A simple easy, small-batch recipe for Beet and Cabbage Sauerkraut that anyone can make using a mason jar, that takes only 20 minutes of hands-on time. Full of good healthy bacteria that will energize the body and help heal the gut.  
A simple, easy, small-batch recipe for Beet and Cabbage Sauerkraut that anyone can make using a mason jar, that takes only 20 minutes of hands-on time. Full of good healthy good bacteria that will energize the body and help heal the gut.   #fermentation #kraut #sauerkraut #beets #beetkraut
Creativity takes courage. 
Henri Matisse
This recipe for Beet and Cabbage Sauerkraut is just lightly fermented, resulting in a vibrant red kraut that is fresh, crunchy and not overly salty –making it a perfect side or  “salad” to any meal.
Inspired by my friend Tonia, who first introduced me to this style of kraut over the summer, I’ve been making this slightly fermented kind of kraut in small batches ever since. For an alternative version, try her cabbage kraut. 

In this recipe, I use purple cabbage and grated beets, which give it this beautiful vibrant color. But feel free to use just cabbage if you prefer. The refreshing bite is such a welcome accompaniment to dinner, especially with heavier meals, providing good contrast in texture and flavor. It’s also delicious on sandwiches, in tacos, wraps or have a bowl of it on its own. And you really don’t need any special equipment to make this…. a mason jar works just as well as a crock.

Beet and Cabbage Sauerkraut- an easy small batch recipe that can be made in a mason jar. | www.feastingathome.com

Benefits of Fermented Sauerkraut

The main reason I am in love with homemade kraut is  it’s incredibly good for our bodies. The simple fermentation process creates healthy bacteria, that have amazing cancer-fighting and immunity-building properties, similar to the healthy probiotics in yogurt, but without dairy and fat.  As cabbage ferments, it produces living bacteria that give our microbiome diversity!

These good bacteria, or “probiotics” help boost our whole immune system, keeping us healthy and better able to ward off illnesses.

Beet and Cabbage Sauerkraut- an easy small batch recipe that can be made in a mason jar. | www.feastingathome.com

But if you eat sauerkraut that has been pasteurized (the store-bought kind, canned and not refrigerated) the heat in the pasteurization process actually kills these good live bacteria, and so we won’t benefit from the probiotics…and that’s why I like to make it at home.

Plus it’s SO easy, and you can flavor it however you like.

Fermented Beet Kraut Ingredients:

  • raw beets
  • raw cabbage
  • onion, garlic or ginger- all optional
  • salt
  • optional: caraway seeds, herbs.

How to make Beet Sauerkraut

Finely slice and grate cabbage and raw beets. You’ll need about 4 cups total.

I like to add a  ⅛ to ¼ cup of sliced onion, and sometimes minced garlic. This is optional. It will make the smell slightly off-putting as it ferments, but once it’s refrigerated, it adds a really delicious flavor.

Beet and Cabbage Sauerkraut- an easy small batch recipe that can be made in a mason jar. | www.feastingathome.com

Place beets and cabbage in  in a bowl and massage with 1 teaspoon salt. Let it sit in the bowl on the counter, mixing occasionally for a couple of hours. Add caraway seeds if you like, or a little grated ginger.

You’ll notice in the photo- I peeled the beet, which I do not recommend. 

TIP: As I’ve made this recipe over and over now, I stopped peeling the beets- because the beet skin actually has the beneficial bacteria, so I just leave it on.

Beet and Cabbage Sauerkraut- an easy small batch recipe that can be made in a mason jar. | www.feastingathome.com
As it sits, the salt will help draw the water out.
Beet and Cabbage Sauerkraut- an easy small batch recipe that can be made in a mason jar. | www.feastingathome.com

Place the cabbage mixture along with all the juices in a mason jar, and pack it down with a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon. Cover it with a cabbage leaf. Pack it down once more. Cover it with a cloth, or just partially close with a lid – you want it to be able to breathe a bit. Let it sit on the kitchen counter for 24 hours, in a warm spot, occasionally pressing down on the cabbage, compressing.

After 24 hours, if there is not enough liquid to cover the cabbage –in a separate cup, make a brine.

