Sauerkraut Balls Appetizer Recipe

Sauerkraut Balls
Deep-Fried Sauerkraut Balls. Sarah Bossert / Getty Images
  • 50 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 30 Balls (10 servings)
Ratings (6)

Even though this recipe for sauerkraut balls is Americanized, it combines ingredients Eastern Europeans love—sauerkraut, ham, onion, and garlic.

When rolled, dipped in fine cracker crumbs and fried, they make a tasty appetizer, especially if served with honey mustard, and would be ideal for tailgating, potlucks, and other entertaining. For a lower-fat version, they can be baked in the oven.

This recipe is adapted from one by The Fremont Company, makers of SnowFloss and Frank's Sauerkraut.

What You'll Need

  • For the Sauerkraut Balls:
  • 2 pounds sauerkraut (drained, squeezed, and finely chopped)
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  • 1 1/2 ounces butter
  • 1/2 pound ham (cooked, finely chopped)
  • 6 tablespoons flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup stock (beef)
  • For Frying:
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 cup flour (all-purpose)
  • 2 large eggs (mixed with 2 tablespoons water)
  • 1 cup saltine cracker (fine crumbs)
  • Optional: honey mustard for dipping

How to Make It

Make the Sauerkraut Balls

  1.  In a large skillet, sauté onion and garlic in butter over low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in ham and 6 tablespoons flour and cook until brown.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sauerkraut, 1 egg, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, and stock. Add to contents of skillet and cook on low until mixture forms a thick paste.
  3. Remove from heat, cool and chill 3 hours or overnight.

Fry the Sauerkraut Balls

  1. In a deep saucepan, heat oil to 375 F. 
  1. Using a cookie scoop, form 1-inch balls. Roll balls in flour, dip ​in 2 eggs mixed with 2 tablespoons water and roll in cracker crumbs. 
  2. Let sauerkraut balls dry for 10 minutes then deep fry until brown on all sides. Watch carefully, because this will only take a few minutes. Drain on absorbent paper.
  3. Serve warm or at room temperature with frilled toothpicks and honey mustard, if desired.

Note: Sauerkraut balls can be frozen after breading and fried from the frozen state (watch out for hot oil splattering). For a lower-fat version, bake sauerkraut balls on a parchment-lined sheet in a 350 F oven for 20 minutes or until browned.