How To Cook Canned Sauerkraut

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We’re demystifying the art of how to cook canned sauerkraut into a simple, flavor-packed side dish that’s kind to your taste buds and your budget. We’ll teach you how to make it on the stovetop and spruce it up with a few pantry ingredient staples.

Suitable for gluten free diets. Post includes Weight Watchers points.

Close up view of sauerkraut with bacon bits in a white bowl

Canned sauerkraut, with its tangy kick, might not be the first thing on your mind for a quick side dish. But let me tell you, once you master the art of how to cook canned sauerkraut in a skillet, you’ll have a flavorful dish ready in a snap.

Canned veggies are a kitchen superhero—shelf-stable, convenient, and budget-friendly. The best part? They cook up in a flash.

Canned fermented cabbage, loaded with all the zesty freshness of its counterpart, allows you to whip up a tasty side anytime without making a grocery store dash.

So, folks! With a well-stocked pantry and the nifty tips from this post, along with my How To Make Canned Refried Beans Better and How to Cook Canned Carrots recipes, you’re all set to elevate your veggie game instantly. Quick, easy, and pantry-perfect – because pantry cooking for the win is the name of the game!

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What Is Sauerkraut?

It is a fermented cabbage dish often associated with German cuisine but enjoyed in various forms worldwide.

To make sauerkraut, finely shredded cabbage is fermented by lactic acid bacteria. The fermentation process gives it its distinctive tangy flavor and allows it to be preserved for an extended period.

Why Make This Recipe

  • Time-Saver – This how-to-cook sauerkraut from a jar recipe isn’t just delicious; it’s also a time-saving hero. With minimal effort, you can whip up a dish that adds flavor to your meals, saving you precious cooking time.
  • Versatile – Whether serving a family dinner or hosting a gathering, this recipe is your ticket to pleasing a crowd. Its universal flavor profile makes it a hit with various meals.
  • Tastes excellent – Take your everyday main meal to the next level with this recipe. Its tangy and savory notes bring a gourmet touch to the simplest meals.

Check out these fantastic canned food guides if you love incorporating canned food into your weekly meals.

Ingredient Notes

  • Sauerkraut – Opt for high-quality for the best flavor. Canned works, but consider checking the ingredients for added flavors or preservatives.
  • Bacon – Choose your preferred variety – smoked or maple for an extra layer of flavor. Adjust the quantity based on your preferences.
  • Onion – A finely diced onion adds depth to the dish. Experiment with red or sweet onions for subtle flavor variations.
  • Caraway Seeds – These aromatic seeds bring a unique earthy flavor to the recipe. Toast them briefly for intensified taste.
  • Apple Sauce – Opt for unsweetened apple sauce to balance the tanginess of sauerkraut. Adjust the quantity based on your sweetness preference.
  • Brown Sugar – Enhance the glaze with a touch of brown sugar. Adjust the amount to achieve your desired level of sweetness.
  • Black Peppercorns – Freshly ground black pepper elevates the overall flavor. Adjust accordingly for a hint of warmth.
  • Chicken Stock – Use chicken stock sparingly for a flavorful simmer. Adjust the quantity based on your preferred sauciness.
Ingredients for how to cook canned sauerkraut.

Ready to cook sauerkraut so it tastes even better? Gather your sauerkraut and other ingredients, and I will show you…

Handy Tip: Use Good Kitchen Tools!

For the best tools to help make your recipe even easier and more successful, check out my collection of the Best Kitchen Tools on Amazon.

How To Cook Canned Sauerkraut

Get complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. Start by draining the kraut from those two 14 ½ ounce cans.
  2. Cook the bacon until it’s perfectly crispy, then remove it from the skillet. Please keep it on standby; we’re bringing it back shortly.
  3. Let’s sauté the finely diced onion in that same large skillet until it’s golden.
  4. Now, place in the caraway seeds for about 30 seconds. After that, sprinkle in some black pepper, add around half a cup of apple sauce (make sure it’s not too watery), toss in a teaspoon of brown sugar, and finally, the drained sauerkraut. Don’t forget half a cup of chicken stock.
  5. Cover it up and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes, allowing all those flavors to combine in the pan.
  6. Give it a try and check it is tender. Adjust the salt if needed, and enjoy your side dish.
Step by step on making sauerkraut on the stovetop.

Expert Tips 

  • Toast the caraway seeds before adding them to the mixture. This enhances their aroma and additional depth.
  • Opt for high-quality sauerkraut for the best results. Look for options with minimal additives or preservatives.
  • Control the sweetness by adjusting the amount of brown sugar and apple sauce based on your sweetness preference.
  • Experiment with different types of bacon. Smoked or maple can add unique dimensions.
  • Allow the sauerkraut mix to simmer for the full 5-7 minutes. This time is crucial for the flavors to meld.
  • Use chicken stock sparingly. Adjust the quantity based on your preference for a saucier or drier side.
  • Always adjust the seasoning before serving. Sauerkraut can vary in intensity, so make sure it is salted to your liking.
  • Use a great can opener to open canned food easily and smoothly.
  • Please do check out some of my favorite things to use to cook sauerkraut. Do you have some of these already?
Close up view of sauerkraut with bacon bits in a pot.

