Authentic German Sauerkraut Recipe: Bohemian Style

Updated on July 3, 2015

How to Make Sauerkraut With German, Austrian, and Czech Influence

My Viennese grandmother taught me a recipe for making sauerkraut that is almost a meal by itself. Sometimes we had smoked pork chops and sauerkraut, or bratwurst along with a steaming plate of this Bohemian specialty. Other times we ate Omi's homemade sauerkraut just with a little pasta or a warm pretzel. A few days later, she'd make sauerkraut soup by adding a little stock to her dish.

Back home in Germany, my mother improved on this sauerkraut recipe by adding her personal touch. Her son, your chef, has his own interpretation of sauerkraut Bohemian/Bavarian style, and that is what you will find on this page: The recipe for a rich and filling sauerkraut influenced by my Hungarian, Czech, Austrian, Bavarian heritage. Even without the addition of sausages or meats, this is not a vegetarian meal.

Czech it out!

Sauerkraut Prep: What Will We Need?

To make this Bohemian sauerkraut, we start with a base of chopped cabbage that has been pickled in brine. Plain old canned sauerkraut is fine—German or Bavarian style kraut will do. It doesn't really matter what kind of canned sauerkraut we use; we'll drain it anyway and prepare it anew with this recipe. I suggest you even rinse it a bit so our flavors won't be overpowered by too much "sour."


2 quart jars of good-quality sauerkraut. (How do we know it's good quality? It costs more.)

1 pound of smoked bacon, cut into thin strips.

1 medium onion, diced.

1 large russet potato.

2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced.

1 tablespoon of caraway seeds.

2 tablespoons of paprika.

1 tablespoon of black pepper.

1/2 cup of brown sugar.

2 tablespoons of cold roux.

1 large beef bouillon cube.

1 cup of red wine... aah, make that 2 cups!

Question: What if I don't want to start with the canned stuff?

Answer: You can make your own by shredding, salting, and leaving cabbage to ferment in a de-oxygenated environment for 4-6 weeks.

Okay: Let's Make Bohemian Sauerkraut!

I'm hungry already...

First, we fry the bacon strips halfway, then add chopped onion and garlic. We cook this until it's all golden brown and the bacon is crispy. During the last 5 minutes, we add the caraway seeds, beef bouillon cube, and brown sugar to the pan.

Cook the bacon halfway before you add the other ingredients.
Cook the bacon halfway before you add the other ingredients.

Now we add the 2 cups of wine and the sauerkraut and let this come to a simmer. At this point, we grate the raw potato into the mix!

Adding the wine.
Adding the wine.

After seasoning with paprika and black pepper, we mix the cold roux (equal amounts of flour and butter, gently cooked for about 15 minutes) into the kraut.

Turn the heat to a low setting and simmer the dish for an hour or two.

Bohemian sauerkraut, like so many other stews, tastes even better when reheated the next day.

Bohemian Sauerkraut
Bohemian Sauerkraut

The Many Wonderful Ways Of Preparing Sauerkraut... - ...may have caused a few family feuds!

How do you like your sauerkraut?

See results

How To Make Home-Made Sauerkraut - Delicious and nutritious!

Thank you for visiting this article written by a kraut. You sweetened my day!

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    • profile image

      Chef Jimmy 3 months ago

      I use a variation of this recipe for my annual Oktoberfest where i feed 700 people, they absolutely love it, ....LOL, they think I'm German !

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      Sausage recipe for my kraut 13 months ago

      I would like to know if you have a recipe for your favorite sausage and a wine you enjoy with your kraaut and sauage meal. Thank you, Deb Knowles

    • profile image

      FRANKIE C, 17 months ago



    • profile image

      Glenn Jay 2 years ago

      I've never made this style with the wine...interesting. Upon tasting it though, the recipe may have misprinted the amount of pepper. Is it possible it should be 1 teaspoon instead of 1 tablespoon pepper? It tastes a bit too hot, and I love spicy dishes, Tabasco, etc.

    • profile image

      Steve G 3 years ago

      A little old German lady stopped me at the grocery store as I was browsing for sauerkraut. She told me that canned kraut was best because it doesn't have sulfites.

