Discover 50 inventive and tasty ways to integrate sauerkraut into your diet, whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned fan. Not only does it add a unique flavor twist to everyday dishes, but it also boosts your gut health with its rich probiotic content. You’ll find out how effortlessly sauerkraut can become a staple in your diet for both taste and wellness.
Reader Bonnie from Denver, Colorado commented: “I just had to share with you an amazing sauerkraut combination I had for dinner last night. I did a hamburger patty on the grill, topped with Swiss cheese until it was soft, then added a squirt of Dijon mustard and topped it off with sauerkraut. Yum!!!” ★★★★★
Sauerkraut, with its tangy and slightly salty taste, adds a unique zest and depth to various dishes, enhancing flavors by providing a contrasting sharpness that can balance richer or more savory elements.
Its crisp texture and acidic bite can also cut through the heaviness of meaty or creamy dishes, bringing a refreshing complexity to the overall taste experience.
I especially love how effortlessly just consuming sauerkraut with any meal elevates the flavor profile. Think of sauerkraut as a condiment that you add to any meal or dish.
To take advantage of the health and probiotic benefits of sauerkraut (that are lost when cooked in a dish), it’s recommended to consume it raw. Add sauerkraut to a Reuben sandwich, mix it into tuna, egg, chicken, or potato salad, or eat it straight from the jar.
However, there are many traditional cooked dishes, such as bratwurst (sausage) with sauerkraut, roast pork and sauerkraut (a traditional New Year’s meal in many cultures), and sauerkraut soup, that include sauerkraut for the flavor profile it adds. Cooked sauerkraut retains the nutritional and fiber benefits.
Don’t have a jar of sauerkraut in your refrigerator? Learn how to make some with my proven method using this photo-rich recipe with numerous tips.
Now, scroll through my list to discover how to eat sauerkraut in 50 flavorful ways.
- General Tips & Tricks for Adding Sauekraut to Your Diet
- Enhance the Flavor of Any Meal or Snack
- 1. Sauerkraut as a Condiment
- 2. Sauerkraut Straight Out of the Jar
- 3. Sauerkraut as a Topping for a Cheese Spread
- 4. Sauerkraut Avocado Boat
- 5. Sauerkraut to Ward Off the Flu
- 6. Sauerkraut as a Quick Pick-Me-Up
- 7. Sauerkraut as a Hangover Cure
- 8. Pasta a la Sauerkraut
- 9. Add Sauerkraut to a Smoothie
- 10. Mashed Potatoes
- 11. Cream Cheese and Sauerkraut Dip
- 12. Nori Rolls
- 13. Stir Fry
- 14. Sweet Potato
- Make an Almost Instant Salad
- 15. Sauerkraut in a Tossed Green Salad
- 16. Mango-Kimchi Salad
- 17. Persimmon Sauerkraut Salad
- 18. Sauerkraut with Kalamata Olives & Avocado
- 19. Fermented Beet and Orange Sauerkraut Salad
- 20. Fresh Carrot Slaw
- 21. Tuna, Egg, Chicken, or Potato Salad Addition
- 22. Best Sauerkraut Salad
- 23. Mango and Sauerkraut Salad
- 24. Ginger Carrot Sauerkraut Salad
- 25. Salad Dressing
- Add to a Sandwich, Wrap, Lunch Bowl, Quesadilla, Burrito, or Noodle Bowl
- Use as a Classic or Not-So-Classic Topping
- Cooked Recipes with Sauerkraut
- Vegan and Vegetarian
- Desserts? Yes!
- Which way sounds best to you?
General Tips & Tricks for Adding Sauekraut to Your Diet
Keep It Simple
When looking for ways to eat sauerkraut, keep it simple. Eat some right out of the jar. Add a forkful to a salad. Or, place a bit of sauerkraut on your dinner plate.
