14

Easy Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

Jar of red cabbage sauerkraut

Learn how to make red cabbage sauerkraut at home with this easy recipe. It uses just 3 ingredients and is great for your gut. Never buy it from the store again!

Forkful of red cabbage sauerkraut

I wish I'd known sooner how easy it is to make sauerkraut with red cabbage. Requiring just three ingredients (cabbage, salt and water), all you have to do is leave the mixture on a countertop to do its thing for a few days and that's it!

You'll end up with a lightly tangy, savoury and salty sauerkraut that tastes much better than store-bought versions and doesn't have that strong vinegary taste.

 The best part? This easy recipe doesn't require any cabbage-massaging or sauerkraut burping (as I don't ferment with a lid on).

I learned this method of lacto-fermentation from a fantastic nutritionist I worked with several years ago, and I just love how easy it is.

Ingredients for sauerkraut with red cabbage on a marble slab

WHAT YOU'LL NEED


Red cabbage -
The star ingredient.

Salt - Use fine ground sea salt as you're mixing it into water and don't want to make that more difficult by using coarse!

Water - Filtered, ideally.

1 litre/32 oz mason jar or glass jar with lid - make sure it's really clean so you don't end up with any bad bacteria during fermentation.

HOW TO MAKE RED CABBAGE SAUERKRAUT


1)
Ensure your mason jar is totally clean by sanitizing or washing it in hot soapy water.

2) Set aside one piece of cabbage that's slightly larger than the mouth of the mason jar (this is what we'll use to cover the rest of the cabbage).

3) Slice the rest of the cabbage thinly. Aim to make each piece similar-sized, so they all ferment at the same speed.

4) Place the sliced cabbage in the jar, pressing it down tightly to cram as much in as possible. Fill up to the neck of the jar.

5) Dissolve sea salt in water to create a brine. Pour over the cabbage, right up to about 2cm from the mouth of the jar.

6) Fit the large piece of cabbage on top of the rest below the water line, tucking the corners down below the neck of the jar. This will keep the other pieces of cabbage underneath the water's surface while they ferment.

7) Place a sheet of paper towel on top of the jar, securing with string/elastic band.

8) Leave to ferment on your countertop for 4 days, checking each day and topping up brine if any has evaporated. If a white scum appears on top of the cabbage at any point, simply scoop it off with a clean spoon.

9) After 4 days, sample it. If the cabbage is fermented to your taste, place a lid on the jar and store in the fridge (it will keep for several months). If not, leave on the countertop for a day or two longer, until desired taste is reached!

Salt water being poured into jar of red cabbage

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE SAUERKRAUT?


In my experience, it takes about 4-5 days to ferment this red cabbage sauerkraut at home, depending on room temperature and other factors.

Leaving it to ferment longer than this is a matter of personal preference. I've left mine up to 8 days before for a tangier flavour!

HOW TO STORE


This sauerkraut should be stored in a sealed jar in the fridge.

In my experience, it will last several months (if you don't eat it all sooner).

ADDING FLAVOURS TO RED SAUERKRAUT


Once you've grasped the basic recipe, there are so many ways to customize it!

Personally, I really like adding garlic for an extra savoury taste. But there are lots of other options such as red cabbage and beetroot sauerkraut, and red cabbage sauerkraut with ginger. Try adding any of these:


Garlic -
Peel 3 cloves, slice them in half and add to jar before cabbage.

Ginger - Thinly slice a thumb of ginger and add to jar before cabbage.

Cumin Seeds - Add 1 tablespoon of seeds to jar before adding cabbage.

Beetroot - Grate beetroot and mix with cabbage before adding to jar.

Carrot - Grate carrot and mix with cabbage before adding to jar.

Jar of cabbage with cabbage leaf

BENEFITS OF EATING SAUERKRAUT


Naturally fermented sauerkraut is really healthy.

It's a probiotic food which is great for the gut and digestion, and also contains a good amount of vitamin C and fibre.

Red cabbage in particular also has higher amounts of many nutrients than white cabbage, which is why I've chosen to use it.

TIPS


Choosing your salt -
Make sure you use a salt that's finely ground, and not coarse. This will make it much easier to stir into water when making brine. Use a good quality sea salt or Himalayan salt.

Avoiding mould  - Make sure your glass jar is thoroughly cleaned before beginning, to avoid unwanted bacteria. If any small white bubbles appear while the cabbage is fermenting, this is normal - just wipe them away with a clean paper towel.

Red or white cabbage for sauerkraut - If you're wondering what the best cabbage for sauerkraut is, it's really a matter of preference. White cabbage is traditionally used, but personally I prefer the taste of red, and I find it contains more nutrients (see benefits below).

HOW TO EAT SAUERKRAUT


It's so tasty, you could just eat it on its own if you want!

I like to have a small amount on the side of savoury dishes to get the probiotic benefits. Sauerkraut goes really well with fatty meals as the tangy taste compliments them.

It's great in sandwiches, hotdogs and buddha bowls as well as on avocado toast and vegan cheese boards.

Kitchen towel being affixed to jar of red cabbage sauerkraut

FAQs


What does red cabbage sauerkraut taste like?

Delicious. It's a savoury, subtle tasting sauerkraut. Generally, I find red cabbage has a less strong, spicy taste than white. I also find it smells less!


