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Fermented Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

Summer Yule
You can make this vibrant red cabbage sauerkraut at home with just cabbage and salt; no starter culture is needed. It's delicious and fits most special diets!

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 5 d
Total Time 5 d 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Eastern European
Servings 12
Calories 17 kcal


  • 23 ounces red cabbage (652 grams; about 1 small head)
  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt or finely ground sea salt (not iodized salt)
  • 8 juniper berries
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds


  • Important! Please read the post accompanying this recipe before you begin. It contains essential equipment and food safety information that you do not want to miss.
  • Wash and sanitize your metal and glass equipment in the dishwasher before you begin. I did not use a boiling water bath to sterilize the equipment, since we are not fermenting in an anaerobic environment nor canning the sauerkraut. I accidentally broke a jar weight in a boiling water bath once, so please be careful!
  • Core and shred your cabbage. I used the grating plate on my food processor to save time with this step. The finer you shred your cabbage, the faster it will ferment.
  • Put your cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Stir and pound the cabbage for at least 10 minutes. The cabbage should release a lot of juice, creating a salty brine.
  • Stir in the juniper berries and caraway seeds. (No worries if you do not have these, they are optional but nice.)
  • Pack your cabbage very tightly into the sanitized 4-cup canning jar. Put your glass jar weight into the jar.
  • The brine should be at least 1-inch (2.54 cm) above the level of the cabbage. If not, you will need to add additional brine by dissolving salt in hot water. Your jar should be about 3 cups full.
  • Put the airlock lid on the jar. Leave the jar at room temperature to ferment (approximately 70°F/21°C.) My house is a little cooler than this at this time of the year, so I snuggled the jar next to a heating pad on the lowest setting.
  • Important! Check the jar daily. Open it and skim off any foam or "scum" that has formed on top of the brine. Replace the airlock lid when you have finished. You can also add more brine if needed, but this will likely be unnecessary if you use the airlock lid.
  • Your sauerkraut will be ready in three days up to six weeks. I let my batch ferment for five days. Let yours ferment longer if you'd prefer a more tangy sauerkraut.
  • When it is finished fermenting, store your sauerkraut in the fridge with a regular canning jar lid and rim. Keep the jar weight in the jar to keep the sauerkraut pressed below the level of the brine.
  • This recipe makes approximately three cups of sauerkraut, or twelve ¼-cup servings.


This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). Sauerkraut is a mere 17 calories per ¼-cup (per Cronometer) and is great as a condiment, snack, or side. Unless you have certain medical contraindications (e.g., needing to be on a low-sodium diet), consider adding this ferment to your meal plan. This is a low-calorie food that is rich in beneficial phytochemicals and prebiotics. What’s not to love?


Calories: 17kcal
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