Bavarian Sauerkraut

Side DishGermanGluten-FreeVegetarian

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 extra virgin 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:
Juniper berries are berries from the juniper shrub; they are traditionally used with sauerkraut.

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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14 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Annet Fransen

    Making your own sauerkraut is also very easy. All you need is cabbage & salt (no vinegar), and a few clean jars or a large ceramic pot to put it in. Leave it out of the fridge for about a week, to ferment and turn sour, and then store in the fridge. I’m from the Netherlands, and we also like our saurkraut, usually with mashed potatoes, smoked sausage & bacon. Yum, I’m getting hungry, would it be wrong to have it for breakfast ;)?

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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