If you’ve never fermented before you may be surprised to find out how easy it is to make sauerkraut. If you’re a veteran of the fermenting arts looking to get creative then you may find the idea of apple cider sauerkraut just the thing to bring some variety to your bubbling jars.

This sauerkraut is super delicious! It has the typical sourness found in kraut combined with a bright punch of apples (from breach apples and cider) and is even more tangy because of what happens when you ferment cider…but more on that shortly.

The idea of Apple Cider Sauerkraut combines a red cabbage sauerkraut (sometimes referred to as ‘redkraut’) and the idea of fermenting sauerkraut in wine or beer. Most homemade sauerkraut recipes use cabbage, salt and water (for newcomers: most of the water is released from the cabbage by the salt as we’ll explain in the recipe) as their basis. By replacing water with non-pasteurized apple cider we are adding flavour and good bacteria to the jar to enhance the ferment and taste.

For us preserving geeks, there is another really interesting factor in using apple cider to ferment kraut in: any time you ferment fruit and/or sugar (such as wine or apples) you create alcohol. When you ferment wine or cider without removing oxygen (you’ll see home brewers and vineyards alike use airlocks when fermenting their boozy beverages) you can create vinegar. The cycle of this ferment likely creates a small percentage of alcohol then continues the process to create extra-tangy kraut and a cooking liquid/brine/vinegar that’s pure gold (use it in a salad or a stir fry).

We’ve also added fresh apples to this kraut to double-down on the apple punch. They turn delightfully purple with time and a firm baking apple (such as a Crispin/Mitsu or Delicious apple) are ideal for this.

If you haven’t fermented before here’s a simple overview to guide you through the recipe (the rest of you can skip this):

  • Chop ingredients
  • Mix with salt and ‘massage’ to help the water begin to release from the other ingredients
  • Leave overnight and water will appear
  • Drain water, replace with cider, ensuring nothing is floating (we’ll show you how below)
  • Cover loosely and leave for 5-30 days. The longer you wait, the more sour it will become – but the softer it becomes. When you are happy with the taste and texture, cover with a lid and transfer to the fridge. It will last for a year or longer there.

Ok, let’s get to the main event – our recipe for Apple Cider Sauerkraut!

Apple Cider Sauerkraut (Applekraut) Recipe

Prep time

15 mins

Total time

15 mins

A super-easy fermenting recipe to make red cabbage Apple Cider Sauerkraut.

Author: Joel MacCharles

Recipe type: Fermenting

Serves: 1 quart


  • 2.5 pounds red cabbage (1/2 a medium-large cabbage)
  • 2.5 pounds red cabbage (1/2 a medium-large cabbage)
  • 1 baking apple
  • 1 baking apple
  • 1.5 Tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1.5 Tablespoons coarse salt
  • 2 cups apple cider (not vinegar). The volume will vary depending how tightly you package your kraut.
  • 2 cups apple cider (not vinegar). The volume will vary depending how tightly you package your kraut.
  • 1 quart (liter) regular (not wide-mouthed) mason jar plus metal lid (not the band)


  1. Shred the cabbage and apples in a large bowl and toss with salt.
  2. ‘Massage’ the ingredients by squishing them with your hands for 3 solid minutes. Use gloves if you have a fancy function that evening or if your skin stains easily or you may have reddish hands for a few days.
  3. Cover with a towel and leave overnight. The next morning you’ll find liquid in the bowl (there is more liquid in fresh cabbage than that which has been stored for a long time); drain the liquid down the sink.
  4. Press the ingredients firmly into the mason jar. You will need to apply firm pressure to get all of the cabbage in. Cover cabbage in apple cider ensuring nothing floats on the surface. If you have some stubborn ‘floaters’ remove them or force them to stay submerged by ‘seatbelting’ them).
  5. Place a lid loosely on top (I don’t use the screw top band at all) and place the jar in a bowl. The bowl is important as more liquid may release over the coming days and the liquid can stay if it overflows. By using the bowl you’ll save a mess.
  6. Check the ferment daily to ensure everything is submerged. In hot weather this may be ready in less than a week; in the fall or spring you may wish to wait up to 30 days or more to hit your ideal taste and texture.
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