Croatian Sauerkraut

Christmas, Cooking Methods, Course, Cuisine, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Health and Diet, Holiday, Low-Carb, Low-Sugar, Meals, Mediterranean, Recipes, Side Dish, Stovetop, Thanksgiving
  • By Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN on
  • December 8th, 2014


Sauerkraut is a Croatian tradition. My Grandma made this sauerkraut recipe at almost every family event we had. We would sit down at the table and share stories while enjoying the delicious feast in front of us. Food brings people together. My Mom continues to make Croatian Sauerkraut every Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and holiday fiesta. The addition of the tomato sauce makes Croatian Sauerkraut exciting and unique when compared to other sauerkrauts you would typically find on a hot dog, sausage, or restaurant menu. Tomatoes are so abundant in Croatia. They seem to pop into many recipes while adding a plethora of flavor and health benefits. Both tomatoes and cabbage are great sources of vitamin C and contain amazing antioxidants for anti-inflammatory benefits which protect the heart and may prevent cancer. Sauerkraut is also awesome for gut health due to the probiotics found in the fermented cabbage.

Croatian sauerkraut is a perfect vegetable side dish for your meal with its savory flavor. Every time we have this dish, I instantly get transported to comfort-food heaven. I know you will enjoy it as much as I do. Pair the sauerkraut with your favorite protein and mashed potatoes for a complete meal. Click HERE for a healthy and creamy mashed potato recipe.

4.3 from 3 reviews
Croatian Sauerkraut
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Croatian
Serves: 12
  • 1 32-oz Jar of Sauerkraut
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp loose chicken or vegetable bouillon
  • 1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
  • ½ lb. bacon
  • ½ cup Water
  • Pepper to taste

  1. Heat the oven to 375° Bake.

  2. Rinse sauerkraut in cold water.

  3. Set aside. Meanwhile, cover a cooking sheet with tinfoil for easy clean-up. Put the bacon on the sheet and cook for 15 minutes.

  4. Over medium heat, spray a pot with cooking spray. Cook the onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes until translucent and slightly browning.

  5. Add washed sauerkraut. Sprinkle loose chicken bouillon and mix with sauerkraut, turning it over until it changes color. Add tomato sauce. Add water. Remove the bacon from the oven and add 1 Tbsp of the bacon fat to the sauerkraut. Chop the bacon into little pieces and mix in the sauerkraut.

  6. Cover and steam slowly for 1 hour over low heat. Stir occasionally.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup Calories: 121.7 Fat: 8.1 Saturated fat: 2.7 Carbohydrates: 5.9 Sugar: 1.6 Fiber: 3.2 Protein: 5.9 Cholesterol: 20.3


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10 responses to “Croatian Sauerkraut”

  1. Mick Repanich says:

    I make this dish using link sausages frying in the pan with the onion and garlic. I like to simmer for 6-8 hours over low heat. The flavors blend together the longer you simmer. The dish is even better the next day.

    • Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN says:

      So true! And I love your tips. Eating sauerkraut, stews, soups and other types of casseroles are always better the next day when the flavors blend together. And great adjustment with the sausage. Delish!

  2. Mick Repanich says:

    Addition to my last comment. I also add about a 1/4 teaspoon of allspice. This give the dish a unique flavor that is repeated in other Dalmation food.

  3. Mare says:

    My Croatian mom used to make this for holidays too but she passed away when I was little with nothing written down. Your recipe is so close to tasting like what she made. 2 things I altered: like the previous commenter, she used fresh polish sausage. There was also caraway. I put a tablespoon in with the onions and garlic. Perfect! I’m going to try it with bacon like your recipe calls for next time. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN says:

      I love this! Family recipes are so awesome. Such a bummer you didn’t get to write it down. But I’m glad my family’s version is so similar. Polish sausage sounds divine! I’ll have to try that with the caraway seeds. Yum. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Louise says:

    Could this be made in a crockpot?

    • Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN says:

      I’m sure it could. But you would still want to cook the onion and garlic on the stove. Then transfer to a crockpot and mix in the other ingredients. Maybe try cook for 3-4 hours on low? I have never tried it. But it could work.

  5. Kristi says:

    So my great grandma made this, but she used chicken broth, tomato paste, and only lard no bacon or sausage. The rest of the recipe is the same. She moved to America when she was in her late teens. Maybe some things were too expensive like bacon, but it was never made with any meat. So interesting to used the bacon! I may try it! Thank you, when I make it, it brings back good memories!

    • Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN says:

      Aaahh! I love that! It’s funny how nowadays lard is so expensive and bacon is cheaper. Maybe that’s why my Grandma used bacon instead of lard? Thanks for sharing!

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