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 4 years ago from Austin, Texas

      @greg2biz2: I ate it like that for 30+ years in Vienna (from my grandmother of Czech/Hungarian descent) and in Munich (from my mother). Everyone has their personal preferences, of course. Just leave the sugar out, if it's not authentic enough for ya. :)

    • greg2biz2 profile image

      greg2biz2 4 years ago

      I am of authentic Czech (Bohemian) and Austrian descent and I know for sure YOU DO NOT PUT ANY SUGAR in sauerkraut ! It may be Bavarian style, but not Austrian, Hungarian or Czech!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I've always liked sauerkraut, but this is a new way to cook it for me. Now if I could just convince my husband to try it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @chefkeem: Me too, my mother in law in germany made the best sauerkraut, and when I lived in Austria age 7-14 I remember Buchteln and Zwetschken knodel.. It was my hungarian born grandmother who did the cooking. All her handwritten recepies are ingredients only. Thank you for this

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      This sounds so, so good! I definitely am going to try it some time. I pinned it to two my boards "savory foods" and "squidoo lenses worth blessing" so I can find it again easily. Yum, and sauerkraut is so good for you. Digg-ed.

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      rafael-portilho 5 years ago

      i love sauerkraut :)

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 5 years ago from Austin, Texas

      @anonymous: Thank you for your very kind comment, Suzan. Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe for tomato gravy with cinnamon. My mom and grandma never made it that way. Perhaps it's a Bohemian specialty, and they never adapted it in Austria. OMG - buchteln und zwetschgenknoedel...I do remember those very fondly. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My Omi was the head chef at the Hotel Prague right before the war. My mom was born in Blanzko (sic)...but just before Hitler came along, omi took a job cooking and running the trout hatchery at the Konigsee Hotel in Berchtesgadin, right under Hitler's nose :( At any rate....I grew up with wonderful pork roasts, schnitzle (made with pounded, boneless pork chops), sauerkraut (made almost just like yours) and buchteln and zwetschgenknoedel (oh wonderful those are!!) One thing I can't find and miss terribly (Omi passed away in '81 and my wonderful mom two years ago) a tomato gravy that was served as a soup with rice. It was a beautiful brownish red, and it had a bit of cinnamon in it. I can't seem to find a recipe for it, and I'm desperate enough to see if I can't replicate it myself. Each birthday omi and then my mom would prepare my favorite birthday dinner....schnitzel, gurken salat mit kartoffel, and spaetzle. Oh gosh...I haven't had that meal since mom died. At any rate...I just found your site and enjoy it very much. Brings back lots of memories. Thank you!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you so much. My husband love this recipe. It's different but he say that is very good.

    • waldenthreenet profile image

      waldenthreenet 5 years ago

      I am familiar with the Polish variety with sausage that I used to eat at a dinner in NJ. But not familiar with German variety. Congrads on your Squidoo level 61. Thanks. PS: have to look for German Style at the Deli next time.

    • ramonabeckbritman profile image

      Ramona 5 years ago from Arkansas

      As usual, Your the Greatest. My Oma almost makes hers the same way.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Family gathering every other year to make big batch of kraut, chopping, pounding with a ball bat--into large crock. Goes away for weeks and later to be canned. Am I a kraut? Certainly!

    • agoofyidea profile image

      agoofyidea 5 years ago

      My husband would love this.

    • DonD LM profile image

      DonD LM 6 years ago

      this is making me hungry! I must try this recipe

    • DeannaDiaz profile image

      DeannaDiaz 6 years ago

      Just made my first batch of kraut..I can't wait to taste it!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Returning to add angel dust to your delicious authentic German mouth is watering at the thought of it!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Sounds lovely Chef, even though I am not the world's biggest sauerkraut fan.

