Passion Pink Sauerkraut Recipe [A Love of Beets!]

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Vibrant red beets. Earthy notes. Numerous health benefits in this sauerkraut recipe.

Beets are an amazing source of minerals and unique health-boosting nutrients. These grungy-looking roots are sweet, impart a beautiful ruby-red color to your sauerkraut and pack tons of flavor underneath their rugged exterior.

They are a wonderful tonic for the liver, working to purify the blood. The plant pigment that gives beets its rich, purple-crimson color is betacyanin; a powerful agent thought to suppress the development of some types of cancer. I can’t say enough about my love for beets.

And, I’ll bet you didn’t know this.

Studies show that beetroot juice boosts your stamina. A 2009 study shows that the nitrate contained in beetroot juice leads to an increase in oxygen uptake, making exercise less tiring. Participants in this study drank 500 ml of the juice per day for six consecutive days before completing the tests.

Yes, a serving of sauerkraut will not get close to delivering 500 ml of beetroot juice, but it’s still is imparting a wide range of benefits. Time for me to develop a fermented beetroot juice recipe… in due time.  🙂

I wanted to report back on how our first batch of this recipe turned out. In a word – “dee-lish!”

If you enjoy beets in your sauerkraut, my SureFire Sauerkraut Recipe Collection eBook contains two recipes rich in beets: Cardamom Beet Sauerkraut and Rosemary Beet Sauerkraut. Just the color these sauerkrauts add to your plate, especially in the dead of winter, is enough to brighten any day.

Having a jar of Passion Pink Sauerkraut on hand makes for a quick sauerkraut salad. |

This post was originally published on September 26, 2014. It was last updated with new information and images on February 2, 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 recipe.

SureFire Sauerkraut... in a Jar |

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. |

Notes and Tips to Get You Started on this Passion Pink Sauerkraut Recipe

Beets have the Highest Sugar Content of All Vegetables

This is not a bad thing, just be aware if you add too many beets to your sauerkraut, the sugar content of your ferment is such that it may turn into a sweet slime.

When adding the grated beets to the scale, I keep an eye on the weight and try to keep it under 25% of the total weight for the recipe. For a 1-quart (liter) batch: 7 ounces (200 grams). This should prevent the development of a slimy ferment.

Beets can be Tough to Grate

I always peel them first – to get rid of the “dirt” taste – and if I’m making an extra-large batch of sauerkraut, I pull out my food processor. Otherwise, use your hand grater, and glove, if you don’t want a red hand for a day or two.

Remove the red stain from your hands.

If your hands become stained with beetroot, rub with lemon juice and salt before washing with soap and water.

Don’t like the Garlic Smell on Your Hands?

Many swear by the stainless steel trick. Rub soapy hands on the faucet (and then dry it with a towel). Clean hands, shiny faucet. Me? I just wash my hands immediately with soap and water and it’s fine.

Small “Jelly” Canning Jar

The recipe calls for a small 4-ounce (125 ml) “Jelly” canning jar which is used as a weight to hold the fermenting sauerkraut below the brine. For other ideas on what to use as a weight see:

Fermentation Weights: Keep Your Ferment Below the Brine

Browning of Your Ferment

You may notice – if conditions aren’t optimal – that the top inch or so of your sauerkraut loses its color and turns a bit brown. This is oxidation and it can occur during fermentation or if stored for too long in your refrigerator. Just scoop off the browned section and enjoy the goodness below. And, try to eat sauerkraut containing beets within 5-6 months of fermentation.

Recipes that use Passion Pink Sauerkraut

Delicious Sauerkraut Salads with Local Vancouver Island Ingredients

Fermented Beet and Orange Sauerkraut Salad Recipe [Beat the Winter Blues]

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

Passion Pink Sauerkraut Recipe

I have two forms of my Passion Pink 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.

Fermentation Made Easy! Mouthwatering Sauerkraut available in three formats. |
Fermentation Made Easy! Mouthwatering Sauerkraut

Looking for more sauerkraut recipes? Grab my full set of flavorful recipes: Kindle, PDF, or Paperback.


Sauerkraut Recipe: Passion Pink |

Passion Pink Sauerkraut [A Love of Beets!]

