How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut: 16 Traditional Recipes

the traditinal sauerkraut

The traditional sauerkraut is fermented food, which has a lot of health benefits. It is useful for digestion and gut microbiota, helps to lose weight, cures anxiety, and so on.

However, to get all these benefits, you should eat only the real traditional fermented cabbage without vinegar. Our recipes help you to make the right sauerkraut at home.

The Traditional Homemade Sauerkraut: The Siberian Recipe

The traditional methods for making sauerkraut use quite a lot of vegetables. But you shouldn’t make so much fermented cabbage if you don’t want.

cabbage and carrots

  • 15 pounds of cabbage;
  • 4.4 pounds of carrots;
  • 8 tbsp salt (without iodine).

Grate the carrots and chop cabbage.

chopped cabbage

Put 1/6 of chopped cabbage in a big enamel saucepan or bucket. Add 1/6 of salt. Squeeze the cabbage to get its juice. Add the carrot and mix.

the first layer

Tamp down the vegetables with your hands or а kitchen mashed potatoes device.

tamping down

Thus fill the bucket to the top.

Put a plate with a weight on the top.

a big weight

If the vegetables gave an excess of its juice, replace the weight for lighter.

a light weight

Place your saucepan in a warm place. After 12 hours, pierce the cabbage with a spear. And put the weight again.

a spear

Then repeat the procedure every 8 hours for three days.

Taste your sauerkraut now. If it is right for your replace your fermented cabbage in a cold place.

sauerkraut with berries

How much salt should I use if I don’t want to make so much sauerkraut?
Use 1 tbsp of salt for two pounds of chopped vegetables (without cabbage stalks and other wastes).

Easy Recipe for Sauerkraut in a Glass Jar

This method permits easily to make the real healthy fermented cabbage without sugar, vinegar, and water. It is a traditional recipe, which has been adapted to our days when we don’t want to cook large quantities of food.


  • 3.3 pounds cabbage;
  • one big carrot;
  • 1 tbsp salt.

Chop the cabbage with the help of a very sharp knife or a Borner slicer. Grate your carrot.

Put chopped cabbage, carrot and salt in a big bowl.

chopped vegetables

Squeeze them to get its juice as much as possible.

squeezing the vegs

Tamp down the cabbage and carrot tightly in a glass jar.

cabbage in a jar

Keep the jar at room temperature for three days and pierce the vegetables with a wooden spear every day. When the cabbage is fermenting, it gives a lot of juice. Therefore, you should have a plate under your jar.

a wooden stick

In three days your sauerkraut will be ready. It is the easiest recipe, indeed.

the traditional fermented cabbage

How to Make Sauerkraut with Other Vegetables

The traditional Russian recipes of fermented cabbage always use carrot. But there are recipes which contain other vegetables. The most common vegetable addition to cabbage is beet.

Russian Fermented Cabbage with Beet

red beet cabbage


  • 3.2-3.4 pounds of cabbage;
  • 1-2 carrots;
  • one beet;
  • one tbsp salt.

Remove the wilted and damaged outer leaves of your cabbage. Then trim out the stick. Chop the cabbage.

Grate the carrot and beet.

Combine all your vegetables in a big bowl. Add the salt.

the vegetables mix

Squeeze the vegetables with your hands. In a few minutes, they will release their juice. When they have become limp, transfer them into a glass jar.

cabbage with beet

Pack the cabbage into the jar as tightly as you can. The vegetables should be submerged in their juice.

the vegs in a jar

Cover the jar with a piece of cheesecloth and place it on a plate. As the cabbage becomes fermented, it will release more its juice, which will flow over the mouth of the ar. So put a plate under the jar.

the fermentation

Keep your jar at room temperature in a dark place for 3-5 days.

