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: Sauerkaut 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.
Sauerkraut 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.
Is sauerkraut healthy?
Sauerkraut is well known for its health benefits & probiotics.
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, sauerkraut is high in vitamin C. That’s why Dutch sailors ate sauerkraut to prevent scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency.
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 fresh sauerkraut 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.
Vegan 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, sauerkraut 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.
Add sauerkraut to a green salad
Sauerkraut 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.
Sauerkraut 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.
Sauerkraut 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 sauerkraut 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.