Home Recipes How to cook the best Sauerkraut from a Bag

How to cook the best Sauerkraut from a Bag

by Nina

This is an easy recipe for how to cook the best Sauerkraut from a bag and make it a delicious and flavorful side everyone will enjoy. This is the best-tasting Sauerkraut recipe you will ever come along. It’s flavored with apple juice, caraway seeds, juniper berries, optionally bacon and 1 teaspoon of honey to make the Sauerkraut less acidy and mild in taste. Sauerkraut is a classic Austrian side dish and goes perfectly with pork roast, bratwurst, hot dogs, pork chops or hearty stews.

What is Sauerkraut.

Sauerkraut is thinly sliced raw cabbage combined with many tablespoons of salt that gets pressed down in a glas container to release juice and starts to ferment over a couple of days . Through this fermentation process the sauerkraut gets a distinctive sour taste, a bold flavor it only gets trough fermentation.

Health benefits of sauerkraut.

  • Fresh Sauerkraut is gut friendly, rich in vitamin C and good probiotics.
  • Especially the sauerkraut juice is extremely nutritious and contains lots of lactic acid bacteria. It can be made with either green or red cabbage but the green cabbage is the most common one here in Austria.
  • It’s very low in calories especially fresh cabbage. One portion of sauerkraut has about 35 cal.

There are two kinds of Sauerkraut recipes: the German and Bavarian Sauerkraut recipe. In Austria we cook the Bavarian version which is a little bit sweeter and milder and contains caraway seeds. Once upon a time Bavaria was part of the Austrian Monarchy. So its hard to say if the Bavarian Sauerkraut is an Austrian recipe or if we Austrians started cooking Sauerkraut like the Bavarians over the centuries .

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some of the ingredients .

Sauerkraut from a bag recipe – Ingredients.

Sauerkraut : For this recipe you can either use sauerkraut from a plastic bag, canned sauerkraut which contains more salt or homemade sauerkraut. Make sure to use an organic brand and that the Sauerkraut got fermented in a wooden barrel. These are indications that it’s a good quality sauerkraut.

Juniper Berries: These dried berries have a very strong flavor and aren’t only used for gin making. They have a slightly piney flavor with a touch of both fruitiness and pepperiness and therefore are a great addition to spice up sauerkraut. I use juniper berries instead of black pepper here in the recipe.

Dried bay leaves: bay leaves are often used in stews, soups or even in béchamel sauces. The leaves add a layer of subtle tea like flavors.

Apples: The apples take away a little bit of the tangy sour flavor and add a little bit of sweetness to it. I use finely grated peeled apples instead of brown sugar.

Pototoes: the stark of the potato binds the juices and gives the sour cabbage a fine creaminess.

Caraway seeds: 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds are used in this recipe. These seeds are good for the gut and can’t me missed in any sauerkraut recipe.

Beef broth and apple juice : I use these 2 ingredients instead of a quart of water for adding more flavor to the fermented cabbage and you don’t need to use so much salt either for seasoning. You can use vegetable broth instead of beef broth to make it veggie friendly. The ratio here 1:1

Honey: most people use a little bit of sugar in their recipe but I use a teaspoon of honey which smooths out the tangy and acidy flavors.

Bacon: bacon is just so good. The bacon drippings from the fried bacon cubes adds another layer of flavors to that dish.

Thats it. You’ll get all these ingredients in every grocery store. Im sure most of you already have most of them at home in your kitchen.

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dried bay leaves.
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Honey. One of my secret ingredients.

Do you have to wash the sauerkraut from a bag before cooking it?

I would say it depends. The best way to know is to just open the bag and taste a little bit of the sauerkraut . When it has already a nice taste (not too salty) that you like, you don’t have to wash it before using it. If it’s very salty then rinse it to get rid of the saltiness.

The Recipe.

It’s a simple recipe which is always a plus in a recipe.

