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4 canning jars of homemade sauerkraut

How to Make Sauerkraut (4 Flavors!)

  • Author: Lindsay Cotter
  • Total Time: 34 minute
  • Yield: 6



Classic Sauerkraut Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of green cabbage and 1/2 a medium head (or 1 small head) of red cabbage – to be shredded or finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp + kosher salt or pickling salt – extra if needed to reproduce brine
  • 1/4 + cup or more filtered water
  • Glass jars (anywhere between 10 ounces to 32 ounces)
  • Large bowl, container or a mixing bowl

4 flavor variations and techniques – 

  • Mix and match the following fruit or vegetable
    • 1 cup apple, radish, or beets (peeled, thinly sliced or grated)
    • 1 tbsp + caraway seed
    • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
    • sliced jalapeno.

 For Quick stove top version you will need

  • 1/2 head of small red cabbage (shredded)
  • 1/2 to 2/3 of a small sliced Red onion
  • olive oil
  • 1/3 to 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp caraway seed


Classic Sauerkraut Instructions

  1. Cut the cabbage into quarters, remove the core and shred or finely chop cabbage with a knife. You can also use a food processor.
  2. Add cabbage to a large bowl and sprinkle with kosher salt or pickling salt, toss through and set aside for 30 minutes up to 2 hours. Enough to let the cabbage “sweat” and create a brine. If you are adding in a fruit or vegetable, do so here with the cabbage. (i.e chopped apple, beets, jalapeño, or ginger).
  3. While the cabbage is creating the brine, prepare your jars. You can use a variety of sized canning jars (10 ounce to 32 ounce), just make sure they are clean and dry.
  4. Check the cabbage to see how much brine has been produced. Add water to the cabbage and start squeezing the cabbage/vegetables with your hands to release more juices.
  5. If cabbage does not release enough liquid, you will need to add additional brine to the cabbage. You need enough liquid to cover the cabbage in each jar. TIP —> to make a brine simple combine water and pickling salt in a ratio of 1 cup water to 1 tsp. pickling salt, then add just enough of the brine to cover cabbage.)
  6. Pack the cabbage and any other additional flavorings. (i.e caraway seed) tightly into the clean jar. With a spoon or clean hand, push down the cabbage so it’s very compacted at the bottom of the jar. The brine should fill to top.  If there is not enough brine to cover the cabbage, add more of your own (mentioned above).  Leave about 1 inch of room at top. TIP —> You can also use a marble or stone (cleaned) to place on top of the cabbage once pushed down in the jar. This will help it stay compact while fermenting.  Cover tightly with the lid and leave the jars to ferment on counter or in a warmer spot in kitchen.
  7. For the first few days, you will want to “burb” the jars. Just open the lid each day and let out any pressure. Make sure to press down the cabbage to keep it submerged brine. Add more brine if it starts to dry up.
  8. If any discolored cabbage appears at the top, remove and discard it. If the water level gets too low, add more brine to cover the cabbage, sligthly. The cabbage mixture must be submerged completely in brine to ferment safely.  The sauerkraut is ready when it has a nice crunch but slightly marinated soft texture and tangy flavor.
  9. Taste every few days. After 7 -10 days the sauerkraut  it should be fermented enough to start consuming. Ferment longer for a more tangy and soft kraut. After that, keep the jar in the fridge for up to 2 months

Flavor combos – Prepare as classic sauerkraut, except add your fruit and/or vegetables with the cabbage mix.  One of the following combos below.

  • 1 cup sliced Radish and 1 sliced jalapeño
  • 1 peeled and sliced Beet with 1 tbsp grated ginger. This pairs well with the red cabbage.
  • 1 apple, sliced and 1 tbsp caraway. Pairs well with the green cabbage
  • Quick stove top version with 1/4 head of red cabbage and onion – See recipe below.

Stove top Directions – Skip the fermenting.

    1. In a medium saucepan, heat your olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced red onion and sauté until fragrant for 2 minutes. Add shredded red cabbage (shredded), caraway seeds, vinegar, water, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low to medium stirring occasionally, until onion and cabbage are tender. Around 30-35 minutes. Remove and let cool. Then place in canning jar and seal. Store in refrigerate for 1 to 2 weeks


If you see any mold on the top portion of the cabbage (while fermenting), discard that part or if the mold has touched the jars, then discard sauerkraut.

Nutrition below based on classic sauerkraut

  • Prep Time: 7-10 days
  • Category: condiment
  • Method: fermentation
  • Cuisine: german


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 43
  • Sugar: 5.4 g
  • Sodium: 1200.5 mg
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.3 g
  • Fiber: 2.9 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: sauerkraut, healthy, fermented foods, condiment, vegan, cabbage, vegetarian, salad