Why I love this recipe. The color! There is no red cabbage in this recipe. The beautiful ruby-red color that develops as this ferments comes just from grated beets. Earthy-sweet, mineral-rich and so good for you.

I am not a fan of caraway seeds and didn't think I would like their flavor in this recipe. But, I've been pleasantly surprised and find this beet and caraway combination very pleasing to the palate. It's one of my favorites. Enjoy!

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
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 - 1 ounce (30 grams)
Calories 7 kcal
Author Holly Howe

You Will Need


  • 1 medium head fresh green cabbage, 2 ½–3 pounds
  • 2-3 medium beets
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) iodine-free salt (fine-grained)


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


SET UP. Gather Supplies and Set Up Scale

  1. Using a scale to make your sauerkraut will ensure that you add the correct amount of salt for a safe fermentation environment.

  2. MyWeigh KD-8000 digital scale review. |
  3. 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. You will need 1¾ pounds (28 ounces, 800 grams) of vegetables and cabbage in your bowl. 

    When making sauerkraut, you first prepare the flavoring ingredients – carrots, ginger, radish, caraway seeds or whatnot – then add sliced cabbage. This allows you to add only as much sliced cabbage as necessary to hit 1¾ pounds on the scale.

  2. Sauerkraut Recipe: Passion Pink |
  3. Peel and grate beets, mince garlic and place in your bowl along with the caraway seeds.

    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.

    Add sliced cabbage to your bowl until the weight of your vegetables 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.

  2. Sauerkraut Recipe: Passion Pink |
  3. Sprinkle vegetables and cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt and mix well.

    If you want the salt to do some of the work for you, you can leave your salted and well-mixed bowl of cabbage sit for 20-60 minutes. 

    Then, massage the vegetables 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 - see the picture below. This process can take anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes. 

PACK. Pack Mixture into Jar

  1. Now that you have a puddle of brine, it’s time to pack the cabbage mixture into your jar.

  2. Sauerkraut Recipe: Passion Pink |
  3. Grab handfuls of the salty, juicy cabbage mixture and pack them into your quart-sized (liter) 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 least 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.

    Lastly, wipe down the outside of your jar and posh down any loose bits stuck to the sides of the bowl or 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. 

  2. Sauerkraut Recipe: Passion Pink |
  3. Floaties Trap. Take that cabbage leaf you saved 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 - or whatever you are using as a weight - 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.

    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.

  4. Sauerkraut Recipe: Passion Pink |
  5. In these pictures, I'm using a Pickle Pusher to hold the ferment below the brine and Trellis & Co. stainless steel airlock lid..

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? 

  2. Sauerkraut Recipe: Passion Pink |
  3. 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.

    The jar on the left is Day 1; right, Day 5.

    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.

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. 

  2. Sauerkraut Recipe: Passion Pink |
  3. 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.

Passion Pink Sauerkraut Recipe PDF

A beautiful PDF recipe for Passion Pink Sauerkraut. |

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 Passion Pink 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

44 thoughts on “Passion Pink Sauerkraut Recipe [A Love of Beets!]”

    • Thank YOU so very much for sharing these links. I had not come across them. This just pushes my Beet Blogs to the top of the pile.

      I’ve always been fascinated with the mineral content of beets but never knew of how beet juice can oxygenate the blood. Now to find out what fermenting beet juice does to boost its benefits.

  1. Oh dear. I’m such a dunce. I’ve started the recipe carefully weighing the veg and just realized that you don’t give weight in the salt nor do you give what kind of salt to use. I’ve added a teaspoon of Redmond fine sea salt. Just hoping you are online to answer the question of what kind of salt. I’ll set this aside for a while to see if you respond. Thanks.

    • I just realized I could research this out. I am considering this fine sea salt. It should be a 2% brine. Apparently for 28 oz of veg the brine should actually be 2% of that weight. That is a half ounce. I did the conversion and found it to be 2.88 tsp. So this recipe is using fine salt. Yes! It would be great for us fermenters to give either the salt you use or the weight of salt to use. This recipe looks great. I am looking forward to tasting it.

  2. I wanted to report back on how our first batch of this recipe turned out. In a word – “dee-lish!” I made use 1 qt. At 1 wk the garlic odor was pretty overpowering but if you could get past that, it wasn’t in the taste, just the ‘nose”. Let is sit another week and it was less strong, flavor still good. Especially when you got a bite with caraway. So we moved it to the fridge at that point. 2 weeks later we tried it again and the strong garlic odor was about gone. So it most of the ‘kraut, it is so tasty! ha ha. So for our tastes I’ll probably reduce the garlic by a tad, and increase the caraway a bit. Getting more fresh cabbage next week and will add our own beets to make a bigger batch. Thanks for the recipe!

    • The beauty of fermentation. Once you have the basics down, tweak and create away to your liking. Thanks so much for sharing the week-by-week flavor development. You’re welcome for the recipe and the next batch – with your own beets – with be doubly dee-lish!

  3. Hi again Holly,

    It’s me Heidi from Sydney Australia! This is my second attempt, I used your exact measurements this time to a T! I had massive of brine this time I even took a little out?… does this look ok?… I am putting them in a cooler bag- you call it- esky to me, as it is unbelievabley hot here right now, but I couldn’t wait until Autumn ? it is way too far away! Any tips please?
    This time I will wait a full 2 weeks before I attempt to remove the weight and pickle pipe top to taste and put in fridge I think! I should then remove the cabbage leaf from the top too I guess?

    • Looking Lovely!!! Beautiful color. Smart to take some brine out. You did fine. Make sure for the first 3 days, they have some “warmth” – 20C ish. The bacteria that establish a balanced and safe environment need a bit of warmth.

      Then give them a cooler home. Let me know what temps you have them at after the first 3 days and then we’ll decide how long to ferment.

  4. Dearest Holly,

    Ok this is only Day 2 the house has been over 30degs, I have managed to keep the temp in this esky bag to around 26degs or 79 Fahrenheit (your speak!) it dropped to this last night, I am just worried the pipe pop lids are bulging one has had a little wee as you can see! Are they safe is the question? Worried they might explode as there is too much brine now, should I just leave them?…

    Xx Heidi ?

    • WOW! You do have high temps. The pickle pipes are fine, even with a little “wee.” :-). Crack open that one that had the brine ooze out in case it got sealed closed by the brine – just give it a little squeeze. They are safe. At the temps you have, I would sample at day 5 and see if you have some tang. You will probably do a fairly short ferment at your temps. 7-10 days max. Let me know how the flavors are. In the Autumn, you can ferment for a longer time period.

  5. Hi again Holly,
    As you might be able to see my two jars have been leaking out quite a bit of brine from the pickle pipe lids! It has been 4 days now the temp in the coolly bag has been between 23 – 27degCelcius / 76-80 degs Fahrenheit I thought I would wait a full two weeks, what do you think?….
    As you can see the pickle pipe lids are wanting to pop off!… lol ?

  6. Thank you Holly, i didn’t think I would get a reply after your email saying you have been inundated with a deluge of snow! My hubby and I have been to Vancouver Island twice and absolutely loved it, we went to the Bouchart Gardens and the ancient forest ? with the second tallest trees in the world ? we loved it ❤

  7. Ok Holly, I decided to taste them today day 8, they tasted good albeit a bit salty I thought, but my taste buds are a bit confused as I have been eating KimChi which is hot and I think salty? And copious qtys of milk Kefir every day too! I am bouncing with probiotics right now! Lol! No but I decided to clean the jars off, and take the weights and the cabbage leaf out of the jars and put on a plastic lid and put them in the fridge for a while, maybe ill test them again in a months time? These are the picys below, we have been having soaring temperatures here – 40dgs for 2 days, although I have been keeping them cooler I just got nervous to leave them out any longer! Hope they will be ok, not sure if they are supposed to be quite salty? I use Himalayan pink sea salt! 2 tablespoons in double the qtys of your recipe!

    • Lovely color development! Thank you for the pictures. Your sauerkraut shouldn’t be overly salty. See how they taste with a clean palate. 🙂 If they are still too salty, let me now and we can strategize for future batches. Enjoy the goodness of all your hard work.

