi, do you think this will pair well if salmon?
Hi Julie, it depends on your preference but I think it should be good with salmon.
Could you please mute all your ads and videos, this became SOOO noisy. There is absolutely no way to start cooking something without waking my napping baby! Or, I’ll need to stop using your site for inspiration at all; it’s so distracting as well! I find the Video recipe I need, but then another starts playing simultaneously, and ads as well! I wonder if it’s same for everyone, but my patience with the mobile site is mostly gone. I understand that this is your income, but PLEASE MAKE ADS AND VIDEOS SILENT by default.
Thanks for understanding
Hi Olga, thank you for sharing your concerns and feedback. The only way we can continue providing free recipes is by having ads on our site so we are not able to remove those at this time. We find that most people would rather see the ads than pay to see the recipes. I appreciate your feedback and I hope you love every recipe you try. You should also be able to close the video window after a while, the x button shows up.
Hi Natasha, can I water-bath can this for shelf storage?
Hi, I honestly haven’t tested that so I’m not sure.
Hi Natasha, did you weight the cabbage with the core?
Hi Tanya, yes I weighed the cabbage with the core. I had removed the ugly outer leaves then weighed.
So the marinade goes into the jar too, you don’t drain right? Just get all the cabbage into the jar and then add whatever amount of marinade will fit inside right?
Hi Olga, yes that is correct.
This is the most amazing simple and economical recipe ever and it keeps really well (much longer than the recipe says)
and is now a stock item in my fridge.
That’s so awesome Sarah! Sounds like you found a new favorite!
This cabbage and beet salad is the truth, and that’s no lie. I’ve prepared it for family and friends and I’ve only heard yelps of delight and screams of joy. Unfortunately, when I share the recipe, those scalawags think it’s too much work. So anytime they want it now, I’m the one who has to make it. Oh well. There are worse things to complain about. Thanks for the recipe.
Sounds like you found a party favorite, David! Thank you for sharing that awesome review with us.
So delicious! My friends and I could not stop eating this salad! I love that you can change up the marinade according to your own preference. Next time I would make it a little less sweet since the beets add their own sweetness. Thank you!
You’re welcome, Inna! I’m so happy you enjoyed it. 🙂
is the best natashaskitcheb
nice to meet you
I’m so glad you liked it! 🙂
Must the beets be cooked or roasted or are they used raw after peeling?
Hi Sarah, the beets are added raw to the salad 🙂
Thanks for your prompt response. Love your website. The marinated tomatoes are great! We used our garden tomatoes and some store bought ones to make a nice bowl. Delicious!! I used dried herbs since I didn’t have fresh and it turned out well. Spashebo! (sp?)
You are so welcome and thank you for sharing that with us!! 🙂
Natasha! Where did you purchase your big tall jar?
Hi Anna, I found that one at TJ Max which is not helpful to you since their inventory is constantly changing. Any 3-liter jar would work for this though or even a glass bowl with lid.
Wanted to give you and some of your fans a little insight into my experience with using Stevia and Stevia/sugar mix with this recipe. The first time I made this recipe, I used the ingredients as listed. Turned out great! The second time I made, this I used Stevia. Results were okay…you definitely know it’s not sugar, as most sugar-substituted foods turn out, but it was still really good. My favorite so far has been using SugarLeaf, which is a half Stevia and half sugar mix. I think this version of the salad was most similar to using 100% sugar in the marinade. As you can tell, this is pretty much a constant item in our fridge. Thanks!!
I just realized I’ve made this salad every week since finding it. LOL
LOL! Sounds like you definitely have a favorite! Thanks for sharing Rosie 🙂
Awesome! Thanks for sharing your tips with other readers Rosie!
This recipe is really good!! Thanks for sharing it. I tossed in a thinly chopped Spanish onion since I love marinated onions. I will definitely make this again. One thing, though…..I’ve never added oil to a pickle recipe, so I felt the oil made this really greasy. But I really liked it, so maybe next time I will use less oil.
Rosie, thank you for sharing your review, I’m so glad you liked the salad. Oil can be added according to your preference.
Have you ever used the purple cabbage for this? I have one and I was wondering how you think it would be.
Hi Carol, I’ve never tried that combination so I’m not really sure how it would affect the flavor or color. It might end up darker in color.
I’m trying to limit the use of sugar in my recipes. Is it absolutely essential to add sugar? If yes, can I reduce the amount of sugar, and if so what amount would you recommend?
Hi Susanna, to be honest, I haven’t tried this one with less or no sugar added. The marinade needs the sugar to balance the vinegar flavor. It definitely wouldn’t taste the same without the sugar. As far as using less, I really haven’t experimented to say if it would be as good. Keep in mind, much of the liquid and sugar is left behind in the jar when you serve this salad so you aren’t really consuming that much sugar. Sorry if that answer isn’t very helpful.