You don’t need an elaborate recipe, nor do you need to eat a massive quantity to speed up your digestion or improve your health. Just one forkful of sauerkraut is teaming with enough beneficial bacteria to make noticeable, positive changes in your digestion.
As I see it, every day you do one of two things: build health or produce disease in yourself. – Adelle Davis– Adelle Davis
Sauerkraut is rich in beneficial bacteria. If this is the first time for you to consume sauerkraut, start with just a small forkful so that you are not introducing more probiotics into your gut than it can handle.
How much sauerkraut should you be eating each day? Check out this infographic and post.
Eat it Cold or Hot?
Sauerkraut can be eaten both cold and hot, depending on personal preference and the dish it’s being used in.
The flavors are stronger when warmed to room temperature. If you’re new to sauerkraut and not keen on the flavor yet, eat it cold or soon after you take it out of the fridge.
Sauerkraut Too Salty?
Just before eating, you can give your sauerkraut a quick rinse. This will wash off some but not all of the beneficial bacteria.
Save That Brine
If you’re lucky enough to have brine still when you get to the bottom of a jar, drink its probiotic-rich goodness, use it in place of vinegar in a salad dressing, or pour it into another finished ferment in your fridge.
Avoid Heating Your Sauerkraut
If you want to enjoy the benefits of your naturally fermented sauerkraut, don’t destroy the good enzymes and probiotics by heating it. It’s fine to stir sauerkraut into a warm bowl of soup or sprinkle on the top of your meal.
If you’re concerned that you’ll never be able to eat your favorite sausage and sauerkraut cooked dish, don’t despair. Just have some raw sauerkraut along with it. The best of both worlds.
Vegan Sauerkraut Recipes
Sauerkraut is typically made from cabbage and salt, without animal products, making it suitable for vegan and vegetarian diets.
Kimchi, however, a traditional Korean fermented vegetable dish, often includes fish sauce, shrimp paste, or other seafood products that are not vegetarian.
You can enjoy sauerkraut with any of your favorite dishes or meals, and many of the suggestions here are vegetarian.
And Don’t Forget Your Pets
Dogs can safely consume sauerkraut as its basic ingredients are not harmful to them. However, be wary of sauerkraut containing caraway seeds or excessive salt, as these can be detrimental to your dog’s health.
Reader Bonnie commented: “I have three dogs: a 95-pound Golden Retriever, a 20-pound little white mop of a mutt, and a 10-pound Cairn Terrier—and they all love raw sauerkraut! Every time I have some with a meal, they all beg for it!”
The word “sauerkraut” is from German Sauerkraut which literally means “sour cabbage.” From sauer “sour” + kraut “vegetable, cabbage.
See 51 Fascinating Facts About Sauerkraut and Cabbage [WHO KNEW?] for more interesting tidbits about sauerkraut.
Now, on to my growing list of easy ways to enjoy mouthwatering sauerkraut.
Enhance the Flavor of Any Meal or Snack
1. Sauerkraut as a Condiment
The easiest way to add sauerkraut to your diet is as a condiment to your main meal. This is how I eat 99.9% of my sauerkraut.
As you’re setting the table, put your jar of sauerkraut out, leaving it in the quart jar that it was fermented in, and add a forkful or two to your plate. It pairs well with almost anything, aids digestion, especially protein and fats, and contains many vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes.
Don’t like cold sauerkraut? Try to remember to pull it out of the refrigerator as you begin to prepare the meal. Or, I find if I place a serving of sauerkraut on my plate at the beginning of the meal, it has lost its chill by the time I’m ready to indulge.
2. Sauerkraut Straight Out of the Jar
Grab a fork and dig it. That simple. If my stomach feels “off,” I grab my jar and find I can quickly rebalance my gut.
3. Sauerkraut as a Topping for a Cheese Spread
Another of my favorite ways to eat sauerkraut is to take a slice of bread or your favorite cracker, spread it with cream cheese or goat cheese, and top it with a bit of sauerkraut.
