My favorite vegan sauerkraut recipes & uses (2024)

Published: · Modified: by Cadry Nelson
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Today I’m talking about my favorite vegan sauerkraut recipes and uses – from veggie reubens, to salads, pizza, sandwiches, and more.

My favorite vegan sauerkraut recipes & uses (1)

When you think sauerkraut, two things usually come to mind – sausages & hot dogs.

So while sauerkraut itself is vegan, it’s often associated with some very non-vegan things.

What’s a kraut loving vegan to do?

No worries.

There are still plenty of ways to have your kraut and eat it too.

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite vegan sauerkraut recipes & uses.

In this post:

Jump to:
  • What is sauerkraut?
  • Where can I find sauerkraut?
  • Don’t forget about kimchi

What is sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut means sour cabbage in German.

Although, fun fact: It was actually invented in China!

Over 2,000 years ago, Chinese people were fermenting cabbage in rice wine.

Then in the 16th century, Europeans started fermenting cabbage in its own juices.

It is made by shredding fresh cabbage, adding salt, and pressing down the mixture. That releases water and causes fermentation.

It was created as a way of preserving cabbage.

Fermenting cabbage helps promote the growth of probiotics, like you might associate with yogurt.

Probiotics are known to help with digestion and balance your gut after a round of antibiotics.

In addition to its probiotic power, it is high in vitamin C.

Where can I find sauerkraut?

My favorite vegan sauerkraut recipes & uses (2)

Look for sauerkraut in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

It’s sold in glass jars or resealable bags.

Most canned sauerkraut has been pasteurized, which kills off the good bacteria.

So I recommend seeking out the fresh variety in the refrigerated section instead. Gold Mine is my favorite.

Prefer to make your own?

Check out this recipe from The Kitchn showing how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar.

Sauerkraut recipes & uses

Here are my favorite vegan sauerkraut recipes and uses.

They will keep you digging in for more – jar after jar.

Vegan reuben

Of course, kraut is wonderful on a veggie reuben sandwich along with a drizzling of vegan Thousand Island.

As for the filling? There are plenty of options!

  • Make a reuben with a corned jackfruit filling using this recipe for a vegan reuben jackfruit sandwich (above).
  • Make a seitan reuben using the official Chicago Diner vegan reuben sandwich recipe.
  • Or have a cozy bowl instead with this jackfruit reuben nourish bowl.

Top your veggie sausage

My favorite vegan sauerkraut recipes & uses (4)

Pile sauerkraut onto your favorite veggie sausage or veggie dog along with a slathering of mustard.

The kraut adds a cool, tart compliment to a savory sausage.

That’s an Herbivorous Butcher beer brat above along with an easy spinach salad.

Make beer brats with sauerkraut

Brown some vegan bratwurst in a skillet. Sauté onions, and add a healthy glug of beer.

Once it’s cooked off, add sauerkraut.

Serve the whole thing alongside mustard mashed potatoes or vegan pierogi.

Now, that’s some savory goodness!

Add kraut to a green salad

My favorite vegan sauerkraut recipes & uses (6)

Kraut is a cool, crunchy addition to a big salad.

It fills out the plate, adding another contrasting flavor that mixes especially well with a kale salad and avocado.

Pizza topping

It makes a terrific pizza topping, especially if you prefer a cheeseless pie like I do. It gives zing to each slice.

Some people throw sauerkraut on the pizza before cooking. But I prefer to add it cold by the spoonful after the pie is cooked.

It adds a cool, crunchy element on top of a hot, steamy pizza.

And it means that the kraut maintains all of its probiotics which can be killed off by heat.

Sauerkraut goes well with lots of pizza toppings like onions, garlic, tomatoes, red bell pepper, mushrooms, potatoes, or seitan sausage.

Sauerkraut is also a terrific topping on a vegan chili dog pizza along with a drizzle of stoneground mustard and diced onions.

Pierogi quesadillas

Sauerkraut plays very nicely with potato and non-dairy cheese in this pierogi-style vegan quesadilla.

It has all of the flavor of a pierogi but without fiddling with dough for hours.

Vegan Philly cheesesteak

Use kraut as a briny addition to homemade vegan cheese.

