Croatian Sauerkraut

Croatian_Sauerkraut_Final (1)by Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN

Sauerkraut is a Croatian tradition. My Grandma made this sauerkraut recipe at almost every family event we had. We would sit down at the table and share stories while enjoying the delicious feast in front of us. Food brings people together. My Mom continues to make Croatian Sauerkraut every Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and holiday fiesta. The addition of the tomato sauce makes Croatian Sauerkraut exciting and unique when compared to other sauerkrauts you would typically find on a hot dog, sausage, or restaurant menu. Tomatoes are so abundant in Croatia. They pop into many recipes while adding a plethora of flavor and health benefits. Both tomatoes and cabbage are great sources of vitamin C and contain amazing antioxidants for anti-inflammatory benefits which protect the heart and may prevent cancer. Sauerkraut is also awesome for gut health due to the probiotics found in the fermented cabbage.

Croatian sauerkraut is a perfect vegetable side dish for your meal with its savory flavor. Every time we have this dish, I instantly get transported to comfort-food heaven. I know you will enjoy it as much as I do. Pair the sauerkraut with your favorite protein and mashed potatoes for a complete meal. Click HERE for a healthy and creamy mashed potato recipe.


1 32-oz Jar of sauerkraut
Cooking spray
3 onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp loose chicken or vegetable bouillon
1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
½ lb bacon
½ cup water
Pepper to taste


Heat the oven to 375° Bake. Rinse sauerkraut in cold water. Set aside. Meanwhile, cover a cooking sheet with tinfoil for easy clean-up. Put the bacon on the sheet and cook for 15 minutes. Over medium heat, spray a pot with cooking spray. Cook the onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes until translucent and slightly browning. Add washed sauerkraut. Sprinkle loose bouillon and mix with sauerkraut, turning it over until it changes color. Add tomato sauce. Add water. Remove the bacon from the oven and add 1 Tbsp of the bacon fat to the sauerkraut. Chop the bacon into little pieces and mix in the sauerkraut. Cover and steam slowly for 1 hour over low heat. Stir occasionally.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)

CALORIES 121.7; FAT 8.1g (sat 2.7g); PROTEIN 5.9g; CARBOHYDRATE 5.9g;  FIBER 3.2g; SUGAR 1.6g; SODIUM 1000.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 20.3mg

Adapted from: Grandma Zaninovich

Sarah_2Sarah Koszyk is a San Francisco-based Registered Dietitian, Nutrition Coach, and founder of Family. Food. Fiesta. a comfort food recipe blog emphasizing health tips, kids cooking videos, and scrumptious recipes the entire family will enjoy. She specializes in pediatric and adult weight management and sports nutrition at her private practice and has helped hundreds of people and families reach their health and wellness goals. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, or LinkedIn and join the fiesta!