Sauerkraut Balls Appetizer Recipe

Sauerkraut Balls
Deep-Fried Sauerkraut Balls. © Sarah Bossert / Getty Images
    50 min

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.

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Take this virtual tour of The Fremont Company and watch how sauerkraut is made.. And here is All You Ever Wanted to Know About Sauerkraut.

Makes 30 Sauerkraut Ball Appetizers

What You'll Need

  • For the Sauerkraut Balls:
  • 1 (2-pound) bag or can sauerkraut, drained, squeezed and finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) butter
  • 2 cups (1/2 pound) cooked ham, finely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • For Frying:
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • All-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • Fine cracker crumbs
  • Honey mustard for dipping (optional)

How to Make It

    1. To make the sauerkraut balls: In a large skillet, saute 1 medium finely chopped onion and 1 clove crushed garlic in 3 tablespoons butter over low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 pound finely chopped ham and 6 tablespoons flour and cook until brown.
    2. In a large bowl, combine 2 pounds drained and finely chopped sauerkraut, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon parsley and 1/2 cup beef stock. Add to contents of skillet and cook on low until mixture forms a thick paste. Remove from heat, cool and chill 3 hours or overnight.
    3. To fry the sauerkraut balls: In a deep saucepan, heat oil to 375 degrees. 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. 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.
    4. To serve: Serve warm or at room temperature with frilled toothpicks and honey mustard, if desired.
  • Note: Sauerkraut balls may be frozen after breading and fried from the frozen state (watch out for hot oil spattering). For a lower-fat version, bake sauerkraut balls on a parchment-lined sheet in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes or until browned.

  • Here are more Eastern European appetizer recipes with an American twist: