Most people associate fermentation with alcohol – beer, wine, and spirits. But what about vegetables, fruit, dairy, or protein? Did you know you can ferment almost anything?
Fermentation is a great way to preserve fresh foods, in addition to providing some amazing benefits to our guts and digestive system. It is especially popular with homesteaders because of its ease and effectiveness at preserving the harvest throughout winter.
If you’re new to fermentation, check out our Introduction To At-Home Fermentation to learn more before trying out these recipes.
Otherwise, proceed forward to find 28 Easy Fermentation Recipes to ferment your favorite foods! The simplest recipes are near the top, and then the list progresses to more involved recipes (sauces and salsas) toward the bottom.
1. Fermented Dill Pickles
It’s so easy to make these yummy No Starter Culture Fermented Dill Pickles that they are hands-down the BEST and easiest ferment for beginners! 4 ingredients, no cooking, no vinegar, no canning AND you come out with crunchy-delicious and still raw pickles packed with gut-healthy probiotics!
2. Easy Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is one of the easiest and most famous fermented dishes. This recipe only has 2 ingredients – cabbage and salt. The longer you let it ferment, the funkier it gets!
3. Easy Fermented Radishes
This is a very easy way to preserve some of your radishes. It takes just a few minutes to put together. The fermentation process takes a few days but you don’t have to do much and you end up with a healthy snack for the whole family. Lacto-fermented radishes are not as sharp as raw radishes, so even kids will enjoy eating them.
4. Lacto-Fermented Jalapeno Peppers
Nachos. Tacos. Enchiladas. Sandwiches. These fiery jalapeño slices are great on just about any dish. We love to use the fiery brine in soups, salsas, and condiments to add some extra heat. In addition to that kick, these peppers also provide naturally occurring probiotics that come with lacto-fermentation.
5. Fermented Carrot Sticks
This fermented carrot recipe includes 5 different delicious flavors. Our favorite is the spicy version – it’s a nice healthy snack to grab whenever you need a little flavor in your life! In addition to spicy, the flavors are dill, curry, sweet beet, and carraway mustard.
6. Probiotic-Rich Asparagus Pickles
Mmmm, asparagus is one of our favorite springtime vegetables. Fermenting them is a great way to ensure you can enjoy their lovely crunch throughout the whole year. Don’t ignore this snack that offers a big probiotic boost and a delicious salty, sour bite from your fresh spring asparagus! In fact, asparagus is one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there!
7. Fermented Brussels Sprouts With Garlic & Ginger
Fermented brussels sprouts? Well, you’ll love the results: the texture of the little “cabbages,” the fresh, crazy-good flavor of the brine, and as always, the fun of the process! Fermented brussels sprouts with garlic and ginger are a traditional food full of probiotics.
8. Lacto-Fermented Rainbow Chard
Have fresh chard stalks you just don’t know what to do with? Lacto-ferment those babies! It’s an easy and delicious way to up chard’s nutritional value and enjoy its goodness. Learn how to make your own lacto-fermented rainbow chard right now…
9. Tangy Fermented Red Onions
Simplifying summer meals means more time to go out and enjoy the sunshine – that’s why these pickled red onions are one of our favorite easy fermentation recipes to make in the summer! They couldn’t be easier to prepare, fermenting for only 2 weeks, and the uses for these babies are endless!
10. Fermented Spicy Daikon Radish Spears
Fermented daikon radish and other radishes tend to acquire a very nice sourness while retaining enough of their toothy crunch to satisfy a whole range of cravings. You could also add a little heat with some red pepper flakes or hot Korean chili paste if desired.
11. Fermented Garlic
Fermented garlic adds a refined garlic flavor to any dish. Lacto-fermentation is a great way to enjoy garlic with all its healthy enzymes and nutrients intact. We love lacto-fermenting garlic because it mellows out raw garlic’s acrid flavor and aroma. The resulting flavor profile is a cross between raw and roasted garlic.
12. Fermented Baby Bok Choy
Who else loves bok choy?! Cruciferous vegetables are some of our favorite vegetables to ferment, so we’re excited to share this fermented baby bok choy recipe on this list. Basil and lemon are added to this recipe, but you can use any type of spices you’d like. Try it with spicy red pepper or savory garlic and sesame.
13. Easy Fermented Zucchini
Zucchini naturally have a lot of Lactobacillus plantarum on their surface. This means that zucchini ferments a little faster than other vegetables. While cabbage takes four weeks to ferment, zucchini takes about two weeks. You can ferment zucchini for four weeks, though, for extra sour flavor. This abundance of Lactobacillus makes fermented zucchini wonderful for gut health.
14. Fermented Berries
We’ve personally never tried to ferment berries, but after finding this recipe, it’s at the top of our “to-make” list! The trick here is to stop the fermentation at 48 hours, otherwise the berries will start turning alcoholic. Simply put them in the fridge before 2 days are up, and you will have deliciously preserved berries to last for a few months.
15. Fermented Cinnamon Apples
These Probiotic-Rich Fermented Cinnamon Apples taste like apple pie and they are so healthy! Yum! These apples are great for breakfast, a snack, or as part of a dessert. This is the perfect recipe for those who are interested in fermented foods because the recipe is simple and the flavor is great.
16. Fermented Cherry Tomatoes
Little cherry or grape tomatoes can be fermented in a number of ways. This recipe is just a basic recipe for fermented cherry tomatoes in a salt brine. Additionally, you’ll learn about some popular additions you can easily add to this recipe.
17. Fermented Green Tomatoes
Green tomatoes are an inevitable part of homegrown tomato plants, as there always seem to be some that haven’t quite ripened before it gets too cold. While you can pick them green and bring them inside to ripen, sometimes there are so many green ones it makes sense to utilize them as they are.
Of course, fried green tomatoes are an option that everyone should try at least once, as they are totally amazing. But, these fermented green tomatoes are pretty darn good as well!
18. Vegan Kimchi
There are literally hundreds of different kinds of kimchi but the most popular is made with a Napa cabbage. Kimchi is a salted, seasoned, and fermented cabbage side dish that is always present in all traditional Korean meals. It’s delicious, tangy, and spicy!
19. Fermented Giardiniera
Giardiniera is an Italian pickle made of mixed vegetables that are typically preserved in oil or vinegar. This recipe for fermented giardiniera uses fermentation to preserve the vegetables instead. It is an easy, no-cook and zero-waste recipe. This savory blend of vegetables can be spicy (with chili peppers) or mild (without). However you like it, fermented giardiniera looks beautiful, sounds sophisticated, and tastes delizioso!
20. Fermented Carolina Coleslaw
Carolina-style slaw is a type of coleslaw traditional in the southeastern United States. Today’s Carolina slaw, soured with vinegar, is a re-creation of the slaws of yesteryear, which must have been fermented—soured via bacterial action—because that was how one kept cabbage.
The big benefit, besides taste and texture, is that the fermentation process makes everything easier to digest—both the cabbage and whatever it’s accompanying.
21. Fermented Hot Sauce
Hot sauce made with fermented peppers has more depth than hot sauces that are made with fresh peppers. Lacto-fermented peppers are not hands-on or work-intensive, but they do take some time to age. The author of the recipes lets their peppers ferment for about 4 months, but many let them ferment for only weeks.
22. Fermented Pico de Gallo Salsa
All that’s required for this salsa recipe is tomatoes, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and sea salt. The ingredients sit in a jar for two days in the pantry. After 48 hours you’ll have fermented salsa that you can use for dipping or to serve with grilled meats, eggs, vegetables, etc. Yum!
23. Fermented Beets & Cabbage
Looking for a fermented beet recipe? This fermented beets and cabbage mixture uses a combination of raw beetroot, cabbage (white or red), apple, ginger, and garlic. This versatile and delicious sauerkraut can be tossed through salads and piled on top of your avocado toasts or even served along with roasted meats and fish.
24. Fermented Cranberry Sauce
This chunky condiment is not only one to make for your holiday tables but also one to eat from the moment cranberries appear to the moment they disappear from the markets. Fermented Cranberry Sauce with maple, figs, citrus, and cloves is great on sandwiches, with all meats, including salmon, and with salads!
25. Fermented Mango Habanero Hot Sauce
Salsas with fruit in them are truly something else, and this fermented version takes this hot sauce to the next level. Sweet and spicy with a healthy, fermented, probiotic kick. You will put this Fermented Mango Habanero Hot Sauce on everything!
26. Honey Fermented Ginger
With this recipe, you’ll take two incredibly nutritious foods with incredibly wonderful flavors and ferment them together to make honey-fermented ginger.
The result is a delectable and zippy fermented syrup that you’ll find yourself drizzling on anything that needs a sweet little kick. And once you’ve had honey-fermented ginger in your tea, you won’t want a cup without it.
27. Fermented Radish and Carrots Slaw
Prep, flavor, and preserve—through fermentation—this recipe for Vietnamese-style fermented radish and carrots slaw and store it in your fridge. Then, when you go to make a salad, put together a sandwich, build a Buddha bowl, or whatever else you’re getting ready to eat, grab that beautiful jar that is teeming with beneficial bacteria and slop some on.
28. Fiery Fermented Tomato Salsa
We love chips and salsa, there’s just something addicting about the snack. But this fiery fermented tomato salsa takes it to a whole new level! Make this when you have tomatoes and onions about to go bad. There’s nothing better than preserving food when you know you’ll save money and waste in the trash from spoiled food. Why salsa? Why not!