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Simple, Spicy Sauerkraut

Simple, Spicy Sauerkraut

Adding a bit of spice to food… okay a LOT of spice is my family’s favorite and we typically eat quite a bit of stir fry in our house which is beautifully topped with fermented Sauerkraut. With seven children and a husband all sharing the same heat-loving palate, I have to dish out gallons of spicy Sauerkraut on a monthly basis. So I created this very simple recipe to meet our family’s needs. You, of course, can adjust the quantity to fit your needs.

The combination of cabbage, spices, and fermentation creates a condiment with a kick that pairs perfectly with a variety of foods. Whether you’re a sauerkraut enthusiast or new to this tangy delight, this recipe will elevate your culinary adventures. Let’s dive in and discover how to make your very own batch of spicy sauerkraut.

What’s Sauerkraut

What's Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut, often known as “sour cabbage,” refers to a preparation of raw cabbage that has undergone fermentation, resulting in a finely sliced product. The origins of sauerkraut are believed to go back to China, despite the term itself being of German origin and often associated with German cuisine. The precise origins of sour cabbage are difficult to ascertain; yet, its widespread popularity and delicious taste are undeniable throughout all cultures globally.

A Spicy Sauerkraut Recipe

The most frequent method for preparing sauerkraut is the German approach, involving the need for caraway seeds. Vegetables like carrots and onions may be added for a different flavor. We thought it would be fun to produce a spicy version of sauerkraut by adding sliced jalapenos to the traditional recipe.

Ingredients You Need:

  • Medium Cabbage – Usually 4-5lbs
  • Himalayan Salt
  • Spicy Pepper of choice – You choose the amount as well (we prefer jalapenos, habaneros, or crushed red pepper flakes)
  • Gloves to protect hands from pepper’s oil

Quick Link: Five Sneaky Ways to Serve Sauerkraut

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The Method:

  1. Thinly Slice up your cabbage and place it into a large bowl. Sprinkle Himalayan Salt over the cabbage according to the weight of your cabbage and the package directions. Work the cabbage with your hands squeezing it and mixing it until the cabbage is soft and tender and begins to release juices that drip out of your hands with every squeeze. This usually takes about 10 minutes or so. 
  2. Put your plastic gloves on and thinly slice your hot peppers placing them in with the cabbage and simply stir them in.  If you do not have plastic gloves, I recommend using a utensil for the stirring part so your hands aren’t burning for the next day.
  3. Pack your simple, spicy Sauerkraut into a 1/2 gallon mason jar and pack it down as tightly as you can. You should see the juices from the Sauerkraut rise up and cover the cabbage as you pack it down. If you don’t, feel free to add some non-chlorinated water until the brine (salt water mix) completely covers your cabbage.
  4. Use the Fermentools’ glass weight to press the cabbage down even further. Assemble your  Airlock System and set your Sauerkraut aside to ferment for 5-30 days. It’s all up to your preference! Give it a taste every so many days.
  5. When the fermenting period is complete and you like how your Sauerkraut tastes. Remove the airlock system from the top of the jar and place your Simple, Spicy Sauerkraut into the refrigerator! 

The longer your Sauerkraut sits in the refrigerator, the more flavorful and spicy it will become. 

Get creative with how you use your Fermented Simple, Spicy Sauerkraut! Try it:

  • Inside your breakfast burrito
  • On top of your egg bakes
  • On a slice of bread with butter
  • As a garnish to your stir fry, or
  • As a stand-alone side dish to your meat and potatoes meal!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this simple, spicy sauerkraut recipe offers a fantastic way to infuse your meals with bold and exciting flavors. The beauty of making your sauerkraut is that you have control over the level of spiciness, and you can tailor it to your taste. Additionally, homemade sauerkraut is a treasure trove of probiotics, which can contribute to better digestion and overall health.

So, whether you’re planning to use it as a zesty topping, a side dish, or an ingredient in your favorite recipes, this spicy sauerkraut will elevate your culinary creations. Experiment with different dishes, from sandwiches to tacos, and relish the flavorful punch it brings. With just a few simple steps, you’ll have a batch of homemade sauerkraut that’s ready to add some heat to your meals.


1. How spicy can I make this sauerkraut?

The level of spiciness is entirely customizable. You can adjust the amount of hot peppers or spices you add to make it as mild or spicy as you prefer.

2. How long does it take to ferment spicy sauerkraut?

Fermentation time varies but usually ranges from one to two weeks. Taste it along the way to achieve your desired level of tanginess.

3. Can I use different types of cabbage for this recipe?

Yes, you can experiment with red cabbage or other varieties, but green cabbage is commonly used for traditional sauerkraut.

4. Are there specific dishes that pair exceptionally well with spicy sauerkraut?

Spicy sauerkraut can enhance the flavor of various dishes, including hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, tacos, and grilled meats. Get creative and find your favorite pairings!

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