Oma's Recipe for Sauerkraut

German foods: sauerkraut and kasseler
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This easy recipe for sauerkraut is a staple in our German menu. It's delicious with almost anything. Yes, sauerkraut goes with pork, beef, sausage, noodles, potatoes, dumplings, etc., etc. It goes into casseroles, into soups, on sausages, etc., etc. If you're vegan, you'll enjoy this as a wunderbar side dish to almost anything. And you know sauerkraut is so healthy! One of my favorites, it's similar to a Bavarian sauerkraut with it's final seasoning having sugar added. One thing for sure is that the result can't be a soggy soupy mess!

You'll also find a 2nd recipe ... this one for "Weinkraut" sent in by Ashe Ganse, from Northern Michigan.

1.  Oma's Recipe for Sauerkraut


  • 1 28-oz can sauerkraut
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 - 2 tbsp oil, butter, or bacon drippings
  • 2/3 cup liquid (broth, white wine, apple juice, or water)
  • salt, pepper, sugar
  • 1 - 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 juniper berries or 1 tsp. caraway seeds (optional)
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced (optional)


  • Drain sauerkraut in colander, pressing out as much liquid as possible.
  • Heat oil in frying pan.
  • Add onion and saute slowly until golden.
  • Add sauerkraut and continue browning. Add more oil if necessary.
  • Add apple, juniper berries and caraway seeds, if using.
  • Add liquid and bring to simmer.
  • Cover and cook at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour. Stir occasionally, adding more liquid if necessary.
  • Mix cornstarch in a little cold water and slowly add just enough to sauerkraut to thicken sauce.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and sugar.

2.  Ashe's Weinkraut


  • 1 qt sauerkraut 
  • 1/4 cup sliced onions 
  • 2 tbsp butter (or bacon drippings )
  • 1 1/2 cup white wine (or your favorite)
  • 1/2 cup beef stock (or bouillon)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar 
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 2 or 3 medium-size apples (whatever kind you'd like)


  • Drain kraut slightly. 
  • Cook onion in butter or drippings until transparent. 
  • Add sauerkraut and stir; cook slowly. 
  • Wash, peel, and core apples; dice fruit and add to sauerkraut. 
  • Add wine and enough stock or bouillon to cover. Cook slowly, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  • Add sugar and celery seeds; cover and finish cooking in moderate 325°F oven 30 minutes longer. 

Ashe says, "This is basically just sauerkraut that is baked with wine and apples. My oma, Mariane Hoeksema, always used to make it for me and my sisters when we were younger. We were always asking for "weinkraut" because that's what she called it (but I'm not sure if that's what it's really called)."

Keep this in mind when cooking sauerkraut ...

  • It should be cooked to a "dry, but juicy stage” with the kraut itself being moist with no soupy sauce around it.
  • In order to get it like this, the well-drained sauerkraut is sauteed first in hot fat.
  • A little water or broth is then added and it is then cooked very slowly, adding extra liquid only if needed.
  • If you wish, you can dice some bacon (unless vegan) and brown it first. The longer it's browned, the better.Then add the onion and well drained sauerkraut and continue with the recipe. Delicious!!!!
  • The difference between Bavarian Sauerkraut and a regular German Sauerkraut is that the Bavarian one is milder and sweeter. As well, it is flavored with caraway seeds.


Vegan Recipe

Make this a Vegan recipe for Sauerkraut ...

Just use oil instead of butter or bacon drippings when you make this recipe for sauerkraut. It won't quite have the same intensity of flavor, but if you brown the sauerkraut as much as possible, you'll still have great taste.

More German Cabbage Recipes ...

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