Simple Sauerkraut

Recipe 10 minPreparation Time 2 weeks to 4 months fermentation timeCooking Time

Simple Sauerkraut

10 minPreparation Time 2 weeks to 4 months fermentation time Cooking Time

About this Recipe

This two-ingredient method is the perfect introduction to lactic acid fermentation, a technique that preserves food while improving its flavor and nutrition—including tons of probiotics. Lacto-fermentation brings the flavor to everything from Kosher dills to kimchi. Once you master it, the world is your pickle.

The Benefits

Cabbage on its own is full of fiber and lots of beneficial compounds (like all of its mustard-family relatives). Fermenting it makes it easier to digest, and adds a probiotic element, which like fiber supports gut health and may carry significant additional benefits.


Makes 1 quart
  • 1 head of cabbage, cored and shredded, a few large outer leaves reserved
  • Salt


  1. Step 1
    Weigh the cabbage on your scale, calculate 2% of that, and weigh out that much salt.
  2. Step 2
    Put the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle the salt over it. Toss well, and then knead the cabbage until a squeezed fistful drips readily. Pack the cabbage into a wide-mouth jar, put a folded outer leaf on top, put in a weight, and loosely lid the jar. Make sure the brine is over the top of the veg. If not, wait until the next day and check again. Add a little brine if needed — a pinch of salt in a Tbsp or 2 of water — and then put the lid back on (loosely).
  3. Step 3
    Put somewhere cool for 2 weeks to 4 months, depending on how sour you like it. Move the jar to the fridge when you think it’s done; this will slow down the fermentation dramatically.

Substitutions: Any sturdy vegetable can take well to this treatment

Level Up: Many kraut recipes call for the addition of flavors like caraway and juniper berries. Experiment!

Zero Waste: Cabbage cores and extra outer leaves are great in stocks