I love pairing sauerkraut with any dish that I prepare. I only recently learned how to make it, so now I go ahead and prepare huge batches for me to enjoy! As a result, I get a lot of leftover sauerkraut – even when I share with neighbors and friends. I would love to keep my sauerkraut to enjoy at another time.
It’s completely understandable to go a bit overboard when learning a new recipe! While sauerkraut can be a condiment or a side for different dishes, sometimes, we really end up with more than we can serve for the moment. You can avoid wasting food by preserving the sauerkraut.
You can freeze it so you can serve it at a different day. You can freeze both homemade and commercial cans of sauerkraut. Freeze it on the day it is made, or if store-bought, on the day you opened the container. Avoid freezing sauerkraut that has been left for several days in the refrigerator or on the countertop.
Can you Freeze Sauerkraut?
When freezing sauerkraut, be aware that the flavor and texture will change. Oftentimes, the sauerkraut becomes watery as it thaws. The frozen sauerkraut will also have a mushier texture than the fresh ones.
It is best to freeze traditional sauerkraut than the “quick” versions of it. The different ingredients might cause it to become soft and less flavorful after freezing and thawing.
If you don’t have space in your freezer, you can choose to store the sauerkraut inside your refrigerator. This only allows for about five to seven days of extra storage time, but is useful when you only have a small batch of sauerkraut.
You can also opt to can the sauerkraut instead of freezing it. This is a great solution for those with larger batches or those with smaller freezer storage space. Canning preserves the sauerkraut for about a year.
Frozen sauerkraut can stay in the freezer for about eight months to a year but it is best to consume it within a month of freezing. Keep your containers labeled with the date of preparation to keep track of its shelf life.
Avoid refreezing sauerkraut that has been defrosted already. If you end up with soggy or tasteless sauerkraut, you can add them in soups and other side dishes instead.
How to Preserve Sauerkraut?
You can preserve sauerkraut in two ways: freezing and canning. Both methods allow the sauerkraut to be stored for about a year.
For freezing the sauerkraut, follow these steps:
- First, place the sauerkraut inside a plastic zipping freezer bag or a freezer-safe container.
- Next, make sure that there is no excess air inside the container then seal it tightly.
- Label the containers with the date of preparation then place them inside the freezer.
- To defrost the sauerkraut, move the freezer bag or container to the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
For the canning procedure, follow these steps:
- Prepare the sauerkraut as usual. After bringing it to a boil, remove from the heat.
- Fill the jars with sauerkraut and the juices, making sure that there is enough headspace in the jar.
- Clean the edge and sides of the jars then properly add the lids and scream bands.
- Can the jars using a water bath canner with the water boiling for 15 to 20 minutes a quart.
- After canning, let the jars to stay in for about 5 minutes.
- Allow the sauerkraut jars cool for around 12 to 24 hours in room temperature.
- Check the lids and seals of the sauerkraut jars for proper canning.
- Label the jar with the date of preservation. Keep the jars in a cool dry place and use within a year.
How To Use Up Extra/Leftover Sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is a classic German dish made from fermented cabbage. It’s tangy and flavorful, making it a great addition to any meal. But what do you do when you have extra sauerkraut? Here are five delicious ways to use up your leftover sauerkraut:
- Add it to sandwiches – Give your sandwich a flavor boost by adding in some sauerkraut. It’s especially delicious on grilled cheese or ham and cheese sandwiches.
- Make a German-style potato salad – If you’re looking for a unique twist on potato salad, try adding in some sauerkraut. Just combine boiled potatoes with sauerkraut, bacon, eggs, and a vinegar-based dressing.
- Use it as a pizza topping – Love pizza? Then you’ll love this sauerkraut pizza recipe! Just top your favorite pizza dough with sauerkraut, cheese, and your favorite toppings.
- Add it to macaroni and cheese – craving something cheesy? then try adding sauerkraut to your mac and cheese for a tangy twist on the classic dish.
- Make sauerkraut soup – This soup is perfect for those cold winter days. Just combine sauerkraut with chicken broth, potatoes, carrots, and onion to make a hearty and delicious soup.
So there you have it – five delicious ways to use up your leftover sauerkraut. Next time you find yourself with extra sauerkraut, try one of these recipes and enjoy!
Make delicious cabbage rolls with this traditional Transylvanian recipe, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Sauerkraut Hungarian German Rice. You can opt to add parsley and bacon for a tastier treat.
A classic pairing of sauerkraut and sausage is served in this Fried Sauerkraut and Sausage recipe. Perfect for the holiday season, this meal is better when shared with loved ones.
For a quick and easy sauerkraut dish, try the Crockpot Bratwurst with Sauerkraut recipe. With just a few ingredients, you can create a snack that’s great for even outdoor get-togethers!
Yes, you can freeze sauerkraut. Frozen sauerkraut will last for 6-8 months in the freezer. Here are the steps on how to freeze sauerkraut: discard any liquid from your package, rinse your kraut but make sure not to break it up too much, drain any excess liquid from your kraut before placing in a freezer bag, press out all of the air and seal tightly, label your bag with today’s date, and store in the freezer.
Please let me know how it turns out when you try freezing sauerkraut in the comment section below.