Sauerkraut..... what do I do with it??

starlightfarmJune 21, 2009

I have a dear old friend of the family that makes his own sauerkraut. It's not something that I have ever cooked with much at all. Hubby and I have only eaten it a time or two.... and it wasn't all that bad.

So.... I need some suggestions on how to use quart of sauerkraut. I like the kielbasa/sausage type recipes (that's what I made with the last quart that he gave me a few years ago... but no longer have the recipe)... but I'm open to any and all suggestions.

Also.... can I store the remainder of the quart in the fridge???... and if so... for how long?


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I love kraut just warmed and piled on top of a bratwurst in a bun...or a hot dog in a bun....or served as a side dish to pork chops or a pork roast.
Or you can brown pork chops in a fry pan and then put kraut in a casserole and the chops on top and bake at 320 until the chops are tender.
The remainder will keep in the refrigerator for weeks...if not months!
Love good kraut!!
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 9:42PM
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Yes, the jar of kraut will keep for a long time, it's a fermented product and people used to just keep barrels of it in the basement for use as they needed it.

I make my own kraut every year and I like it just rinsed, then added to a casserole with some browned sausage like kielbasa and baked until everything is hot. Pork chops are nice in place of the sausage, as LindaC described.

I like apples and onions with sauerkraut, so I like this recipe:

Sauerkraut with Sausage

1 pound Polish or other garlic-y sausage.
1 pound sauerkraut, fresh or canned
1 pound potatoes
1 onion
1 apple
2 cups stock or bouillon
1/2 cup dry wine, dark beer or more stock (I use apple juice)
1 bay leaf

Prick the sausages in a few places and brown in a large heavy saucepan or skillet. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of fat. If there is no fat, add 1 tablespoon butter.

While the sausages are browning, scrub, core and slice or dice the apple. Chop the onion. Add to the sausage and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Rinse the sauerkraut, squeeze it dry, and add to the pan along with a bay leaf and a few grinds of pepper. Add the stock and wine (or beer/juice).

Scrub the potatoes and cut into egg-sized pieces. Leave whole if they are small. Add potatoes to the pan, pushing them well down into the juice with the sausage on top. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 20 - 30 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf and serve.

My mother likes her sauerkraut sweet, and lots of people just rave. She just browns her kielbasa, puts it into a casserole. She mixes a quart of sauerkraut with about half a cup of brown sugar, stir until the sugar melts into the kraut. Put over top the sausage in the casserole and bake at 350 for half an hour or so.

Any leftovers also make good reubens.....


    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 11:11PM
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Yum..... I think I can handle those recipes! I'm hoping to try several different recipes with my quart of sauerkraut. The last time I made it, we were eating the same dish for several days! I liked it... but after a few meals of it I had enough.

Thanks so much.... I'll let you know how it turns out.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 11:55PM
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A friend of ours recently gave us a quart of kraut and I divided it into user-friendly amounts and froze it.

I've also made the bread recipe found at the link below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Taste of Home - Sauerkraut Rye Bread

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 5:01AM
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I make Reuben sandwiches, without the corned beef (only because I never have it). Spread a good grainy mustard on one slice of bread, top with drained kraut and cheese. Saute the sandwich in butter in a heavy frying pan, pressing it down occasionally, do the other side, and enjoy. It's delicious.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 5:43AM
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Not really a recipe but the way I like to cook/prepare it. Cook it with ribs in a low temperature oven (325 - 350) until ribs are done. Add some brown sugar and apples to the sauerkraut (this is before you start to cook it). Really good. Instead of ribs, you can use pork, or sausage for that matter. I would say to cook the kraut at least an hour, probably little longer to have the best result, if not using ribs.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 10:52AM
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Every suggestion so far is a winner. Baked ribs with sauerkraut is a special favorite.

Most often, I serve sauerkraut simply to accompany almost any kind of sausage.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 1:16PM
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Open jar.

Eat with fork.

Get yourself some thick cut loin pork chops.

Dredge in seasoned flour, brown both sides in hot fat, but don't cook them throught he whole way.

Put a thick layer of kraut in the bottom of a baking dish. Place the chops on top, then cover with a thin layer of kraut.

Bake uncovered at 350 deg. F until done, 30 to 45 minutes.

Remove chops to a serving platter, serve kraut in baking dish.

Serve with mashed potatos and lima beans.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 2:14PM
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What kframe said, open jar, eat with fork. Love the stuff!
This got rave reviews too:

Reuben Casserole

6 slices Rye bread 2 T butter or Margarine
8 oz. cooked ham cut in cubes or strips
(I used corned beef)
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
1 cup rinsed and drained sauerkraut

Spread one side of bread slices with butter, stack and cut into cubes. Place in greased 12X8X2" dish and add meat, cheese and sauerkraut and toss together.

