Scrumptious Sauerkraut Balls: A Tasty and Nutritious Midwestern Delight

Scrumptious Sauerkraut Balls: A Tasty and Nutritious Midwestern Delight

Scrumptious sauerkraut balls are savory snacks combining tangy sauerkraut with seasoned sausage. They offer a unique flavor profile that’s both rich and tangy, appealing to those who enjoy bold flavors. These bite-sized treats are often breaded and fried to perfection, providing a satisfying crunch.

Sauerkraut balls originated in the American Midwest, particularly Ohio, where they became popular at gatherings and events. The original recipe typically includes pork sausage, but many variations exist. Some versions incorporate beef or vegetarian substitutes, making them suitable for diverse dietary preferences. Pancake mix, breadcrumbs, and cream cheese are common additions, each contributing to texture and taste variety.

Key Ingredients Involved

The primary ingredients in sauerkraut balls include sauerkraut, ground sausage, and breadcrumbs. Other essential components often include onion, garlic powder, mustard, parsley, and cream cheese. The mixture is rolled into small balls, coated in breadcrumbs, and then fried until golden brown. Optional seasonings like paprika or dill can enhance the flavor profile.

How to Prepare Scrumptious Sauerkraut Balls

Preparing the Filling

Combine key ingredients like sauerkraut, sausage, and cream cheese in a large bowl. Saute finely chopped onion and minced garlic in a skillet until translucent, then add to the mix. Season with garlic powder, mustard, and parsley. Ensure the sauerkraut is well drained to prevent excess moisture. Mix thoroughly until the combination achieves a uniform consistency.

Wrapping and Cooking Techniques

Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls using your hands. Prepare a dredging station with bowls of flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs. Roll each ball in flour, dip in eggs, then coat with breadcrumbs. Ensure an even coating for a crispy texture. Preheat your oil to 350°F in a deep-fryer or a large pot. Fry the coated balls in small batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil before serving. Ensure the oil temperature stays consistent for uniform cooking.

Serving Suggestions for Sauerkraut Balls

Ideal Dipping Sauces

Enhance the flavor of sauerkraut balls by serving them with carefully selected dipping sauces. Spicy mustard provides a tangy bite that complements their savory taste. Remoulade sauce, which includes ingredients like mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, capers, and herbs, adds complexity. For those who prefer milder options, ranch dressing offers a creamy balance. Beer cheese sauce, a blend of beer and melted cheese, delivers a rich, sharp contrast that enhances the sauerkraut’s tanginess.

Pairing with Meals and Drinks

Serve sauerkraut balls as an appetizer or side dish in various meal settings. Pair them with hearty main courses like roasted pork loin or grilled sausages to create a cohesive, flavorful experience. Include them in a brunch spread with scrambled eggs and toast for a versatile addition. For beverages, light beers like pilsners and lagers complement the rich, savory taste of sauerkraut balls without overwhelming the palate. Dark ales and stouts work well if you prefer a more robust pairing. For non-alcoholic options, sparkling water with a slice of lemon can refreshingly contrast the dish’s richness.

Nutritional Benefits of Sauerkraut Balls

Health Benefits of Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut itself offers numerous health benefits. Rich in probiotics, fermented sauerkraut promotes gut health by increasing beneficial bacteria. High amounts of vitamin C support your immune system, while vitamin K contributes to bone health. Additionally, sauerkraut provides antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which enhance eye health. Consuming sauerkraut can also aid digestion due to its fiber content, helping regulate your digestive system.

Caloric and Dietary Considerations

A standard serving of sauerkraut balls, typically around 3-4 pieces, contains approximately 150-200 calories. These snack-sized portions include fats from sausage and cream cheese, protein from meat or vegetarian substitutes, and carbohydrates from breadcrumbs. Be mindful of portion control if you’re monitoring calorie intake. Options to make the dish healthier include using lean meats or meat alternatives, reducing the amount of cheese, or opting for whole grain breadcrumbs.

Sauerkraut balls provide a balanced mix of macronutrients, beneficial when enjoyed in moderation.


Scrumptious sauerkraut balls aren’t just a tasty treat; they’re a delightful blend of flavor and nutrition. With their rich probiotics, vitamins, and antioxidants, these savory snacks can be a valuable addition to your diet. By making mindful ingredient choices and watching portion sizes, you can enjoy this Midwest favorite while reaping its health benefits. So go ahead and indulge in sauerkraut balls, knowing you’re treating your taste buds and your body well.

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