  • Start with frying the cut bacon in a medium large heavy bottom pan on medium-high heat until the bacon pieces are browned and its cooking in its own bacon fat.
  • Add the Sauerkraut and all the other ingredients but the potato and let it cook on medium heat for about 30-40 minutes . Don’t forget to stir ocassionally.
  • Make sure that there is enough liquid in the pan. Because if you rinsed the sauerkraut beforehand you may have to add more beef broth and apple juice. There should be enough liquid that the sauerkraut doesn’t start to burn. It’s almost covered in liquid.
  • When the sauerkraut is tender add the finely grated potato and let it cook for another 10 minutes. The Sauerkraut should have gotten a creamy consistency .
  • At last season with salt to taste if necessary .

I’m a true sauerkraut fan. It’s a simple side dish but delights my taste buds immensely and its a great alternative to potatoes or vegetables when serving pork roast or savory comforting stews, Its a perfect side dish for bratwurst, smoked sausage or as a topping for hotdogs or reuben sandwich.

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How to store Sauerkraut:

Sauerkraut is best served the next day when the flavors had time to develop. For that let the sauerkraut cool to room temperature before transferring it into an airtight container. Store it in the fridge.

How long does sauerkraut last.

Normally Sauerkraut has a long shelf life but since there is meat in the recipe it will only keep good for about 5-7 days.

Signs that your sauerkraut has gone bad.

  • smell of sauerkraut: if it is emitting a strong odor, do not eat it throw eat away.
  • When the surface area has become a different color or texture, throw it away.
  • When there is blue or green fluff, it means the sauerkraut has mold and it’s not safe to consume.

There exist a lot of sauerkraut recipes here in Austria like fried donuts filled with sauerkraut, szegediner goulash, sauerkraut soup or sauerkraut casserole and many more. It seems like we are quite fond of sauerkraut here 😉.

If you tried this Sauerkraut from a bag recipe and found the tips helpful please give it a rating or leave me a kind comment. Nothing makes me more happy than hearing from you.

– Nina <3

If you’d like to stay up in the loop follow me on Instagram. 😊❤️

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How to cook the best sauerkraut from a bag.
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How to cook the best sauerkraut from a bag.

5 from 8 votes
Recipe by Nina Course: Side DishCuisine: austrian, german


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time



This is an easy recipe for how to cook the best Sauerkraut from a bag and make it a delicious and flavorful side everyone will enjoy. Its a healthy gut friendly side and goes very well with any kind of roast and bratwurst and is a perfect topping for hotdogs and reuben sandwiches.

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  • 100 g 100 bacon cut into small cubes

  • 2 bags 2 sauerkraut 500g each bag

  • 250 ml 250 apple juice

  • 250 ml 250 beef stock or vegetable stock

  • 1 1 apple medium sized, peeled and than finely crated.

  • 1 tbsp 1 caraway seeds

  • 1 tsp 1 juniper berries

  • 1 1 bay leave dried

  • 1 tsp 1 vegetable oil

  • 1 tsp 1 honey

  • salt for seasoning

  • 1 1 potato medium sized, peeled. and the flesh finely crated .


  • start with frying the bacon pieces in a medium sized bottom pan.con medium-high heat. Eventually add 1 tsp of oil if the bacon contains of more meat than fat.
  • When the bacon is browned and the bacon fat is released add the 2 bags of sauerkraut and all the other ingredients but the potato.
  • Stir occasionally and let everything cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes. the sauerkraut should be tender now.
  • After the 30 minutes add the finely crated potato meat, sir and cook for 10 more minutes.
  • At last season the sauerkraut with salt and eventually a pinch of sugar to your liking.
  • 😊The sauerkraut is best served the day after cooking, when all the flavors have developed. ❤️
  • enjoy.


  • heavy bottom pan (1)
  • grater (1)


  • This recipe is for about 6-8 servings . Depending on if it’s the only side or if there is a second side dish. Please keep that in mind. Happy Cooking. Nina ❤️

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 120kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 3g
  • Trans Fat: 0.02g
  • Cholesterol: 11mg
  • Sodium: 198mg
  • Potassium: 203mg
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Vitamin A: 28IU
  • Vitamin C: 2mg
  • Calcium: 17mg
  • Iron: 0.4mg

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Welcome to 2 Sisters Living Life, a blog about soul-comforting recipes, beautiful food, and food photography.

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