Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

Red cabbage sauerkraut in glass jars and on a plate

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Fermentation Time: 192 hrs
Total: 192 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 36 servings
Yield: 3 pints
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
7 Calories
0g Fat
2g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 36
Amount per serving
Calories 7
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 184mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 8mg 39%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 63mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Red cabbage makes a colorful variation of traditional sauerkraut.

Making sauerkraut couldn't be easier—there's no canning, no sterilizing of jars, and no long list of ingredients. You can have all the work done in under 10 minutes. The only difficult part is waiting a week while the sauerkraut ferments and the flavor develops. If you fall in love with this process, you can give other veggies a similar treatment, such as green beans and carrots. The process of lacto-fermententation is a great way to extend the shelf life of any given vegetable.

How to Serve Sauerkraut

Try serving sauerkraut with crisp, chopped apples for a quick, delicious salad, or alongside a traditional pork roast with homemade applesauce. Sauerkraut also works as an ingredient in soup and it's equally home on top sandwiches with meats such as corned beef, for example.


Click Play to See This Fermented Red Cabbage Come Together

“I adore recipes that are easy to set up and just babysit like this. If you can make products at home like this I recommend doing it since it always tastes better, costs less and gives you a real sense of satisfaction for being self-sufficient.” — Noah Velush-Rogers

Red Cabbage Sauerkraut Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 head red cabbage (about 2 pounds)

  • 4 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds

  • 8 to 10 dried juniper berries

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for red cabbage sauerkraut recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Cut the cabbage in half. Cut out the thick core and stem end and compost or discard them.

    Red cabbage halves with the core and stem removed on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Thinly slice the cabbage into shreds or small pieces (think coleslaw).

    Thinly sliced red cabbage piled up on a large plate

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Loosely pack the sliced cabbage into clean glass jars, sprinkling in some of the caraway seeds and juniper berries as you fill the jars.

    Sliced red cabbage in a jar with bowls of caraway seeds and juniper berries next to it

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. In a medium bowl, stir the water and salt until the salt is dissolved.

    Water and salt being stirred with a spoon in a small bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Pour the salt brine over the cabbage and spices. Gently press down on the cabbage and spices to release any air bubbles and to submerge them in the brine.

    Brine poured over red cabbage in glass jars

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Cover the jar loosely with a lid. Place the jar on a plate to catch any overflow that may happen once fermentation becomes active.

    Red cabbage loosely covered with a lid in a glass jar placed on a small plate

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Leave the jars at room temperature for 3 days. During this time, remove the covers at least once a day and check to see that the vegetables are still submerged in the brine (add additional brine if necessary). You should start to see some bubbles on top, which indicates fermentation is underway.

    Pink red cabbage sauerkraut in a glass jar

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  9. By the end of the 3 days, the red cabbage sauerkraut should have a clean, lightly sour smell and taste. Transfer the jars in the refrigerator (no need to put plates under them at this stage). Wait at least 5 more days for the flavor of your red cabbage sauerkraut to develop.

    Red cabbage sauerkraut in a glass jar with screwtop lid stored in the refrigerator

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck


  • Sauerkraut will keep in the refrigerator for at least 6 months but is best eaten within 3 months. After 3 months it tends to lose some of its crispness.
  • Instead of a lid, you can also cover the top of the jar with a piece of cheesecloth and a rubber band during fermentation. The most important thing, though, is that the cabbage is submerged in the brine at all times.

Recipe Variations

  • This recipe also works well with green cabbage, or a combination of green and red cabbages.
  • You can also add mustard seeds, fennel seeds, dill, garlic, or fresh ginger.
  • Swap out about a quarter of the cabbage for shredded carrots and/or beets.

How to Store

Unless you have an unheated basement or root cellar, we recommend keeping sauerkraut in the refrigerator. It will retain its crispness, and fermentation will continue, albeit more slowly, so the flavor of the sauerkraut will become more sour over time.