Citrus Hint Sauerkraut–An Easy Sauerkraut Recipe

Sauerkraut is the mainstay of fermented foods. But sometimes, you just want a slightly different flavor. Try this easy sauerkraut in a jar recipe with just a hint of citrus. I’m sure you will be as amazed by the flavor as I am.

Cabbage is an inexpensive vegetable, and a common staple and go-to for many natural lacto-ferments. It is easy to naturally ferment and is a good default for obtaining a starter, or for a failsafe quick ferment when you need a probiotic boost. However, using the same recipe and flavor combinations over and over again can get boring.

A recent experiment of mine turned out surprisingly well, with the naturally tangy ferment having an added hint of bitter and sweet from a citrus addition. Getting all three flavor profiles to blend was a surprise, but adds to the enjoyment of this particular cabbage -based ferment.

How to Make Sauerkraut in a Jar with Orange Flavor

An Easy Sauerkraut in a Jar Recipe

Ingredients and Tools:

  • Green or red cabbage, sliced as for sauerkraut. For a quart jar, you’ll need 6-8 cups of sliced, non-compressed, cabbage.
  • 1 small organic orange. A blood orange or mandarin orange works best for this recipe.
  • 1 Tbs finely ground Himalayan Pink salt
  • Water
  • 1 clean, sterilized wide-mouth quart jar, and airlock.
  • For an optional variation, you can consider adding a small stick of cinnamon.


Start by preparing your cabbage. Wash the outside of the cabbage and remove any discolored spots, damaged areas, or wilted leaves. Thinly slice the majority of the cabbage, until you have 6-8 cups of prepared slices.

Then prepare your orange. Even if you have an organic orange, clean it by pouring about a cup of just-boiled water over the fruit. This will remove any oil residues from the skin, and prevent it from getting into your ferment. Wipe the orange down, and slice thinly. A small orange should give about six slices.

Prepare your brine by dissolving the salt in a cup of barely warm water.

Start filling your quart jar with cabbage. When you have the jar about a third full, pack down the cabbage and slide in one or two orange slices. Pack in more cabbage, and add a few more orange slices. I liked putting the orange slices so that the cabbage pressed them against the side of the jar, but that is not necessary. Continue until the jar is packed to the shoulder with cabbage, and all the orange slices have been put in place.

Pour over the brine, and add water to just above the cabbage. Insert your glass weight and make sure there are no floating bits of cabbage hanging around. Secure your airlock, and set your prepared jar on a plate, just in case it decides to overflow.

Leave on the counter, or in a slightly warm location. Due to the citrus, the ferment may start a little slow, but within 24 hours the first signs of fermenting should appear. By 48 hours, in a quart jar, you should have large bubbles appearing. Within three days, the bubbles should be smaller, and the cabbage color should have changed from bright to dull. At this point, your sauerkraut with orange flavor is finished, and you can replace the airlock with a standard lid and transfer your ferment from the counter to the fridge. Once chilled, enjoy.

This particular ferment will have a combination of sweet, tangy, and bitter. The sweet and bitter come from the orange and the tangy comes from the lacto-fermentation. The orange slices will also have a faint tang to them and can be enjoyed with, or without, the cabbage accompaniment.


I don’t know about you, but I want to make a huge batch of this sauerkraut with orange flavor. For that, I need to order another 12-pack of Fermentools so that I have more fermentation lids for Mason jars. Better check your cupboard and see what you need to order, too.


Sarah Dalziel is passionate about DIY skills, knowledge, and self-sufficiency. She was homeschooled K-BSc, and enjoys questioning, researching, and writing about hands-on skills and preparedness. Ethnobotany, natural dyes, and self-sufficiency fascinate her. If she isn’t writing about them, you’ll find her dipping yarn into a steaming dye pot, or stirring up a batch of woad pigmented soap. Sarah blogs at, a natural dye and fiber skills blog, and also at, an interdisciplinary skills and writing blog.

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