I often like to make my own cashew cheese. Adding sauerkraut to the blender brings some rich, pungent undertones.

Use sauerkraut in this cheese sauce on top of your vegan Philly cheesesteak.

Don’t forget about kimchi

And while you’re adding fermented cabbage to your plate, don’t forget about kimchi!

This spicy Korean fermented cabbage can often be found near the sauerkraut in the refrigerated section. Or look for it next to the miso paste.

Just be sure to read the ingredient labels. Not all brands are vegan.

Here are some ways to use kimchi:

  • Bulgogi tofu bowls with kimchi
  • Bulgogi tofu sandwich with kimchi
  • Kimchi fried rice

Content updated January 18, 2023. Originally posted September 25, 2014.

More Vegan cooking resources

  • Top 20 vegan recipes of 2023
  • 40 easy Veganuary recipes for 2024
  • 28 vegan tofu recipes that everyone will love
  • 58 vegan recipes for Easter

About Cadry Nelson

Cadry Nelson is the writer, recipe creator, and photographer behind Cadry’s Kitchen. She's also the author of Living Vegan For Dummies, 2nd edition. Cadry loves sharing vegan comfort food classics that come together quickly. Her work has been featured on NBC News, Mashable, Yahoo, Buzzfeed, Parade, Huffington Post, VegNews, and Vegan Food & Living.

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  1. nowyat

    This opened my mind, because, yeah, why not throw some in a sandwich or in soup! Maybe in a vegan cheese sandwich or in a salad!


  2. Randi (laughfrodisiac)

    This is super helpful! We got some free jars of pickled red cabbage at Vegfest this weekend and I had forgotten about the glory of seitan reubens!!!


    • Cadry

      Oh, excellent! There’s not much better than a good seitan reuben.


  3. Jojo

    Oh my goodness, I love sauerkraut on hot dogs and in mac and cheese and, of course, in seitan reubens but I’d never considered most of these other options! I wish they sold Gold Mine sauerkraut here, I’d totally try some!


    • Cadry

      You can add it to the list for Austin! 🙂


  4. Shell

    It hasn’t occured to me to use sauerkraut on homemade pizza. I’m going to try that!


    • Cadry

      Yes, it’s such an easy and delicious way to use it! You’ll have to give it a go!


  5. Susan

    I love sauerkraut, though sadly the rest of my family is not keen.
    We don’t have as many wonderful varieties as you do, I would love to find some garlic kraut!


    • Cadry

      Luckily it lasts a long time, even if the jars are open. So you can take as much time as you need to polish off the kraut on your own. I hope you’re able to find some garlic kraut in your area! 🙂


My favorite vegan sauerkraut recipes & uses (2024)


What can be added to sauerkraut to make it taste better? ›

Ten Delicious Kraut Additions
  1. Juniper Berries. Small and dark, these little raisin-sized berries pack a flavor punch. ...
  2. Beets. Peeled and grated or thinly sliced, even a tiny bit of beet stains the whole ferment fuchsia. ...
  3. Ginger. ...
  4. Lemon Peel. ...
  5. Dill. ...
  6. Caraway Seed. ...
  7. Fennel. ...
  8. Celery Root (celeriac)

Can you use Himalayan pink salt to make sauerkraut? ›

We recommend Himalayan Pink Salt for use in fermenting due to its mineral-rich profile, being less processed than other salts (meaning no chemicals went into the production of the salt). Salt is not only a factor in taste; it also affects the texture of your sauerkraut.

What pairs well with sauerkraut? ›

As a Side Dish: Serve it as a side with pork dishes, sausages, or roasted meats. The tanginess of sauerkraut complements rich, fatty meats wonderfully. In Salads: Mix it into salads for an extra crunch and flavor. It pairs well with leafy greens, apples, carrots, and a light vinaigrette.

How much caraway seeds to add to sauerkraut? ›

You should always add caraway seeds to sauerkraut before fermentation so the seeds can release and impart more flavor throughout the sauerkraut as it ferments. You can adjust the amount of caraway seeds you add to the kraut depending on your flavor preference. For a lighter flavor start with just 5 grams per quart.

Should I add vinegar to my sauerkraut? ›

No need to add any vinegar! Salt alone preserves sour cabbage very well. I add 1/4 cup of shredded carrot for colour. Sometimes, I add a laurel leaf and 1/2 teaspoon of caraway seeds.

