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Easy Baked Sauerkraut with Apples & Bacon

Loaded with flavor, baked Sauerkraut with Apples & Bacon is a classic side dish that pairs so well with so many dishes. Slowly cooked in the oven, the sauerkraut becomes even more flavorful and fabulous, making this a side dish that’s hard to resist. I’ve got all the tips you need to up your sauerkraut game!

sauerkraut with apples and bacon in a casserole dish

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Packed with flavor, nutrition, and plenty of fiber, sauerkraut is hailed by many as a superfood. Naturally low in fat and calories, I add a bit of fat and flavor to this dish turning it from astringent just-out-of-the-jar sauerkraut to something that’s tender, juicy, and both sweet and smoky.

I learned to make sauerkraut from my German Oma, and while her favorite way of making it was baking it with smoked pork hocks, sausage, and more, this version was also a favorite. She’d even make the sauerkraut herself, and I’d often see giant ceramic vats filled with sliced cabbage fermenting to can sauerkraut.

What You Need to Make Baked Sauerkraut with Bacon & Apples

  • Sauerkraut – see my notes below
  • Onion
  • Apple
  • Bacon
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
This recipe for swiss chard includes the delicious combination of sauerkraut with apples & bacon.
Ingredients to make baked Sauerkraut with Apples & Bacon.

A Word On Sauerkraut

What is sauerkraut? Basically, sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. Raw cabbage is sliced and then put into an acidic solution – sometimes with white wine – and allowed to ferment. It is very nutritious and healthy for you and is loaded with probiotics, vitamins, and many nutrients.

To preserve the probiotic benefits, sauerkraut should be eaten uncooked or cooked at a very low temperature (less than about 115-F.) However, even cooked it is still a rich source of nutrition and is full of flavor.

Do you Need to Rinse Sauerkraut Before Baking?

Many people dislike sauerkraut for its very strong flavor. True, right out of the can or jar it can be very strong both in flavor and aroma. If unpleasant to you, you can drain the sauerkraut and then rinse it before using it.

However, some brands are quite pleasant. The best way to tell is to try a bit after you open the jar. Taste it! Is it puckery-vinegary strong? If so, consider draining, rinsing, and draining it again.

Otherwise, proceed with the recipe!

A knife poised above a cutting board, ready to slice through a vibrant sauerkraut with apples & bacon mixture.

How To Make Sauerkraut with Apples & Bacon

For the full list of ingredients and instructions, please scroll down to the recipe card.

  1. Sautee the bacon in a large skillet until it is just starting to get crispy. Add the onion and cook until the onion is translucent.
  2. Meanwhile, drain the sauerkraut and set it aside.
  3. Add the diced apple and saute for an additional minute. Then fold in the sauerkraut and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, and add a bay leaf.
  4. Transfer the mixture to an oven-safe baking dish or casserole pan. Add 1/2 cup of water.
  5. Cover it and bake it at 350-F for about 60 minutes, stirring halfway. If it looks dry, add 1/4 cup more water. Put the cover back on and finish baking.
  6. After about an hour, the apple should be tender and hard to spot (it’ll melt into the sauerkraut). Check for seasoning and serve!
oven baked sauerkraut with bacon and apples in a serving dish

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • All sauerkraut is not created equal! Taste it out of the jar – if it is very vinegary or very strong flavored, consider draining it, rinsing it, and draining it again before baking it.
  • For extra smoky flavor, I use double-smoked bacon. You can often find this in the deli section of your supermarket or at a butcher shop.
  • I like using Granny Smith apples with this recipe to add a bit of tartness, but any will work fine.
  • Add a pinch of caraway seeds or dried thyme if you like a bit more herbal flavor in your sauerkraut.
  • I like to use an alligator chopper to make short work of dicing the apples and onions.

What To Serve with Oven-Baked Sauerkraut with Apples

This easy sauerkraut recipe is a natural fit with any kind of pork. From this slow cooker German Pork Loin to Smoked Pulled Pork, pork and sauerkraut is a terrific combination. This sauerkraut with apple recipe will also go nicely with sausages like brats, grilled meat, seafood, and more.

Can You Freeze Baked Sauerkraut with Bacon and Apples?

Absolutely! This dish freezes like a dream. Simply bake it as per the recipe, then allow it to chill thoroughly in the fridge. Pack it into air-tight containers, or my favorite, vacuum seal it so that it keeps fresh without freezer burn for months and months. To reheat this baked sauerkraut, simply let it thaw in the fridge overnight and warm it in the oven or microwave.

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Step By Step Process

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Oven Baked Sauerkraut with Bacon and Apples in a serving dish
Print Pin
4.84 from 65 votes

Baked Sauerkraut with Apples and Bacon

Sweet, smokey and so flavorful, Sauerkraut with Apples and Bacon is a tasty side dish to accompany many different kinds of meat.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine European
Keyword apples, bacon, baked sauerkraut, easy side dish, keto sauerkraut recipe, sauerkraut with apples, sauerkraut with bacon
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 6 servings
Calories 49kcal

Equipment

  • Skillet
  • Casserole dish

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced apple peeled or unpeeled, your choice
  • 4 cups sauerkraut drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  • Sautee the bacon in a large skillet until it is just starting to get crispy. Add the onion and cook until the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, drain the sauerkraut and set it aside.
  • Add the diced apple and saute for an additional minute. Then fold in the sauerkraut and mix well. Season with the salt and pepper and add a bay leaf.
  • Transfer the mixture to an oven-safe baking dish or casserole pan. Add 1/2 cup of water.
  • Cover it and bake it at 350-F for about 60 minutes, stirring halfway. If it looks dry, add 1/4 cup more water. Put the cover back on and finish baking.
  • After about an hour, the apple should be tender and hard to spot (it'll melt into the sauerkraut). Check for seasoning and serve!

Notes

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • All sauerkraut is not created equal! Taste it out of the jar – if it is very vinegary or very strong flavored, consider draining it, rinsing it, and draining it again before baking it.
  • For extra smoky flavor, use double-smoked bacon. You can often find this in the deli section of your supermarket or at a butcher shop.
  • I like using Granny Smith apples with this recipe, but any will work fine.
  • Add a pinch of caraway seeds or dried thyme if you like a bit more herbal flavor in your sauerkraut.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 49kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 823mg | Potassium: 223mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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11 thoughts on “Easy Baked Sauerkraut with Apples & Bacon”

  1. 5 stars
    I was looking for ways to dress up plain sauerkraut and this blend of seasonings sounds amazing – especially with the addition of caraway seeds. I never thought about rinsing prepared sauerkraut as I have purchased some brands in the paste that were too strong for my taste. I will be giving this recipe a try!

    Reply
  2. I absolutely love sauerkraut as it was a staple in my house growing up, but the addition of the Apple brought this recipe to another level, delicious!

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    My mother-in-law makes homemade sauerkraut and cans it herself. She gifted me several jars and I used one of them to make this for dinner tonight. My husband and I loved it! The apple in there is a surprisingly delicious addition. Thanks for a great recipe!

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    As a German-American, these flavors just scream Oktoberfest to me! I love the way the sweetness of the apple pairs with the spicy saltiness of the meats and the tang of the sauerkraut. Delish!

    Reply

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