3 eggs 1 cup milk
1 t salt 1/4 t peppet 1T mustard
Whisk eggs, milk, mustard salt & pepper together and pour over bread and bake at 350ú 30 to 35 min or until lightly brown and well set.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 3:04PM
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Gosh.... you guys are actually making me look forward to trying the kraut again!

I do love Reuben Sandwiches.... so that casserole may be my first recipe to try.

You guys are just great. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 4:54PM
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Oh Man! Spread it on a Hebrew National Hot Dog with some mustard, on a bun. Oh man... it's been a long time....


    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 7:23PM
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my MIL used to make sauerkraut soup no one could find the recipe this is an Emeril one I have used and my wife and her siblings think it is close to their mothers


* 1 pound smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, diced
* 1 large onion, finely chopped
* 1 rib celery, finely chopped
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 1 cup hard cider
* 1 (32-ounce) jar sauerkraut, drained and rinsed briefly
* 8 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
* 1 cup peeled and cubed potatoes
* 3 sprigs fresh thyme
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add the sausage. Cook until the sausage is caramelized and the fat is rendered, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the cider and cook until almost completely reduced. Add the sauerkraut, broth, potatoes, thyme and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes and sauerkraut are very tender and the broth is flavorful, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve immediately, with hot, crusty bread on the side.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 8:58PM
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There's also chocolate sauerkraut cake...

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 11:01AM
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I like sauerkraut most any way and straight out of the jar is fine. Smiles. My DW likes it a bit more mellowed out so our most common recipe is sauerkraut with pork chops. Brown some pork chops well. Then add the sauerkraut to the frying pan, covering the pork chops. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes. The sauerkraut becomes nice and brown and much more mellow. You can also add some onions after frying the pork chops and cook them for a few minutes to soften before adding the sauerkraut. We prefer them this way rather than cooking with the pork chops on top. Depending on how wet your sauerkraut is you can add a little water. We serve this with mashed potatoes. Delish.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 11:36AM
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twoyur.... what is hard cider??? (Is it the beer made out of apple juice?... I think I may have seen it at the store)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 11:47AM
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In the United States, cider generally refers to the unfermented, unfiltered juice from pressed apples.

Hard cider means that microbial action has started to convert some of the sugar into alcohol.

In most of the rest of the world, cider virtually always means an alcoholic drink.

Any apple cider that has more than 0.5% alcohol by volume is called hard cider.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 1:35PM
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Try it on homemade pizza - yep, it tastes pretty darn good.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 2:03PM
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My very favorite way to have sauerkraut is in sauerkraut donuts. Sadly, they are only available at the Sauerkraut Festival once a year near my hometown in OH. I've searched for a recipe but haven't had any luck finding one. Otherwise, my favorite way is to cook a pork tenderloin or pork roast rubbed with salt, pepper, and caraway seeds and covered in sauerkraut in the crockpot all day on low. Yum....


Here is a link that might be useful: Sauerkraut Festival

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 3:56PM
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My favorite way to have sauerkraut is in a crock pot with a pork roast.
Sauerkraut first in crock pot, sprinkle with a good layer of brown sugar and a lot of sliced onions. Then a well-seasoned pork roast on top.
Served with mashed potatoes. Even my kids will eat it this way.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 2:36AM
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That's one of my winter staples too, Lisa, only I sear the pork roast in a good hot cast iron pan first so I get the added benefit of that flavor curve.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 10:49AM
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I'm not a fan of rinsing kraut or adding sugar. Perhaps in the minority but I like it sour.

Kraut, sausage, and boiled potatoes. Cheap comfort food.

Like bean soup it is extra good if you have a couple beers first.

: )