To maintain anaerobic conditions in the jar, pierce a wooden spoon or rolling pin into sauerkraut 1-2 times every day.

a wooden spear

Start tasting the fermented cabbage with beet in 3 days. Transfer it to the refrigerator if the flavour is right for you.

sauerkraut with beet


Georgian Spicy Homemade Sauerkraut with Beet

The fermentation of cabbage for this recipe takes quite a long time – 5 days. During this time, the tastes of different vegetables mix perfectly.

This method uses salted brine for fermentation and so it isn’t traditional. But it is still healthy.

ingredients for Georgian recipe

  • 6-7 pounds of cabbage (you should choose small heads of cabbage, it is crucial);
  • 3 pounds of beet;
  • three hot peppers;
  • two heads of garlic;
  • celery leaves;
  • three tablespoons of salt (without iodine).

Pour 2 liters of water in a saucepan. Add salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Set aside and chill. You should use cold brine.

Cut every head of cabbage into 5-8 pieces.

the cut head of cabbage

Cut your beet into thin circles.

the slices beet

Slice garlic and hot pepper.


Put a few slices of beet on the bottom of a big bowl or saucepan. Then put a small quantity of garlic, celery, and hot pepper, then – a few pieces of cabbage.

the sliced vegetables

In that way, fill your bowl. The last layer of vegetables should be the beet layer.

the last beet layer

Pour the cold brine into the bowl. Cover and keep at the room temperature for five days.

That is all. A spicy crispy healthy snack is ready.

Georgian recipe

How to Ferment Cabbage with Pumpkin

We can’t name this recipe of sauerkraut traditional because it uses water. But it does not contain any sugar. So it is a healthy meal with probiotics. And due to the presence of water, this recipe is easy. You have not to squeeze the vegetables to obtain their juice.


  • 2.0-2.2 pounds of cabbage;
  • 5-6 ounces of carrot;
  • 5-6 ounces of pumpkin;
  • one handful of cranberries;
  • one onion;
  • 3 tbsp salt (without iodine).

Chop the cabbage and grate your carrot and pumpkin.

Transfer the vegetables to a big bowl. Stir in cranberries and salt. Don’t squeeze the vegetables. Only stir them well.

recipe with pumpkin

Pour 2,5 cups of water in the bowl.

Put a plate with a weight on the top.

a weight on the top

Let stand for 4-5 days at room temperature.

Uncover the bowl every day and make 2-3 holes through the cabbage.

piercing the cabbage

Sauerkraut with pumpkin is ready. Serve it with olive oil.

sauerkraut with pumpkin

Quick Sauerkraut Recipes with Bell Pepper

This easy and quick recipe is called occasionally “Moscow sauerkraut.”


  • 2,5 pounds of cabbage;
  • one tablespoon salt (without iodine);
  • 3-4 bay leaves;
  • one big carrot;
  • one big bell pepper;
  • grounded black pepper, to taste.

Chop the cabbage.

chopped white cabbage

Grate your sweet pepper or chop it with a knife. Grate the carrot.

bell peppers

Put the vegetables in a big bowl.

Add salt and a little black pepper. Stir all ingredients up well.

vegetables with black papper

Add bay leaves.

bay leaves

Put a weight on the top of vegetables.

the fermentation under a weight

Your “Moscow” healthy snack with paprika will be nearly ready in 24 – 36 hours. The time of fermentation depends on the temperature in your room.

Transfer the fermented vegetables in a jar and keep in your refrigerator. Wait another six – 12 hours and eat it.

The recipe is easy and quick, but you have to eat your snack in 1-2 weeks because it can’t store in a long time.

fermented snack

Unusual Armenian Recipe

You can use various spices and vegetables for Armenian sauerkraut. However, you should have cinnamon because this spice lends its unusual sweet, warm flavor to the fermented cabbage.

