Sauerkraut cabbage beet

Purple Sauerkraut

Preserve beets and red cabbage by fermenting with salt. A purple sauerkraut recipe

Read more: Purple Sauerkraut

I’m feeling kinda purple – that is – we made some Beet and Red Cabbage Sauerkraut – the last of three sauerkraut recipes that have been posted over the last few days.

Shredded Red Cabbage
Shredded red cabbage

So why do they call red cabbage “red” if it’s purple? I just don’t know – and it’s not at all important – but all those purple ingredients are so good for us!

A Little Sauerkraut Humour

A woman goes to the doctor with a cabbage on her ears, a carrot in her nose and beets over her eyes. The doctor says – “Well it looks like you haven’t been eating right”.

Beet Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

We made 2 jars of Beet Red Cabbage sauerkraut. We used the same method as for the other 2 sauerkraut recipes, but this one requires a bit more caution with cleanup and prep as EVERYTHING will get stained PURPLE! Just protect your clothes and countertops, and cleanup as soon as a spill happens. 

Here is the link to Cabbage Sauerkraut with Garlic and Turmeric recipe, and the link to Carrot and Ginger Sauerkraut recipe! We had fun preparing them all at the same time – but you don’t have to.



We made 3 times the recipe and filled 2 jars. The recipe below is for a smaller quantity – you can alter based upon how much cabbage and how many beets you want to shred and how many jars you want to fill!

  • 1/4 large red cabbage
  • 1 large beet.
  • 1/2 tbsp non-iodized salt (we used kosher salt, but you can use sea salt or whatever you prefer)
chopping the red cabbage
Shredding the red cabbage

Sterilize the Jars

Sterilize clean mason jars by boiling them in a canning pot or just a large spaghetti pot – I did mine for about 10 minutes to kill any other bacteria before getting started with the kraut. It’s an extra step, but no big deal – so why not? We used recycled glass mason jars from that pasta sauce we’re always using!

Sterilize the mason jars
Sterilize the mason jars

Shred Cabbage – and grate Beets

Shred cabbage and grate beets using mandolin or cheese grater.

Shredding cabbage
Shredding cabbage

Massage the Vegetables to Release Juices

Mix beets, cabbage and salt in a large bowl.

Massage the cabbage and beets vigorously with your hands (or if you prefer assorted squishing tools) for about 5 minutes until it releases some juices. Set it aside for a 1/2 hour. The cabbage releases liquid with the addition of the salt and with the “squeezing” action.

After 1/2 hour, work the cabbage mixture again.

Ladle into Jar(s)

Ladle the mixture into clean (sterilized) jars. Pack it down – (we used a rounded ice cream scoop to pack down) – so that the cabbage mixture is at the bottom with the liquid rising to cover the surface of the cabbage/beets.

We used 2 sterilized jars for 3/4 red cabbage and 3 beets (because we prepared 3 times the recipe) filled to about 2/3 full. For the basic recipe you would need one 500ml jar!

It’s important to have all of the cabbage below the liquid.

Make a Brine – just in case!

In the event that your cabbage is not releasing enough liquid, you can make a brine – mix 1 cup of water to 1/2 tsp non-iodized salt. If you are making a lot of sauerkraut like we were, just mix this up and have it nearby – just in case! Dissolve the salt by giving it a whisk. If the cabbage sits above the liquid – just pour a little brine over the top until the cabbage is submerged.

Place Water Filled Bags over Jars to Seal

The next step is to make sure the mixture is not exposed to air while it is fermenting. We washed Ziploc sandwich bags and filled to about 2 fingers in depth with tap water. We then gently squeezed the water filled bags into the top of the jar without spilling the water into the jar. The water in the bag, once in the jar spreads over the surface of the cabbage. Then we pulled back the opening of the bag and lightly screwed on a jar lid. This seals the cabbage under the baggie from the air!

Create airlock over sauerkraut with water filled bags
Create airlock over sauerkraut with water filled bags

Protect your tabletop!

Before you set the jars aside – place them on a tray or plate with a bit of a lip to it – when the fermentation occurs, some of the liquid may bubble over the edge of the jar – you don’t want to ruin your tabletop! Don’t worry about the spillage – just clean up and rearrange the bags and lids. Be extra careful with the beet juice – this is the one recipe that overflowed for us – and the liquid is purple – so watch out.

Set Aside Sauerkraut

Place the sauerkraut jars in a cool dark location for a minimum of 7 days. Sample for texture and flavour. If you feel that they are ready, set aside the water bags, seal the jar lids and refrigerate. If you feel that they could ferment for a little longer, refit the water bags and lids and set aside for a few more days. After two weeks, (the jars had been covered by a cloth to keep sunlight out) – we felt the sauerkraut was just right – so we removed the bags, screwed on the lids and put in the refrigerator.

Sauerkraut jars set aside on plates
Sauerkraut jars set aside on plates
Three types of Sauerkraut
Three types of Sauerkraut

We had fun making three types of sauerkraut – and enjoyed experimenting with and tasting all three!

Below is a printable recipe card from RecipesGenerator. Please give it a try!

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