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 10:53AM
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Very old northern European comfort food. Keeps for months. Shown to be anti bacterial and good in the fight against cancer. Knockworst , sauerkraut, warm potato salad, mmmmmmm. Try this 3 pounds smoked pork (preferably chops) but other cuts can be substituted (I use country style ribs or regular chops too), a couple medium onions sliced thin, two tart apples sliced thin, sugar or I like maple syrup, caraway seeds, salt and pepper, apple cider, one and one half/two pounds sauerkraut drained. Lay a layer of apples on bottom of six quart crock pot, top with layer of onions, top with layer of pork, sprinkle with salt pepper and liberal bunch of caraway, pack half kraut in/on/around/over, pour couple shots of maple syrup over. Repeat. Sprinkle on few caraway seeds for good measure. Pour enough cider around sides to come halfway up ingredients. Cover. Cook on low eight, ten hours. Check during final few hours and misplace lid a little if it looks too soupy. Serve with potato dumplings or latkes and sour cream and/or apple sauce, and a good dark beer. Mustard on the side. Some people cook the dumplings on top of the kraut during the last half hour. Makes a great one pot meal and the house is going to smell so good for hours everyone will be drooling by the time it hits the table. Good meal for those bleak, cold January nights. Put some Wagner on, gather round the wood stove, pet the sheep. Being half Norman Scott, just writing this makes me want to go out and raid the French countryside! And only a quarter jar of kraut left in the fridge...

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 7:28PM
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Just added a recipe to my blog that my DH made couple of days ago - Borsch  Traditional Russian Beet Soup. Amazingly it was good even cold, so perfect for hot summer days.


  • can of sauerkraut (27 OZ) ( 0.99 ¢)

  • 3 medium potatoes ( 0.82 ¢)

  • 1-2 big carrot ( 0.54 ¢)

  • Sugar -- 1 tablespoon

  • Olive oil 3- 4 tablespoons ( 0.24 ¢)

  • 1 medium onion (yellow) ( 0.13 ¢)

  • 2 large or 3 medium fresh beets ( $ 1.08)

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes (0.86 ¢)

  • 2 garlic cloves (0.03 ¢)

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar or lemon juice or pickle juice or sauerkraut juice (optional)

  • 1 cup of chopped beef brisket or ham or sausages or beef frankfurters and ($ 2.50)

    • 3 cups chicken broth or

    • 3 cups beef broth or

    • 3 cups broth from ham bone ( I used that :) )

  • fresh dill (optional)

  • sour cream (optional)

Total: $ 7.19 or $ 0.72 ¢ per serving

Prepare broth if not using ready made. I used left over ham bone and cooked it at low heat for several hours to get the most flavor out.

Then chop the onions and potatoes and shred beets and carrots. I love my microplane box shredder, I must say. My old one died and I was in search of box shredder not made in China ( I am sure you understand why I do not want anything made in China touch my food) and after long search I found my Microplane. Let me tell you, it was little pricey but is now one of my favorite tools in my kitchen and used daily :)

Heat the oil over medium flame in a large pot. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, stir in the beets and sauerkraut sauté for about 15 minutes, add tomatoes and salt to taste, and cook another 5 minute.

Add the the veggies, potatoes, minced garlic and meat to the broth, add enough water to cover all and get it up to boiling. Turn down to simmer and cook another 30 minutes or until potatoes are done.

Serve hot or cold with dill and sour cream if desired.

Here is a link that might be useful: Borsch  Traditional Russian Beet Soup

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 10:55AM
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I have a Hungarian friend whose favorite dish is Choucroute Garnie - a real gut buster but good! Some of your recipes above are variations of this classic prep.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 4:09PM
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My version of Choucroute Garnie sounds very similar to annie1992's recipe listed above, with some silght differences.


Serves 4 to 6

A blend of French and German cuisine from the Alsace region of France. Even if you hate sauerkraut, you will love this dish.

16 oz Hillshire Farm smoked sausage, cut into 1/4" thick disks
2 small onions chopped
3 cups sauerkraut
5 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
6 tbsp butter
1 cup white wine (Riesling)
black pepper
2/3 cup apple sauce

Boil potatoes in a large pan over medium high heat.

Cook sausage and onions in separate pan over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add sauerkraut and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Drain potatoes and add to pan. Add butter, wine, apple sauce and pepper. Simmer and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Serve with a strong German beer.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 1:43PM
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Wow, so all this time I've actually been making something? I just thought Grandma threw the stuff together and it was good, LOL, and now I find out that it's actually "Charcroute Garnie".

The Borscht looks really good too....


    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 3:05PM
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I like it with sliced kielbasa and crisp fried potatoes on the side!

I also love kraut salad. The link is below, and it's the recipe I got from a Mennonite cookbook I bought in Jamesport, MO several years ago.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 4:24PM
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years ago found a recipe in Better Homes and Gardens...Sweet and Sour Brisket. you can find a lot of them on the web...but this one used applesause, brown sugar and saurkraut. I'd cook it in my crockpot...wonderful over rice. In fact, I could forget the meat...and just eat the rest. Will try to find my recipe later ...know this one's on line somewhere.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 1:02PM
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Just came across this (I realize that it is rather old) and was wondering why would anyone want to cook away all the beneficial bacteria in the kraut (especially if it is homemade)? I make and eat sauerkraut for its health benefits, besides liking the taste. If you just want the flavor by cooking the kraut, then I suppose that's okay, but if you want to reap any of the benefits, then you need to eat it without heating and killing all the beneficial microbes. Store bought kraut is pasteurized and does not have any of the good bacteria as the kind made at home.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 4:18PM
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Why? Because it's a common practice of food preparation for sauerkraut, which you already knew, and probably participated in until you learned otherwise.