Another important Armenian sauerkraut feature is that you should not chop cabbage for the recipe.

ingredients fot the Armenian recipe

  • two small heads of cabbage (5.5 pounds);
  • 1.8 ounces of garlic;
  • 7 ounces of carrot;
  • two ounces of beet;
  • two chili peppers;
  • 3.5 ounces of celery;
  • 0.8 ounces of cilantro;
  • 5.6 ounces of salt (without iodine);
  • 8-10 black peppercorns;
  • 2-3 bay leaves;
  • 0.5 of cinnamon stick.

Pour three liters of water in a saucepan. Add salt, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, set aside, and chill.

making the brine

Cut every head of cabbage into four big pieces. Cut carrot into small round pieces.

the cut cabbage and carrots

Then cut celery, beet, and chili pepper.

cut celery

By the way, chili peppers are liked in Armenia very much. Here you can find the Armenian recipe of fermented green chili.

Put some cabbage leaves on the bottom of an enamel saucepan or a bowl.

Then fill the bowl with cabbage and other vegetables.

filling the saucepan

Pour the cold brine.

Put some cabbage leaves and spices from the brine on the top. And place a weight.

Keep the bowl at room temperature for five days.

Now Armenian spicy fermented vegetables are ready. Store them in a refrigerator.

Armenian sauerkraut

Pungent Russian Sauerkraut Recipe with Horseradish

Sauerkraut with horseradish and anise is an old-world Russian snack. This fermented cabbage is well suited to the cooking of Russian beet salad (vinegret). If you do not want to make vinegret, you can eat it with boiled potatoes and other cooked vegetables.


  • 2,7 pounds of cabbage;
  • 0,2 ounces of anise;
  • 0,9 ounces of sugar;
  • 1.1 ounces of salt (without iodine)
  • 1,1 ounces of horseradish.

Grate horseradish using a blender.


Chop the cabbage.


Make your brine. Add salt and sugar to 1 liter of water. Bring to a boil. Then set aside to cool.

Add the grated horseradish and anise to the chopped cabbage. Stir very well squeezing vegetables. The vegetables should give their juice. But be very careful! Work in gloves only. Otherwise, the horseradish juice burns your skin.

cabbage with horseradish

Pour the brine in the bowl. Put a plate with the weight on the top.

a plate

Keep the bowl at room temperature for 3-5 days. Fermentation time depends on the room temperature and the variety of cabbage. You have to taste your cabbage for understanding it is ready or not. Start tasting sauerkraut after three days.

Pierse the cabbage every day. Use of a wooden stick for the purpose. You should do that for removing the gas that occurs during the fermentation process.


When fermented vegetables with anise are ready, keep them in a fridge.

sauerkraut with horseradish

How to Make Own Sauerkraut with Fruits

Fermented cabbage with fruits is even more popular than with other vegetables.

Top Rated Sauerkraut Recipe with Cranberries

There are many recipes for fermented cabbage in Russia. Sauerkraut recipe with cranberries is one of the most popular. In contrast to traditional homemade recipes, snack with cranberries is sourer, but it is delicious sour. And it is very healthy, as it contains an additional quantity of vitamin C.


  • 11 pounds of cabbage;
  • 2.0-2.2 pounds of carrot;
  • 3.5 ounces of salt (coarse without iodine);
  • 7 ounces of cranberries.

Grate the carrots and chop the cabbage.

Put the chopped cabbage and carrot in a saucepan or a bowl. Add the salt. Squeeze the vegetables to get as much juice as possible.

carrot with cabbage

Stir the cranberries in and mix well.


Put a weight on the top. Make sure that the juice covers the cabbage on 0.8-1.2 inches. If it is dry, it will become rotten.

Leave the bowl in a warm place for 4-5 days.

Pierce the vegetables with a wooden spear or knife two-three times every day. If you do not do that, your fermented vegetables will be bitter.

Sauerkraut with cranberries will be ready in 4-5 days. Store it in a cold place.

sauerkraut with cranberries

The Best Sauerkraut Recipe with Apples

There are some methods to make a fermented snack with apples. Some of them use the whole apple, other grates the fruits. This recipe is the most popular, and it contains big pieces of apples.


