Three ingredient cabbage and carrot kraut is an easy and delicious ferment for beginners and seasoned picklers alike. Try it with scrambled eggs!
I learned to make sauerkraut nearly a decade ago on a episode of Fork You (an online cooking show that my husband and I used to make. The website still lives, but after a long-ago hack, there’s not much there). Since then, it’s rare that I don’t have a jar in the fridge or bubbling away on the countertop (often, I have both).
Back in my early kraut making days, I made lots of different kinds. I’d use spices. I’d add fresh herbs. But there was always one variety I came back to. Cabbage and carrot kraut.
A couple of years ago, I gave up on the fancy krauts and accepted the fact that this is my house version. It’s the one that I like best and happily eat with eggs, tucked into sandwiches, and with turkey kielbasa.
I make one quart jar at a time, because I don’t want to devote my whole fridge to the endeavor. I combine three parts shredded cabbage with one part grated carrot, add a bit of salt, massage it until it releases a bunch of liquid, and pack it into a jar.
Weigh it down with one of these glass pickle pebbles from Masontops, set the jar on a saucer and cover it with a small kitchen cloth, held in place with a rubber band. Then I wait about a week, until it’s tangy and bright. Into the fridge the jar goes, ready to be eaten.
Occasionally, I do make a plain batch or one threaded with fennel fronds, but this particular version forever has my heart.
Carrot and Cabbage Kraut
- 1 1/2 pounds shredded cabbage
- 8 ounces grated carrot
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- Combine the cabbage, carrots, and salt in a large bowl and rub them together until you have a goodly amount of liquid in the bowl.
- Pack the cabbage and carrots into a wide mouth jar a handful at a time (press each layer down firmly. If you push it all in at once, you won't get it all into the jar).
- Once you have all the veg into the jar, weigh it down with a pickling weight or a four-ounce jelly jar filled with water.
- Set the jar on a saucer. Cover it with a little kitchen cloth or a paper towel, and secure it with a rubber band, and place it somewhere on your kitchen counter that's out of direct sunlight.
- Check the kraut every couple of days and push it back down as it expands.
- When it tastes tangy and good, it's done! Put a lid on the jar and transfer it to the refrigerator.
Cabbage and Carrot is the favorite at my house also.
Looks good–I will give this a try.
Step 4… “set the jar down on a sauce.” What does that mean?? Thanks! Looks easy enough to try!
I’m sure she meant “saucer” in case it drips.
I did mean saucer. Thanks for catching the error!
I bought a large jar of commercial pickles for it’s tall shape and wide mouth and saved it specifically for kraut making. It accommodates a small to medium head of cabbage and the released liquids without worrying about overflowing the container.
Have you ever made it with purple cabbage?
I don’t typically, because i like letting the orange of the carrot come through, but you certainly could!
Looks delicious and I’m definitely going to give it a try.
My sister introduced me to homemade kraut this fall and I am in love! I have been jazzing it up with fresh grated turmeric and caraway seed. I save a small leaf of cabbage to place over the cabbage as it is fermenting and have left it at room temp for up to three weeks before eating. Now that is some tangy sauerkraut! I am ready to explore other vegetables.
Question! Do you include the liquid from the bowl when you’re packing the veggies into the jar? Or do you leave it behind?
Also when there is extra liquid generated in the jar, are you supposed to drain it off or leave it/serve it?
Thanks so much! I have a whole head of cabbage to spare and now I know what to do with it!
If the liquid will fit into the jar, you use it. You want the surface of the cabbage to be covered with a layer of its juice. If there’s more liquid in the jar as you pack, leave that there.
My husband like kraut but I do not. Never thought to make it a quart at a time but I’d be happy to do that for him. Thanks!
I have always wanted to try homemade saurkraut but have been afraid to try it. Have you ever left it longer than a week? I’ve read that it should be left for a month, or more on some sites. Do you ever get the “scum” on top, or any discoloration of the cabbage?
