Sauerkraut Balls Appetizer Recipe

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

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:
  • 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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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:

Slow-Cooker Polish Sausage Appetizer Recipe

Polish Ham Roll-Ups Recipe