Freezing Sauerkraut: Your Ultimate Guide to Preserving Flavor and Freshness

Can you freeze sauerkraut? – All you need to know

Sauerkraut is a delicious and nutritious fermented cabbage dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is known for its tangy flavor and numerous health benefits. If you find yourself with an abundance of sauerkraut and want to extend its shelf life, freezing may be a viable option. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about freezing sauerkraut.

What is Sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut originated in ancient China and has become a staple in many international cuisines. It is made through a process called lactic acid fermentation, where shredded cabbage is layered with salt and left to ferment. During the fermentation process, healthy bacteria such as L. mesenteroides and L. plantarum develop, giving sauerkraut its distinctive flavor and beneficial properties.

Can you freeze sauerkraut?

The answer is yes, you can freeze sauerkraut. Freezing sauerkraut can help extend its shelf life, allowing you to enjoy its flavor and health benefits for longer. However, there are a few factors to consider when freezing sauerkraut.

Proper storage measures

When freezing sauerkraut, it is important to follow proper storage practices to maintain its quality. If your sauerkraut is stored in a glass jar, transfer it to a plastic bag or freezer-safe plastic container. Leave some space at the top to allow for expansion of the liquid as it freezes. Remove all air and seal the container tightly to prevent freezer burn.

Freezing Small Portions

Alternatively, you can freeze small portions of sauerkraut using an ice cube tray. Simply freeze tablespoons of sauerkraut in the tray and, when frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe, airtight bag or container. This method is convenient if you only need small portions of sauerkraut at a time.

Shelf life of frozen sauerkraut

Properly stored, frozen sauerkraut can last up to 8-12 months. It is important to label the container with the date it was frozen to keep track of its freshness. Always check the quality of the sauerkraut before using it. If it shows signs of spoilage, such as an unpleasant odor, discoloration, or a strange texture, it’s best to throw it away.

Thawing Frozen Sauerkraut

When you’re ready to use your frozen sauerkraut, there are a few ways to thaw it. The recommended method is to thaw it in the refrigerator. Transfer the sauerkraut from the freezer to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw slowly. Once thawed, use the sauerkraut within 3-5 days.
If you need to thaw sauerkraut quickly, you can defrost it on the counter at room temperature. This method will take a few hours, and once it is completely thawed, use it immediately. Another option is to defrost the sauerkraut in the microwave. Heat on high power in small increments until completely defrosted. Again, use the sauerkraut immediately after thawing in the microwave.

Pros and cons of freezing sauerkraut

Freezing sauerkraut has both advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, freezing sauerkraut extends its shelf life so you can enjoy it for a longer period of time. This is especially useful if you have a large batch that you won’t use up quickly.
However, freezing sauerkraut can potentially reduce the presence of healthy bacteria, such as probiotics, that are beneficial for gut health. While some bacteria may remain dormant at low temperatures and reactivate when thawed, freezing sauerkraut could affect its probiotic properties. If you value the probiotic benefits of sauerkraut, it is recommended that you consume it refrigerated or at room temperature.


Freezing sauerkraut is a convenient way to extend its shelf life and enjoy it for a longer period of time. By following proper storage and defrosting techniques, you can preserve the flavor and quality of sauerkraut. While freezing sauerkraut may affect some of its probiotic properties, it can still be a delicious and nutritious addition to your meals. So go ahead and freeze your sauerkraut to enjoy its tangy goodness whenever you want!


Can I freeze homemade sauerkraut?

Yes, you can freeze homemade sauerkraut. Just make sure it is properly stored in a freezer-safe container or bag to maintain its quality during the freezing process.

How long can I freeze sauerkraut for?

Properly stored sauerkraut can be frozen for up to 8-12 months. Be sure to label the container with the date it was frozen and use it within a reasonable time frame.

Does freezing sauerkraut affect its flavor and texture?

Freezing sauerkraut may slightly change its texture, making it softer. However, the flavor should remain relatively the same after thawing.

Can I freeze sauerkraut in its original glass jar?

It is not recommended to freeze sauerkraut in its original glass jar. Glass can crack or shatter when exposed to extreme temperature changes. Transfer the sauerkraut to a freezer-safe plastic container or bag before freezing.

Can I refreeze sauerkraut that was previously frozen?

It is generally not recommended to refreeze thawed sauerkraut. Each freeze-thaw cycle can affect its quality and texture. It’s best to portion sauerkraut before freezing to avoid refreezing.

Is frozen sauerkraut as nutritious as fresh sauerkraut?

Freezing sauerkraut may slightly reduce the presence of healthy bacteria, such as probiotics, which are beneficial for gut health. However, sauerkraut retains many of its nutritional benefits, such as vitamins and minerals, even after freezing.