I have left it longer than a week. The amount of time you let it ferment is really up to you. I like a younger kraut, so I stop it earlier rather than later, but it’s truly a matter of taste.
I find that when you use a weight on your kraut, you don’t get much scum or discoloration because the surface of the cabbage is submerged beneath the liquid.
Great, thank you! I am definitely going to try this. I’ve been looking for a good saurkraut recipe, and this is so easy to follow and looks delicious. Thanks for sharing it!
I made about 3 gallons in fermentation jugs last year. Repacked the finished kraut into quart jars to keep in fridge and shared with neighbors and just finished the last jar last month. I already have the cabbage and carrots to make more this year.
Can you use a pickle pipe when making this? I just made my first batch!
You could, though I don’t find a pickle pipe necessary for sauerkraut.
I plan to make the Carrot and Cabbage Kraut. I just bought a package of the reCap fermenters. I already have the reCap pour caps in regular and wide mouth. I plan to use a wide mouth quart jar for the kraut. Do I still need to weigh the cabbage down with a 4 oz jelly jar? – or is that unnecessary as long as the cabbage is covered? thanks!
Did you get a fermentation weight along with your fermenters? It is always helpful to have something in there, weighing down the kraut. However, if you don’t want to use the 4 ounce jelly jar, you can push the cabbage down by hand once every day or so.
thanks for the speedy reply! I can use the small jelly jar – I just wondered if it accomplished anything other than keeping the contents submerged.
I plan on making the cabbage & carrot kraut. Is it necessary to grate the carrot, or can it, also, be shredded? Thanks for the idea and the challenge.
I know I was late, but still sent in info for Oct. Dehydrated eggplant and canned chicken. So much fun and nice to have in the pantry. Judy
I typically save one of the large outer cabbage leaves to cover the mix. That way the mixture stays submerge in water and I just throw away the outer leaf.
I just made the mixture and am waiting for the water to release.
That’s a perfect solution!
First things first. Thanks for all the work you put into the Mastery Challenge. I try to make a small batch of something every month to fill my larder, and this is a terrific way to add some new things to my repertoire.
I have never tried fermenting before, but since it’s the featured topic for this month, I’m going to give it a try.
I’m wondering if I could use Savoy cabbage for this kraut?
Thank you for the kind words. I’m so happy to hear that you’re finding the challenge useful. I’ve not used Savoy cabbage for sauerkraut before, but I imagine it would work. You might lose its texture faster, but I bet it would still be delicious.
This process is new to me – I didn’t have much liquid when I packed the cabbage and carrots into the jar. I did weigh it down and it released more liquid overnight but I don’t think it’s fully submerged. Should I add some water? Salt/water brine?
I don’t think I have ever had kraut before but the challenge inspired me to give it a try!
If there’s not a lot of liquid, make a brine by combining 1 tablespoon of fine salt with 2 cups of water. You can bring them to a simmer if the salt needs help dissolving. Let the brine cool completely and then add it to the cabbage until it is submerged.
I just made this for the Feb. 2019 challenge. I covered the jar with a paper towel, held with a rubber band. I’m wondering if I need to change the paper towel if it gets wet from the liquid spilling over?
If it gets really saturated, I would change it. Make sure you’re compressing the sauerkraut every day or so, because you don’t want it to get too dry as it ferments.
If the sauerkraut starts to smell yeasty do I need to toss it or can it be saved? I’ve read conflicting reviews. It had been great a couple of days ago and just started to smell different. Can see anything growing. Though it does look like it’s absorbing all the brine though still below brine level.
Have you been compressing it every couple of days to keep the kraut down below the liquid level? Did you have it weighted down with a jar or a big cabbage leaf?
Typically, a yeasty smell in ferments is an indication that there’s been some bacterial cross contamination. While it’s not a sign that it’s unsafe, it might be less delicious than you were shooting for. Airlocks can help prevent this kind of cross contamination in the future.
Tasty and well balanced!
So glad you like it!