Sauerkraut Salad

Is sauerkraut a dieter's friend? You bet. It's just cabbage with layers of flavor and virtually no calories. Enjoy it here in an old-fashioned salad updated to be lighter and brighter and more healthful and, naturally, more delicious too. LOL does that make it a "new" fashioned salad? Maybe! And hey, thrifty cooks. Come summer, turn that sauerkraut bought during the winter into a salad!

Sauerkraut Salad, another healthy salad ♥, lightened, brightened with vegetables, hominy, black beans. Vegan. Gluten Free. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Whole Food, Fresh & Fast & Flexible. Mere Minutes to the Table. An Easy, Healthy Side Dish and Refrigerator Salad. Hearty & Filling. Fun Picnic Food. Budget Friendly. Great for Meal Prep. Potluck & Party Friendly. Easy DIY. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free.

  • "Delicious!" ~ ibh

Modern Cooks, Read On!

We love our convenience products, the ones that deliver supper to the table almost by themselves.

But for the label-readers among us, dismay sets in. Too often, the cost of convenience is long lists of scientific-sounding ingredients and unhealthful ingredients to avoid like trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup.

Meet sauerkraut, our new friend, simple cabbage that’s fermented. Rinsed, think of sauerkraut as naked coleslaw. Chopped, think of it as salad awaiting the fixings.

Church-style cookbooks list quick salads favored at family meals and potlucks. Their traditional sauerkraut salad recipes call for cups of oil and piles of sugar.

Not mine.

My Sauerkraut Salad is fresh and light with great crunch and adds beans for protein and fiber. I’m willing to bet you won’t miss the fat, the sugar and especially the unnecessary calories!

This recipe is perfect for outdoor summer meals and family gatherings, quick and inexpensive to prepare, easy to transport, no fuss to serve, a great foil for grilled burgers and ribs and all the traditional summer foods.

Sauerkraut Salad, another healthy salad ♥, lightened, brightened with vegetables, hominy, black beans. Vegan. Gluten Free. Weight Watchers Friendly.

What's In a Sauerkraut Salad? Pantry Ingredients!

In all my recipes and most well-written recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.

  • The Sauerkraut! Remember, it's just fermented cabbage, slightly sour, slightly pickle-y. The best sauerkraut comes packed in jars or soft pouches, please, please, do avoid canned sauerkraut. And watch for local sauerkraut, even at a regular grocery store, it's often wonderful.
  • Beans & Hominy for Bulk & Color Black beans and either yellow or white hominy, both come canned, just rinse and drain.
  • A Rainbow of Veggies for Crunch & Color Red onion, cucumber, celery, carrot, green pepper, radish plus parsley (or other herbs).
  • A Simple Vinaigrette Just vinegar, water, sugar and oil plus mustard seed (optional), salt and pepper for seasoning.
Sauerkraut Salad, another healthy salad ♥, lightened, brightened with vegetables, hominy, black beans. Vegan. Gluten Free. Weight Watchers Friendly.

In Praise of Sauerkraut

We all love those bags of cabbage slaw, right? All pretty and clean and sliced and ready to eat? Just like that, you've got coleslaw on the table, you know, something like Easy Coleslaw with Blue Cheese & Apple.

Sauerkraut takes sliced cabbage one step further, by fermenting it to create sauerkraut's distinctive sour flavor. Fermentation softens the cabbage and gives it a longer shelf life. This was especially important pre-refrigeration, helping to feed families during the winter months.

Have you ever had a reuben sandwich? Or even a Reuben Casserole? Odds are high, you've eaten sauerkraut.

Ever eaten kimchi? It's similar, though made with vegetables other than cabbage and saltier. But still, it's similar.

I'm a long-time fan of sauerkraut, just check the sauerkraut recipes. I keep thinking I need to try my hand at making it!

But in some ways, why would I? Because good sauerkraut is easy to find in stores, one of the few "whole foods" found in stores' center aisles. It keeps well in the fridge (plastic pouches) or on the shelf (jars). It's inexpensive.

What Is Hominy, Anyway?

