Give It A Chance—These 20 Recipes Will Be Your Entryway Into Our Fave Fermented Food

Give It A Chance—These 20 Recipes Will Be Your Entryway Into Our Fave Fermented Food

It’s no secret that we love pickles here at Delish. Fried pickles, homemade pickles, pickle cheesecake (don't worry, it's a cheese ball 😉)… we can’t get enough of their salty, sour flavor. Though dills and bread & butter will always have our hearts, we’re also on a mission to get people more enthusiastic about some of the less popular kinds of pickles. One of our favorites? Sauerkraut! Not only is it super nutritious and good for your digestion, it’s also pretty darn delicious. From being a star ingredient in German food to an integral part of a certain sandwich (see below), we think it deserves to be in the spotlight. Check out our 20 sauerkraut recipes for ideas, then add a jar to your shopping list (bonus: it’ll last for ages in your fridge).

What is sauerkraut? Sauerkraut is sliced cabbage (usually green, though red works too) that has been lacto-fermented, a process in which good-for-you bacteria convert sugar into lactic acid, a natural preservative. This might sound overwhelming, but it’s pretty standard: If you’ve ever eaten or made kimchi or yogurt, you’re already familiar with lacto-fermentation and how delicious it can make average ingredients like vegetables or milk. Though sauerkraut is a vital part of German cuisine (the name translates to “sour cabbage” in German), it actually traces back to ancient China. It eventually made its way to Europe, then to the Americas, saving many from scurvy and similar ailments on its way to becoming an immigrant-owned hot dog cart staple. Fun fact: During WWI, it was renamed to “Liberty Cabbage” in America due to concerns of anti-German sentiment. For such a simple dish, it has quite the storied past!

What should I make with sauerkraut? Everything! We jest. If you’re new to the world of sauerkraut, start with two of its most classic applications—in a Reuben sandwich or paired with a hearty meat dish, like our pork & sauerkraut or our sausages & sauerkraut. If you’re unfamiliar, a Reuben is a corned beef sandwich featuring Russian dressing, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese, all stuffed between two pieces of rye bread. It’s a surprising combination of flavors that just works, even if you take it out of the sandwich realm. Check out our Reuben egg rolls, our Reuben bowls, or our creamy Reuben soup for proof, then feel free to get creative with it. We’re pretty sure almost anything can be improved with these flavors!

Easy Reuben Sandwich

Not only is this Reuben built on one of the best of all sandwich breads—rye, ofc!—but it balances the salty, cured corned beef with tart sauerkraut and mild, almost creamy melted Swiss. Don't even get us started on how amazing Russian dressing is!

Get the Easy Reuben Sandwich recipe.

Pork & Sauerkraut

Pork and sauerkraut is traditionally eaten on New Year's Eve as a good luck tradition (may we suggest alongside some black-eyed peas?!), but don't let that not inspire you to eat it throughout the year, too.

Get the Pork & Sauerkraut recipe.

Sausages & Sauerkraut

Some things go perfectly together. Peanut butter and jelly. Bacon and eggs. Sausages and sauerkraut. (Seriously!) In this cozy one-pot dinner, you'll nestle beer-braised bratwurst and tender baby potatoes into sauerkraut and finish the dish with fresh herbs and spicy mustard.

Get the Sausages & Sauerkraut recipe.

Vegan Mac & Cheese

Good hard cheese is often aged and has a briny, complex funk. What, in the plant-based world, can we turn to for said funk? Sauerkraut! It sounds crazy, but just trust us on this one—it brings that cheesy je ne sais quoi that makes this mac & cheese irresistible.

Get the Vegan Mac & Cheese recipe.

Cabbage Wrap Brats

These cabbage wraps are everything you love about beer brats, sans bun! One of the best parts? We cook our onions in the same pan as our brats—one, for less dirty dishes, and two, because it creates the most melt-in-your-mouth-delicious caramelized onions EVER.

Get the Cabbage Wrap Brats recipe.

(Hearst Owned)
Reuben Bowls

Skip the carbs and make this easy one-skillet recipe with cabbage, corned beef, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing. It has everything you love about the classic Reuben sandwich without the bread.

