Homemade Sauerkraut

Total Time

Prep: 45 min. + fermenting


40 servings (about 10 cups)

Updated: Jun. 27, 2023
You only need two ingredients (and a little patience) to make fresh, zippy homemade sauerkraut at home. Put down that jar and get those brats ready! —Josh Rink, Taste of Home Food Stylist


  • 6 pounds cabbage (about 2 heads)
  • 3 tablespoons canning salt
  • Optional: 2 peeled and thinly sliced Granny Smith apples, 2 thinly sliced sweet onions, 2 teaspoons caraway seeds and 1 teaspoon ground coriander


  1. Quarter cabbages and remove cores; slice 1/8 in. thick. In an extra-large bowl, combine salt and cabbage. With clean hands, squeeze cabbage until it wilts and releases liquid, about 10 minutes. If desired, add optional ingredients.
  2. Firmly pack cabbage mixture into 4-quart fermenting crock or large glass container, removing as many air bubbles as possible. If cabbage mixture is not covered by 1-2 inches of liquid, make enough brine to cover by 1-2 inches. To make brine, combine 4-1/2 teaspoons canning salt per 1 quart of water in a saucepan; bring to a boil until salt is dissolved. Cool brine before adding to crock.
  3. Place crock weight over cabbage; the weight should be submerged in the brine. Or, place an inverted dinner plate or glass pie plate over cabbage. The plate should be slightly smaller than the container opening, but large enough to cover most of the shredded cabbage mixture. Weigh down the plate with 2 or 3 sealed quart jars filled with water. If using a glass container with a lid, cover the opening loosely so any gas produced by the fermenting cabbage can escape. Alternately, you can cover the opening with a clean, heavy towel. If using a crock, seal according to manufacturer's instructions.
  4. Store crock, undisturbed, at 70°-75° for 3-4 weeks (bubbles will form and aroma will change). Cabbage must be kept submerged below surface of the fermenting liquid throughout fermentation. Check crock 2-3 times each week; skim and remove any scum that may form on top of liquid. Fermentation is complete when bubbling stops. Transfer to individual containers. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Canning salt must be used. It does not contain additives like anti-caking agents that might be present in table or Kosher salt.
  • A fermenting vessel is worth the investment if you plan to make sauerkraut frequently; particularly because of the included weight and the water seal features. The water seal allows gasses to escape but prevents other contaminates from entering.
  • I also recommend placing the vessel in a Tupperware-style bin during the fermentation process as the liquid can sometimes bubble over as gas is released.
  • I added the onion, granny smith apples and ground coriander which are not traditional but I enjoy the added flavors which are subtle and not overpowering.
  • The caraway seeds contribute a stronger flavor than the other optional ingredients. Depending on how I want to use the sauerkraut, this is the only ingredient that I sometimes choose to omit.
  • Nutrition Facts

    0.250 cup: 11 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 344mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 1g protein.