      My first experience of this dish was when I was 18, inexperienced in anything but plain old English food. Back then even Spaghetti Bolognese and Pizza were foreign to us. The whole family (about a dozen of us) flew to Majorca, and we didn't arrive at the hotel until very late at night. In those days (1973) many package holidays included all meals, and there were no choices, just one set meal. Well they set in front of us Bangers and Mash and Sauerkraut, which I had never heard of before, and some rock hard bread rolls. Needless to say I didn't like the Sauerkraut, and most nights we went to a local bar that served Chicken & Chips (fries) to eat instead of eating in the hotel. These days I am a lot more worldly wise when it comes to food though. Excellent lens as always, blessed.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this recipe with us. Us young new squids are growing and can use such dishes :)

      One yummy thumbs up for for this fantastic lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I like sauerkraut but I think your Bohemian style sauerkraut has just moved me up to loving sauerkraut!

    • mivvy profile image

      mivvy 6 years ago

      The Bohemian is also the Czech variety, filling. The Dutch variety is simply horrible, we mix potatoes and sauerkraut to which we added juniper berries. I hated this and ate it with sugar sprinkled on top (when I was a child), when my mother started making Hungarian sauerkraut I started liking it. (I'll write a wizzle about it, when I have time)

    • phoenix arizona f profile image

      phoenix arizona f 6 years ago

      Looks great!

    • ultimapalabra profile image

      ultimapalabra 6 years ago

      Great! I love that. There are so many ways of making a Sauerkraut :-)

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      JamieSueAustin 6 years ago

      I love it. I've lensrolled you.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 6 years ago

      Great lens

    • curtis62 profile image

      curtis62 6 years ago

      Interesting that is great I didn't know all that. It really looks good.

    • puerdycat lm profile image

      puerdycat lm 6 years ago

      Ah, love my kraut --and yours! Lens-rolling you to my fledermaus and new years feast

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 7 years ago

      Yummy indeed!! I've never been able to make sauerkraut taste as delicious as my mother's and her sisters'. I don't think German had as much to do with their magic as old Oklahoma farm style cooking. But, this recipe might come close! Thanks. SquidooAngel Blessed.

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      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      Yumm -- I think I can actually smell it cooking.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 8 years ago

      I can almost taste this. I've never made sauerkraut as anything very elaborate, but it sounds like a worthy endeavor!

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 8 years ago from England

      This sounds so delicious! So delicious in fact that I've featured it on ;)

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Sounds like a great recipe....can't wait to try it.

    • rewards4life info profile image

      rewards4life info 8 years ago

      Hey Chef!

      I would like to invite You to join our project and add this great recipe (or any other if you want)! See you there =)

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      poutine 9 years ago

      Loved sauerkraut at first bite!

    • rewards4life info profile image

      rewards4life info 9 years ago

      Lovely lens. I'm Polish and sauerkraut is a traditional Polish ingredient (cooked in very similar way). Love it, love it and once again love it! Recommended to everyone to try! 5*

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      Oops! I made a Freudian slip... Relax porcine pals!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      This looks delicious, even for a vegetarian. I'll try it with without the bacon, but I'm betting it will still be a winner. Welcome to Culinary Favorites From A to Z.

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      anonymous 9 years ago

      Well thanks chef now I got my New Years eve recipe, oh I forgot we are all coming down to TX for New Years eve and you are going to do the cooking.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

      Delicious idea! Maybe I'll make some for supper.

    • card lady 2 profile image

      Pat 9 years ago from Midwest, USA

      This looks wonderful. I love Sauerkraut and it's so good for you! How about making a vegetarian version?

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      rockycha 9 years ago

      Love the lens - I'm a big sauerkraut fan, so good for health because it's a "live food", filled with secret nano-bio's for your tummy. :) *****

    • funwithtrains lm profile image

      funwithtrains lm 9 years ago

      Wow, this sounds great!

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      julieannbrady 9 years ago

      I am a sauerkraut lover since I was knee-high to a grasshopper! After all, grandma Julia Nagy puts lots of sauerkraut in her stuffed cabbage! So thrilled to find a lens on this tasty food. Yours is the best! Yumm Yumm!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 9 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Ours is usually served out of the can or the jar, but when my husband sees this lens, you know I'm going to have to try your recipe! Lensrolling to my German Potato Salad lens and, hey why not, to my Chicken Dance lens (Oktoberfest and all). SquidAngel blessings to you, dear Chef!