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How to Cook Canned Sauerkraut

Sour, Sweet, Crunchy and Satisfying! PLUS, EASY FAST AND AFFORDABLE! This German Sauerkraut Recipe fits the bill perfectly with how to cook canned sauerkraut! 

a blue bowl of german sauerkraut on a green napkin

German Sauerkraut Recipe


Why This German Sauerkraut Recipe Works…

  • FAST
  • EASY
  • Crunchy and PERFECT with Kielbasa, smoked sausage or brisket! 
  • Perfect SWEET AND SOUR taste with the seasonings that are added. 

Here’s How It’s Done…

STEP 1. 

Melt the butter in a pan, add the garlic and onion (if using garlic and onion powder, then simply add the canned sauerkraut first).

hand with spatula adding canned sauerkraut to saucepan

perfect german sauerkraut

STEP 2. 

Add all the seasonings and the apple pieces.

adding chicken stock to the saucepan of German Sauerkraut

Chicken stock adds a lot of flavor

STEP 3. 

Heat until heated through and simmering. Serve warm

wooden spoon in saucepan for how to make canned sauerkraut

Easy Canned Sauerkraut

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Can I use sauerkraut from a bag or from a jar for this recipe? 

YES! Of Course! Canned sauerkraut, jarred sauerkraut or chilled bagged sauerkraut works fine! You’ll need to account for any size changes by increasing the other ingredients as needed.

While you are trying out Sauerkraut Recipes, you might also want to try How to Cook Sauerkraut from a Bag Recipe (Easy)!

Can I cook this sauerkraut recipe in the microwave? 

Absolutely!  Do the following:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a microwave safe bowl (first drain the sauerkraut). 
  2. Heat on high heat for 1 minute, remove and stir.
  3. Heat for 30 second intervals until heated through. 

Can I Make This Quick Sauerkraut Recipe in the Oven?

Yep! You CAN!  

  1. Pour the water out of the sauerkraut. 
  2. Put all of the ingredients into an ovenproof baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir. 

How Do I Cook Canned Sauerkraut on the Stove? 

Just follow the recipe listed below! 

Does Canned Sauerkraut Even Need To Be Cooked? 

Actually, canned, jarred and refrigerated sauerkraut does not have to be cooked before you eat it. Essentially, you are just heating it up.

What Are the Benefits of Eating Sauerkraut? 

Sauerkraut is one of the oldest ways to preserve cabbage and it is loaded with good stuff! I recommend checking out THIS article about the health benefits of sauerkraut.

Can I Just Heat Up Sauerkraut to eat it? 

Yes, absolutely you can!  It is good that way. The recipe that I am giving you is simply enhancing the flavors of the basic sauerkraut to bring out the best! 

overhead shot of german sauerkraut in blue bowl, napkin, spon and extra bowlTips & Tricks for Making This Quick Sauerkraut Recipe

  1. Drain the sauerkraut well and if you are concerned about salt at all, then rinse well with cool water as well. Squeeze the water out before beginning the recipe. 
  2. If you do not have any chicken stock, it is ok to just use water, but the flavor won’t be as good. 
  3. If you don’t like caraway seeds, it’s ok, just leave them off. HOWEVER, I have to say, you’ll be missing an important taste! Caraway in this dish placed against the apple and the sauerkraut is simply delicious! Give it a try!
  4. Cut the apple into small pieces that are roughing the same size. Pencil eraser size is the best. 
  5. Check out my Crockpot Sauerkraut and Weiners!

PRO TIP: Sauerkraut is WONDERFUL with kielbasa, polish sausage or smoked sausage. Try one of those with this recipe. Cocktail weiners cut in half and added to this recipe is also VERY GOOD!

What Can I Serve With Canned Sauerkraut? 

My family LOVES Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs or Meatloaf with this dish! 

Try Some of My Other Canned Food Recipes Today! 

How To Cook Canned Pinto Beans

How To Cook Canned Black Beans

Canned Corn


Please leave me a comment and 5 STAR ( 🌟 🌟🌟🌟 🌟 )   review, I ALWAYS love to hear from you and your comments MAKE MY DAY! (Plus, it helps me out by letting everyone know that this is the place to find good recipes!)

overhead shot of german sauerkraut in blue bowl, napkin, spon and extra bowl

How To Cook Canned Sauerkraut

20 minutes and you have the best german sauerkraut recipe around!
5 from 18 votes
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: american
Cuisine: America
Keyword: canned sauerkraut, german sauerkraut
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 86kcal


  • 2 tbs butter
  • ½ onion (minced) or 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced) or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 15 oz cans sauerkraut
  • 1 Cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 sweet apple (Gala is a good choice) cut into small cubes ( pencil eraser size and peeled.)
  • Salt per taste


  • In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and then add the minced onion and garlic until softened.
  • While the onion and garlic are cooking, drain the sauerkraut.
  • When the onion and garlic are softened, add the drained sauerkraut, chicken stock, sugar, black pepper, caraway seeds and apple chunks.
  • Heat over medium heat until simmering and the dish is heated through.
  • Taste and add salt as needed.