Mix 1 teaspoon fine sea salt with 1 cup filtered water, and ONLY add enough of the saltwater brine to bring the water level to the top of the cabbage (while pressing down on the cabbage). You may not need to use the whole cup of water.

Beet and Cabbage Sauerkraut- an easy small batch recipe that can be made in a mason jar. | www.feastingathome.com

Then leave it on the counter, with the cabbage weighed down ( see notes) covered loosely with a lid, over a pan to catch any juices,  with a dishcloth placed over it (or place somewhere cool, ideally 65- 72 degrees F) for 3-5 days, or longer if you prefer more fermentation, occasionally pressing down on the cabbage.

My personal preference is 4-5 days at 65F for a refreshing and crunchy version. After a few days, you should start to see some activity, bubbles, with you tap the jar.

After 3-7 days, close it with a lid and put it in the fridge…and don’t worry, it will smell better once it is chilled. Once it chilled, it’s ready to eat. As it rests in the fridge, it will continue to ferment but at a much slower rate. It will taste better and better.

Beet and Cabbage Sauerkraut- an easy small batch recipe that can be made in a mason jar. | www.feastingathome.com
It will keep for months on end, but it probably won’t last that long…because it’s so tasty!!
I seriously put this on everything.
Hope you like it!! 

Beet and Cabbage Sauerkraut- an easy small batch recipe that can be made in a mason jar. | www.feastingathome.com

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Beet and Cabbage Sauerkraut


Description

A simple easy, small batch recipe for Beet and Cabbage Sauerkraut that anyone can make using a mason jar. Full of good healthy bacteria!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups cabbage- finely sliced (leave one leaf whole, for the top)
  • 1 cup grated raw beet- do not peel.
  • ¼ Cup sliced red onion – optional
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Other optional ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 12 teaspoons grated ginger

Instructions

  1. Finely slice and grate cabbage and beets and place in a bowl. ( 4 cups total)
  2. Add garlic, onion and or ginger if using.
  3. Massage with 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt. Let sit on the counter, mixing occasionally for 1-2 hours, until cabbage has wilted and released a little water.
  4. Place cabbage beet mixture and all the juices in a CLEAN 4 cup mason jar and pack it down with a muddler, or the end of a wooden spoon.
  5. If there is not enough liquid to cover, mix one teaspoon sea salt with 1 cup of filtered water, and add just enough of this brine so cabbage -beet mixture is submerged- leaving at least an inch of space at the top of jar.  Top with a whole cabbage leaf ( or fermentation weight) and press it down once more. Cover with loosely with a lid and place on a pan ( to catch any liquid).
  6. Place in a cool dark place ( ideally 65 -72 degrees F )  for 3-5 days. It may take longer to ferment if it is colder. I often place mine in the cooler part of my kitchen, covered with a big dishcloth. You can check it daily to make sure cabbage is under the brine.
  7. After 3-4 days, check for activity. When you tap the jar, tiny bubbles should rise to the top, indicating it’s fermenting.  Once fermented to the desired amount, add the caraway seeds and place it in the fridge.  The longer it ferments the sourer it will taste.
  8. Once it’s chilled the smell will surprisingly mellow out and it will actually seem edible! So let it chill overnight, discard the cabbage leaf, then give it a taste!

Notes

Do not use pre-shredded cabbage. You need the natural bacteria from a whole cabbage. Farmers market cabbage works especially well.

If you are finding you need to add quite a bit of water to get the cabbage to be submerged, make a brine first. A basic fermentation ratio is 1 heaping teaspoon sea salt to every cup of water.

You can use fermentation weight to keep the kraut submerged, or use a small ziplock bag, filled with a little water, to as a weight, placed over the cabbage in the jar.

Any cabbage that is exposed to air, will likely get moldy. Feel free to remove the mold if it is just on one area, you likely can salvage the rest.


Nutrition

  • Calories: 45

Keywords: how to make sauerkraut, beet sauerkraut, sauerkraut recipe, easy sauerkraut, easy sauerkraut recipe, cabbage sauerkraut

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. I’ve made sauerkraut with cabbage and beets very successfully. Beats in my area are outrageously expensive four dollars a pound!!! Is it possible to use canned beets as a substitute for fresh?

