When I think of sauerkraut, the first thing I think of is this one time at band camp (yes, I actually worked at a band camp) when these two counselors did a skit that was a sauerkraut-making cooking show. One guy—the face of the skit—stood with his hands behind his back and narrated while the other guy, standing directly behind him, looped his arms through and served as the hands of the skit. There were multiple large knives, very breakable glass jars, and five gigantic cabbages involved, and looking back on it, I’m impressed they both walked away with all of their fingers. The second thing sauerkraut makes me think of? Good ol’ German sausages and classic Reubens, which I’m guessing is why you are here (rather than to read about some random thing that happened to a food writer five years ago at band camp). But fear not. This delicious shredded, fermented cabbage has more uses than just those two (or three if you count comedy), so here is our list of what to eat with sauerkraut, because we know you’ve always wanted to buy it but aren’t super sure what to do with it. Check out our ranking of the best store bought sauerkraut and get eatin.’
- Bar-S Cheddar Hot Links
If you are wondering what to eat with sauerkraut, the answer is sausage. It’s truly the ideal pairing and one of the most well-known things to eat with sauerkraut. Why? Because the juicy, fatty, sausage needs the acidic, salty, bright sauerkraut to cut through all that richness. Especially if you get these delicious Bar-S Cheddar Hot Links which, “come stuffed with funky, sharp cheddar cheese,” have quite the spicy kick to them, and have a “thoroughly enjoyable” snap according to Sporked contributor Danny Palumbo.
- Beyond Sausage Brat Original
Are you vegan but still want to know what to eat sauerkraut with? Look no further than these glorious vegan Beyond Sausage Brats. I am not necessarily team Beyond when it comes to the fake beef world (I’m more of an Impossible girl myself), but when it comes to sausages, Beyond really does…well…go above and Beyond. They make an excellent vegan bratwurst. It has a snap, it has the bratwurst spices that go so beautifully with the zingy sauerkraut, and, most notoriously, it has an “indescribable meat flavor” that senior writer Jordan Myrick said really pushed these sausages to the top of our list.
- Trader Joe’s Pastrami Style Smoked Atlantic Salmon
You guys. If you put this pastrami-spiced lox on a bagel with cream cheese and sauerkraut, you would have a Reuben-bagel-pastrami sandwich mashup that shall otherwise be known as the Jewish Deli crossover event of the century. I don’t know if the world is ready for this. But if you think you are ready, just know that this absolute flavor bomb of a smoked salmon is “saturated with the oniony, garlicky flavor of the seasoning mix. And the fish is good, too. It’s firm, salty, and comes away in slices,” as editor-in-chief Justine Sterling described it. Lox is great with sauerkraut, anyway—this just takes it a step further.
- Ken’s Steak House Thousand Island
I mean, besides sausages, the next food people generally point to when thinking about what to eat with sauerkraut is the classic Reuben sandwich. For the uninitiated, that’s corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and thousand island (or Russian) dressing on rye bread. And you really cannot go wrong with this particular thousand island dressing – our buddy Ken and his steak house really outdid themselves with this one. This thousand island dressing is “tangy, sweet, creamy, and salty,” or as Jordan put it, “perfect.”
- Potato Salad
Add a zing to all your mayo-based American “salads.” Whether it’s potato salad, egg salad, or even macaroni salad, they are all great things to eat with sauerkraut due to their mayo-y richness that the good ol’ kraut cuts right through, like a beam of sunlight coming down all the way to the ground through a dappled forest canopy. Did I just wax poetic about the fact that sauerkraut is, in fact, sour? Why, yes I did. What can I say, the stuff is a culinary achievement. Plus Gwynedd thinks potato salad is the best hot dog condiment. Make a potato salad with kraut in it and you have what is known in the biz as a MASSIVE win-win with which to top your dog. (We recommend picking one of the best hot dogs.)
- Good & Gather Crispy Chicken Breast Strips
Lastly, chicken tendies. I know, why are these on the list of what to eat sauerkraut with? Well, I’ll tell ya: the humble ol’ chicken sando, that’s why. Kimchi fried chicken sandwiches have been around for a while, and sauerkraut is just kimchi but in Arial instead of Times New Roman (in this analogy serif is spices and garlic and fish sauce). The Sporked team loved these chicken tenders from Good & Gather for their crispetty, crunchetty texture, the “nice spice in the breading that offers a welcome burst of flavor,” and the juicy, real-tasting chicken. If you put these tendies on a fluffy bun with some sriracha mayo and a pile of sauerkraut, my god you literally cannot go wrong. You will enjoy it. Try it now and thank me later.