Also nice is to spread cream cheese on a slice of deli meat, add some sauerkraut and roll up into a tasty and satisfying snack.
4. Sauerkraut Avocado Boat
Cut an avocado in half. No need to peel; that’s your bowl. Top with a large dollop of sauerkraut, add a squeeze of lemon and dig in. An all-star snack with healthy fats from the avocado and the probiotics from the sauerkraut.
5. Sauerkraut to Ward Off the Flu
Are tell-tale signs of the flu coming your way? It can’t hurt to try a few bites of sauerkraut. Even just a few sips of the brine can help.
British sailor Caption James Cook was famously credited with conquering scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) by bringing barrels of sauerkraut with him to sea and feeding it to his crews daily.
6. Sauerkraut as a Quick Pick-Me-Up
Have that afternoon slump and wish you could take a nap? Try a few bites of sauerkraut—yes, you can eat it right out of the jar—and see if you are soon re-energized.
7. Sauerkraut as a Hangover Cure
This article over at Russian Sauerkraut explains why the use of sauerkraut and sauerkraut juice works so well to cure a hangover.
8. Pasta a la Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut can also be stirred into pasta where it creates a whole new flavor profile and I find, takes away the “heaviness” of the pasta and aids in its digestion.
9. Add Sauerkraut to a Smoothie
To elevate flavor, add 1-2 tablespoons of sauerkraut to your favorite smoothie recipe and blend well. Most will not even know that probiotic goodness is in there.
10. Mashed Potatoes
Potato salads often lack flavor, needing ample seasoning. Incorporating sauerkraut can transform a mundane potato salad into a remarkably flavorful dish. Be sure also to add the brine.
11. Cream Cheese and Sauerkraut Dip
This is an easy dip recipe to toss together for unexpected guests, but it is best if it can be made the day before.
Mix one cup of sauerkraut with 6-8 ounces of cream cheese, adding brine to achieve the desired consistency for dipping fresh vegetables or spreading on crackers.
12. Nori Rolls
The ingredients in this recipe for Raw Vegan Parsnip Rice Nori Rolls make my mouth water: Miso, shredded parsnip, avocado, trail mix, cayenne, and… sauerkraut. Adjust the recipe to personal preference and what ingredients you have on hand.
13. Stir Fry
To use sauerkraut in a stir fry, first drain and rinse the sauerkraut to remove excess brine. Then, add it towards the end of the cooking process to maintain some of its crunch and probiotic benefits. It can be mixed with vegetables, tofu, or meat and seasoned with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic.
14. Sweet Potato
Elevate your baked sweet potatoes with a hearty helping of sauerkraut. The sweet potato’s natural sweetness harmonizes with the sauerkraut’s tang, delivering a flavor combination that’s sure to impress. Finish with a sprinkle of chopped nuts and a honey drizzle for a delightful mix of sweet and savory.
Sauerkraut is high in digestive enzymes that help to break down starches, proteins, and fats.
Make an Almost Instant Salad
Sauerkraut adds a nice zing to any salad. Go simple and throw together what you have on hand, or raise the flavor bar and take advantage of the suggestions that follow.
Flavor Note: I recently raised the bar on my choice of olive oil after listening to The Genius Life 31: How to Buy the Best Extra-Virgin Olive Oil | Nicholas Coleman, by Max Lugavere. Experience the power of high-quality olive oil.
15. Sauerkraut in a Tossed Green Salad
Tear up some lettuce leaves, and add a few forkfuls of sauerkraut along with some brine, a splash of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a few grinds of black pepper. Add some cheese or leftover meat slices for a more fulfilling salad.
See Delicious Sauerkraut Salads with Local Vancouver Island Ingredients for two recipes using Passion Pink Sauerkraut, one that includes scallops.
16. Mango-Kimchi Salad
Or, notch it up with this salad idea. Peel and dice both a mango and an avocado. I like to use a whole mango and just half of an avocado. Add the juice of one lemon. Stir in one-half cup of Kimchi-Style Sauerkraut, and eat to your heart’s content!
