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  • Dairy free
  • Egg free
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose free
  • Nut free
  • Peanut free
  • Sesame free
  • Soy free
  • Wheat free
  • Shellfish free
  • Seafood free
  • Healthier living
  • Diabetes friendly
  • Low fat per serve
  • Vegan
  • No added sugar
  • Vegetarian
  • 1 serve veg or fruit

Sharp and sour, with a hint of anise flavour from caraway seeds, this sauerkraut recipe is easy for any beginner to master – and super tasty, too.

  • Makes6, Approx. 6 cups
  • Prep time20 minutes, + 5 days fermenting time


  • 1 medium white or red cabbage, cored
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds

Nutritional information

Per 1/4 cup: Energy: 61kJ/15 Cals (1%), Protein: 1g (2%), Fat: 0.1g (0%), Sat Fat: 0g (0%), Sodium: 194mg (10%), Carb: 2g (1%), Sugar: 2g (2%), Dietary Fibre: 2g (7%).

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.

Percentage Daily Intake information on our recipes is calculated using the nutrition reference values for an average Australian adult.


  1. Step 1

    Remove and discard the outer leaves of cabbage. Thinly slice remaining cabbage and place in a large clean bowl. Add the salt, caraway and mustard seeds. Use clean hands to massage cabbage mixture for 5 mins or until mixture reduces and a brine produces.

  2. Step 2

    Place the cabbage mixture in a 12-cup (3L) sterilised plastic container with a lid (alternatively divide between two 4-cup (1L) sterilised jars), pressing down on cabbage so that it is covered with the brine. Cover the top of the cabbage with baking paper and weight with a sealed ziplock bag filled with water. Cover with a clean dry tea towel and place in a cool, ventilated place for 5 days (the sauerkraut needs to breathe), gently stirring every day to release any gases and air bubbles.

  3. Step 3

    Remove ziplock bag and seal container or jars. Store in the fridge for up to 5 months.

Recipe tip

The longer you leave the sauerkraut to ferment at room temperature, the more sour the flavour will become. 

Use it up:
Use the outer cabbage leaves to make stuffed cabbage rolls.

Sauerkraut recipe

What is sauerkraut? Until recently, sauerkraut was a staple in German kitchens and restaurants. Sauerkraut is also eaten throughout Eastern Europe. Literally translated to ‘sour cabbage’, this condiment is made by mixing finely shredded cabbage with salt and leaving it to ferment. The liquid that you see in the sauerkraut bottles comes from within the cabbage, which is drawn out by the salt and also when you massage the cabbage. In this briney solution, the bacteria found on the cabbage is fermented in the natural sugars in this veggie, producing lactic acid, which carries a sour flavour. You can serve sauerkraut as is or cook it. Recipes for sauerkraut today tend to include additional flavourings from ingredients like juniper berries or caraway seeds, as in this recipe.

How to make sauerkraut

Here are some tips for when you make this recipe for sauerkraut:

  • Do not wash the cabbage, because the natural bacteria on the cabbage is needed for fermentation.
  • To keep your cabbage steeped in the salty solution, place a weight on top of the cabbage strips to keep them submerged and out of contact with the air. This is to prevent growth of unwanted bacteria, and to promote growth of the bacteria you want in the sauerkraut. You can use a sealed ziplock bag filled with water or fold up a cabbage leaf and use this as a weight.
  • Another way to ensure your cabbage stays submerged in the brine is to slice your cabbage into slightly thicker strips, so that they’ll be held down well by the weight instead of floating to the surface. 
  • Your sauerkraut will have a sharper flavour if you leave it fermenting for longer. To help keep the cabbage strips away from the air, you can pour in half an inch of olive oil on the top to seal it.
  • Look at and smell your fermenting sauerkraut every day, and discard it if the cabbage is slimy, brown or pink, mouldy or smells like yeast.
  • Store the fermenting sauerkraut in a dark place, away from other foods or drinks that you are also fermenting.

Storing and serving sauerkraut

To store unopened sauerkraut that has completed fermenting, place it in the fridge for up to 6 months, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Remember to label it with the date you placed it in the fridge or freezer, and also with the expiry date.

Once you have opened a jar of sauerkraut, it will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. You can serve sauerkraut as is in a hot dog or Reuben sandwich. Or you can warm it up and serve it as a side for pork, schnitzel, sausages or hot smoked fish, or with some potatoes or dumplings.

Now get cooking

Become a fermentation expert with this winning sauerkraut recipe. Serve your fermentation creation with German-style potato salad and easy German-style pork roast or roasted pork knuckle with vegetables.