  • 8.0-9.0 pounds of cabbage;
  • five green apples;
  • 7.0 ounces of carrot;
  • three tbsp salt;
  • four clove spices;
  • 4-6 allspices and black peppers.

Chop the cabbage, grate the carrot, and mix them.

Add salt and squeeze the vegetable mix with hands to get its juice.

Put a small portion of the cabbage in a big saucepan, bowl or bucket. Add part of spices and some apple pieces.


Fill our bowl alternating layers of the apples and cabbage.

Put a weight on the top.

a bottle of water

Sauerkraut with apples will be ready in 3 days. During thesещпруe three days, you pierce it with a wooden stick.

After the days, your fermented snack will be ready. Store it in your fridge.

sauerkraut with apples

How to Make Sauerkraut at Home with Apples and Cranberries Together

The recipe contains a small amount of sugar. But it is still healthy and can give you probiotics.


  • ½ of cabbage head (4-5 pounds);
  • one big carrot;
  • two big green apples;
  • a handful of cranberries;
  • 2 tbsp. of salt (without iodine);
  • 1 tbsp sugar;
  • 2-3 bay leaves.

Chop the vegetables.

Toss the cabbage, carrots, berries, salt, bay leaves, and sugar together in a large bowl. Squeeze them with your hands. They should give their juice.

carrot and fruits

Slice the apples.

Transfer a couple of handfuls of the fruit-vegetable mix into a jar. Then place some apple slices, then – cabbage and so on.

adding apples

Pack your vegetables and fruits into the and jar as tightly as you can.

Cover the jar loosely and keep it at room temperature for four days. Pierce the cabbage with a wooden spear two times every day.

After four days, your peculiar fermented snack will be ready.

sauerkraut in a jar with apples and cranberries

Fermented Cabbage with Grapes, Apples, and Bell Peppers

This recipe is not traditional. But it is quite popular in Russia now because sauerkraut with grapes has a mild taste.


  • 11 pounds of cabbage;
  • 4.5 pounds of carrot;
  • 3.5 pounds of light seedless grapes;
  • 12 medium (small) apples;
  • four big bell peppers;
  • 5 tbsp. of salt (without iodine).

You can reduce the quantities of the ingredients, as you need. But don’t disturb the proportion.

Grate the carrot. Slice the bell peppers into strips. Core the whole apples using an apple corer.

Chop the cabbage.

Mix 1/5 of the chopped cabbage with 1/5 of other ingredients besides the apples.

grapes and cabbage

Transfer the mixture in a big enamel saucepan or a bowl. Add the apples. Tamp down the vegetables well.

adding the whole apples

Repeat (four times) with the remaining ingredients.

Cover the bowl and put a weight on the top.

Let stand at room temperature. Pierce the fermenting mix with a wooden rolling pin or spoon every day. It is necessary to release the gas that the fermentation process produces.

a wooden stick in the fermented vegetables

The fermentation time is four days. But I recommend tasting your sauerkraut. When you think your snack is ready, transfer it in big glass jars. Store in a cold place.

sauerkraut with grapes

Unusual Recipe with Sea-buckthorn

Although this method uses sugar and water, it is very healthy. Sea-buckthorn has so many health benefits that it easily compensates for the presence of little sugar and an additional quantity of water.

ingredients for sea-buckthorn recipe

  • 2.2 pounds of cabbage;
  • 2-3 tbsp of sea-buckthorn (fresh or frozen);
  • 3-4 allspices;
  • one tbsp sugar;
  • one tbsp salt (without iodine).

Chop the cabbage and mix it with sea-buckthorn in a big bowl.

vegetables and sea-buckthorn

Transfer the mixture to a glass jar. Press down firmly.