Why do you put vinegar in sauerkraut? ›

Vinegar is sometimes added to sauerkraut recipes to speed up the fermentation process and add extra flavor.

What does iodized salt do to sauerkraut? ›

Sauerkraut should be made using Kosher salt, because it has no iodine added to it. The iodine will prevent crispness and cause discoloration in all pickled vegetables. Pickling salt has nitrates in it, and is responsible for the red color of bacon and corned beef.

Why not to use pink Himalayan salt? ›

Although pink Himalayan salt may naturally contain some iodine, it most likely contains less iodine than iodized salt. Therefore, those who have iodine deficiency or are at risk of deficiency may need to source iodine elsewhere if using pink salt instead of table salt.

Which salt is best for sauerkraut? ›

However, do check your salt doesn't contain chemical anti-caking agents which might affect the fermentation. Try fine sea salt, or Diamond Crystal Kosher salt. The Spices - spices are used for flavour, and they can also help to slow mould growth. Caraway seeds are popular in traditional Polish sauerkraut making.

What vegetables go with sauerkraut? ›

Since I'm a low carber, here are some of my favorite sides.
  • mashed cauliflower made like mashed potatoes.
  • Steamed broccoli.
  • Sautéed cabbage with bacon and onions.
  • Roasted brussel sprouts.
  • Roasted onions and 3 different colored peppers.
  • Roasted spaghetti squash with garlic and Parmesan.
  • Mashed butternut squash.
Dec 18, 2021

How do Germans eat sauerkraut? ›

Depending on your taste, onions, bacon, juniper berries, caraway, and/or cream can be added to and cooked with the Sauerkraut. In many parts of Germany, pork ribs or pork cutlets are cooked in the Sauerkraut to give it a smokey flavor. The pork absorbs the liquid and becomes very soft and juicy.

What is traditionally eaten with sauerkraut? ›

Everyone loves a good mashed potato, but mashed potatoes and sauerkraut are a classic combination. The creamy potatoes really benefit from the added salt, flavor and crunch that sauerkraut brings to the party.

Do you put fennel or caraway seed in sauerkraut? ›

All you need to make your own sauerkraut is:
  1. Cabbage.
  2. Carrot.
  3. Seeds like caraway, cumin or fennel (optional)
  4. Salt.
  5. Large jar.
  6. Rolling pin or something to squash the veg into the jar.
  7. Muslin cloth, cheesecloth or thin tea towel.
  8. Time!
May 26, 2020

Is caraway the same as fennel? ›

Fennel seeds are the closest alternative to caraway seeds and make an excellent substitution because they're both relatives of the carrot family, although they aren't the same plant. Even though these two spices don't have quite the same flavor, they have a similar essence, and light licorice notes.

Can you use fennel seeds in sauerkraut? ›

Not only is homemade sauerkraut healthy it's also economical. All you need is 3 simple ingredients: cabbage, fennel seeds and salt. And then plenty of time to allow probiotics to do their work, producing a vibrantly complex and delicious food.

How do you make store bought sauerkraut taste better? ›

There is so much room to add flavor to sauerkraut. Add chopped bacon or ground meat of any variety. Bacon fat and fats from other sources pair perfectly with this food. If the mixture becomes dry, add a bit of water to the pan.

How do you make sauerkraut taste less sour? ›

Another way to balance out the tartness in sauerkraut is to add spices and herbs. Garlic, dill, caraway seeds, and juniper berries are all popular spices for sauerkraut. These ingredients can help mask the sour flavor and add complexity to the dish, making it more enjoyable to eat.

Should you drain sauerkraut before eating? ›

You can eat it straight from the jar (it has the best health benefits that way). If you do want to cook it, then drain and rinse it under running water then boil it for a few minutes to warm through.

How do you make sauerkraut easier to eat? ›

The best way to eat sauerkraut is to enjoy it as a side dish or topping. It can be served cold or hot, and can be added to salads, sandwiches, burgers, or even tacos. It can also be used as a topping for pizza or nachos. Sauerkraut can also be cooked with other ingredients such as sausage, bacon, onions, and potatoes.

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