Sauerkraut Salad

Sauerkraut Salad is the perfect sweet and sour cabbage salad that is a wonderful side dish for hamburgers and hot dogs. Kraut salad is vegan and takes just minutes to make.

sauerkraut salad in a bowl and a spoon next to it.

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What is Sauerkraut Salad?

Are you looking for a salad that is both sweet and sour? Kraut salad is the perfect salad for you.

Sauerkraut is the main ingredient in this salad. It also has fresh crunchy vegetables (bell pepper, celery, and onion) that give it great texture.

The kraut and veggies are brought together with a simple dressing that’s tangy and sweet. All-in-all it’s a light, flavorful, and wonderful side dish.

Why This Sauerkraut Salad Recipe Is The Best

This is one of those easy recipes that everyone loves. Whenever we needed a quick salad, this cold sauerkraut salad recipe is one we made.

It is perfect for picnics, summer barbecues, and potluck dinners. We would make this with our own kraut. If you don’t have any homemade on hand, you can use store-bought sauerkraut.

This old-fashioned sauerkraut salad is actually my Grandmother’s recipe. She cooked simply, but her food was always amazing. She would make this kraut salad during the summer.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Green bell pepper
  • Sugar
  • Vinegar
sauerkraut salad ingredients on a baking sheet.

Ingredient Notes

I recommend using refrigerated sauerkraut you find either in the produce or deli section of the grocery store. You can use homemade or canned, either variety will work for this side dish.

Check out my how to make sauerkraut video.

How to Make Sauerkraut Salad

This recipe is super easy. Here are the steps:

  1. Drain the sauerkraut.
draining sauerkraut in a strainer over a bowl.
  1. Chop the bell pepper, celery, and onion.
  2. Combine the drained sauerkraut, chopped bell pepper, celery, and onion together in a bowl. Stir the ingredients together well.
sauerkraut salad ingredients in a bowl.
  1. Make the dressing for this recipe by combining sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan. Heat the vinegar and sugar together just enough to where the sugar dissolves.
sauerkraut salad dressing in a pan.
  1. Pour the dressing over the sauerkraut and stir to combine.
  2. Refrigerate the salad for at least 3 hours.
  3. Serve and enjoy!
bowl of sauerkraut salad and a spoon on a cloth napkin.

Cold Sauerkraut Salad Recipe Variations

My family recipe is an excellent starting point for you, but you may want to switch out some of these salad ingredients to make it your own. Here are a few ideas:

  • Swap white distilled vinegar for apple cider vinegar or other flavored vinegar.
  • Use a red onion in place of white or yellow onion.
  • Add about a teaspoon of celery seed.
  • Add about a teaspoon of mustard seeds (this adds a really nice texture).
  • Swap the green bell pepper for red bell pepper.
  • Chop up some tart apples and add them to the mix.
  • Shred a couple of large carrots and add them to the mix.

How to Serve and Store Sauerkraut Salad

Ideally, this salad should be refrigerated for a few hours before serving. This will give the flavors a chance to mingle together. Sauerkraut salad tastes better the second day, that is if you can wait that long to enjoy this summertime treat.

Kraut salad is served cold as a side dish, the same way you would serve coleslaw. The only real difference between the two is the cabbage being fresh or fermented. And yes, there is such a thing as coleslaw without mayo.

Store sauerkraut salad in an airtight container. It will last up to 2 weeks refrigerated and 4 months frozen.

I hope you give this recipe a try. This is the perfect way to use sauerkraut.

overhead view of sauerkraut salad in a bowl.

What to Serve Sauerkraut Salad With

Since this salad is made with a sweet and tangy vinegar dressing, it pairs nicely with fried and grilled food. It’s perfect for summer barbecues and potlucks. It goes well with:

So next time you get out the grill, be sure to make this tangy salad.

Favorite Salad Side Dish Recipes

If you love salads that are great sides, here are some more to try:

Check out more of my easy salad recipes and family favorite recipes here on CopyKat!

This recipe is from Ethel Eynard. Jefferson City, MO. 1998.

sauerkraut salad in a bowl and a spoon next to it.

Sauerkraut Salad

Sauerkraut salad is a tangy and sweet side dish. It's perfect for a summer picnic or potluck.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Salad
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Kraut Salad, Sauerkraut salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 127kcal


  • 2 pounds sauerkraut
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoon vinegar


  • Drain the sauerkraut and place it in a bowl.
  • Add the onion, celery, and green pepper.
  • Heat the sugar and vinegar in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves.
  • Pour the mixture over the sauerkraut, stir thoroughly.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 755mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 340IU | Vitamin C: 29.5mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1.7mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Maryanne

    My Pennsylvania Dutch Grammy made something similar growing up and she added garbanzo beans to it. Was my favorite salad . Thank you for the recipe.

  2. Dutch

    5 stars
    Made this and loved it! It’s wonderful that you’re keeping so many of your Grandmother’s recipes alive…Reading them, I can just imagine what it must have been like to visit her!

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