Sauerkraut is a popular side dish or condiment. It is made by putting cabbage through a fermentation process using a beneficial bacteria called lactic acid bacteria. The end result is a slightly sour, very briney dish that can be used as a topping for so many delicious recipes! Here’s a list of foods to eat with sauerkraut as you explore this delicious recipe.
History of Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut was originally invented over 2,000 years ago in China. Slaves were working to build the Great Wall of China and were given rice and cabbage as their main form of sustenance in the summer. They learned to soak the cabbage in rice wine to preserve it, which ultimately ended up creating a dish that is very similar to the sauerkraut we know and love today.
History in Germany
You may notice, however, that sauerkraut is hardly ever associated with Chinese cuisine. This is because in the 16th century, German people began the process of dry curing cabbage with salt. This extracted the liquid from the cabbage and instead turned the sugars in the vegetable to lactic acid, which naturally preserved it.
This is the method that is still used today to make sauerkraut, and the dish has become wildly popular in German (and other Eastern European) cuisine. You will see that many of the suggestions given in this article center around German cuisine because it is so loved in the country.
You will also see plenty of recipes that aren’t German, and this is because sauerkraut has also become a popular dish in the United States and across the world. Sauerkraut is versatile and is a great addition to so many recipes. Keep reading for some of my favorite dishes to pair with sauerkraut.
How to Make Sauerkraut
It actually takes a very simple recipe to make this important dish! Here are a few sauerkraut recipes that show different ways to prepare this easy recipe:
- Daring Gourmet has a very detailed recipe that goes through everything you will need to know to get the process just right.
- Taste of Home shows you how to add Granny Smith Apples into your recipe.
- The Spruce Eats flavors their recipe with juniper berries, caraway seeds, and mustard seeds.
Most recipes for sauerkraut call for using only two ingredients: Raw Cabbage and Salt. It is possible to use either green cabbage or red cabbage.
After combining the cabbage and salt, the ingredients have to rest for a long time (a few weeks) in order to reach their best results. Soon you’ll be able to put your homemade treat on everything!
Tools to Make Sauerkraut
In order to make this recipe for the first time you will need only one tool: a mason jar. Some recipes also give instructions on how to use a slow cooker to make the process even easier.
With just these simple ingredients and tools you will get a dish full of probiotic-rich goodness that also features a tangy flavor to excite your taste buds.
Where to Find Sauerkraut in the Store
If making traditional sauerkraut from scratch isn’t up your alley, you can also buy it from the stores! It is a very popular food, so you should be able to find it in most grocery stores.
Typically you will be able to find fresh jars located in the refrigerated section of the store.
FAQs about Sauerkraut
Yes! Sauerkraut is one of the probiotic foods. In fact, it has more lactobacillus acid (sound familiar? we talked about this in my Tarator article) than most yogurts. Some sources say that you should eat a tablespoon of sauerkraut a day to act as a probiotic and help your gut health.
Probiotics mean that sauerkraut is great for your digestive system and is a great way to promote good gut health. There are so many health benefits of sauerkraut!
Sauerkraut and Kimchi are both fermented cabbage recipes that are used as condiments. Sauerkraut is popular in Europe, while kimchi is eaten a lot in Korean cuisine.
Kimchi tends to have more seasonings added that make it spicy. It can also feature a variety of fermented vegetables, whereas sauerkraut only features cabbage.
What to Eat with Sauerkraut
There are so many delicious ideas to pair with sauerkraut. Here are some of my favorite ways to work it into a meal!
- Hot Dogs
- Avocado Toast
- Pork Chops
- Sweet Potatoes
- Reuben sandwiches (Classic Reuben on rye bread and Turkey Reuben are both good options)
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Tuna Salad
- Pair with your favorite sausage
- A sides to most meat dishes
- Breakfast burrito
- Sauerkraut soup
- Burgers (especially with Swiss cheese!)
- Reuben Dip (made with cream cheese and corned beef)
- Sauerkraut Pasta
What to Eat with Sauerkraut
Learn how to make German frikadellen (from Maple + Mango) – a flavorful meat patty that is a cross between a meatball and a burger. This family favorite is so good and super versatile! A mixture of seasoned ground meat with sautéed onions and a softened bun (for the authentic tender texture) is shaped into large flattened meatballs. Pan-fried until browned on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside. Yum! Delicious served hot or cold which makes them great for dinner, picnics, Oktoberfest celebrations and more!
Oven Roasted Sausage and Potatoes
This easy Sheet Pan Sausage and Potatoes recipe (from The Rustic Foodie) is ready in 30 minutes! It’s full of German flavors and topped with a tangy mustard glaze.
German Pork Loin
Flavorful and melt-in-your-mouth tender German Pork Loin (from Cook What You Love) in your slow cooker is one of those hearty and wholesome family meals everyone loves. And the best part is that this is pretty much set-it-and-forget it cooking. The gravy that this dish makes is out of this world, so get ready to lick your plate clean!
Easy Spaetzle Recipe
Spaetzle (from Cook What You Love) are tender, plump, eggy noodles that are far easier to make than fussy Italian pasta, and this easy Spaetzle recipe is about as good as it gets! My family devours these noodles, and they’re even better the next day when fried with bacon and onions. Authentically German and oh-so delicious, it doesn’t get much better than spaetzle!
Käsespätzle (Cheese Spaetzle)
For the best way to cook brats in the oven (from The Short Order Cook), follow this easy recipe. These bratwursts will be hot, crispy, & juicy, even without cooking them on a grill. Learning how to cook beer brats is simple and all about making sure the inside is cooked to the right temperature and the outside casing is roasted to perfection. One bite of these oven-cooked brats with the mild taste of spices and the yummy drippings, and you will be hooked.
This Cod Reuben Sandwich (from Champagne Tastes) is a fishy take on a classic deli-style Reuben! It’s piled high with seared cod, sauerkraut, and a homemade yogurt-based Russian dressing.
Schweinebraten (from Caroline’s Cooking) is a traditional German pork roast, and in many cases, as here, it’s cooked with beer which helps make a delicious sauce. The seasonings are simple but the result is a deliciously tender, flavorful main.
German Beef Rouladen
German Potato Salad
Grilled Spatchcock Chicken
If you’ve ever wanted to try a grilled spatchcock chicken (from Braised & Deglazed), then you’re in the right place. It may sound complicated, but the truth is it’s actually really easy.
Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes in the Instant Pot
This classic Bavarian-style Sauerbraten recipe (from The Good Hearted Woman) consists of a beef roast that is marinated for days in vinegar and spices, and then oven-braised to perfection. Served up with a savory, tangy-sweet gravy, it is a fork-tender festival of rich, warm comfort food.
Beet Sauerkraut Salad
This beet and sauerkraut salad aka Salat Vinegret (from Vikalinka) is a staple in all Russian homes, and is an ideal vitamin booster in cold winter months!
Semmelknödel Recipe (from Masala Herb) are round bread dumplings. They are a traditional side dish in Austria and Germany.
Our Low Carb Sauerkraut Chicken Recipe (from Low Carb No Carb) made with Homemade Sauerkraut, and Homemade Greek Yogurt is a perfect healthy low carb dinner recipe you can make in no time. Fully Keto, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, and Diabetic Friendly, this chicken and sauerkraut can be used even as a part of your Meal Plan.
Chicken Bratwurst with Pork
Try my chicken bratwurst recipe (from Summer Yule) when you want a lighter version of beer brats. This homemade sausage uses a mix of ground chicken and ground pork. After simmering in a buttery beer bath, the brats are slathered with mustard and topped with sauerkraut and caramelized onions.