  • If you are using onion powder and garlic powder like I am in the video, you will just put the sauerkraut in the pan first, then add the garlic and onion powder.  Add the butter as well. 
  • If you want to make this recipe for just 2 people, make it like I do in the video using just one can and cutting the other ingredients in 1/2. 
  • Caraway seeds aren't to everyone's liking, however, I recommend you try them in this recipe because they are super tasty! 
  • Feel free to substitute any other sugar sweetener for the granulated sugar (maple syrup, honey, etc.). 
PRO TIP:  This recipe is amped up about 10x by adding some fatty cured meat such as bacon pieces, kielbasa, smoked sausage, cocktail wieners, etc.  You can just put them right in the saucepan with the sauerkraut!  YUM!  Especially great on a cold winter day. 


Nutrition Facts
How To Cook Canned Sauerkraut
Amount Per Serving
Calories 86 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 17mg6%
Sodium 141mg6%
Potassium 83mg2%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 175IU4%
Vitamin C 1.5mg2%
Calcium 6mg1%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!


Wendi is the writer, CEO and dishwasher at Loaves and Dishes! When not in the kitchen or behind the computer, you can find Wendi serving on International Food Conference Boards, Speaking at various conferences, Leading and Cooking for the local Arts Council's "Taste of Stokes" events or donating home cooked goodies to various local non profits such as the Danbury Songwriters and Stokes Partnership for Children. Wendi is also a Registered Nurse with a Master's Degree and serves on her town's board of councilmen.

Recipe Rating


Saturday 17th of February 2024

I wanted to tell Wendy how much my husband and I love this canned sauerkraut dish. I would never have thought to put apples in kraut. Thanks for sharing this!

Wendi Spraker

Monday 26th of February 2024

So glad you enjoyed it!

Joy P.

Sunday 6th of August 2023

While sauerkraut is not my most favorite dish, I will eat it for its fiber and beneficial probiotics! This recipe, served along side your favorite sausage, is awesome! (I married into a Czech family 35 years ago) and this recipe makes even commercially canned/jarred sauerkraut tastes darn good! I don't always have chicken stock, but will have the bouillon to make the chicken stock, I used 1 packet of sweetener in place of sugar, eliminated the apple (keto diet) and didn't have the caraway seeds on hand. Sauerkraut has fiber, beneficial probiotics, antioxidants and living enzymes along with vitamins and minerals.

Wendi Spraker

Monday 7th of August 2023

So glad you enjoyed!


Saturday 1st of July 2023

My German mother taught me to rinse it well before cooking

Wendi Spraker

Monday 3rd of July 2023



Monday 25th of July 2022

For whatever my reason, I just and simply don't like the pairing of Cabbage with Apples (God knows, I've tried :( ). At the same time, it had never occurred to me (as a 50+ year homemaker/home cook) to add anything more than Black Pepper to a can (or package) of Sauerkraut whenever I "offered" Hot Dogs or some sort of Smoked Sausage to either my family or my neighborhood. Having found this recipe, I took my 3 cans of Sauerkraut and cooked it as prescribed (absent the apples) above (using Monk Fruit rather than Sugar) and 1st presented it to my (adult) Family during a "weekend Diner night" (ALL of whom noticed the "difference", and ALL of whom more than definitely APPROVED! Even the Kids liked it!) and then brought it to a Potluck 4th of July BBQ. While I'd be a liar if I said that "my dish was the 1st to go", I can tell you that I did come home with an EMPTY 5-Quart Crockpot (which I didn't use to COOK the Sauerkraut, but rather to just keep it warm). Since I can't even IMAGINE myself EVER even attempting to make Sauerkraut "from scratch", I PROCLAIM this recipe to be worthy of 5 Stars. Thank you, Wendi, for expanding my "culinary horizons". :)

Wendi Spraker

Wednesday 27th of July 2022

Hi JoAnn, So glad you enjoyed it as did your family and friends!

Anna Edwards

Tuesday 4th of January 2022

I like the sourness of sauerkraut, can I add the brine in the recipe as well instead of draining it?

Wendi Spraker

Thursday 6th of January 2022

Hi Anna, the salty brine that the sauerkraut is in is VERY salty, so if you decide to try it this way, be careful of the salt.


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