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33 Easy Ways to Eat Sauerkraut That Will Have You Craving More

Does that jar of sauerkraut you just made – or bought – still sit in your refrigerator untouched?

Do you feel guilty knowing about all the health benefits of sauerkraut that are just one impossible bite away?

Do not despair. You are about to learn endless, easy ways to eat that delicious sauerkraut.

Table of Contents

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:

How to Make Sauerkraut In a Jar in 7 Simple Steps [Healthy, Flavorful, Easy]

General Tips & Tricks for Adding Sauekraut to Your Diet

For images showing different dishes that have sauerkraut as an ingredient. |

Keep It Simple

First off, 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

Go Slow

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.

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 still have brine 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.

This post focuses on ways to eat sauerkraut that doesn’t involve cooking it. For cooked dishes, Taste of Home has a nice selection here.

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

Top view of spoon scooping out sauerkraut from the jar. |

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 is was fermented in, and add a forkful or two to your plate. It pairs well with almost anything, aids in 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 I time I’m ready to indulge.

2. Sauerkraut Straight Out of the Jar

Grab a fork and dig it. That simple.

3. Sauerkraut as a Topping for a Cheese Spread

Other of my favorite ways to eat sauerkraut is to take a slice of bread or favorite cracker, spread 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 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

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 work 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

Glasses of green smoothie with two striped red and white straws, and one blue and white straw and half a kiwi and some nuts to the side as decorations. |

Add 1-2 tablespoons of sauerkraut to your favorite green smoothie recipe and blend well. Most will not even know that probiotic goodness is in there.

10. Cream Cheese and Sauerkraut Dip

This is an easy dip recipe to toss together for unexpected guests but is best if it can be made the day before needed.

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.

11. Nori Rolls

Just the ingredients in this recipe for Raw Vegan Parsnip Rice Nori Rolls make my mouth water: Miso, shredded parsnip, avocado, trail mix, and cayenne. Adjust the recipe to personal preference and what ingredients you have on hand.

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 just 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 podcast 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.

12. Sauerkraut in a Tossed Green Salad

Tear up some lettuce leaves, 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. For a more fulfilling salad, add some chunks of cheese or leftover meat slices.

See Delicious Sauerkraut Salads with Local Vancouver Island Ingredients for two recipes using Passion Pink Sauerkraut, one that includes scallops.

13. 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!

14. Persimmon Sauerkraut Salad

One of my readers likes to mix sauerkraut with persimmon for another delicious combination.

15. Sauerkraut with Kalamata Olives & Avocado

Mix sauerkraut with avocado chunks and kalamata olives. Delish!

16. Beat the Winter Blues with this Fermented Beet and Orange Sauerkraut Salad

A plate filled with Passion Pink Sauerkraut over a winter 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 SauerkrautRuby-Red Red-Cabbage Sauerkraut Recipe [Triple the Power] would also work well.

17. 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.

18. Tuna, Egg, Chicken, or Potato Salad Addition

Simply add sauerkraut – or replace the pickles/pickle relish – in your favorite recipe for tuna, egg, chicken, or potato salad.

19. 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.

20. Easy Sauerkraut Salad with Mango and Almonds from Happy Kitchen

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.

Easy Sauerkraut Salad with Mango and Almonds from Happy Kitchen

21. Ginger Carrot Sauerkraut Salad

Ginger Garlic Sauerkraut salad with some sliced apples, toasted and chopped walnuts and cubed cheddar cheese in a white plate with a fork to the left. |

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.

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.

22. Sauerkraut Layered in a Sandwich

A bite-sized Reuben sandwich with a layers of sauerkraut in the middle on top of a wooden chopping board. |

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.

23. Try an Almond Butter Dill Sauerkraut Sandwich

Tracy (Cowichan Station, British Columbia) says her boys loved this combination when they were 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 a little bit of butter and fry on both sides until golden brown. Devour wildly!

24. Quesadilla Double Decker

Use two tortillas. Top one tortilla with your favorite ingredients – salsa, avocado, and diced sweet & spicy peppers, perhaps. 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.

25. Peanut Butter Delux

Now, this sounds good to me…

I have become an absolute lover of sauerkraut and one of my favorite things is thin grainy toast with sugar-free peanut butter and a healthy layer of sauerkraut. (Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. 🙂
Ann-Maree, Living Foods Lifestyle New Zealand
Ann-Maree, Living Foods Lifestyle New Zealand

26. 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.

27. 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.

28. Kimchi Noodle Bowl

Noodle bowls are a quick, healthy and delicious meal and an easy way to add some probiotic power to a dish.

