How To Make Sauerkraut

by Alyona's Cooking

The Ultimate guide in how to make Sauerkraut at home! Russian’s love sauerkraut and you can see how it’s done with a step-by-step photo tutorial and helpful tips! It’s easy, versatile and a great way to use up cabbage!

This sauerkraut recipe comes from my older Ukrainian aunt who married off 10 children now! So she knows how sauerkraut needs to be! Making this perfectly tart sauerkraut is super easy and hassle free. No fancy equipment or barrels needed and it’s been said to be one of the best tasting sauerkraut from the ones made! The only labor in making sauerkraut is the prepping then the cabbage just sits to ferment and it’s done! It’s packed cold and no heat or hot syrups involved! Just basic ingredients and a few days of patience in creating the simplest sauerkraut!

If your a sauerkraut lover you need this over bratwursts subs or in this cabbage salami soup!


How does sauerkraut keep so long without rotting?

When making sauerkraut the water and salt help ferment the cabbage. During fermentation a good bacteria produces known as lactic acid which later preserves the cabbage from rotting. However there are rules to go by for a successful batch of homemade sauerkraut!

How do I make sauerkraut more sour?

The longer cabbage ferments the sour it will get. Two days is ideal but a three day mark is best! Less fermentation=less sour. Longer fermentation= more sour.

What ingredients are needed?

The salt, sugar and water all play important roles in making sauerkraut. The salt works as a preservative and the sugar slightly breaks up the sourness. The water binds this combination together to ferment the cabbage without browning it, which is why it’s important to keep the cabbage completely covered in this liquid during the fermenting process!

What can go wrong?

  • Not covering the cabbage with liquid can brown your cabbage before its fermented properly!
  • Lack of salt.
  • Not enough fermenting time to produce proper bacteria.

Helpful Resources:

How long should sauerkraut ferment?

Three days! Cabbage is perfectly tart on the 3rd day!

What is the difference between Russian sauerkraut and others?

Russian sauerkraut is pretty basic when it comes down to sauerkraut. The commonly known difference between other recipes is the addition of grated carrots which don’t really effect the flavor. It’s also very similar to German sauerkraut and unlike other sauerkrauts it’s unseasoned with caraway seeds or other spices.

Handy Equipment:

5 from 1 vote

Sauerkraut Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Ferment: 3 days
Servings: 4 quarts
Calories: 49kcal
Author: Alyona's Cooking
The ultimate guide in how to make sour kraut at home! Russian's love sour kraut and you can see how it's done with a step-by-step photo tutorial and helpful tips! It's easy, versatile and a great way to use up cabbage!
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  • 3 kilograms cabbage (6 lbs)
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar

Cold Syrup:

  • 6 cups cold water
  • 2 Tbsp salt


How to make Sauerkraut:

  • In an extra large bowl mix together the cabbage, salt, carrot and sugar and pack into a large pot.
  • Stir cold syrup together and pour over cabbage.
  • Press cabbage mixture down with a heavy plate and make sure liquid covers cabbage completely to prevent any browning.
  • Let sit at room temperature 3 days. Then dump mixture out into a large bowl to air out bitterness (about 2 hours.)
  • Pack into jars with the liquid and keep refrigerated for upto 3 months.


  • Properly fermented sour kraut should look white and crisp. If any browning or dark discoloration occurs disregard. 
  • This sour kraut can keep for up-to 3 months.
  • 3 kilograms is about two large heads of cabbage.
  • This recipes makes 4 quart-sized jars. 


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 49kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1780mg | Potassium: 331mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 821IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Facts
Sauerkraut Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 49 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 1780mg77%
Potassium 331mg9%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 821IU16%
Vitamin C 69mg84%
Calcium 76mg8%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Let us know when you make this recipe!Leave a comment, rate it, and tag #alyonascooking!


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Inna MKS February 10, 2020 - 7:30 pm

Hi! Thanks for recipe, I wanna prep everything right to try this out, what size jars would I need for this amount?

Alyona's Cooking February 10, 2020 - 9:16 pm

Hi Inna, 4 quart-sized jars is what you’ll need to pack the sauerkraut to, unless you have the half gallon jars. This does ferment 3 days before packing so you plenty of time before packing:) Would love to hear how it turned out!


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