As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full disclosure here.
Perfect for parties, game nights, or as an appetizer, these tasty Sauerkraut Balls are a savory treat that combines the tangy goodness of sauerkraut with rich and creamy cream cheese and a crispy, golden exterior.
I am one of those people that like to have a lot of appetizers and snacks on hand whenever I have people over. Whether we are watching the game, enjoying a night with friends, or celebrating a holiday I tend to go a little overboard with the appetizers.
I already make a ton of different appetizers. My favorite game day appetizer are these hearty Pull Apart Meatball Sliders. We also love munching on Totchos which are basically all of my favorite nacho ingredients over top of tater tots.
I’m also really big on dips because people can dip veggies, pretzels, chips, or whatever they want into them. When I want to add a bit of seafood my go to is my On The Bay BBQ Crab Dip. In warmer temperatures or for a cook out my go to in my Mediterranean Layer Dip. Of course the one dip I have to make is my Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip.
This year for New Year’s Eve I didn’t want to make as many appetizers so I was looking for appetizers that would be filling. I somehow got it into my head that I wanted to make Sauerkraut Balls since sauerkraut represents luck in the new year.
Why is sauerkraut considered lucky in the new year?
The tradition of eating sauerkraut for good luck in the new year has its roots in German and Eastern European cultures. In these traditions, sauerkraut is often served alongside pork on New Year’s Day. The idea that sauerkraut is lucky is linked to the idea that cabbage, the main ingredient, symbolizes prosperity and wealth.
I’ve only had sauerkraut balls a few times and I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for. I looked through many recipes before I found one that I thought I could work with. It seemed simple and I knew I could easily buy the ingredients.
- ground sausage (I used a sweet sausage but you can use spicy to give it some heat)
- sauerkraut (use a good sauerkraut-I like the ones that are refrigerated instead of canned)
- breadcrumbs (regular, not panko)
- cream cheese
- mustard (I used spicy brown but you can use yellow mustard)
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- milk (you can use regular or plant based)
- flour (all purpose flour is best)
To make the sauerkraut balls heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and onion and cook until the sausage had browned. Drain off the fat.
Pour the sausage into a large bowl. Add the sauerkraut and 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs. Mix well.
Add in the cream cheese, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper and mix well. Place the mixture into the refrigerator to chill for one hour.
Can I make Sauerkraut Balls ahead of time?
You can make the mixture for the sauerkraut balls up to 24 hours ahead of time. When it comes time to refrigerate the mixture it can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours before cooking the sauerkraut balls.
For the chilled mixture into 1 inch balls. Roll the balls into flour.
Combine the eggs and milk in a bowl and mix well. Dip the sauerkraut balls into the egg mixture and then roll in the breadcrumbs.
Place the sauerkraut balls on a baking sheet and bake for 375 degrees for 20 minutes. (You can also deep fry them if you would prefer). Remove from oven and serve with dipping sauce.
Can I make Sauerkraut Balls in the Air Fryer?
Yes you can! Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees. Either spray the basket or put down foil in the basket. Place the sauerkraut balls in the basket making sure they don’t touch. Cook for 5 minutes, flip, and cook for an addition 3-5 minutes.
I served mine with New Orleans Style Remoulade Sauce. You can also make a quick Russian dressing with a half cup of mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, garlic powder, salt, and pepper mixed together.
Can you freeze sauerkraut balls?
Yes you can. After dipping them into the egg mixture and breadcrumbs but before you bake them. Simply put them on a baking sheet and freeze for one hour. Put the frozen sauerkraut balls into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use place the frozen balls on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
I really loved the flavor of the sauerkraut balls! They had a crunchy exterior and the inside had a strong sauerkraut flavor mixed with the sausage and cream cheese. Dipped in the remoulade or Russian dressing gave it a little heat which paired so well with the creamy sauerkraut balls.
- 8 oz. sausage crumbled
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 16 oz. package sauerkraut drained
- 1 c. + 2 Tablespoons breadcrumbs divided
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 c. milk
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1/4 c. flour
- Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add in the sausage and onion and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the sausage has browned. Drain off the fat.
- Add the sauerkraut and 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs and mix well.
- Stir in the cream cheese, mustard, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
- Place the mixture in a bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Form the sauerkraut mixture into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball in flour.
- Combine the eggs and milk. Dip the flour covered sauerkraut balls into the egg mixture and then roll into the remaining breadcrumbs.
- Place the balls on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
- Serve with dipping sauce.