17. Persimmon Sauerkraut Salad
One of my readers likes to mix sauerkraut with persimmon for another delicious combination.
18. Sauerkraut with Kalamata Olives & Avocado
Mix sauerkraut with avocado chunks and kalamata olives. Delish!
19. Fermented Beet and Orange Sauerkraut Salad
I have a detailed recipe for this salad here. It uses a peeled and chopped orange, some feta cheese, a few slices of fresh mint, and Passion Pink Sauerkraut. Ruby-Red Red-Cabbage Sauerkraut Recipe [Triple the Power] would also work well.
20. Fresh Carrot Slaw
Toss together some grated carrot, chopped parsley, and your favorite sauerkraut, perhaps Ginger Carrot Sauerkraut. Add some toasted nuts for crunch, and you’re set.
This is a great way to introduce sauerkraut to the hesitant. The sweetness of the carrots takes away the bite of the sauerkraut.
21. Tuna, Egg, Chicken, or Potato Salad Addition
Add sauerkraut—or replace the pickles/pickle relish—in your favorite recipe for tuna, egg, chicken, or potato salad.
22. Best Sauerkraut Salad
If you’re looking for an actual recipe, this one from Stacie at Simply Stacie should fit the bill. Photos and simple, delicious ingredients.
23. Mango and Sauerkraut Salad
These nutrient-packed ingredients make a powerful detox salad that is raw, revitalizing and simple while being incredibly flavorful and refreshing at the same time. You can put it together in 5 minutes and it makes a great lunch or starter. It’s also portable, so you can easily take it with you to your office for lunch as well.
24. Ginger Carrot Sauerkraut Salad
Chop – or slice – an apple into your serving bowl. Add some cubed cheddar cheese and Ginger Carrot Sauerkraut. Toss and top with toasted, chopped walnuts. Sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
25. Salad Dressing
Blend leftover brine with olive oil, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and zest. Simple. Delicious.
Sauerkraut is a time-honored folk remedy for canker sores. It is used by rinsing the mouth with sauerkraut juice for about 30 seconds several times a day, or by placing a wad of sauerkraut against the affected area for a minute or so before chewing and swallowing the kraut.
Add to a Sandwich, Wrap, Lunch Bowl, Quesadilla, Burrito, or Noodle Bowl
Sauerkraut adds a pleasant zing to any sandwich, wrap, taco or burrito. No matter what you put in there – veggies, cheeses, meats, relishes – a few forkfuls of sauerkraut will bring flavors to a new level.
To avoid creating a soggy mess, use a fork to remove sauerkraut from the jar, letting the excess brine first drip off.
26. Sauerkraut Layered in a Sandwich
Make a boring sandwich scrumptious by adding a nice layer of sauerkraut to it, the classic being a Reuben Sandwich. To avoid a soggy sandwich, let the brine dribble off the sauerkraut before adding.
27. Almond Butter Dill Sauerkraut Sandwich
Tracy (Cowichan Station, British Columbia) says her boys loved this combination on a wheat-free diet.
Use rye bread (the kind sold in brick-like dense packages, double wrapped to last a year), preferred nut butter, and dill sauerkraut. Make a sandwich, spreading nut butter on both slices of bread and add one layer of sauerkraut. Place in a heated skillet with butter and fry on both sides until golden brown. Devour wildly!
28. Quesadilla Double Decker
Use two tortillas. Top one tortilla with your favorite ingredients – salsa, avocado, and perhaps diced sweet & spicy peppers. Sprinkle on some cheese. Top another tortilla with just cheese. Bake both until melted and browned. Add some sauerkraut to the tortilla with all the other ingredients and top with the cheesy tortilla (cheese face down). Slice into pizza wedges.
