Today I’m talking about my favorite vegan sauerkraut recipes and uses – from veggie reubens, to salads, pizza, sandwiches, and more.
When you think sauerkraut, two things usually come to mind – sausages & hot dogs. So while sauerkraut itself is vegan, it’s often associated with some very non-vegan things.
What’s a kraut loving vegan to do?
No worries. There are still plenty of ways to have your kraut and eat it too. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite vegan sauerkraut recipes & uses.
What is sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut means sour cabbage in German.
Although, fun fact: It was actually invented in China! Over 2,000 years ago, Chinese people were fermenting cabbage in rice wine. Then in the 16th century, Europeans started fermenting cabbage in its own juices.
It is made by shredding fresh cabbage, adding salt, and pressing down the mixture. That releases water and causes fermentation. It was created as a way of preserving cabbage.
Fermenting cabbage helps promote the growth of probiotics, like you might associate with yogurt. Probiotics are known to help with digestion and balance your gut after a round of antibiotics.
In addition to its probiotic power, it is high in vitamin C.
Where can I find sauerkraut in the grocery store?
Look for sauerkraut in the refrigerated section. It’s sold in glass jars or resealable bags.
Most canned sauerkraut has been pasteurized, which kills off the good bacteria. So I recommend seeking out the fresh variety in the refrigerated section instead. Gold Mine is my favorite.
Prefer to make your own? Check out this recipe from The Kitchn showing how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar.
Sauerkraut recipes & uses
Here are my favorite vegan sauerkraut recipes and uses. They will keep you digging in for more – jar after jar.
Of course, kraut is wonderful on a veggie reuben sandwich along with a drizzling of vegan Thousand Island. As for the filling? There are plenty of options!
- Make a reuben with a corned jackfruit filling using this recipe for a vegan reuben jackfruit sandwich (above).
- Make a seitan reuben using the official Chicago Diner vegan reuben sandwich recipe.
- Or have a cozy bowl instead with this jackfruit reuben nourish bowl.
Top your veggie sausage
Pile sauerkraut onto your favorite veggie sausage or veggie dog along with a slathering of mustard. The kraut adds a cool, tart compliment to a savory sausage.
Make beer brats with sauerkraut
Brown some vegan bratwurst in a skillet. Sauté onions, and add a healthy glug of beer. Once it’s cooked off, add sauerkraut.
Serve the whole thing alongside mustard mashed potatoes or vegan pierogi. Now, that’s some savory goodness!
Add kraut to a green salad
Kraut is a cool, crunchy addition to a big salad. It fills out the plate, adding another contrasting flavor that mixes especially well with a kale salad and avocado.
It makes a terrific pizza topping, especially if you prefer a cheeseless pie like I do. It gives zing to each slice.
Some people throw sauerkraut on the pizza before cooking. But I prefer to add it cold by the spoonful after the pie is cooked.
It adds a cool, crunchy element on top of a hot, steamy pizza. And it means that the kraut maintains all of its probiotics which can be killed off by heat.
Sauerkraut goes well with lots of pizza toppings like onions, garlic, tomatoes, red bell pepper, mushrooms, potatoes, or seitan sausage.
Sauerkraut is also a terrific topping on a vegan chili dog pizza along with a drizzle of stoneground mustard and diced onions.
Sauerkraut plays very nicely with potato and non-dairy cheese in this pierogi-style vegan quesadilla. It has all of the flavor of a pierogi but without fiddling with dough for hours.
Vegan Philly cheesesteak
Use kraut as a briny addition to homemade vegan cheese.
I often like to make my own cashew cheese. Adding sauerkraut to the blender brings some rich, pungent undertones. Use sauerkraut in this cheese sauce on top of your vegan Philly cheesesteak.
Don’t forget about kimchi
And while you’re adding fermented cabbage to your plate, don’t forget about kimchi! This spicy Korean fermented cabbage can often be found near the sauerkraut in the refrigerated section. Or look for it next to the miso paste.
Just be sure to read the ingredient labels. Not all brands are vegan.
Here are some ways to use kimchi:
Originally posted September 2014. Content and photos updated September 2019.