Bavarian Sauerkraut

Classic sauerkraut recipe with chopped apple and juniper berries.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

One of our favorite side dishes is hot sauerkraut, delicious served with pork or bockwurst – a mild German sausage. You can also make a sandwich with toasted or grilled dark rye bread, melted Jack, havarti, or Muenster cheese, the sauerkraut, and avocado.

Bavarian Sauerkraut Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes


  • 1 16-oz can or jar of sauerkraut (best is fresh sauerkraut in jars, found in refrigerated section of grocery store)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup peeled and chopped apple
  • 10 juniper berries, cracked
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil


Place sauerkraut in a pot. Add wine, onion, apple, juniper berries, salt, pepper and oil. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until the onions are soft.

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Side note:
When first making this, I had never heard of "juniper berries". Berries from the juniper shrub, they are traditionally used with sauerkraut.

Showing 4 of 12 Comments

  • SusanBeilstein

    I grew up eating saurkraut and loved it then I learned that it, as well as processed foods, aged cheeses,red wine etc. were responsible for the terrible migraines I suffered from for most of my life. I haven’t had sauerkraut in 40 years because of this. Some German I turned out to be. Will making fresh sauerkraut using hard cider and vinegar contain the nitrates that make me sick?

  • Marc

    Juniper berries are the bavarian version. Don’t chop the onion, just peel it and cook it along for the taste. Remove before serving. The same goes for the berries, as you don’t want to eat them, they are just in for the taste (some people do eat them, though). Add lard as well unless you’re veggie, the fat makes it more tasty. The most important ingredient is missing though: time. It is essential to cook it at least the day before and leave it over night. Oxidation will make it darker and much more rich in flavor. And yes, I am bavarian.

  • Andee

    Speaking to my Grandfather today (Swiss German). He told me his father used to make sauerkraut using juniper berries. He said “you can add caraway seeds, but then it would be a Bavarian version”. Idk if juniper berries are as “Bavarian”, I think they are more of a Swiss version. I could be very wrong though.

  • jenson

    Those that aren’t noticing Elise’s comments, this recipe is also referred to as cooked sauerkraut. If you haven’t had cooked sauerkraut and enjoy german food you are missing something very delicious!

    Another way to prepare it is to substitute apple juice for the wine, don’t use juniper berries and at the very end grate a fresh potatoes into it as a thickener for the sauce.

  • Kimberlee

    My family is German-American, so I grew up eating sauerkraut, though my grandpa always added lots of brown sugar to mitigate the vinegary-ness of canned/jarred varieties. Plus, it made the spare-ribs even more succulent!

    So, even though I liked sauerkraut, when I finally traveled to Germany for the first time, I was surprised to discover that sauerkraut there tasted completely different and so much more delicious! It was decidedly un-“sauer,” with a mild but complex, faintly fruity flavor.

    The difference, it turns out, is because in the U.S., sauerkraut came to be pickled in vinegar as it was easier and safer to mass produce it that way. (Botulism is inhibited by high-acidic environment.) But in Germany, sauerkraut is frequently still made the old-fashioned way, and the “sauer” results from allowing cabbage to ferment in it’s own juices and not from pickling cabbage in vinegar.

    Still, in a pinch, this recipe is a great way to spruce up, and tone down the vinegar, of canned and even some jarred (I’m so used to buying certain brands, I haven’t noticed anything labeled “fresh” at my grocer, but now I will take a look) varieties of store-bought sauerkraut. And the juniper berries really do transport me back to Germany! Thank you!

    P.S. While I have not tried my hand at making fermented sauerkraut from scratch, there are lots of food bloggers out there who have. Many have gotten great results, and shared their trials, tribulations, and techniques which ultimately worked.

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Bavarian Sauerkraut