Ideas for how to use sauerkraut?

A friend recently gave me a huge jar of it, and I'd love some new ways to use/eat it besides over a bowl of rice. I'm a vegetarian—any ideas?

Caroline Lange


AntoniaJames June 15, 2016
I often chop and stir sauerkraut into potato salad instead of pickles; I make it like my mother used to make what she called "German" potato salad -- splashing the hot potatoes with brine instead of vinegar the minute they're drained. No mayo, just a touch of oil, after the potatoes have had a chance to soak up the brine. Add tiny dice of celery and fresh parsley -- and a small dollop of spicy brown mustard whisked into the oil, if the spirit moves you.
Non-vegetarians could (should!) add chopped bacon as well. ;o)
SMSF June 16, 2016
AJ, your/your mother's version of German potato salad sounds so great. All the flavor profiles I love! Thanks for sharing this -- I'll definitely have to try it.
AntoniaJames June 16, 2016
Thanks so much, SMSF. You can see a photo (sort of) of it here - a variation made with quick-pickled finely chopped fennel and shallots.
It's so pretty when you use small red potatoes and leave the skin on. I just made the basic version last Sunday (red wine vinegar, not sauerkraut, and no bacon) for a cookout and it was quite a hit. ;o)
ktr June 16, 2016
I love the idea of adding some brine and sauerkraut to potato salad. Thanks for sharing this tip!
pierino June 14, 2016
In a way this is a sad question to be answering because to me sauerkraut belongs alongside a piece of brisket or a sausage----like blood sausage. That said, I would go with something like poutine. Well made pomme frites make up for a lot of other sins. And you could make a "gravy" with a mushroom base.
702551 June 15, 2016
Caroline says she's vegetarian, so the traditional meat-related suggestions are ruled out.

I'm not a fan of poutine (I see it as an unbalanced gutbuster), but potatoes in general is a good idea since potatoes and cabbage have a long history together.
pierino June 15, 2016
But I love "unbalanced gutbusters." But when it comes to potatoes one measure of a real cook is if you know how to properly make pomme frites---and don't call them Freedom Fries around me. If you do them right they are sublime but if you don't have the art of the fry down you might as well boil the potato.
702551 June 15, 2016
I'm rather partial to pommes rissolées -- especially the tourné ones cut into footballs -- as well as pommes soufflées.

But yes, I agree that pommes frites need to be made well or not at all.

Nothing wrong with pommes de terre en robe de chambre though. ;o)
amysarah June 14, 2016
I was thinking about Hungarian soup/goulash with sauerkraut (usually made with meat – could try subbing vegetable broth.)

Which reminded me of one of my favorite Korean dishes, kimchee/tofu stew - again leaving out the meat (pork) and replacing the kimchee with sauerkraut. Both are fermented cabbage and I’ve heard that sauerkraut came to Europe from China, thanks to Genghis Khan – so an Asian twist might be kind of interesting. (Even if that origin story were a myth!)
Nancy June 16, 2016
Your goulash comment reminded me of Rakott kopash (spelling?), a great Hungarian stew which often has pork, but which I first met in a great vegetarian version.
Nancy June 16, 2016
2nd comment. should be "Rakott Kaposzta" and both Hungary & Romania claim it. Many veg versions out there. Here's one.
ktr June 14, 2016
I do remember seeing a recipe year ago where sauerkraut was rinsed and drained, then toasted and used on the top and sides of a chocolate cake. I believe it was supposed to be kind of like toasted coconut.
ktr June 14, 2016
I used to make sauerkraut sandwiches when I was in school - toast with sauerkraut, pickle relish, and mustard. I though it was ok and most importantly, it was cheap. If you aren't on an "end of semester" budget, I also like sauerkraut on eggs and over frittatas. Also, over stir fry. On pizza. Basically, if I feel a dish needs a little something, I reach for either sauerkraut or kimchi.
ChefJune June 14, 2016
Make an Alsatian style pizza!
AntoniaJames June 14, 2016
Whoa, love that, ChefJune! ;o)
PHIL June 14, 2016
Make some Pierogi! Also you can certainly split in to portions and freeze it for later use..
amysarah June 14, 2016
If you want a project, you could make traditional Polish/Czech pierogi stuffed with potato, cheese and sauerkraut. Serve them with caramelized onions and a dollop of sour cream - heaven. (There must be recipes online.)
702551 June 14, 2016
It's basically a pickle, so many things that call for pickles can often sub the sauerkraut nicely. It makes a great addition to sandwiches (think hamburger, hot dog, reuben and expand your worldview from there).

If you reflect on how other cultures eat pickled vegetables, you should be able to find additional opportunities.

That said, sauerkraut lasts a long time in the fridge, no reason to attempt to pound it down in a week.
Valhalla June 14, 2016
Ditto on the tempeh reuben. I also like to saute it with apples and Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage (veggie) sausage.
AntoniaJames June 14, 2016
Also in lentil soup . . . . . braise with white wine, bay leaves, juniper berries and onions . . . . . chop and mix into mustard (memorable when slathered on cheese sandwiches):
And as Emma noted below, put it in bread - rye bread loves sauerkraut: ;o)
Emma L. June 14, 2016
Soup: paprika-spiked broth, lots of mushrooms. Avocado toast: big sprinkle of toasted caraway seeds. Tempeh reuben: pumpernickel bread, all the Russian dressing. Salad dressing: blend with olive oil and fresh herbs (feel like dill would be pretty on-point here). Veggie "hot dogs" (esp a charred, whole-carrot one). Bread dough!
Recommended by Food52