sauerkraut recipe

Sauerkraut recipe ideas you didn’t know about

We all know that sauerkraut is very healthy and nutritional. It is reach in fiber and probiotics and improves digestion. In addition, when you eat sauerkraut you power up your body with vitamins A, B,C,K and U. Sauerkraut also has important minerals such as iron, potassium, iodine, calcium, magnesium, manganese and small amounts of many other minerals.

Not only is it very healthy to eat sauerkraut, but it is also quite easy to make it. Given that you are looking for recipe ideas with sauerkraut, you probably have it already in your fridge. But if you don’t, you should know that it is very easy to make sauerkraut at home. You just combine shredded cabbage with some salt and keep it pressed in a container to rest. After some time the cabbage will be soaked in its juice and depending on the size of the container, you need to keep it in a cool and dry room for 10 days or a month.

If you have already made sauerkraut, you probably heard that is goes well with kielbasa and other similar sausages. These two are a perfect food match and widely popular among sauerkraut fans. But today I am going to show you some less known sauerkraut recipe ideas and the first one is my favorite.

Recipe with sauerkraut and chicken

sauerkraut recipe with chicken

Have you tried podvarak?

The name of this sauerkraut dish is podvarak, and it is a Balkan dish. I like it more than sauerkraut and kielbasa, and if you try it out, you will know why. This is my mum’s recipe and it can serve at least 5 -8 people. Podvarak is usually made in such large portions because it is even better the next day when you heat it again in the oven or microwave. My mum usually makes podvarak for Sunday lunch and then we have it for lunch the next two days. If you don’t like to eat the same food two days in a row, you can freeze it or make the half of this ratio:

Podvarak- sauerkraut with chicken

Famous Balkan dish- sauerkraut recipe with chicken
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 40 mins
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Balkan
Keyword: podvarak recipe, sauerkraut recipe
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 420kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 kg sauerkraut
  • 3 small onions
  • 100 gr bacon
  • a bit of oil
  • chicken (the whole chicken or only preferred parts)
  • ribs
  • smoked meat (of your choice)
  • meat broth (enough to cover sauerkraut)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • at least 2 teaspoons paprika
  • at least 5 teaspoons bay leaves (even more if you like the taste)

Instructions

  •  In a large pan cook chicken and other meet and add at least one litre of water. The meat should be cooked enough but not overcooked because you will bake it later. The meat should be covered in water while boiling and when it is cooked, keep that water (broth) for later.
    If you cook only chicken, you should put some salt and pepper to the water, but if you added smoked meat, there’s no need to put salt in water, because smoked meat is salty and it will give a flavor and saltiness to the water. When the meat is cooked, season the chicken and ribs the way you like, even if you cooked them with smoked meat. My mum usually puts some salt and pepper. If you roast the whole chicken you can also season it from the inside.
    2. While meat is cooking, chop onions and put them in a large skillet or a frying pan with just a bit of oil. Stir them and cook them until tender.
    3. Add chopped bacon to the onions and stir them together.
    4. Squeeze sauerkraut and if it is too sour, put it in a strainer and rinse it with some water of normal temperature.
    5. When onions and bacon are fried enough, add the sauerkraut in the pan and all the seasoning (salt, pepper, paprika, chilli flakes, bay leaves).
    6. Stir everything well a few more minutes, and add the broth. The sauerkraut should be covered in broth completely. If you don’t have enough broth, add warm water.
    7. Leave it on a medium heat, for about 30 minutes to stew, or until there is broth left.
    8. Place stewed sauerkraut in the casserole or any other pan you can use in the oven. Heat the oven to 200 degrees and bake it 20 minutes.
    9. Then spread cooked meat all over the top. Make sure you seasoned chicken to your flavor before roasting. You can also season ribs, but smoked meat shouldn’t be seasoned because it is already salty.
    10. Bake for another one hour. The baking time depends on the oven. Check the meat every 20 minutes, and once it gets crispy and golden, turn it on the other side.

Preparation tips: Cook meat first because it will take at least 45 min to cook it. In the meantime, peel and chop the onions, then chop the bacon and rinse the sauerkraut. Have everything ready before frying because onions and bacon don’t need to be cooked too long.

Seasoning tips: it is hard to say how much seasons to put because it depends on your taste and preferences. If you don’t like spicy and hot food, don’t put chili flakes. Season the sauerkraut with salt and pepper by your taste, and definitely add some paprika. You can also add some caraway seeds but if you made sauerkraut with it, it may preserved that flavor.

What meat to choose: It is hard to say how much meat to put in podvarak, because it depends on you, how many servings do you want and what type of meat do you put. It also depends on the size of your casserole pan or any other pot you use, because you need to cover sauerkraut with meat.

As for the choice of meat, the general rule is to have chicken meat at least, and a little bit of smoked meat or ribs. Podvarak is the best when you combine all three types of meat, but even if you put only chicken, it will be good, promise!.

Recipe using sauerkraut and potatoes

The following dish is an alternative, a modern way to make podvarak. Podvarak  itself is a dish that our grandmothers made and then the recipe was passed to our mums. Women were making podvarak for decades, and nowadays you can learn about different varieties of podvarak. They played with ingredients and added new flavors to this old traditional dish from the Balkans.

If you like to eat turkey, you will love this podvarak recipe with a twist!

