German Language Blog

How To Use Sauerkraut In Cooking – An Easy Recipe Posted by on Oct 10, 2014 in Food, Language

I love food. I’m sure you do, too.

My guess is that, if you’re reading this blog, then you’re probably on an educational journey into German language and culture. What sort of a journey would that be if it didn’t include eating German food?

Takeaway box - Mild Bratwurst with Sauerkraut - The Bratwurst Shop AUD5.60

Photo by avlxyz on under CC BY-SA 2.0


The great thing about visiting another country is that you get to taste a whole range of different dishes local to that country or region. Furthermore, you can eat as much as you like, and no one can call you greedy for it – because you’re “educating yourself”. For instance, it would have been rude not to try a bit of every cake at my cousin’s Bavarian wedding, because a) it was her wedding, and b) it is a Bavarian wedding custom to eat loads of cake at a wedding. I had to do it.

German cuisine is not hugely popular in the UK, and many people would rather eat Italian, Mexican, Japanese, Indian, etc before even considering German food. This is a shame, because German food is hearty and delicious!!

One of the most well-known German foods is Sauerkraut (pickled cabbage), though if I asked any of my English friends how they’d eat it, I bet none of them would know (nor do I think they’d be very enthused about eating it).

So in the spirit of learning and education (definitely not pigging out), I’d like to share a simple recipe that uses Sauerkraut, to show you how easily it can be used in dishes, and to show you that it is actually delicious! All of the foods used below (Kartoffeln, Wurst, Sauerkraut, Senf) are very popular in German, and especially Bavarian, cooking. However, the dish itself is more similar to the English bangers & mash, so it’s a bit of a mix. It’s so easy, anyone can make it. Why don’t you give it a try?


Zutaten (ingredients):

Kartoffeln, geschält (Potatoes, peeled)
Ein bisschen Milch und Butter (für den Kartoffelpüree) (Some milk and butter – for the mashed potato)
Sauerkraut (Pickled cabbage)
Wurst/vegetarische Wurst (Sausages/vegetarian sausages)
Senf (Mustard)
Pfeffer und Salz (Pepper and Salt)
Öl für braten (oil for frying)

I haven’t included measurements of the ingredients, because basically, the amount you use depends on how much you want to eat. My measurements: Loads.

Here is the Rezept (recipe):

  • Chop and boil your Kartoffeln (potatoes) in gesalztem Wasser (salted water) until they are soft.
  • Meanwhile, brate (fry) your sausages in the heated Öl (oil). When you do this depends on whether they’re veggie or meaty, whether they’re gefroren (frozen) or not etc, so check the cooking instructions on the ones you buy.
  • When the potatoes are weich (soft), drain the water & keep the potatoes in the Kochtopf (pan). Mix in the milk, butter, pepper and salt and mash the potatoes until they’re soft and creamy.
  • Mix your Sauerkraut into the Kartoffelpüree (mashed potato). Don’t be shy – put VIEL(LOADS) in. Its sour taste will be balanced out nicely by the creamy potato.
  • Put the sauerkraut mashed potato and cooked sausages onto a Teller (plate), blob a dollop of Senf (mustard) next to them, and iss es! (eat it!) – Preferably with an Erdinger bier as accompaniment.

And there you have it. Extremely easy comfort food using the German Sauerkraut!

I did take a photo of the finished product, but I was in such a rush to eat it that the photo was awful. So here are a few similar ones, taken by people who are much better photographers than I am:

Interested? Hungry? Then you may be asking the question,

“But where can I buy Sauerkraut?”

If you’re in the UK, the easiest place to look is in the ‘Polish foods’ section of your local supermarket (Sauerkraut is popular in Poland, too). That’s where I go to buy mine. It usually comes in a large glass jar, is really cheap, and you can keep it for ages.

Alternatively, you could check to see if there are any German or Polish delis in your local area. I am not sure how popular these are outside the UK, but in the UK there are plenty of Polish shops. German delis are not quite so popular, but there are some, such as this one in Windsor, Berkshire.

You could also buy it online on German food shops such as this one.

Or, if you’re really dedicated, perhaps you could give making your own Sauerkraut a go! Here’s an easy method for doing so by The Kitchn.

Do you have any recipes that use Sauerkraut? Share them in the comments! And do let me know if you try this one! 🙂

An Guadn!

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About the Author: Constanze

Servus! I'm Constanze and I live in the UK. I'm half English and half German, and have been writing about German language and culture on this blog since 2014. I am also a fitness instructor & personal trainer.


  1. Mal:

    It’s in all the big supermarkets here, (UK) not necessarily Polish sections. My German teacher made it for her children when they were growing up, but they asked her to stop adding “weedkiller” to the meal.
    Try cooking it with some Bramley apples, a little white wine and some juniper berries.

  2. Marie:

    In Pennsylvania, it’s common to eat pork and sauerkraut for good luck on New Year’s Day. It’s best cooked with the pork, and even better with apples and red cabbage. A lot of people don’t acquire a taste for it, because they never cook it in with the rest of the food and it sits on the plate as more of a pungent-smelling side dish. I couldn’t get past the smell of sauerkraut as I was growing up, but now I eat a ton of it and I have mason jars of it fermenting on the counter. It’s so easy to make!

    • Constanze:

      @Marie Thanks Marie – I always love hearing about German traditions in the USA. Sauerkraut is an acquired taste, I think – my husband doesn’t understand how I can eat it. He refuses!

  3. libbz:

    that’s what I call sausage!

  4. Amanda:

    Thanks for this after a trip to Germany I was looking for a Saurkraut recipe, I live in Greece but we have Lydl so can get lots of german stuff

    • Constanze:

      @Amanda Glad to help, Amanda!

  5. Keith Duncan:

    I love Sauerkraut except for when caraway seed is added…that ruins it…I used to judge sandwich shops by how good their Reubens were…it was the sandwich I always ordered…