Sauerkraut Salad

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Oh Sauerkraut, people either love it or hate it,  it seems there is no gray area where fermented cabbage is concerned. I happen to love sauerkraut, but even if you are not a fan don’t be too quick to brush off this recipe for Sauerkraut salad, surprisingly you can hardly taste the sauerkraut.

Sauerkraut Salad

Sauerkraut has a long history in the Finger Lakes, the charming little village of Phelps, NY was at one time of the largest producers of sauerkraut in the world, earning the distinction of being sauerkraut capital of the world. While the kraut heyday of Phelps has come and gone. Ontario County farmers are credited as one of the largest producers of cabbage worldwide. And where there is cabbage kraut is not far behind. Sauerkraut is the result of a cabbage preservation method of pickling. Shredded cabbage is packed in salt, where it ferments to create that wonderful distinctive tangy taste with a long storage life.

Phelps still celebrates its unique history with an annual Sauerkraut Festival the first full weekend in August. Complete with plenty of sauerkraut to eat and activities for the family, like cabbage bowling, and cabbage head decorating, and a Sauerkraut Recipe contest.

I will be joining the fun entering the recipe contest with a sauerkraut based dish, although I am not sure what I am making just yet

But to get into the spirit of things I decided to share my favorite sauerkraut salad recipe. This is an old recipe that actually comes from The Rochester Junior League Cookbook Applehood and Motherpie, and is seriously awesome. Yes, even if you don’t like sauerkraut.

If you are having a hard time wrapping your head around the flavor combinations of sauerkraut, vinegar, sugar, pepper, celery and onion, all you need to imagine is seven-day slaw. I have no idea how, or why but Sauerkraut Salad tastes very much like a vinegar-dressed coleslaw.

It takes a little bit of time for all the flavors to come together, so this salad is best if made the day before and it will be served. And while the original recipe says it lasts forever, I recommend 2 weeks refrigerated.

Sauerkraut Salad

Sauerkraut Salad

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Helen Williams the original author of this recipe wrote "Even non-sauerkraut eaters enjoy this"


  • 1 quart sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped peppers, Use a combination of red and green bell peppers. If red peppers are not available use a 2-ounce jar of drained pimentos for color
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt.


  1. In a large bowl, mix together sauerkraut, onion, celery, bell peppers, pimientos if using. Set aside this mixture.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, and vinegar.
  3. Pour sugar mixture over salad, cover, and leave it in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving.

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  1. Hi Jennifer, i just found the sauerkraut salad recipe that you posted from Applehood and Motherpie.. I have been making this salad for years and if you check the original recipe there is only one quarter of a cup of white vinegar. As with many others, who have made this salad everyone enjoys it!! P.S. I was born and raised in Ithaca and still live in the Finger Lakes in Elmira. I enjoy reading your website.

  2. I absolutely LOVE this salad. My mother, who was Polish, would make it at the holidays and during the summer. I have all her old recipes except the one for Sauerkraut Salad. So glad I found yours because it tastes exactly the same. I made it once for a “Summer Cookout” at work, and everyone loved it. Now they won’t let me bring anything else to our get togethers. But here is the kicker. When I first found the recipe, I noticed the yellow Pyrex bowl. My mom had one just like it. But, as I scrolled down, I saw that the original author of the recipe was Helen Williams. I about fell on the floor. Helen Williams was my mother’s name as well! That sold me! Keep up the great work.

    1. Oh my gosh, that is absolutely amazing! I love this salad, it is so good! I wonder if it is a “Polish” recipe? I always suspected it might be, but I am Polish also, and like to claim all cabbage-based dishes as Polish πŸ˜€
      I love how sharing food and recipes keep us connected. Your comment made my day. Thank you so much ❀️

  3. Your pictures are stunning! I love kraut salad. This looks like a contender for one i’m going to have to make for my family next! Thanks so much for sharing! It looks delicious!

  4. Hi Jen – trying your recipe tonight. My husband is polish and his mother is visiting from Up State NY πŸ™‚ Fingers crossed. She makes one but with shredded fresh cabbage, cucumber, green pepper and a little carrot. I think the dressing is Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar and a little garlic. Sound familiar?

    1. Hi Kaye!
      Oh, what your mother in law makes sounds like a little bit like Claremont salad, I bet it is delicious.
      I hope your family enjoys the sauerkraut salad if you can, let me know!

  5. Hi! Just found you, and wonder where on your website can I “follow on Pinterest”? I don’t see a link to Pinterest but actually found this recipe on Pinterest. Down at the bottom of the page, I see where it has to follow you on other social media sites, but don’t see Pinterest.

    1. Hi Karen!
      I would love for you to follow me on Pinterest! You can find my profile here.
      And thank you so much for pointing I have not included Pinterest with my other social icons! I will fix that right now πŸ™‚