How To Cook Sauerkraut For Hot Dogs (The Most Delish Recipe)

Although some people call sauerkraut an acquired taste, the tangy vegetable goes super well with hotdogs because the acidity and sweetness present in sauerkraut balance out the richness of the meat. It adds a succulent yet distinctive flavor to your hot dog that, after one bite, it might just become your new favorite condiment.

Yes, we all love the ketchup and mustard on a hot dog – they are a classic, delicious combination. But you don’t have to settle for the usual simple hot dog toppings. You’ll be surprised at the creative and unique hot dog combinations out there – the possibilities are endless! 

When it comes to hotdog condiments, this fermented cabbage is not only a delicious match, but it is also nutritious and healthy.

What’s more? Cooking sauerkraut for hot dogs is ridiculously easy.

Let’s dig right in!

Most Succulent Sauerkraut Hot Dog Topping Recipe

German style hot dog topped with sauerkraut and mustard
Warm bun, smoky wiener, and sweet and tangy sauerkraut are a winning combination.

This sweet and tender sauerkraut goes well with regular American hot dogs, Frankfurter, and German bratwurst hot dogs, whether boiled or grilled. In fact, it is so delicious that you might end up eating it with a fork out of the bowl.

Ingredients (Plenty for 5 hot dogs)

  • Half a jar (400g) of drained sauerkraut
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • Two tablespoons of sugar
  • Half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • Dash of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel/cumin seeds
  • One medium-size onion

Top Tip: For the tastiest result, get sauerkraut made with salt instead of vinegar. The sauerkrauts that are made with vinegar are pickled and not fermented. Here is how to choose the best sauerkraut.

Note: When the sauerkraut is cooked, it will lose its probiotic benefits; however, the naturally fermented sauerkraut tastes better even when heated. 

To not lose all the probiotics, don’t throw away the sauerkraut juice when draining it before cooking. Read more here: Saurekraut Juice And How Much Should You Drink It.

Cooking Sauerkraut For Hot Dogs

cooking traditional sauerkraut on stove top
Cooking hot dogs with your kraut is an excellent way to add extra flavor.

Step 1: Saute the cut onions with olive oil in a large skillet or a saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes. 

Step 3: Add the mustard and fennel seeds and stir to combine.

Step 4: Add the drained sauerkraut, sweet pickle relish, and 1/3 cup of water and allow to simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, till water is almost gone. Stir occasionally. 

Step 7: Voila! Your sauerkraut is ready. Serve with warm, soft buns, hotdogs, and your other favorite condiments!

Top Tip: Put your hot dogs inside the sauerkraut about 5 minutes before it is finished cooking. That will not only save you from cooking the hotdogs separately, but they will become tender while absorbing some of the delicious flavors from the sauerkraut. You can still put them on the grill for some smoky flavor and beautiful grill lines.

You can serve the sauerkraut hot or cold. Keep any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for 5-6 days, and you can eat it cold or reheat it as you need. 

How To Make Sauerkraut Less Bitter?

sauerkraut for hot dogs in the supermarket

Some store-bought sauerkraut may have been stored for a long time, become too acidic, and develop a slightly bitter taste. Fortunately, there are a few techniques that can help you remove the bitter taste.

Drain And Rinse

Drain the sauerkraut and then rinse it under cold water to reduce the bitterness and overly sour taste. This will also reduce the salt content, so you may need to add some salt later while cooking.

Add Some Sugar 

Another good way to balance out the bitter and overly sour taste of sauerkraut is to add some sugar while cooking. You don’t even need much; one teaspoon will usually be sufficient. 

Add Apple Cider Vinegar

Another way that is shown to be successful is by adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. This will balance the acidity and alkalinity in the sauerkraut and make it more palatable.

For more ways how to cook sauerkraut from a jar and make it more flavorsome, check out my latest post here: 

In Summary

Research has shown that cooked sauerkraut pairs well with meat because both use umami as the prominent flavor. The glutamate found in both ingredients enhances each other’s flavor molecules, which makes an additional savory taste.

So, in layman terms, sauerkraut is an excellent addition to dishes that traditionally include meat. It provides a tangy, refreshing contrast to the richness of the meaty hotdog. The sourness is also very complementary to the saltiness of the sausage.

Add a dash of sugar, some cumin seeds, onions, mustard, and you have a savory hot dog topping that is sure to please anyone.