    1. Canned beets do not have any living bacteria on them so not good for fermenting. You could increase the cabbage and decrease the beets to save a little money?

  2. Thanks for the good kraut recipes! I made the turmeric kraut and this one at the same time by dividing one cabbage. I opted to add garlic, didn’t quite use a cup of beets, and added some brine to cover. Ended up with a wonderfully tangy and tasty magenta kraut that has more than a hint of horseradish flavor. I’ll add the full amount of beets next time, and likely use red cabbage for full color excitement. Do you think you could work up a garlic dill kraut recipe similar to what Farmhouse Culture sells? (Will test the Curtido soon as well.)

    1. I think you could take our Cultured Kraut and add garlic and dill to it- it would come very close!

  3. Thank You so much for the excellent recipe. This is easy and works great with fish tacos! A big hit with the entire family. I just did the basic recipe with no other optional ingredients and let it sit for 4 days. It was nice a crisp…going to try the next batch with some of your optional ingredients

    1. Thanks Bob! Love that you served with fish tacos. You should also take a peek at Curdito, the Salvadoran Slaw ( also fermented).

  4. Miss Sylvia,
    Wow. You hit at the heart of me w this. Memories of pork hocks and sauerkraut or a creamed kolrabi dish, and of course anythg cabbage related. Nana wld shred cabbage for a salad instead of lettuce way back when. I BELIEVE w all my heart and soul, the “olden days” were the golden days. Family being second after a bowing of heads in prayer to God for the food we ate and all His blessings and mercy. Life is good because it can be good!

  5. Question for you (or anyone experienced making this type of recipe), do you rinse/clean your vegetables with water prior to starting the cutting process? Or will rinsing remove some of the beneficial bacteria? thanks in advance for any feedback. i plan to get started this weekend!

  6. Hi There, The only thing I am stumped on is the size of the mason jar to use. Can you fill me in please?

    1. I had the same question. I have either small jars or a jar that is too big. Did you find any helpful info?

      1. I would use the bigger jar, – you don’t need to fill it all the way up.

  7. Hi Sylvia,
    Your guidance is the simplest. The introduction allayed my fears. Guess what? I v made such yummy cabbage and saukrat with 2 garlic cloves and today is the 3rd day.No mould,no browning.All intact ,slightly tangy and flavourful and crunchy. Thanks also on the warning to put the fermenting bottle in a plate / container to trap spills. It actually spilled the next day and it would v been a mess with out d plate.Now I v turned it out into a plastic container with a cover and kept in the fridge. Does plastic container affect it? I will be taking out some everyday for use. I hope constant opening will not affect it.
    Thank you once again

    1. Awesome, thanks so much and glad you like it! 🙌 I prefer glass or ceramic- not sure if plastic affects fermentation, but I don’t like to leave things in plastic because it can leach into your food.

  8. I put this in the fridge after three days it was quiet bubbly, and strong smelling.. but once is mellowed it didn’t taste very sour. Can I take it out and continue to ferment?

    Thanks 😊

  9. I am going to make this today, good idea with the beetroot. I will also add juniper berries and bay leaf.

  10. I made this but when I put it in jars in the fridge, it kept fermenting. What did I do wrong?

  11. This is the most versatile sauerkraut variation I’ve tried so far! It goes well with a lot of foods (my favorite combo is with black bean tacos) so I got through the jar pretty fast haha. It has a more mild taste for me since the sweetness from the beets balances out the tartness.

    1. How much salt did you put? You could drain and rinse the cabbage, then submerge in a saltwater brine. Add 1 teaspoon fine sea salt to 1 cup filtered water. Make enough brine to cover the cabbage.

  12. Absolutely delicious, such an easy recipe to follow. I I added ginger and cummin seeds Thank you so much ?

  13. Hi, I plan to make this later this afternoon and I’ve done some research on different salts. Your recipe calls for sea salt. I have sea salt at home but it does have iodine in it. Will this make a difference for the process of fermentation or should I just use what I have on hand and are what happens????

      1. iodine usually does have a negative effect on the ferment that why you don’t use table salt