Kimchi Noodle Bowl

29. Peanut Butter Kimchi Sandwich

A popular menu item at the Gyst Fermentation Bar is a peanut butter sandwich with one key ingredient.

Toasted focaccia roll + peanut butter + Kimchi + sliced green scallions + toasted peanuts.

I’m ready to move to Minneapolis just so 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

30. A To-Die-For Pizza Topping

A white plate under Hawaiian Sauerkraut as a pizza topping and a metal fork at the side. |

Hawaiian Sauerkraut (A favorite in my eBook: The SureFire Sauerkraut Recipe Collection.) is to-die-for as a topping on pepperoni pizza, but any combination will work. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

31. Sauerkraut on a Hot Dog

Hotdog sandwich topped with Baseball Park Sauerkraut. |

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.

32. An Amazing Hamburger

From one of my readers…

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!!!
Bonnie, Denver Colorado
Bonnie, Denver Colorado

33. Sauerkraut to Add a Nice Zing to Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs on white plate topped with spicy Kimchi sauerkraut and sour cream and a metal fork on the side. |

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.

BLOG POST BONUS: Click here to download the Firecracker Sauerkraut Recipe.

34. And Don’t Forget Your Pets

Also from Bonnie…

I have 3 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!
Bonnie, Denver Colorado
Bonnie, Denver Colorado
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.

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!

Good Foods for You and Your Gut Buddies

Now that you know so many delicious ways to eat sauerkraut, there is so much more to explore.

Share your favorite way to eat sauerkraut in the comment section, below. I’ll add them to this post as they come in.

36 thoughts on “33 Easy Ways to Eat Sauerkraut That Will Have You Craving More”

  1. I made my kraut back in july of this year, Packed raw in jars with salt and water. No cooking involved. I checked it in 3 weeks, no really kraut odor noted when I smelled the top of jars. I waited 2 more weeks, noticed a slight smell of kraut, only 2 jars have sealed. I opened 1 jar that had not sealed, it only faintly tasted like kraut. Now what I need to know is there anything I can do to save this bunch of kraut? I have 9 quart jars.

    • Hello Susan, Glad to hear you’re making sauerkraut, though is sounds like you’re mixing up naturally fermented sauerkraut with canned. Yes, no cooking is involved but jars do not seal. That happens with heat processing or canning in a hot water bath.

      The amount of salt you used will impact the rate of fermentation. It should soften, lose some of its saltiness and get sour. If you have none of this going on, you may have used too much salt. As long as you have no mold or any nasties growing, it should be fine to eat, however. It might be more like brined cabbage instead of soured cabbage. Put the jars in the fridge and enjoy.

      Check out my recipe where I take you step-by-step through the process of making naturally fermented sauerkraut. Hopefully, that will help.

  2. I make sauerkraut in Fido jar. After 10 days, can I put un-opened jar in refrigerator for two to three days to stop fermentation. After the fermentation has stopped, can I open the jar taste and remove part of it. After opening, can I close the lid and return the jar to room temperature, and let the fermentation continuue for next 10 days?

    • Hello, Fermentation is always happening, just at different rates, depending upon the temperature. In the refrigerator, it will slow way down but not stop completely.

      Play around with what you want to do, but no need to. You can taste it after the 10 days, see if you like it. If you do, put it in the fridge, if not, close it back up and let it continue to ferment.

  3. I haven’t bought sauerkraut in a long time, as I tend not to know how to incorporate it in meals. But I really want the health benefits, so I’m trying harder to be creative. I went to the store today and got some Aidells Habanero & Green Chile sausage, but the store did not have my fave brand of sauerkraut – Kühne. Not willing to go to another store, I bought Libby – boy, does that taste different. To its credit, it does not contain preservatives, only color enhancement ingredient.

    I simply peeled a couple of potatoes, because the skin did not look good, and fried them up in olive oil. Added one of the sausages, cut up, and had that with the sauerkraut on the side. Mmm.

    I want to hurry up and use that jar of Libby so that I can get back to

    • Hello Sibyl Rose, Sounds like a delicious way to enjoy sauerkraut.

      To get the maximum health benefits, do look for brands found in the refrigerator section. They are alive and teeming with the good bacteria.

  4. I am eating it now but it’s really salty and I’m concerned I’m exceeding my salt healthy limits. Is it okay to rinse it without rinsing the good bacteria? or is it okay to just eat it that salty?

    • Hello Laura, Sorry to hear it’s too salty for you. From what I’ve read, you can go ahead and rinse it. Yes, you’ll be rinsing off some, but not all of the good bacteria. What type of salt did you use?