As a kid growing up in the 50's and 60's, my family always made sauerkraut in the fall when we harvested cabbage out of the garden at home, and then canned it in quart jars to preserve it. The next generation buys it from the store, already processed - if they even touch the stuff at all.

And then we/they go on a "health kick" and find out how we've been killing the healthy stuff in our food and revert back to an earlier time and old methods.

Or people who discover it's their food that's been killing them and you end up with "Wild Fermentation" by Sandor Ellix Katz, or books and supplements by Jordan Rubin.

But hey, we're all going to die of something, and eating cooked sauerkraut probably isn't the worst thing people do in their eating habits, especially since they don't eat it all that often. It could be from eating things they perceive as "healthy" like Nutri-Grain Strawberry Yogurt Bars that have 56 different ingredients in them. Or Morning Star Farms Chick'n (meatless) Nuggets with 59 ingredients.

Live and learn, or perhaps in this case, learn and live (healthier).


    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 5:21PM
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Help! My kraut has been in the crock for 2 wks. and is not fermenting. It bubbled some in the beginning and when i added brine to it, it stopped. Can I still use this?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2014 at 4:36PM
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Maggie, because I like it that way. I've eaten it right out of the jar, rinsed well because otherwise it's too salty for me, and I do make my own, but I like it cooked. I don't eat it for the probiotics, to me it's just another way of using cabbage.

neumfarm, what is the temperature that you are fermenting at? The chart I have is from Michigan State University, giving times.

In spite of the chart, I find that some sauerkraut bubbles a lot, some not much at all. Some only bubbles when I push on the weight that holds the cabbage under the brine. Some stinks to high heaven, some I don't notice at all. How do I know when it's ready? I taste it. (shrug) If it's not moldy, you've been skimming the scum, hasn't discolored, it's still fine and may even be finished. If not fully fermented, just leave it alone a while longer.

From the National Center for Home Food Preservation:
Store at 70ú to 75úF while fermenting. At temperatures between 70ú and 75úF, kraut will be fully fermented in about 3 to 4 weeks; at 60ú to 65úF, fermentation may take 5 to 6 weeks. At temperatures lower than 60úF, kraut may not ferment. Above 75úF, kraut may become soft.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2014 at 6:58PM
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I make my own kraut twice a year, in the Fall and in the Spring. I don't can it, because the process takes away the crisp crunch that I love. I just have a row of jars in the back of my fridge, and it keeps just fine for months. Mostly I just eat it cold as a condiment with grilled or roasted meats. I like it in grilled cheese sandwiches, or Reubens, of course. Tossed into vegetable or grain salads, it lends a pleasant tang.

I make an omelet filled with kraut, sriracha sauce, and cheese...sounds odd, but very tasty.

One time, I had miscalculated when buying my cabbage, and didn't have quite enough for the batch I was making. I had a red cabbage in the fridge, so I added that. The kraut came out a rather startling pink color, which looked quite odd on a hot dog, but tasted fine. LOL.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2014 at 10:21PM
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It is so easy to make one's own kraut plus the wonderful probiotics contained therein before cooking.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2014 at 11:41AM
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I've sometimes added a few spoonfuls to a bowl of vegetable soup, or used the kraut or juice in a salad. I really should make my own - the Bubbies is very expensive.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2014 at 4:35PM
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This is DIL's favorite and I'm making it for her tomorrow for her B-Day:

Pork Roast and Saurkraut
1 Boston Butt roast
3 pkgs. Sour kraut
1 onion, chopped
ý cup brown sugar
1 cup chicken broth

Rinse sour kraut in running water in a colander to remove excess brine. Put pork roast in the middle of a large Dutch oven with lid. Combine sour kraut, onions, and brown sugar and arrange around pork. Add chicken broth. Bake at 350 degrees for ý hour, then at 300 degrees for 3 to 4 hours, covered. Check occasionally for dryness, adding a little water if necessary, turning roast over half way through cooking. Remove lid last half hour if you want some browning. Serve with boiled and buttered potatoes.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2014 at 7:04AM
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