If you love sauerkraut, it’s almost as easy to make your own batch at home as it is to buy a jar at the store. You can customize the spices and ferment for as little as a couple of days to a few weeks. Sauerkraut is actually easier to make at home than it is to spell – try out these 9 recipes for a healthy, fermented side dish you can serve alone or even better, on top of a hot dog.
1. Basic Sauerkraut
Our recipe for basic sauerkraut is a great way to experiment with fermentation and an easy first project. This simple rendition requires only some cabbage and a few tablespoons of kosher salt. Get our Basic Sauerkraut recipe.
2. Easy Overnight Sauerkraut
This is a quick take on sauerkraut that you can make in the evening and be ready to serve the next day. Adjust the number of garlic cloves according to taste and be sure to use the bay leaves, cloves, and peppercorns for added flavor. Get the recipe here.
3. Red Cabbage Sauerkraut
Red cabbage has more vitamin C than green cabbage and the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities are just one more reason to try out this beautifully-hued recipe. Get the recipe here.
4. Sauerkraut with Whey
This recipe lets you pick and choose your own spice combination and is more of an outline than an actual accounting of ingredients. Use a third of a cup of whey (available at health food stores) to get started. Get the recipe here.
5. Red Cabbage Sauerkraut with Apple and Clove
The addition of three tart apples makes this a fruity sauerkraut that begs to be matched with a salty Reuben. Seven days it eh recommended amount of fermentation time but it will keep for 2-3 months in the fridge. Get the recipe here.
6. Sauerkraut with Juniper
Crushed juniper berries are combined with dark brown sugar, cloves, bay leaves, bacon fat, vodka, champagne vinegar, and chopped red onion for a unique take on sauerkraut from CHOW. The bacon fat makes it especially perfect for pairing with pork, sausage, or any kind of meat confit. Get our Sauerkraut with Juniper recipe.
7. Garlic Cumin Sauerkraut
Lots of garlic, whole cumin seeds, and whole celery seeds are what make this sauerkraut so delicious. You can use coffee filters instead of cheesecloth to cover the fermenting jar and the longer you leave them out, the stronger the sour taste will be. Get the recipe here.
8. Single Quart Sauerkraut
A small batch recipe for sauerkraut, this recipe recommends that you ferment the cabbage for about two weeks for optimal flavor. Be sure to keep it in a cool, dark place and not in direct sunlight. Get the recipe here.
9. Magenta Sauerkraut
Carraway and carrots differentiate this recipe from the pack, with a substantial amount of garlic. The mix of purple and green cabbage makes for a lovely magenta colored concoction. Get the recipe here.
Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC's best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.