      For you next batch, try using Himalayan Pink Salt or Real Salt (both have lower sodium levels) and/or lower the amount of salt used. My recipe is for 2% salt. I’ve heard success with 1.5% salt. It’s easier with a scale that can read grams. For 800 grams, use 12 grams of salt.

      • Hello Holly. Thank you for your answer. The one I was eating I had bought it in the supermarket. But by reading your blog, I got encouraged and made my own exactly one week ago but now I have a doubt. It’s going as expected I suppose, but the smell coming out of that corner is really bad. I am okay with sauerkraut smell, but this one smells really bad. Does the smell change during the process? Is it normal?
        Thank you!

        • Smelly feet, dirty socks are some of the terms that describe sauerkraut that has gone south – bad. Don’t toss yet. Let’s trouble shoot.

          Can you tell me what all you used in this batch? How much salt? Is it under the brine? What are general temps where you’re fermenting?

          • Sure. I made it exactly one week ago. I used 1400 grams of green cabbage and 20 grams of pink salt. Once I made it, I opened it to release the air of the bottle (because it is one of these Fido-Style jars) 24 hours after making it and a couple more times and it exploded on my face the first two times. When I made it, it was full of brine, but it has “dried up” I’d say, because it doesn’t have much brine anymore. The temperature in the apartment stays between 14-22ºC.
            I just took this picture, there you can see the little waterless spaces between the cabbage straps.
            Maybe I did wrong by opening it?

          • The jar looks lovely. Nice color. And, yes it can expand like it has with all the CO2 – lots of, hence the exploding in your face – created by the bacteria.

            Try pushing down on the cabbage mixture and see if you can get some brine to rise to the surface then leave it be. You are on the low end, salt wise. You have quite a range in temps which can cause fermentation to stop and start.

            For now, I would say it is good and maybe we can’t quite tell yet by the smell. Give a few more days and give it a taste unless the smell is too noxious. You will know or perhaps get a friend or neighbor to weigh in on the smell.

          • Hello Holly. It means a lot to me your availability and will to help, thank you for all your answers. It’s been two weeks and I think I’m going to start eating my sauerkraut! 🙂 I just have one more doubt:
            The cabbage leave which is on top of my sauerkraut it’s starting to show a little bit of “white mold”. Is that okay? shall I change it? Since I’m going to store in the fridge and start eating it, do I still need to keep that leave?
            Do I also need to keep the weight on top of it to mantain it under the brine?
            Thank you so much for your help

          • Just remove the cabbage leaf. You no longer need to keep it. With the contraction that happens in the cold of the refrigerator, the brine will seem to disappear, so also you no longer need the weight. Enjoy and you’re more than welcome. Good job on your first jar.

  5. For mango-kimchi salad, I used persimmon instead of mango and regular auerkraut instead of kimchi and it was delicious!! Also tried to add some pepper to the salad to give some spice (as originally it should have been kimchi:) ). Where actually surprised of how good this combo worked 🙂 Thanks for the great idea!

  6. My favourite use is cheese and sauerkraut on toast (grilled cheese across the pond, I understand)!
    I can also vouch for kraut on hot-dogs, or in falafel wraps. If you’re not fussed about the probiotics, it’s lovely in pierogi…

  7. I keep it simple. I cook a couple brats on my grill, or smoke them in my smoker over Mesquite,put them on a plate with a couple tablespoons of sweet/hot mustard, and a large pile of sauerkraut. I dip each slice of brat in some mustard and pop it in my mouth with a forkful of Kraut, add cheese of your choice, and some wine or beer, and your good to go, this is great for someone on a low carb diet and staying away from bread.

      • Oh I forgot to tell you I have my 5 liter Boleslawieck (excuse spelling) crock from Stone Creek Trading full of sweet garlic sauerkraut as we speak, cant wait to try it. I learned about Stone Creek Trading from your site, great products, especially the Luna Glass weights, and great people.

          • I like both but I think I like sauerkraut better from a good crock. I let it go three or four weeks on my kitchen table at 70 degrees. I have been making it for a couple years and have never had a failure. I do use a starter culture that I get from

  8. Something I grew up with is sauerkraut with biscuits and gravy. Split the biscuit and put a layer of sauerkraut on it and cover with gravy. My grandfather was a truck driver who made runs out of Detroit and apparently a truck stop up there served it and he got it started with my family. Never heard of it anywhere else, but it is very good.

  9. Saurkraut is tangy so you could us it with anything you use relish for: egg salad, tuna salad, potato salad, sausage, hot dog, burger, etc.

  10. i eat eat usually with cole slaw or a plain salad to brighten it up,small amount of good vinigar and oil,,great salads!i never heat it


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