Dilly Delight Sauerkraut Recipe [SIMPLE]

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This is as simple as it gets for making sauerkraut. Just three ingredients for this sauerkraut recipe: cabbage, dill and salt!

Dilly Delight Sauerkraut Recipe | makesauerkraut.com

This post was originally published on September 26, 2014. It was last updated with new information and images on April 13, 2017.

Note: If this is your first time to make sauerkraut, use The SureFire Sauerkraut Method… In a Jar: 7 Easy Steps, with its step-by-step photography, tips, and additional fermentation information first, then return to this sauerkraut recipe.

SureFire Sauerkraut... in a Jar | makesauerkraut.com

And, once you are comfortable making sauerkraut in a jar and want to make larger batches follow: The SureFire Sauerkraut Method… In a Crock: 7 Easy Steps.

SureFire Sauekraut in a crock recipe. | makesauerkraut.com

Notes and Tips to Get You Started on this Dilly Delight Sauerkraut Recipe

Fresh Dill

Fresh dill is available at markets during the summer and early fall. However, I tend to keep my life simple and stick to dried dill when making this sauerkraut. If you’re going to use fresh dill, chop just the finer stalks, tossing the thicker parts.

Dry herbs are three times stronger than fresh so plan on using almost a quarter cup of fresh dill in this recipe.

One Fun Way to Enjoy Dilly Delight Sauerkraut

The flavors of Dilly Delight Sauerkraut meld nicely with fish, my favorite is smoked salmon. Make a protein-rich salad by mixing some slices of salmon and Dilly Delight Sauerkraut with a bit of sour cream. You may need to first thin the sour cream with some cream or milk. Mix together, grind a bit of pepper over it and you’re good to go.

For more ideas, check out my ever-growing list of ways to enjoy your sauerkraut.

Dilly Delight Sauerkraut Recipe

I have two forms of my Dilly Delight Sauerkraut Recipe for you. The online one that follows – with numerous pictures – and a PDF version below for printing that includes Gourmet Pairing Options and information on recipe ingredients.

Dilly Delight Sauerkraut Recipe | makesauerkraut.com

Dilly Delight Sauerkraut

Why I love this recipe. Dilly Delight Sauerkraut always brings back memories of my first fermentation experiences. This was the only flavor of sauerkraut my family ate for over a year.

I had purchased my first crock and on each new moon would layer in the cabbage, salt and dill, mix well, pound, cover and wait. Sometimes, connecting a task to nature's rhythms makes it easier to get the task done.

Feel free to cut back on the amount of dill used, though I like the strong pronounced flavor.

For a PDF version of this recipe, including Gourmet Pairing Options, scroll to the end of this post.
Course Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Sauerkraut, Snack
Cuisine Fermented, Paleo, Primal, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 28 - 1 ounce (30 grams)
Calories 7 kcal
Author Holly Howe

You Will Need

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head fresh green cabbage, 2 ½–3 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill (2-3 tablespoons fresh)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) iodine-free salt (fine-grained)

Equipment

  • Kitchen scale or use given volume measurements
  • Cutting board and chef’s knife
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Vegetable peeler, grater and measuring spoons
  • 1 quart (liter) wide-mouth canning jar
  • 4 ounce (125 ml) “jelly” canning jar or other weight
  • Wide-mouth plastic storage cap or use the lid and rim that comes with jar

Instructions

SET UP. Gather Supplies and Set Up Scale

  1. Using a scale to make your sauerkraut enables you to make up a batch that fits perfectly into your jar and also ensures that you use the right amount of salt for the bacteria to do their best work. 

    MyWeigh KD-8000 digital scale review. | makesauerkraut.com
  2. You don’t want to include the weight of your bowl in your measurements, so either zero out the scale (usually done with a button on a digital scale or a knob under the tray on a mechanical scale) or write down the weight of your bowl (tare). 

CHOP. Prep Your Vegetables and Cabbage

  1. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon dried dill into your bowl. Now, how simple is that?

