How to Make Sauerkraut


My first experience with sauerkraut was when I was working at a sandwich shop in college. The rule was if you showed up late you had to make the “sauerkraut.” It was kind of awful because the sauerkraut was pre-made and came in a giant can, and once you got past the smell, you had to mix it with mayonnaise. Needless to say, it was one of my least favorite tasks and a major motivator to get to work on time.

This sauerkraut, however, is nothing like that. It’s homemade from scratch with simple ingredients to help promote a healthy gut (and there’s no mayonnaise in sight). Plus, it’s super easy to master the technique and requires just 7 simple ingredients. Shall we?


What is Sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut is a fermented food made from cabbage. It has been consumed for thousands of years for its probiotic benefits and is rich in vitamins C, B, A, K, and a variety of minerals.

It has a tangy flavor, crunchy texture, and is simple and cost-effective to make at home!

Origins of Sauerkraut

You may have heard that sauerkraut was a German invention, but that’s not necessarily true! Who knew!?

Instead, sauerkraut is thought to have originated in northern China. It made its way to Europe about 1000 years later and was eaten by Dutch seafarers as a way to prevent scurvy, due to sauerkraut’s vitamin C content. (source)

How to Make Sauerkraut

The simplest form of sauerkraut is just cabbage and salt, which is where we start in this recipe.

Once the salt is added, simply massage with clean hands for 10 minutes or until the cabbage has reduced quite a bit in size and released quite a bit of liquid at the base of the bowl. See the progression in the next two photos.


We’re looking good! Now, let’s add some color and flavor.

I went with shredded carrots and beets, which provide a vibrant orange-magenta hue. Next come fresh minced garlic and fresh grated ginger and turmeric for big flavor. The result is a perfectly salted fresh vegetable sauerkraut infused with zesty garlic and ginger and earthy turmeric. Swoon!

Mix again to incorporate and you’ve practically made sauerkraut!


All that’s left to do is pack into sterilized jars and ensure the liquid extracted from all that massaging rises up and covers the kraut for optimum fermentation. Then leave it alone to do its thing. Set it on the counter out of direct sunlight or in a cabinet for 1-14 days (or longer) to let it naturally ferment.


We hope you LOVE this kraut! It’s:

  • Tangy
  • Crunchy
  • Fresh
  • Filled with probiotics
  • Garlicky
  • & So delicious

This would make the perfect topper for sandwiches, salads, wraps, bowls, and more! Our favorite way to enjoy sauerkraut is with dishes like Kitchari or Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas. But it’s even tasty right out of the jar (just don’t double dip to avoid contamination).

More Probiotic-Rich Recipes

If you’re into fermented things, be sure to also check out our Easy Vegan Kimchi, Mango Coconut Yogurt, Cultured Vegan Sour Cream, Probiotic-Cultured Vegan Cheese, and 2-Ingredient Coconut Yogurt!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!


For the full recipe:

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