If you have leftover sauerkraut that you no longer want to return to the jar, because gross, you can totally make something out of this and our favorite is sauerkraut casserole. Everything made in casserole form already makes for a good leftover dish.
Sauerkraut casserole is the perfect leftover dish for the beloved fermented cabbage. Why would you have leftover sauerkraut to begin with? Sauerkraut is often served with smoked meats and/or sausages. The sourness of this delicious side complements the smokiness of these protein dishes. If you have leftover sauerkraut, you could totally make a simple yet delicious all-in-one casserole.
Sauerkraut is a famous German side dish that has been around for over 2,000 years. However, it’s not the Germans who first invented this fermented side. 2,000 years ago, the Chinese started fermenting cabbage in rice wine, creating a very healthy and delicious cabbage treat.
In the 1600s, the Europeans adopted the process of fermenting cabbage in its own juices, creating sauer (sour) kraut (cabbage). Sauerkraut became a favorite of the Germans, and a lot of Europe to be exact. Some time in between the 1600s and the 1800s, the popularity of this delicious side started to decline until some Germans decided to sail over to the shores of the United States. The German immigrants would make their own batches of sauerkraut and then eventually, the rest of the American population started to enjoy this sour cabbage.
Sauerkraut then turned out to be one of the best sides loved by many, especially with smoked meat. Sauerkraut turned out to be part of one of the most loved sandwiches in Northern America called THE REUBEN. Ugh, the Reuben. It’s a mix of homemade corned beef with sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese, sandwiched by two slices of rye bread. It’s perfection.
Here’s our own version of sauerkraut casserole.
What can I add to sauerkraut to make it taste better?
Making sauerkraut can seem intimidating but it’s totally easy. It only really takes time to make. Sauerkraut is typically made with just shredded cabbage, Kosher salt, and caraway seeds. This is the most classic sauerkraut recipe can get. However, you can add a lot of other spices to make your sauerkraut even tastier.
Some people love adding juniper berries that add a full-on flavor punch into the side dish. You’ll often see a lot of sauerkraut sides with juniper berries in them.
Other delicious options would be fennel, dill, celery root, lemon peel, beets, ginger, garlic, carrots, and many more. We love the options of dill, ginger, and celery root for added flavor. We love the addition of beets and carrots for texture. The addition of lemon peel and garlic add zing to the sauerkraut.
Do you rinse sauerkraut before cooking?
This is a very good question. Sauerkraut usually comes in its own brine that is usually made from salt and water. The brine actually contains a lot of the flavors from the sauerkraut, from the cabbage itself and the added spices. If you want to keep those flavors and prefer a stronger tasting sauerkraut, there’s no need to wash the sauerkraut before straining.
However, if you prefer your sauerkraut milder in flavor, you can wash the sauerkraut and then strain.
You can use any kind of sauerkraut for this recipe. This recipe was made for leftovers so if you have any leftover sauerkraut hanging around, use it. It doesn’t matter what the additives are.
Tomatoes have great texture and bring added flavor to the sauerkraut casserole.
- White Sugar
The addition of the sugar in this recipe balances out the sourness of the sauerkraut and the tomatoes.
What’s better than bacon, really? Most recipes contain smoked meats like smoked sausages and ham. Here, we’re using bacon.
Pepper adds that finished layer in taste for the sauerkraut casserole.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t wash the sauerkraut
We’re huge fans of the sauerkraut flavor. If you’re not, discard this tip. We prefer not to wash our sauerkraut because we want the pungent flavor to shine through the dish. Simply strain it before using.
- Use crispy bacon
We love bacon so why not crisp it up before adding it to the sauerkraut casserole?
How to make Sauerkraut Bacon Casserole
Making this recipe is just as easy as making the sauerkraut itself.
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Cook the bacon until crispy, chop, and set aside.
Combine the sauerkraut, tomatoes, sugar, and bacon in a 9×13” casserole dish.
Bakin the dish for 2 hours until the edges are bubbly and the top is browned and caramelized.
What to serve with Sauerkraut Casserole?
Sauerkraut casserole can actually serve as a side dish for mains like roast beef, roast pork tenderloin, sausages, sandwiches, and many more.
It’s a glorified version of the simple sauerkraut side. It’s perfect with anything rich and hearty.
You can make this sauerkraut side dish ahead of time.