29. Peanut Butter Delux
Now, this sounds good to me…
30. Upgraded Avocado Toast
It’s perfect as a filling snack or mini meal – I love serving this kraut snack on gluten free bread as an “upgraded” avocado toast. This is also a great little dish for my kraut newbies; the avocado really mellows its flavor.
Robyn over at Your Healthiest You has a simple recipe for avocado toast.
31. Avocado Breakfast Toast
Toast a slice of bread to your liking. Fry an egg. Mash half an avocado onto toast. Add a few forkfuls of sauerkraut, letting excess brine drain into the jar, and top with egg. Season with salt and pepper.
32. Kimchi Noodle Bowl
Noodle bowls are a quick, healthy, and delicious meal and an easy way to add probiotic power to a dish.
33. Peanut Butter Kimchi Sandwich
A popular menu item at the Gyst Fermentation Bar is a peanut butter sandwich with one key ingredient.
Peanut butter kimchi time? peanut butter kimchi time? peanut butter kimchi time? dothepeanutbutterkimchi? peanutbutterkimchi? peanutbutterkimchi with a baseball bat? #peanutbutterjellytime #buckwheatboyz #sandor #kimchi #fermentation #gyst #oldschool #youremyboyblue #dustinthewind #minnesota #food #snax #happyhour #eatstreet
Toasted focaccia roll + peanut butter + Kimchi + sliced green scallions + toasted peanuts.
I’m ready to move to Minneapolis so that I can support this tasty endeavor. Gyst Fermentation Bar
Sauerkraut originated nearly 2,000 years ago in ancient China. In summer, slaves building the Great Wall of China lived on cabbage and rice. In winter, the cabbage was preserved with rice wine, which soured the cabbage to keep thousands of laborers healthy in the worst of conditions.
Use as a Classic or Not-So-Classic Topping
34. A To-Die-For Pizza Topping
Hawaiian Sauerkraut (A favorite in my eBook: Fermentation Made Easy! Mouthwatering Sauerkraut.) is to die for as a topping on pepperoni pizza, but any combination will work. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
35. Sauerkraut on a Hot Dog
Another easy way to eat sauerkraut is no simpler than that steamy hot dog topped with sauerkraut for the classic combination! Try Baseball Park Sauerkraut, a relish-like sauerkraut perfect for the onion lovers in your family.
36. An Amazing Hamburger
From one of my readers…
37. Scrambled Eggs
An easy way to eat sauerkraut first thing in the morning is to mix it in with your eggs. Try some spicy Kimchi sauerkraut and top with sour cream.
Or my latest creation, Firecracker Sauerkraut, sour cream, chopped avocado, and diced sweet red pepper.
Firecracker Sauerkraut Recipe
Jalapeño + red onion + oregano + cumin + red pepper flakes = Simply Delicious!
38. Baked Potato
Dill Sauerkraut is the perfect topping for baked potatoes. Elevate the flavors further with a dollop of sour cream and some crumbled bacon.
39. Bagel and Lox
Adding sauerkraut to a bagel with lox introduces a tangy twist, enhancing the classic combination with its unique flavor and texture.
In order for the German immigrants who landed in New York City in the 1860s to make a living, they began selling their sauerkraut with sausage and milk rolls from pushcarts in the Bowery section. Eventually, the bun and sausage combination became a treat commonly known as hot dogs. To this day, a New York-style hot dog is served with sauerkraut.
Cooked Recipes with Sauerkraut
Cooked dishes that include sauerkraut offer several benefits:
Flavor Enhancement: Cooking sauerkraut with other ingredients allows its tangy, sour flavor to infuse into the dish, enhancing the overall taste profile.
Nutrient Absorption: While some probiotics are lost during cooking, other nutrients in sauerkraut, like vitamin C and certain minerals, may become more easily absorbed.
Dietary Fiber: Sauerkraut provides dietary fiber, which remains beneficial even when cooked, aiding in digestion and gut health.
Versatility: Cooked sauerkraut dishes can be a delicious way to add variety to your diet, pairing well with meats, grains, and other vegetables.