Does cabbage smell when it's fermenting?

Yes, it can have a bit of a 'cabbage-y' smell. This is a normal part of the fermentation process, but if it becomes really strong it may be a sign that you've got mould (see tip above on how to avoid it).


Is homemade sauerkraut healthier than store-bought?

Usually, yes. Store-bought often tends to be pasturized, and is sometimes made with vinegar instead of using the natural fermentation process. Although there are some exceptions to this, I find it's just easier/cheaper/healthier to make my own!


Is pickled cabbage the same as sauerkraut?

No. Although the flavours can be similar, pickled cabbage is created by adding vinegar, whereas sauerkraut is made through fermentation, resulting in a more nutritious food.

Forkful of red cabbage sauerkraut
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 15 votes

Easy Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

Learn how to make red cabbage sauerkraut at home with this easy recipe. It uses just 3 ingredients and is great for your gut.
Prep Time15 mins
Fermenting Time4 d
Total Time4 d 15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: gluten-free, healthy, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 1 1 litre jar

Equipment

  • 1 x 1 litre or 32oz mason jar

Ingredients

  • ½ a large head (roughly) red cabbage
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 3 cups water

Instructions

  • Ensure your mason jar is totally clean by sanitizing or washing it in hot soapy water.
  • Set aside one piece of cabbage that's slightly larger than the mouth of the mason jar (this is what we'll use to cover the rest of the cabbage).
  • Slice the rest of the cabbage thinly. Aim to make each piece similar-sized, so they all ferment at the same speed.
  • Place the sliced cabbage in the jar, pressing it down tightly to cram as much in as possible. Fill up to the neck of the jar.
  • Dissolve the sea salt in water to create a brine. Pour over the cabbage, right up to about 2cm from the mouth of the jar (you may have a little left over, that's normal as it depends how tightly you've packed the cabbage).
  • Fit the large piece of cabbage on top of the rest below the water line, tucking the corners down below the neck of the jar. This will keep the other pieces of cabbage underneath the water's surface while they ferment.
  • Place a sheet of paper towel on top of the jar, securing with string or an elastic band.
  • Leave to ferment on your countertop for 4 days, checking each day and topping up brine if any has evaporated. If a white scum appears on top of the cabbage at any point, simply scoop it off with a clean spoon.
  • After 4 days, sample it. If the cabbage is fermented to your taste, place a lid on the jar and store in the fridge (it will keep for several months). If not, leave on the countertop for a day or two longer, until desired taste is reached!
Tried this recipe?Leave a rating above and mention @vancouverwithlove or tag #vancouverwithlove on Instagram!

NOTES

Salt - Make sure you use a salt that's finely ground, and not coarse. This will make it much easier to stir into water when making brine. Use a good quality sea salt or Himalayan salt.
Avoiding mould  - Make sure your glass jar is thoroughly cleaned before starting to avoid unwanted bacteria. If any small white bubbles appear while the cabbage is fermenting, this is normal - just wipe them away with a clean paper towel.
Red or white cabbage - It's really a matter of personal preference and you can use white if preferred. White cabbage is traditionally used in sauerkraut, but personally I prefer the taste of red, and I find it contains more nutrients (see benefits below).

 

HOW TO STORE

This red cabbage sauerkraut should be stored in a sealed jar in the fridge. In my experience, it will last several months (if you don't eat it all sooner).

 

ADDING FLAVOURS TO RED SAUERKRAUT

Try these:

Garlic -
Peel 3 cloves, slice them in half and add to jar before cabbage.
Ginger - Thinly slice a thumb of ginger and add to jar before cabbage.
Cumin Seeds - Add 1 tablespoon of seeds to jar before adding cabbage.
Beetroot - Grate beetroot and mix with cabbage before adding to jar.
Carrot - Grate carrot and mix with cabbage before adding to jar.

If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a comment or tip for others below. I'd love to know how you’ve made it your own!

Follow Vancouver with Love on Instagram, Pinterest and  Facebook!

Image

Comments 14

  1. Is the garlic necessary for the fermenting, or could you leave it out and just use the cabbage and salt?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Kim, you can totally leave the garlic out! It’s not necessary for fermenting, it was more for flavour. 🙂

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Lynn, I usually only ferment the same type of vegetables together in one jar as when I learned to make it I was told that all vegetables ferment at different speeds. You can definitely make separate jars of different fermented veggies (like carrots and green beans). If you do decided to combine different types in one jar, let me know how it goes! 🙂

    1. Post
      Author
  2. 5 stars
    I love fermented cabbage! I use it on my salads, sandwiches, rice, and tacos. I am happy I can now make it myself instead of buying. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Post
      Author

      You’re so welcome! It’s so much cheaper to make it instead of buying. And IMO it’s tastier too. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I LOVE red cabbage but never had it as sauerkraut. I can’t wait to try your recipe. Thank you for the easy to follow instructions.

    1. Post
      Author

      You’re welcome! I really hope you love it Nancy. Red cabbage makes the best sauerkraut in my opinion!

    1. Post
      Author

      Great! This recipe is different to pickled cabbage as it uses natural fermentation. I hope you love it.

    1. Post
      Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating