How to Grow Sprouts in a Jar

sprouts in a glass jar

The Spruce / Michele Lee  

Overview
  • Working Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 36 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10

Sprouts are great for adding a bit of flavor and crunch to a salad or sandwich, and they can really boost the nutritional value of your meal. For example, 1 cup of bean sprouts provides more than the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, and many nutritionists consider broccoli sprouts to be a cancer-fighting superfood. In addition, sprouts are a simple crop to grow, only requiring about 4 inches of countertop space. If you're looking to grow sprouts in a jar, here are some general steps to follow.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Fine mesh strainer (or cheesecloth)

Materials

  • Sprouting seeds of your choosing
  • Wide-mouth jar (canning jars are ideal)
  • Bowl with lid or food storage bag
  • Paper towel

Instructions

materials to grow sprouts
The Spruce / Michele Lee 
  1. Place Seeds in Jar and Cover

    Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of seeds in your wide-mouth jar, and cover them with approximately 2 inches of warm water. Let this sit overnight.

    pouring seeds into a jar
    The Spruce / Michele Lee 
  2. Drain Water

    Drain the water using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.

    draining water from the jar
    The Spruce / Michele Lee  
  3. Rinse Seeds

    Rinse the seeds by adding water to the jar, swishing the seeds around, and draining.

    swishing around the jar of water and seeds
    The Spruce / Michele Lee  
  4. Repeat

    Repeat the rinsing and draining process twice a day every day until your sprouts are the desired size. This will take anywhere from three to seven days, depending on the variety of sprouts you're growing. Sprouts are best when they're still fairly small and just starting to turn green.

    ready sprouts
    The Spruce / Michele Lee  
  5. Store Sprouts
    Store your sprouts in a covered bowl or food storage bag with a paper towel inside to absorb excess moisture. Use the sprouts within a week.

    sprouts stored in an airtight container
    The Spruce / Michele Lee 

Seeds and Varieties

It's important to look for seeds specifically labeled as "sprouting seeds" or "for sprouting." These seeds have been cleaned well and should be pathogen-free. Sometimes you can find packets of sprouting seeds in garden centers. But if not, check your favorite seed catalog.

As far as varieties go, there are several types of vegetables you can eat as sprouts. Many people are familiar with alfalfa sprouts and bean sprouts. But you can also consider radish sprouts, beet sprouts, and pea sprouts. In general, any plant from which you would eat the stems and leaves is a good option for sprouting. Plants from which you only eat the fruits (such as tomatoes and peppers) typically don't work.

types of sprouting seeds illustration
Illustration: The Spruce / Brianna Gilmartin

Tips for Growing Sprouts

While growing sprouts in a jar is a very easy method, there are also other specialized gadgets you can buy for your sprouting operation. They include multi-tiered sprouters, jar lids with different sizes of strainers for easy rinsing and draining, and even sprouters that automate the rinsing process for you. Whichever method you choose, growing sprouts and adding them to your diet is a simple and effective way to get a little more nutrition.