To enjoy the probiotic benefits of sauerkraut, be sure to serve some raw sauerkraut with your meal.
Here are some recipes for traditional meat dishes that include sauerkraut:
40. Roast Pork and Sauerkraut
A traditional New Year’s meal in many cultures, featuring a pork roast served alongside sauerkraut as a symbol of good fortune.
41. Alsatian Choucroute
This Alsatian classic combines sauerkraut with various types of sausages, often including bratwurst or kielbasa and other pork cuts.
42. Sauerkraut and Sausage Soup
A hearty soup blending sauerkraut with sausage, potatoes, and spices, common in Eastern European cuisines.
43. Sausage and Sauerkraut Casserole
A baked dish where sausages are cooked with sauerkraut, sometimes with added potatoes or apples for extra flavor.
44. Bratwurst with Sauerkraut
A simple yet popular German dish featuring grilled or pan-fried bratwurst served atop a bed of warm sauerkraut.
45. German Meatballs
This iconic German meatball recipe in sauce (Königsberger Klopse) is often served on special occasions, yet easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner!
The deliciously seasoned beef and pork meatballs are simmered in beef broth before finishing the sauce with cream, capers, and lemon.
Vegan and Vegetarian
Most of the ways to eat sauerkraut in this article can easily be adapted for a vegan or vegetarian diet. Here are a few cooked recipes to try.
46. Vegan Potato Sauerkraut Pancakes
These vegan Potato Sauerkraut Pancakes are fun, delicious and crunchy. The sauerkraut adds great depth of flavor, and fresh herbs add more zest and zing. A vegan, soy-free, nut-free recipe can be gluten-free.
47. Sauerkraut and Bean Stew
This vegan jota is a hearty, smoky bean and sauerkraut hotpot, is simplicity itself to make, and is perfect during cooler weather!
48. Vegan Potato Sauerkraut Casserole
This vegan potato sauerkraut casserole is a warm, cozy, and filling dish that you will love to feed your family and friends.
Sauerkraut is used in cake and brownie recipes to enhance moisture and texture. Finely chopped or pureed, it subtly enriches flavors like chocolate, adding depth without a strong sauerkraut taste.
Recipes that feature sauerkraut as a key ingredient:
49. Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake
According to TheOldFoodie.com, “‘Sauerkraut Cake’ sounds like some sort of sick joke, but it is very real indeed. It came about in the 1960s as a result of the USDA Surplus Committee’s request (specifically to school lunchroom managers) for ideas to use up a large quantity of stockpiled canned sauerkraut.” It was credited to Mrs. Geraldine Timms, who was a lunchroom supervisor.
50. Sauerkraut Brownies
You’re probably thinking, what in the world is sauerkraut doing in a brownie recipe? If you know me, you know there’s no “too much of a good thing” when it comes to my Naturally Fermented Sauerkraut. Give it a try. You may find that thinking outside the jar yields some delicious results. —Bubbies
Which way sounds best to you?
On your dinner plate, in a sandwich, on a salad?
Pick one, and enjoy a forkful of probiotic-rich sauerkraut with a meal today!
And… if you need to buy some sauerkraut, grab my handy guide.
Buy the Right Stuff! FREE Download
Use the button below to get your own printable Sauerkraut Shopping Guide.
Now that you know so many delicious ways to eat sauerkraut, there is so much more to explore.
- Learn how to make sauerkraut with my hand-holding teaching recipe.
- Fermented dill pickles are another way to include beneficial bacteria in your diet.
- Kimchi pepper powder gives kimchi its color and flavor, but adding a bit of it to many of the above suggestions will impart some added heat for those who like things a bit spicy.
- Looking for a set of sauerkraut recipes? Check out my book, Fermentation Made Easy! Mouthwatering Sauerkraut.
Share your favorite way to eat sauerkraut in the comments section below. I’ll add them to this post as they come in.