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4.41 from 5 votes

Super Simple Cabbage Sauerkraut Recipe

Sauerkraut: the quintessential fermented food. And oh, what an easy one to make at home! Let me show you the most simple sauerkraut recipe ever. It's literally just cabbage and salt. Step-by-step photos will guide your way!
Prep Time30 mins
Fermentation time (average)10 d
Course: Appetizer, Preserved Food, Seasoning, Side Dish, Snack
Keyword: cabbage, Fermented, homemade sauerkraut, Sauerkraut
Servings: 2 quarts

Equipment

  • Fermenting vessel, such as a mason jar (the amounts below fill one half-gallon jar, or two quart jars)
  • Large mixing bowl (or two)
  • Kitchen scale
  • Fermentation weight and lid (or all-in-one device such as Kraut Source)
  • Optional: Kraut pounder

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds Chopped or shredded cabbage
  • 2 tbsp Sea salt, kosher salt, or pickling salt

Instructions

  • Wash all of your supplies with hot water and possibly some plain white vinegar, but avoid using soap.
  • Weigh and/or tare your mixing bowl (or two)
  • Wash and chop or grate the cabbage into small pieces.
  • Add prepped veggie material to the mixing bowl, until you reach the desired weight (4 pounds for a half-gallon batch, 2 pounds for quart)
  • Sprinkle over 1 tbsp sea salt per 2 pounds cabbage. Toss and mix well.
  • Using clean hands, massage the cabbage for a few minutes. Stop and wait for ten minutes, then massage again. The cabbage should be significantly compressed and also release liquid - the natural brine for the ferment.
  • Pack all cabbage into the fermenting vessel (jar). Use a kraut pounder or other utensil to firmly press down to compact and remove excess air. Repeat and add more cabbage as needed until the jar is full to 1-2 inches from the top.
  • Don't get rid of the excess liquid in the bowl! The cabbage should be fully submerged with brine. Add leftover liquid as needed to cover top.
  • Add optional "cabbage cap" leaf, fermentation weight, and air lock lid.
  • Allow to sit at room temperature (70-75F is ideal) for 7-10 days, depending on personal preference and temperature. Cooler temps = slower ferment activity.
  • Your ferment should bubble slightly during this time, colors will bleed or dampen, and the brine will become cloudy.
  • After 7-14 days at room temperature, remove the “cabbage cap” and air-lock lid, replace it with a regular lid, and move your finished simple cabbage sauerkraut to the fridge.
  • Shelf life: Most fermented foods are good for several months in the fridge, if not longer. We have enjoyed sauerkraut nearly a year after it was made – though we usually eat it up far quicker than that! No, you don't want to hot-bath can this. It will kill all the good probiotics.