Preparation

  1. In a large pan filled with water put the turkey thighs and boil them until cooked.
  2. Wash but do not peel the potatoes and place them in a baking pan. Season them with some salt and cover them with an aluminium foil. Bake potatoes for around 45 min on 250 degrees.
  3. In the meantime, chop the onions and put them in a heated pan with some oil, cook them on a low heat until tender.
  4. Chop the bacon and add it to the pan. If you don’t want to use oil, you can first put bacon and then add onions.
  5. Put the sauerkraut in a strainer to rinse it and drain it so it becomes less salty and sour.
  6. Add the sauerkraut to the pan and simmer it together with onions and bacon on a medium heat. Season it well with salt, pepper and the bay leaves.
  1. Add the water where the turkey was boiled and cook it for about 30 min.
  2. Put the stewed sauerkraut in a casserole and add the turkey on the top. Bake for 50 minutes on 200 degrees. Turn the turkey from time to time to get the golden color. If the meat is ready before the sauerkraut, remove the meat and bake the sauerkraut a few more minutes. It should also be golden.  
  3. When the dish is ready, sprinkle it with dry plums.
  4. Serve it baked potatoes.

Sauerkraut with potatoes

A modern version of Balkan dish podvarak served with potatoes.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 5 mins
Total Time2 hrs 35 mins
Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Balkan
Keyword: podvarak, sauerkraut, sauerkraut recipe
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 450kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 kg sauerkraut
  • 3 turkey thighs
  • 1 big onion
  • 100 gr bacon
  • 3 to 5 bay leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 150 gr dried plums
  • 1 per person potato

Instructions

  • In a large pan filled with water put the turkey thighs and boil them until cooked.
  • Wash but do not peel the potatoes and place them in a baking pan. Season them with some salt and cover them with an aluminium foil. Bake potatoes for around 45 min on 250 degrees.
  • In the meantime, chop the onions and put them in a heated pan with some oil, cook them on a low heat until tender.
  • Chop the bacon and add it to the pan. If you don’t want to use oil, you can first put bacon and then add onions.
  • Put the sauerkraut in a strainer to rinse it and drain it so it becomes less salty and sour.
  • Add the sauerkraut to the pan and simmer it together with onions and bacon on a medium heat. Season it well with salt, pepper and the bay leaves.
  • Add the water where the turkey was boiled and cook it for about 30 min.
  • Put the stewed sauerkraut in a casserole and add the turkey on the top. Bake for 50 minutes on 200 degrees. Turn the turkey from time to time to get the golden color. If the meat is ready before the sauerkraut, remove the meat and bake the sauerkraut a few more minutes. It should also be golden.
  • When the dish is ready, sprinkle it with dry plums.
  • Serve it with baked potatoes.

Vegetarian recipe with sauerkraut

Although sauerkraut is very popular among vegetarians, most of the sauerkraut dishes come with meat. If you get bored with sauerkraut salad, I have good news for you. There is a Balkan dish with sauerkraut that is perfect for vegetarians. It is called kupusnik 🙂

What is kupusnik?

It is a pie made with the sauerkraut and leeks. You can have it for breakfast or dinner as a main dish, or as a side dish for lunch. Like any other pie, it’s also perfect for picnics and generally for take away.

How to prepare kupusnik?

  1. Turn the oven on 200 degrees.
  2. Wash and chop the leeks.
  3. Put the leeks in a frying pan with some oil and stew them on a medium heat until tendered.
  4. Add the sauerkraut and stir well. You don’t need to squeeze the sauerkraut much before adding it to the pan but if it is too salty or sour, rinse it well.
  5. Keep stirring and add some water, the leeks and sauerkraut shouldn’t be burned.
  6. Taste the sauerkraut and leeks, add some salt and pepper if necessary. Stew it for around 15 minutes on a medium heat. It should be golden and soft, but not burned.
  7. Spread one layer of a phyllo dough and brush it with some oil and mineral water. You can mix oil with some mineral water in a pot, and then brush each layer of phyllo dough.
  8. Add the sauerkraut filling and repeat the process by adding a layer of phyllo dough, brushing it with water and oil. Repeat the process as long as you have the filling. There should be one last layer of phyllo dough on the top that you can brush with some oil as well.
  9. Bake it in a preheated oven for one hour or until golden. If you don’t like your pie to be too crispy, cover it with a kitchen cloth once it is baked and out of the oven.

Sauerkraut recipe for vegetarians

This sauerkraut recipe doesn’t include meat so it is perfect for vegetarians.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Breakfast, dinner, lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Balkan
Keyword: cabbage, pie, sauerkraut, sauerkraut recipe, vegetarian
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 250kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 kg sauerkraut
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 kg phyllo dough
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • mineral water
  • oil (vegetable or olive)

Instructions

  • Turn the oven on 200 degrees.
  • Wash and chop the leeks.
  • Put the leeks in a frying pan with some oil and stew them on a medium heat until tendered.
  • Add the sauerkraut and stir well. You don’t need to squeeze the sauerkraut much before adding it to the pan but if it is too salty or sour, rinse it well.
  • Keep stirring and add some water, the leeks and sauerkraut shouldn’t be burned.
  • Taste the sauerkraut and leeks, add some salt and pepper if necessary. Stew it for around 15 minutes on a medium heat. It should be golden and soft, but not burned.
  • Spread one layer of a phyllo dough and brush it with some oil and mineral water. You can mix oil with some mineral water in a pot, and then brush each layer of phyllo dough.
  • Add the sauerkraut filling and repeat the process by adding a layer of phyllo dough, brushing it with water and oil. Repeat the process as long as you have the filling. There should be one last layer of phyllo dough on the top that you can brush with some oil as well.
  • Bake it in a preheated oven for one hour or until golden. If you don’t like your pie to be too crispy, cover it with a kitchen cloth once it is baked and out of the oven.

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