This 2-ingredient sauerkraut recipe is one of our favorites. Not only is homemade sauerkraut delicious, but it’s also healthy and saves you money, too. Feel free to add 1/2 teaspoon of caraway seeds to the cabbage mix to add a traditional flavor to your sauerkraut. If you make it, please leave a star rating in the comments of this post to help other readers in our community (thank you!).
- 1/2 of a small to medium head of cabbage
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt (I use Real Salt)
- Optional for flavor: 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- Clean: Wash your mason jar, tools, and hands thoroughly with natural soap and hot water. When fermenting, you want to give the healthy bacteria a clean environment to prevent mold. I usually pour boiling water into and over the Mason jar after washing it with soap to kill off any potential lingering bacteria.
- Prepare: Cut your cabbage into quarters, leaving the root end attached. Discard the outermost layers, then save a few of the next layers to weigh the cabbage down in the jar. Do not wash the cabbage—you’re relying on the natural healthy bacteria that live on the leaves for the fermentation process.
- Shred: Choose your preferred texture. Thinly slice each cabbage quarter into ribbons, or shred it on a box grater for finer sauerkraut. Same with the other tools, if you use the box grater, make sure it’s very clean.
- Mix & Massage: Add the shredded cabbage to a large mixing bowl and cover with salt. Using clean hands, massage the salt into the cabbage for about 30 seconds. It will start to release more liquid. Let it sit for about 3-5 minutes to allow the salt to draw more juice from the cabbage. Massage again for another 30 seconds. It will be very soupy, which is good! The resulting liquid is your fermenting brine.
- Fill the Jar: Add the shredded cabbage and all of the liquid/brine to your Mason jar. Use the back of a clean wooden spoon to tamp down the cabbage. It should be fully submerged in the brining liquid. There shouldn’t be a lot of excess liquid, but the top of the cabbage should be fully submerged. It can take 4-5 hours for enough liquid to extract out of the cabbage and cover it. Just be sure that the shredded cabbage is covered 4-5 hours after putting it in the jar. Place a few of the reserved cabbage leaves on top of the shredded cabbage to weigh it down.
- Cover: Cover the jar with cheesecloth or another loose, clean cloth and use a rubber band or kitchen twine to secure it. This allows airflow into the jar and prevents dust or bugs from landing in it.
- Ferment: Let the kraut sit out at room temperature for 3-7 days. The longer it sits, the more fermented and tangy it will get. In the warmer summer months, 3-4 days is perfect; I let it sit for 5-6 days in winter. Keep it at room temperature out of direct sunlight as the direct sunlight might overheat it. I let mine sit in the pantry or the back of the counter. Within about 24 hours, you’ll start to see tiny bubbles forming. That’s the lacto-fermentation in action.
- Refrigerate: Once it’s fermented to your liking, cover the sauerkraut with a tight-fitting lid and store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- Calories: 114