  8. Todays subject: “Exploding Passion Pink Sauerkraut! Holly, I’m wondering if you can give me your expertise opinion as to what happened with a jar of my freshly made, Pink Passion Sauerkraut?
    I processed beets, carrot and cabbage; along with all the other ingredients that this recipe calls for and placed both jars of sauerkraut in my kitchen pantry; just yesterday.
    This morning, both the lids of my jars popped. This happened because I tightened the screw caps to firmly; not allowing the fermentation gases to escape.
    One of the jars exploded so much it left a huge dent/crease in the jar lid!
    I got the jar into the kitchen sink, placed a wet dish rag over it and released the rest of the pressure from in the jar.
    When I took the screw cap off the jar the sauerkraut in the jar continued to push its way out of the jar. I cleaned up the mess of cabbage and repacked it back into the jar.
    My question to you, Holly: What the heck happened and is this particular batch of sauerkraut, still good?


    • All is good. Thank goodness those jars did not actually explode. The power of microbes! You probably were a little high on the beets/carrots – and/or they were super nutritious – and the sugars in them made for an especially active ferment. Enjoy the fickle nature of fermentation.

      • I agree, beets are lil round power houses of nutrition.
        I used three medium beets, plus, one carrot for my two quarts of
        I will add some more water with a pinch of hymalain salt to my jars and keep the screw caps, LOOSE!
        Thank you once again for your help, Holly.

      • Yes, Thank God my jars did not explode. Like I said earlier: the one jar had so much pressure in it that it creased the lid due to all the pressure!
        I used three medium beets and one carrot. I was able to get 2 quarts out of the amount of cabbage I used. I have not purchased a scale as of yet to measure the correct amount of vegetables and so I’ve been guessing.
        The electronic scale that you recommend on your website is my next investment; in order to weigh the proper amount of cabbage.
        I did purchase a 12 inch Bamboo Cabbage Tamper from Amazon and it is amazing. Now I can really pack my cabbage and there is next to no space for air bubbles to form!
        Thanks again Holly for all your help

        • I’ve never seen a lid crease before. WOW! What powerful ferments you’re creating. Enjoy the new scale when you’re able to purchase it. Smart taking it a bit at a time to gather all your fermentation tools. And, You’re Welcome! I’m happy to help. 🙂

    • Sadly, they won’t retain their color and their flavor is a bit more subtle. Red beets also can turn brown but months into storage and mainly in the section at the top of the jar that has a greater exposure to air.

  9. I know this is an older post, but hopefully you’ll see this. I just had a quick question about peeling beers – when we are putting our beers up for the winter, we normally cook them before peeling and just slide the peels off. Will that work for kraut, or will that mess up the fermentation process?

  10. Hi Holly,
    I found a suggestion on the web and I wonder what you think of it. It’s a way to make low salt sauerkraut, and the idea is to not add salt at the beginning, as you do in the usual process, but instead use some of the liquid ferment juice from a previous batch of sauerkraut. The lactic acid from beneficial bacteria is really what preserves the vegetable, and salt is used at the beginning really only to stave off harmful bacteria until the lactic acid concentration increases high enough. In other words, you rely on the developed colonies of bacteria in the starter juice to start the fermentation quick enough to avoid spoiling. It’s true that this juice contains some salt, and that’s okay, because the total amount of salt in the batch will be much lower than the usual. What do you think?

    • I am not a fan of low-salt sauerkraut because all my readings indicate the importance of the proper salinity levels (1.5-2.5%) for the various bacteria to properly pass though the necessary stages and I think flavor and texture are altered – to the negative side.

      I have no fear of mineral-rich salts and think of them as my mineral supplement. The bacteria found in a batch of finished sauerkraut are different that the bacteria that initiate fermentation. This article shows that nicely:

      Though… I do try to keep an open mind and will probably experiment one day with a low-salt sauerkraut because so many ask for it. I wrote an article on why I don’t use starters, to include brine:

      If you try your suggestion, do let us know how it turns out.

  11. Hi Holly,
    Thanks for your amazing website! Such a font of information!! Although you have answered so many of the questions I had already, for example how much salt to use etc etc, I wonder if you could clear up one further issue for me? I intend to buy some mason jars with the pickling pipes airlock lids. As I understand it, the lids allow for the escape of fermentation gases, but prevent the ingress of air. If that is the case, what is the rationale behind keeping the fermenting vegetables under the surface of the brine, since the atmosphere above the brine level should very rapidly become anoxic and prevent any growth of mold or other baddies? I was hoping if I bought this kit, I could dispense with the whole cabbage leaf plus fermentation weight thing. Here’s hoping!!

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