Get the Reuben Bowls recipe.

Corned Beef & Cabbage Cheese Quesadillas

These quesadillas feature Swiss cheese, corned beef, and cabbage wrapped up in flour tortillas. Sauerkraut and stone-ground mustard are also taking center stage in a creamy dipping sauce to serve alongside the quesadillas. Taste buds, get ready!

Get the Corned Beef & Cabbage Cheese Quesadillas recipe.

Reuben-Stuffed Chicken

As much as we’d like to, we can’t eat a Reuben sandwich for dinner every day. This stuffed chicken, though? That’s a whole other story. It’s filled with all our favorite ingredients—corned beef, Russian dressing, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese—and is fancy enough to serve to dinner guests while still being easy enough to enjoy any night of the week.

Get the Reuben-Stuffed Chicken recipe.

Classic Corned Beef Sandwich

With corned beef, sauerkraut, and relish, what's not to love? We spread ours with a thick layer of mustard, but feel free to add or sub your favorite spread to make this your perfect sandwich.

Get the Classic Corned Beef Sandwich recipe.

Reuben Nachos

Not feeling a Reuben sandwich or need to serve all the best ingredients from it—corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing—to a crowd? It's time to break out the bagel chips!

Get the Reuben Nachos recipe.

Reuben Squares

Is your ideal sandwich a perfect Reuben? Ours too. Corned beef, Russian dressing, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese—what’s not to love? It’s why we made these melty crescent squares: They’re kind of like the giant grilled cheese version (complete with a toasty buttery top) that’s perfect for sharing.

Get the Reuben Squares recipe.

Bratwurst Burgers

Seasoned with nutmeg, ginger, caraway, marjoram (an herb in the mint family), and a few tablespoons of mustard to brighten the flavor, these German bratwurst-inspired pork burgers are proof everything is better served between a fresh brioche bun. Top with sauerkraut to bring out the zing.

Get the Bratwurst Burgers recipe.

(Hearst Owned)
Reuben Egg Rolls

Honestly, you can put anything in an egg roll and it'll be delicious—this Reuben-inspired version is no exception!

Get the Reuben Egg Rolls recipe.

Baked Reuben Dip

When we started planning out this dip, we knew it would need a dash of tanginess from the 'kraut and Russian dressing, but we put most of our focus on the corned beef and Swiss cheese. The resulting cheesy, tangy spread might just be better than an actual Reuben sandwich!

Get the Baked Reuben Dip recipe.

Reuben Pickle Bites

These little bites ditch the bread for an adorable low-carb appetizer worth making over and over again. Store-bought Russian dressing works in a pinch, but we're big fans of the homemade version if you can swing it.

Get the Reuben Pickle Bites recipe.

(Andrew bui)
Creamy Reuben Soup

Everyone loves the cheesy bread topping on French onion soup, so we stole from it and our favorite Reuben for this fusion recipe. Filled with everything you love about the two, this is about to be your favorite new comfort food meal.

Get the Creamy Reuben Soup recipe.

Reuben Mac & Cheese

Take your favorite Reuben sandwich and your favorite baked mac & cheese and what do you get? The ultimate creamy comfort food. Trust us: Once you top mac & cheese with Russian dressing, you might never go back.

Get the Reuben Mac & Cheese recipe.

Vegetarian Beet Reubens

Flavored with many of the same spices as corned beef, beets take the place of meat in this fun play on the classic Reuben sandwich. Topped with Russian dressing, sauerkraut, and Swiss, we bet you won't even miss the meat.

Get the Vegetarian Beet Reubens recipe.

Reuben Pigs In A Blanket

We took the classic pigs in a blanket and mixed it with our favorite Reuben sandwich for the most ultimate combo. Be sure to dip them in Russian dressing to complete them!

Get the Reuben Pigs In A Blanket recipe.

Reuben Egglets

Skip the rye bread and use a hard boil instead. These little egg sandwiches make the cutest party snacks. Not a Reuben fan? Make our BLT egglets instead!

Get the Reuben Egglets recipe.


From being a star ingredient in German food to an integral part of a Reuben sandwich, we think it's high time sauerkraut got its time in the spotlight.