Layers of sauerkraut, tomato soup, sausage or Kielbasa and peppers top a starch like rice, potatoes or noodles to make an easy Sauerkraut Casserole.
This casserole or hot dish recipe is a great way to use leftovers to create a delicious family meal!
This article is sponsored by Wisconsin Pork, but all opinions are my own!
Sauerkraut Casserole Recipe
Typical casserole ingredients have a special zing with the layer of sauerkraut. Tomato soup adds a sweetness and ties the meat, vegetables and rice together.
Using rice reminds our family of a cabbage roll casserole since sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. The texture and flavors are well balanced with meat, vegetables and carbohydrates in this German inspired recipe.
We’ve tested several options in the oven that are all wonderful! Kielbasa or smoked sausage can easily be substituted for ham or a ground meat like Italian sausage or seasoned ground beef. Cooked egg noodles, diced potatoes or rice all make a great base layer. Or then can be replaced with apples.
We’ve also added a layer of cheddar cheese or Swiss cheese sprinkled on the top of the kraut for more deliciousness, especially when using noodles.
Just like our Polish Casserole, this is a great recipe to make in a 9 x 13 pan or to make half of a batch in a square 8×8 or 9×9 casserole dish.
Lots of Variations
Our favorite combination is to make sauerkraut casserole with sausage. Sausage already has seasonings and is often smoked making pork the most flavorful meat to use.
If you’ve got leftovers different meat can be used on each half of a casserole dish, I’ve done that before with extra breakfast sausage and smoked sausage and it works beautifully! If using plain ground meat be sure to add some seasonings like we do to make Homemade Sausage in this recipe. Seasoning the meat is an important step to add flavor to the dish.
I feel good about serving pork which is packed with high-quality protein and several other important vitamins and minerals like thiamin, selenium, protein, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, riboflavin, zinc and potassium.
Providing my family with a wholesome meal that we can make connections over is always success!
Hot Dish Recipe Idea for Leftover Meat
Leftover sausage, ham, beer brats or smoked meat is so easy to mix with sauerkraut and create a hearty hot dish.
Pork is very versatile and pairs so well with sauerkraut. This is a great dish to feature pork in and share together with your family or friends. It’s unique, creating a fun conversation piece and delicious which makes people happy!
Create a whole new meal with entirely different flavors and bring new life to leftovers with this German sauerkraut casserole. Cleaning out the refrigerator while making a delicious meal that tastes great feels so in many ways!
I like to make this casserole after the holidays when we typically have lots of extra meat. I’ve made it for our family on a weeknight, for easy lunches and for extended family at bigger celebrations.
Real Pork from Real Farmers
Growing up on a farm with my hands involved in raising animals and crops to feed the animals I’m very connected to our food supply. As simple as it seems there’s still so many people that don’t realize real families in Wisconsin, the midwest and the United States raise our food.
As farmers we know that we have to get it right including responsibly sourcing and raising food that’s good for the planet. Not only do we have to raise the animals right, we need to use every last bit of food in the refrigerator and this meal helps us do that well!
For more information about modern farms check out the We Care initiative.
Should the Meat Be Cooked Before Adding to the Casserole?
The ground sausage or hamburger should be cooked before layering in the casserole. Once the casserole is baking you cannot test the doneness of ground meat as easily as testing the tenderness of potatoes.
Ingredients Needed to Make Sauerkraut Casserole with Sausage:
- Kielbasa, Smoked Sausage or another cooked sausage – create the savory and delicious centerpiece of this covered dish. Kielbasa sliced thinly and cut into half circles is our favorite way to get maximum meat flavor in every bite!
- Sauerkraut – gives the zip, zing and tangy surprise that mixes up flavors in a classic casserole.
- Raw rice or raw potatoes – will soften in the oven as the base layer. Noodles also work, but need to be cooked to al dente, don’t overcook or they will become mushy in the casserole.
- Onion – we like sweet, yellow or white, but red onion can work too.
- Green pepper – optional, adds more veggies and a nice crunch.
- Tomato soup – keeps the casserole moist, sweetens and softens the flavors and ties everything together.
- Warm water – dilutes the soup and helps create a moist and tender meal.
- Cheese – is optional and Swiss or cheddar sprinkle on top to finish it off.
What is the Best Sauerkraut?
A jar of sauerkraut is typically the highest quality followed by a bag. Canned sauerkraut is usually partially cooked, has the least volume and is cheaper.
We prefer to use sauerkraut from a jar all of the time. In this casserole a bag or can will work fine because so many flavors blend in every bite.
In our Ribs and Sauerkraut and Kielbasa and Sauerkraut where the kraut is more the star of the show we like to use a well drained jar. Use what fits best in your budget for this casserole!
Recipe Tips & Tricks:
- The sauerkraut is surprising sweet when using tomato soup, so no additional brown sugar is needed to make this meal enjoyable.
- Drain sauerkraut, but pressing all liquid out is not necessary.
- Using warm water and starting with warm ingredients takes about 45 minutes to bake. Starting with cold ingredients will take more like an hour.
- This casserole can be made in a crock pot on low for 2 1/2 to 4 hours. If cooking unevenly then stirring may be necessary until cooked through. Take care not to over cook!
- If using ground pork or a mild sausage add extra garlic powder, Italian seasonings, oregano, seasoned salt or your other favorite seasonings to the tomato soup before pouring over the casserole.
- Caraway seeds are optional in the sauerkraut and don’t have a huge impact on the flavors of the recipe.
- If you prefer not to include a starch in the casserole dish, then serve over mashed potatoes for a more filling meal.
- Apples are a great combo with pork and can replace the starch, but decrease water when using this variation
- Any type of cheese that melts well works fine, use this recipe to get the fridge cleaned out! Swiss cheese pairs especially well with the other ingredients.
Step By Step Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9 x 13″ pan.
Sprinkled a layer of rice evenly in the bottom of the pan.
Layer drained sauerkraut over the rice.
Cut smoked sausage in half lengthwise and then slice thinly. Then sprinkle sausage over the top.
Green peppers and onions are the next layers.
Finally stir condensed tomato soup together with a can of water and pour over top of the casserole.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 45 – 50 minutes until rice is tender and casserole is cooked through.
Serve warm and enjoy!
Storage, Freezing and Reheating
I love using a casserole dish with a tightly fitting lid to make storing leftovers in the refrigerator for 2 – 4 days.
Leftovers can be frozen as an entire dish or in individual servings in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
This dish reheats well and is great for meal prep!
More Pork Recipes with a German Heritage:
Instant Pot Sauerkraut & Sausage cooked in beer makes a classic meal so good!
Pork & Sauerkraut Roll-Up is my husband’s favorite meal…and he’s got strong German heritage and LOVES all of these dishes!
Hot Dogs & Sauerkraut is perfect in the summer when grilling!
Easy Sauerkraut Casserole
- 1 pound Kielbasa or Smoked Sausage
- 1 cup raw rice
- 2 cups sauerkraut drained
- 1/2 cup green pepper chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 11 ounce can tomato soup
- 11 ounces hot water
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Slice sausage into thin slices and cut into half circles. Chop vegetables. Drain sauerkraut.
- Sprinkle layer of uncooked rice evenly in the bottom of the dish.
- Spread layer of sauerkraut evenly over the rice.
- Add pieces of sausage in the next layer.
- Sprinkle green pepper and onions on top.
- Stir together tomato soup and hot water and pour over the casserole.
- Cover with foil and bake for 45 – 55 minutes until the rice is tender.
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