Add the allspices, salt, and sugar. Pour in cold water. It must cover the cabbage.

cabbage with sea-buckthorn

Pour in cold water. It must cover the cabbage.

pour the water

Cover your jar with a lid or heavy towel and allow it to sit at room temperature for 50-60 hours. Pierce the cabbage with wooden spoon one-two times every day.

Because this sauerkraut recipe uses water, it is quick. And after 60 hours your healthy snack is ready. Store in a cold place and eat for 2-3 weeks.

saukraut with sea-buckthorn

Other Recipes

Exotic Sauerkraut Recipe with Juniper Berries

That is a rather exotic recipe. But some people in Russia like it. They think that fermented cabbage with juniper berries is more crispy and spicy than the common one. And it has some scents of the forest.


  • one medium head of cabbage;
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic;
  • one big carrot;
  • one tbsp salt (without iodine);
  • 40 fresh juniper berries.

Chop the cabbage and garlic, grate the carrot.

Toss all vegetables and juniper berries together in a large bowl. Add the salt.

vegs with juniper berries

Squeeze the ingredients together with your hands. The cabbage has to give its juice.

Then put a weight on the top. Allow the bowl to sit at room temperature for three days. Uncover your container twice every day. And pierce the vegetables with a wooden spear.

a weight for fermentation

Sauerkraut with juniper berries has a very pungent odor during its fermentation. Some people cannot stand it and so keep theirs bowls in a bathroom until the process of fermentation will be over.

After three days, transfer the sauerkraut in glass jars.

sauerkraut with juniper berries

“Sweet” Sauerkraut with Honey

Sauerkraut with honey is not sweet. But many people think so. In reality, the sour taste of fermented cabbage unusually combines with honey sweetness. And you don’t perceive the sweet taste of honey, but you feel its aroma in the snack.

As for health benefits, the recipe with honey and water doesn’t have as many probiotics as traditional. However, it still contains a few useful bacteria and, of course, a lot of fiber.


  • 4.4 pounds of cabbage;
  • seven ounces of carrot;
  • two bay leaves;
  • six black peppers and allspices;
  • four tbsp salt (without iodine);
  • 0.4 ounces of honey.

Chop your cabbage and carrot with a sharp knife or Borner slicer.

Put the vegetables in a big saucepan or bowl. Add one bay leaf and peppers.

cabbage, carrots, spices

Pour one liter of water in another saucepan. Add the salt and one bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Cool the brine.

a brine

Pour the cold brine in the saucepan with the cabbage.

Stir the vegetables very well with the brine and then transfer them in a big jar.

fermentation in the brine

Keep the jar at room temperature for three days. Pierce the sauerkraut with a knife or wooden stick three times every day.


In three days, drain brine in a bowl. Dissolve honey in it. And then transfer brine back in the jar with sauerkraut. Stir well.


Your “sweet” fermented snack with honey is ready now. Keep it in a cool place.

sauerkraut with honey

Can I Make My Sauerkraut without Salt?

Some people think that the best way to prepare fermented snacks is making it without salt because sodium is very harmful. This suggestion is not correct as the human body needs in NaCl. And there are dangers of restricting your salt too much.

Besides that, making sauerkraut without salt is more complicated than traditional recipes. You have to use quite significant quantities of vegetables if you want to ferment them without salt.


  • two medium heads;
  • 4.4-4.6 pounds of carrot;
  • ½ cup dill seeds.

Chop the cabbage, grate the carrots.

Toss the cabbage, carrots and dill seeds together in an enamel bucket or large saucepan.

Fill the bucket as tightly as you can.

filling the bucket

Put a very big weight on the top for 12-36 hours at room temperature.

a very-very big weight

After this time, the cabbage will give its juice, which will be cover the vegetables.

a lot of juice

Remove this big weight and put something lighter, a bottle with water, for example. Allow sitting at room temperature for 24-36 hours.

a light weight on the top

That’s all. Transfer your snack in glass jars and store them in a cold place.

sauerkraut without salt


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