Just discovered your blog and love the home cooking recipes. Regarding the cabbage and beet salad, do you store it in the jar with the marinade or do you strain it first? Also, is IR served with the marinade or then strained?
Looks delicious and I’m looking forward to making it this weekend as we love both cabbage and beets.
Thank you for sharing beautiful food!
Hi Anna, I store with the marinade and drain the portion that I serve. I hope you love it! 🙂
can this be made with a sugar substitute?
Hi Aj, to be honest, I haven’t tried anything else so I can’t really say how it would affect the flavor.
This is an awesome recipe! Thankyou. I take small portions out of the refrigerated salad and combine it with julienned apple, walnuts and sultanas for a different take on cole-slaw. Goes really well with everything we’ve had it with so far (beef, pork and lamb – trying duck next)!
You are welcome Richard and thank you for such a nice review 😀 .
I have made this salad 3 times and it’s yummy . But when I put this salad in jars after a few days this green slime appears and the salad goes bad .what am I doing wrong ? This happens every time
That is very unusual especially since this sugar and vinegar should preserve the salad much better than that. Are you keeping the salad refrigerated after making it? The salad is not meant to stay at room temperature. I hope that helps for next time!￼
This Recipe was great really, my sister and I love it, Thank u for sharing your recipes, I tried a lot of them and they all turned out to be delicious Thank you 🙂
Soha, thank you for such a great review and you are welcome :).
By the way you don’t know this but we’re kinda related , 😉 😀 I’m Diana kravchuk ( mukhina)cousin from oklahoma, so I guess we’re somehow related !! Anyways just wanted to tell you that you have very dedicated followers in Oklahoma I love that you post new recipes so often that way we never run out of what to cook for our picky kids/husbands !! Thank you
HI Vika! That’s awesome and what a small world! 🙂 Thank you for your sweet comment 🙂
Lol oh my goodness I’ve scanned through recipes looking for the next best thing to make and seen this recipe posted I thought it was coincidence that finally I see the cabbage recipe i so love on here ,then I thought I’d check it out and see if you had come up with something else and seen my name written in the article !!! Lol oh my you made me feel like a star today thank you for posting this ..!!!
I’m so happy you found it! You are a star! Thank you so much for sharing it with me. I was saving it for when cabbage and beets were in season :). Your awesome recipe made my husband very happy. Actually everyone in my family loved it!
I made this salad yesterday and we ate it today. It was very yummy and so pretty! But I think I would like it as a side to more meals if it was a little less sweet and a little more sour. Could I put in less sugar and more vinegar? How much would you recommend?
Thanks so much for all your help. Your blog taught me how to cook!
You might just cut the amount of sugar (maybe you had some very sweet beets?). I’d start with 3/4 cup sugar instead of 1 cup. I haven’t tested that but I think it would work fine.
Ah, so beautiful! I cannot have sugar right now. Will try a bit later in the year. Thank you
Did you go sugar free for awhile? I’m trying something like that right now. 🙂
Natasha, we loved this salad. My kids wanted seconds on their plate. We had BBQ chicken today and it was great on the side. We are going for lunch to my inlaws tomorrow and I will grab some. I am confident they will like it. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
That’s music to my ears. Thank you so much for sharing your great review!
Is this salad sweet? How sweet would you say it is?
No, not really. Just lightly and subtly sweet – a little sweeter than regular kvashana kapusta (sauerkraut).
This looks lovely and sounds delicious!
I wasn’t able to get a link to the julienne slicer. Also was wondering where you got the spout attachment for your olive oil bottle.
Deloris, thank you for noticing that. I added the link to the post. Spout attachment was purchased locally at Cash and Carry but you can get them spout attachment. Hope this helps :).
Actually, we make this salad with the beet boiled first. Then grated. Its much better that way. And easier to digest.
Thanks for sharing! I haven’t tried it that way because this was so easy and the texture of the beets become just like the texture of the cabbage once it’s marinated overnight. Have you tried it with raw beets?
Do you use the beets raw or do you roast them first?
They are raw – so easy! 🙂
I love this cabbage and beet salad. Now I’m really sure the food I eat is healthy.
Thank you Joan! 🙂
Hmm… I have to try this one… Love cabbage and beets. 🙂
Me too and they taste so good this time of year, especially together! 🙂
This looks so delicious, Natasha.
It’s kind of a chilled summer vegetarian version of borsch, right?
Ha ha, I guess so, minus the broth too. 😉
The color of this salad is stunning. This is one of my all time favorite salad that my mother in law makes. Thanks for the recipe, I will be making this soon 😉
Thanks Katy! You’re very welcome :).
What a beautiful salad! That color is gorgeous!
Thank you so much Shelby! 🙂 Isn’t it pretty?