Have you ever tried frying sauerkraut before? If not, you are missing out. Follow along to learn the best and easiest way to make fried sauerkraut.

Platted on a round glass plate is two brats and a bowl of fried sauerkraut.

Each time I make this fried sauerkraut dish, everyone begs for the recipe. It is surprisingly tasty; no one expects with properties so juicy it makes my mouth water every time I think about it.

I am sure you will have the same reaction too!

Frying sauerkraut: should I do it?

To answer that question! Once you give this fried sauerkraut a try, you will never want to go back to the accustomed plain canned sauerkraut again.

As the heat works its magic, the sauerkraut begins to transform into something extraordinary. The sugars within start to caramelize, infusing the cabbage with a subtle sweetness that is just divine.

You will have no regrets about trying out this recipe!

Cooking on a cast iron skillet are brats and sauerkraut.

Raw vs. Canned Sauerkraut

Raw sauerkraut is made by fermenting thinly sliced fresh cabbage with salt and left to ferment in its own juices or brine.

Canned sauerkraut undergoes a preservation process where it is cooked and then packaged in cans or jars with a brine solution.

Canning involves heating the sauerkraut, which helps ensure longer storage stability but may reduce some of the beneficial bacteria and enzymes present in raw sauerkraut.

Raw sauerkraut tends to have a crisper and crunchier texture with a more vibrant, fermented flavor profile. In contrast, canned sauerkraut, due to the cooking and canning process, can have a softer texture and a milder taste compared to raw sauerkraut.

A bowl of sauerkraut sitting a plate that has brats on the side.

Fried sauerkraut recipe

With this unique recipe, one bite will change your perspective on this German-made American dish. You will have everyone hooked and craving more of your delicious masterpiece.


  • 3 tablespoons of butter or lard
  • 2 cups of sauerkraut, drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Start by heating your cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. 

If you are using lard, you can add it while the skillet heats up. Otherwise, melt the butter in the skillet once it is hot.

Lard siting atop of fermented cabbage about to be mixed together.

Drain the liquid off the sauerkraut using a metal strainer.

A metal strainer filled with fermented cabbage sitting over a silver bowl.

Carefully spread the sauerkraut evenly into the bottom of the hot skillet.

Someone using a metal spoon to spread out the sauerkraut evenly on the cast iron skillet.

Cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes.

Cooking sauerkraut and brats on a cast iron skillet.

Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper if desired!

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Helpful cooking tools

Serving suggestions

The combination of sauerkraut and brats is a classic. Pair it with your favorite dessert or my apple crisp and your tasty meal will be complete.

Sauerkraut cooking tips

  • I have tried flipping the sauerkraut to cook on both sides before, but I think this is the better way. Feel free to experiment.
  • The sauerkraut is great on its own, but feel free to add your own personal touch with seasoning such as salt, pepper and caraway seeds.
A bowl of fried sauerkraut with a spoon sitting on a plate with brats on the side.


Can you fry canned sauerkraut? Yes, you can fry canned sauerkraut! While raw sauerkraut is often the preferred choice for frying due to its vibrant flavor and crisp texture, canned sauerkraut can also be fried and will still be delicious.

Does frying sauerkraut kill the probiotics? Yes, frying sauerkraut at high temperatures can reduce or altogether eliminate the live probiotic bacteria present due to heat exposure during cooking.

What is the best way to make sauerkraut crispy? In order to make the crispest fried sauerkraut, strain out the water before frying, spread the sauerkraut evenly on the pan, and allow it to cook undisturbed.

What is the best oil for frying sauerkraut? The goal when choosing an oil for frying is to look for one with a high smoke point. These include but are not limited to vegetable oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil.

Do you need to rinse the sauerkraut before cooking? No, skipping the rinsing step helps to preserve the flavor and texture of the sauerkraut.

Fried sauerkraut in a white bowl.

Wrapping up

If this recipe sounds deliciously enticing, roll up your sleeves and get cooking! You will not want to miss out on this quick and easy fried sauerkraut recipe!

Let me know how you enjoyed this recipe by leaving a review below!

If you loved this recipe, here are a few more that you may enjoy!

Quick and Easy Fried Sauerkraut Recipe

Laura Ascher
Fried sauerkraut is a delicious way to enjoy this tasty little treat! Serve it with some stovetop bratwursts for a complete meal!
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizers
Servings 4
Calories 123 kcal


  • 3 tablespoons of butter or lard
  • 2 cups of sauerkraut drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. 
  • If you are using lard, you can add it while the skillet heats up. Otherwise, melt the butter in the skillet once it's hot.
  • Drain the liquid off the sauerkraut using a metal strainer.
  • Carefully spread evenly into the bottom of the pan.
  • Cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper if desired!


Serving: 1ozCalories: 123kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 767mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2g
Tried this recipe?Mention @castironskilletcooking on Instagram
This website provides approximate nutrition information based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands, measuring methods and portion sizes per household. We recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer.

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One Comment

  1. I love fried sauerkraut. I also like fried cabbage but I don’t ever add brown or white sugar or Stevia or anything, because I do not like it to be sweet. I like fried sauerkraut on a hot dog or with pork chops. I grew up on this kind of food. I’m looking for a good but easy recipe for dumplings to go on top of fried potatoes – anyone??

5 from 7 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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