    Dilly Delight Sauerkraut Recipe - Add dill to bowl. | makesauerkraut.com
  2. Discard the limp outer leaves of the cabbage, setting aside one of the cleaner ones for use during the SUBMERGE step.

    Quarter, then slice cabbage crosswise into thin ribbons. I leave the core in because I find it helps to hold the layers of cabbage together making the slicing job easier. There are many ways to slice that cabbage as reviewed in this post.

    Add sliced cabbage to your bowl until weight of dill and cabbage is 1¾ pounds (28 ounces, 800 grams).

SALT. Create Your Brine

  1. Salt pulls water out of the cabbage and vegetables to create an environment where the good bacteria (mainly lactobacillus) can grow and proliferate and the bad bacteria die off.

    Dilly Delight Sauerkraut Recipe - Add salt and create brine. | makesauerkraut.com
  2. Sprinkle cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt and mix well. 

    Then, massage the cabbage with strong hands until moist, creating the brine. You should be able to tilt the bowl to the side and see a good-sized puddle of brine, about 2–3 inches in diameter. This process can take anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes.

PACK. Pack Mixture into Jar

  1. Once you have a small puddle of brine it is time to pack the mixture into your jar. 

    Dilly Delight Sauerkraut Recipe - Pack into jar. | makesauerkraut.com
  2. Grab handfuls of the salty, juicy cabbage mixture and pack them into your quart-sized wide-mouth canning jar, periodically pressing the mixture down tightly with your fist or a large spoon so that the brine rises above the top of the mixture and no air pockets remain.

    Be sure to leave at lease 1 inch of space between the top of the cabbage and the top of the jar. Because we weighed out just the right amount of cabbage to fit in your jar, this should happen automatically.

    Pour any brine left in your mixing bowl into the jar and scrape out any loose bits stuck to the sides of the bowl or to the side of your jar.

SUBMERGE. Hold Ferment Below Brine

  1. Now make sure your fermenting mixture is in a safe anaerobic (no air) environment. This means that you need to keep the cabbage mixture submerged in the brine while it ferments. 

    Dilly Delight Sauerkraut Recipe - Add Floaties Trap and weight and put on lid. | makesauerkraut.com
  2. Take that cabbage leaf you during the SETUP step, tear it down to just fit in the jar, and place it over the surface of the packed cabbage. Forgot to save a cabbage leaf? No problem. You can fold a narrow piece of parchment paper to size or even cut an old plastic lid to size. 

    Place the 4-ounce jelly jar on top of the cabbage leaf, right side up with its lid removed. 

    Lightly (to allow for escape of CO2 gases), screw on the white plastic storage lid.

    I like to label my jars using green or blue painter’s tape and a permanent marker. I note the flavor of sauerkraut I made and the date I started fermenting.

FERMENT. Ferment for 1 to 4 Weeks

  1. Time now for the friendly bacteria to do their work while you watch and wait. Can you wait 7 days to taste the tangy crunch?

    Dilly Delight Sauerkraut Recipe - Kraut Source Cap fermentation lid. | makesauerkraut.com
  2. In this image, you see the Kraut Source Fermentation Lid in use. See my review here

    Place your jar of fermenting sauerkraut in a shallow bowl (to catch the brine that may leak out during the first week of fermentation), out of direct sunlight. Wait for 1 week before opening to sample.

    For what to expect as your sauerkraut ferments, see SALTY Cabbage to SOUR Sauerkraut: Fermentation Signs to Monitor

    Should the brine level fall (very unlikely) and remain below the level of the sauerkraut during this first week, 

    dilute 1 Tbsp of salt in 2 cups of water 

    and pour some of this brine over the sauerkraut (removing the little jar first) until it just covers the mixture. Put the little jar back in, screw the lid on lightly and let the fermentation continue.

    Don’t worry if the brine disappears after the 7- to 10-day mark. By this time, you’ve created a safe environment in which the bacteria that would cause mold or slime has been chased away by the beneficial bacteria produced during the fermentation process.