Delicious Variations

  • Spicy Kick – For those who like it hot, introduce a touch of heat by stirring in sliced jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce.
  • Apple – Introduce a fruity note by tossing in diced apples along with the sauerkraut. The sweet and tart of apples complements the tanginess of sauerkraut.
  • Mustard – Amp up the tanginess by incorporating a spoonful of your favorite mustard. Dijon or whole-grain mustard adds a zesty kick. Experiment with your favorite condiments.
  • Beer-Braised – Swap out some or all of the chicken stock with your favorite beer. The malty richness of beer adds depth to the sauerkraut.
  • Creamy – Finish off the sauerkraut with a dollop of sour cream or a splash of heavy cream. This creamy addition adds richness and a silky texture.
Close up view of sauerkraut with bacon bits.

Prep And Storage

  • Prep Ahead –  Simplify your cooking process by chopping the onions in advance.
  • Store  – Store any leftover sauerkraut in an airtight container in the fridge. It stays delicious for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat – Reheat in a flash, and you’ve got another round of sauerkraut goodness ready to enjoy.
  • Freeze –  Planning for the future? Sauerkraut is freezer-friendly! Transfer cooled sauerkraut to a freezer-safe container, and it’ll keep for up to 3 months. When you’re ready for a sauerkraut fix, thaw it out in the fridge and reheat in the microwave or on the stove.
Canned sauerkraut with bacon bits in a white bowl

FAQs

Do you just heat up canned sauerkraut?

Yes, you can just heat up canned sauerkraut, as it is typically ready to eat straight from the can. It undergoes a fermentation process that gives it a distinctive tangy taste.

However, heating it can enhance it, and it is a common practice, especially in this recipe where warm sauerkraut is so good. You can also warm it up and add butter.

Is sauerkraut in a can already cooked?

Yes, sauerkraut in a can is already cooked during the fermentation process.

Canning further preserves it, making it safe to eat straight from the can, although some people prefer to heat it before serving.

Do you rinse sauerkraut from a can?

Yes (and no) to rinse sauerkraut from a can is a matter of personal preference.
Rinsing sauerkraut can help reduce its acidity and saltiness, making it milder and more suitable for certain dishes.

However, if you enjoy the tangy profile of sauerkraut, you may choose to use it straight from the can without rinsing.

Is canned sauerkraut as good as fresh sauerkraut?

Yes (and no) canned sauerkraut offers convenience and a longer shelf life, maintaining its tangy taste and texture effectively.

On the other hand, fresh sauerkraut is prized for its crisper texture, fresher taste, and potential for a more complex profile due to ongoing fermentation.

The choice between the two ultimately depends on personal preferences and the specific culinary application.

Close up view of sauerkraut with bacon bits in a red pot.

More Recipes You May Like

Canned Food Collections

And be sure to check out this collection of 21 Canned Chicken recipes, the 21 Best Canned Tuna Recipes, and these easy Canned Salmon Recipes.

Serve Sauerkraut With:

  • Italian Sausage – Combine it with air-fried Italian sausage for a hearty, down-home meal. You can also use Polish sausage or your favorite sausage.
  • Air Fryer Pork Chops – The rich flavors of pork chops and the sauerkraut’s is a match made for the taste buds. And then add some crunchy salads for a great, easy meal.
  • Crockpot Mashed Potatoes– Pair it with creamy mashed potatoes. The textures collide, and it is so good.

You can add it to soups, hot dogs, a stew, and more. So, have I convinced you to try sauerkraut yet?

Close up view of sauerkraut with bacon bits on a wooden spoon.

Weight Watchers Points

There are 3 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

More Canned Food Recipes

Be sure to check out these other awesome How To Cook Canned Food recipes;

Thank you for reading my How To Make Sauerkraut In A Jar recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipesInstant Pot RecipesSouthern Recipes, and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.

How To Cook Canned Sauerkraut

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Close up view of sauerkraut with bacon bits in a white bowl
Print Recipe
4.50 from 2 votes

How To Cook Canned Sauerkraut

Learn to cook sauerkraut on the stovetop for a great side.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: side, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, american, western
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 6
Calories: 132kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

  • 29 ounces (850g) sauerkraut two 14 ½ ounce cans
  • ½ onion diced
  • 5-8 pieces bacon
  • 4 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ½ cup (250ml) applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ cup (250ml) chicken stock

Instructions

  • Start by draining the kraut from those two 14 ½ ounce cans.
  • Cook the bacon until it’s perfectly crispy, then remove it from the skillet. Please keep it on standby; we’re bringing it back in a bit.
  • Sauté the finely diced onion in that same large skillet until it’s golden.
  • Now, place in the caraway seeds for about 30 seconds. After that, sprinkle in some black pepper, add around half a cup of apple sauce (make sure it’s not too watery), toss in a teaspoon of brown sugar, and finally, add the drained sauerkraut and half a cup of chicken stock.
  • Cover it up and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes, allowing all those flavors to combine in the pan.
  • Give it a taste and check it is tender, adjust the salt if needed, and enjoy your sauerkraut.
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Notes

  • Toast the caraway seeds before adding them to the mixture. This enhances their aroma and additional depth.
  • Opt for high-quality sauerkraut for the best results. Look for options with minimal additives or preservatives.
  • Control the sweetness by adjusting the amount of brown sugar and apple sauce based on your sweetness preference.
  • Experiment with different types of bacon. Smoked or maple can add unique dimensions.
  • Allow the sauerkraut mix to simmer for the full 5-7 minutes. This time is crucial for the flavors to meld.
  • Use chicken stock sparingly. Adjust the quantity based on your preference for a saucier or drier side.
  • Always adjust the seasoning before serving. Sauerkraut can vary in intensity, so make sure it is salted to your liking.
  • Storage – keep in an airtight container inside the fridge for 4 days.
  • There are 3 WW Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

Nutrition

Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 1088mg | Potassium: 355mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 48IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 3mg

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