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10+ Ways to Use Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is one of those dishes that makes tasty use of all that cabbage. It keeps for a long time and allows us nutritional boosts even in the midst of a long winter. It can, however; get a little old just as a side dish. Cooking it does destroy many of the probiotic benefits, but sometimes the flavor alone is enough of a reason to eat something. Make the most of that stash of fermented cabbage with these 10 ways to use sauerkraut.

Sauerkraut in a bowl.

The Reuben Sandwich

A diner classic for sure, but it’s easy enough to make at home. The most traditional is corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and thousand Island dressing on rye bread. At home it can be toasted in a pan or under the broiler. Devour when hot.

It doesn’t have to be an exercise in processed food either. It can easily be made with home fermented sauerkraut and thousand island dressing.

Corned beef isn’t the only option for a Reuben either, consider turkey, cod, even hot dogs.

Want to keep it gluten-free? Try stacking the ingredients onto potatoes instead of bread.

Pizza Topping

Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Sauerkraut piled onto a pizza crust with tomato sauce, and topped with cheese is surprisingly delicious. 

With Pork

Growing up my family always cooked pork roast in sauerkraut on New Year’s day.  Supposedly it brought good luck, I’m not sure if that’s true but the leftovers are good cold too.

Sauerkraut is especially good when served with kielbasa. Cook it up nice and easy in the slow cooker. Speed up the process in the pressure cooker, if desired.

Pork and apples are always a wonderful combination. Make the most of that by serving this apple sauerkraut side dish alongside your pork roast.


Sauerkraut is a traditional filling when mixed with potatoes and sometimes cheese in this is an incredibly comforting dish. This is sure to fill up bellies and hearts on a winter day


Toss some sauerkraut instead of kale or raw cabbage into those winter soups for delightful tangy flavor. 

Use it as a main ingredient in a filling and healthy vegetable soup.

Add some sauerkraut to a slow cooker beef stew for a different, tangy twist.

Make that sauerkraut a comfort food by tossing it into a soup with sausage and pasta.


Saute sauerkraut with some cooked bacon and potatoes for a delicious twist on hash. Serve with an egg on top, if desired.

Put sauerkraut inside your breakfast sandwiches or burritos.

Sauerkraut in a green bowl.

Sandwich Topping

Sauerkraut can be added to so many other things than just the Reuben. Lightly steam or saute the sauerkraut and serve on top of lightly fried brats, hot dogs, or other sausages.

Consider adding it inside a classic grilled cheese sandwich for something so much more complex and wonderful.

Save & Use the Brine

Use the brine for a salty and tangy flavor in sauces or stews.  Try just adding a teaspoon at a time and tasting before adding more.

It can also help kickstart other ferments.


Spread some sauerkraut, cheese, and peppers onto a tortilla, top with another and bake until melted and browned.

Make it pierogi style by spreading those tortillas with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut.


Mix sauerkraut with potatoes, kielbasa, onions, and cheese and bake until cooked for a filling, easy meal.

Cook chicken with sauerkraut and some yogurt for a creamy, dreamy dish that is easy and filling.


Use that tangy, crunchy goodness to add depth and flavor to salads. Add as much or as little as you’d like for a different way to get those probiotics into the body.

Make a sweet and tart salad by combining sauerkraut with mangoes and almonds.

Toss sauerkraut with apples and beets for a filling and healthy meal.

The cooking process can sometimes help mellow out sauerkraut that was perhaps over-fermented or too sour for a family’s normal preferences. Instead of tossing that sauerkraut into the compost heap, consider using sauerkraut to fill out your meal plan with these different ideas.

Do you have a favorite way to use up sauerkraut?

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Beth Brady

Monday 3rd of October 2022

i dont always get around to mashing potatoes for kraut (which i love) so i usually bake (or God forbid, microwave) some potatoes with skin on and smash them a bit with butter, kraut or vegan Earth Balance spread and it satisfies the craving.


Saturday 8th of February 2020

My granny was from Switzerland. She made a dish with. Chunks of pork roasted real slow with a bed of sauerkraut chopped up Apple and caraway seed. He served it with little tiny dumplings that were almost like pasta. And fried onions. A delicious meal.

Kathie Lapcevic

Monday 10th of February 2020

This sounds delicious!


Saturday 27th of January 2018

We do pork, kielbasa, and sauerkraut every New Year's Day! Absolutely love it.

I've done many of your suggestions from the list, but have not thought about pizza. Hmm. (I used to work in a pizza shop as a teenager and I knew guys who would put lettuce and ranch dressing on their cooked pizza.) I suppose we're only limited by our available toppings! :-)


Thursday 25th of January 2018

I have made my own sauerkraut for years and have always water bath processed it when it's done. After reading a few articles tonight I'm wondering if I've destroyed all of the probiotics with the processing that I've done? how can I find out?

Kathie Lapcevic

Thursday 25th of January 2018

My understanding is that heating above 104 degrees kills probiotics so whether it's canned or cooked with sausages the heating process will kill the probiotics. I can't seem to find a concrete scientific article to back this up beyond lots of folks agreeing that heating kills probiotics.

Scott Schluter

Thursday 23rd of November 2017

Spuds, dogs, and kraut one pot is a favorite here. (or smoked sausage/kielbasa) Parboil bite size potato chunks then fry with sliced hotdogs, add kraut for a few minutes at the end. Great topped with some mustard.


Thursday 25th of January 2018

Trying to spice up some turkey meatloaf, I served sauerkraut as a side dish (along with some other things) and it definitely spiced up the meal!