    You can ferment your sauerkraut for up to 4 weeks. The longer you ferment it, the greater the number and variety of beneficial bacteria that can be produced. One study shows bacteria levels peaking on day 21. 

STORE. Store in Refrigerator for Up to 1 Year

  1. After fermenting your sauerkraut, it’s ready to go into the refrigerator and ready to be eaten. 

    Dilly Delight Sauerkraut Recipe | makesauerkraut.com
  2. Rinse off the outside of the jar. You can take the little jar out. Clean the rim if necessary (sometimes it can get sticky from the brine that overflows), and screw the lid back on tightly. Add to your label how long you fermented the contents.

    Enjoy a forkful or two of your sauerkraut with your meals. It will continue to ferment – aging like a fine wine – but at a much slower rate that before. If the flavors are too intense, leave it the jar for a month or two and then eat it. You will be amazed at how the flavors have changed.

    If successfully fermented (tastes and smells good), your sauerkraut can be kept preserved in your refrigerator for up to a year.

Dilly Delight Sauerkraut Recipe PDF

A beautiful PDF recipe for Dilly Delight Sauerkraut. | makesauerkraut.com

All my sauerkraut recipes include a downloadable PDF in the same style as the recipes in my eBook: The SureFire Sauerkraut Recipe Collection.

Click to Download the above PDF for my Dilly Delight Sauerkraut Recipe with its useful set of tips and Gourmet Pairing Options on the backside. NO OPTI-IN required. And, please accept my apologies for the off-colors on the first page. I haven’t yet been able to prevent that during file conversion.  🙁

Want More Delicious Sauerkraut Recipes? Click Below to Check Out My eBook: The SureFire Sauerkraut Recipe Collection

16 thoughts on “Dilly Delight Sauerkraut Recipe [SIMPLE]”

    • Hi Jennifer, Good question. No, I wouldn’t say it tastes like dill, but I’m not a dill pickle eater. The “Dill” in Dilly Delight” comes from the use of the dill herb and I wasn’t think “dill pickles” when I came up with the name. Give it a try and adjust to the amount of dill to your liking.

  1. I am going to process my fermented sauerkraut for longer shelf life. Can I add spices
    (i am thinking caraway seed or dill and red pepper flakes) just before I can the jars?

    • I used dried dill weed, the flavour is much more tasty than fresh. Get it from bulk barn where it doesn’t cost much. The spice jars at the grocery store are terribly overpriced. I’ve think dill seeds are for canning pickles…?

  2. Hi Holly. I made this one early yesterday, but so far, no bubbles or evidence of reaction. Smells pleasant. This is the first time I’ve tried dill/cabbage mixture. I usually use garlic and carrots or garlic and carrots with ginger. Is the reaction more subtle because there’s nothing sweet in it? I followed directions. Cabbage was organic full head. It had been in my fridge in a produce bag for a couple of days, but was a large head. I did add a little more salt than usual while “kneading” the cabbage, but it definitely produced a lot of liquid once it had some time. Is the lack of bubbling a bad sign?

    • I’m sure it is fine. Make sure it is warm enough where you are fermenting (68-72). More salt will slow fermentation down a bit. And yes, less sugar (carrots) will also slow things down.

    • No worries it’s good, depending on the room temperature is how fast it cultures. Mine doesn’t get bubbly till day 3 and then it goes nuts!

      • Thanks for chiming in Jennifer. Each home will ferment differently. We each have our own unique “eco-system” so it’s good to hear how fermentation is happening in a house other than my own. 🙂

  3. Hi. Holly. I just made the best crunchy batch ever. This time I only used green cabbage. I do like to use at least 1 red head. Is there any difference ?? I have read that red cabbage is a better choice. What say you ? Thanks

    • Hello Mario, Red cabbage will take a bit longer to ferment and has an earthier taste. It is fine to use. I always use green cabbage due to its availability locally and the milder taste. My own personal hangup. 🙂

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