Hominy is the one salad ingredient here that might be unfamiliar. But don't worry, hominy is just the kernels of oh-so-familiar corn that's been dried and treated with an ancient process called nixtamalization that makes the corn's nutrients more digestible and absorbable.

Hominy comes in several forms.

  • Dried hominy looks like big, puffy dried corn kernels and requires cooking similar to How to Cook Dried Beans from Scratch (Slow Cooker or Oven Slow-Cooking).
  • Canned hominy is what you'll seek out for Sauerkraut Salad. In the stores where I shop, it's not always easy to find, check the section with Mexican groceries, also near the shelves of canned beans. In fact, if you're not paying attention, hominy looks a lot like canned beans, it comes in both white and yellow hominy. If you've ever cooked or ordered a bowl of the Mexican soup called pozole, it probably contained hominy. My husband makes a venison stew with hominy called Apache Stew (yes, it originated with Native Americans), it's a favorite at deer camp.
  • Hominy grits (also called corn grits) are roughly ground, it looks a lot like a coarse cornmeal. Here are some ways to cook grits.
  • Masa is finely ground hominy, also called masa seca or masa harina. In Mexican cooking, masa is used for making corn tortillas.
Sauerkraut Salad, another healthy salad ♥, lightened, brightened with vegetables, hominy, black beans. Vegan. Gluten Free. Weight Watchers Friendly.

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

  • Does Sauerkraut Salad Have a Strong Sauerkraut Flavor? Not At All. This may come as a surprise to some and possibly, a disappointment to others: the sauerkraut flavor is quite subtle. Some times, I rinse sauerkraut to rinse off some of that flavor but here for this salad, I don't. I think it's possible, if you don't know about the sauerkraut, you might not even realize. I think of it as a softer, gentler cabbage that's both moister and easier to chew.

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How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this old-fashioned salad recipe inspires you, please do save and share! I'd be honored ...

Sauerkraut Salad, another healthy salad ♥, lightened, brightened with vegetables, hominy, black beans. Vegan. Gluten Free. Weight Watchers Friendly.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes
Makes about 10-12 cups, easily halved
  • 16 or 32 ounces (see ALANNA's TIPS) sauerkraut, preferably from a bag or jar (not canned)
  • 15 ounces canned hominy, rinsed and drained (see TIPS)
  • 15 ounces canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar (see TIPS)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (Splenda works fine)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 a red onion, diced small
  • 1/2 an English cucumber, diced small
  • 2 ribs celery, diced small
  • 2 carrots, diced small
  • 1 green pepper, diced small
  • 4-5 chopped radishes, optional
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley (or cilantro or dill or another herb)

PREP Taste the sauerkraut and if you're concerned about too much sauerkraut flavor, rinse the sauerkraut, drain and squeeze dry the sauerkraut. If you like the sauerkraut as is, skip the rinse step but drain and squeeze the sauerkraut. Either way, once it's drained and squeezed, roughly chop the sauerkraut, just enough to make it easy to spoon and eat. Rinse and drain the hominy and beans.

MIX THE VINAIGRETTE Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, water, sugar, olive oil, mustard seed, salt and pepper.

VEGGIES Add all the remaining ingredients, stirring each one into the Vinaigrette as they're prepped.

COMBINE Stir in the prepped sauerkraut, beans and hominy.

SERVE immediately or refrigerate to serve later. Keeps well in the fridge for several days.

ALANNA's TIPS Usually, I'm very specific about ingredient amounts. But for sauerkraut, it's hard. First, sauerkraut packages are all over the board in size, there's just no standard. Second, the amount of liquid in sauerkraut packages seems to vary too, so once that's been drained, what's left for the salad also really varies. The good news is, the salad seems to take any/all the sauerkraut you can throw at it. Most recently, I bought a jar of Bubbies sauerkraut weighing about 700 grams; about half was liquid. This was "enough" sauerkraut but more would have been good too. Do check nutrition labels, some sauerkrauts contain sugar. Worried about a sauerkraut-y taste? Don’t. Once rinsed and chopped (and with some brands, even just drained), the sauerkraut almost fades into the background. Even without rinsing, some sauerkrauts are really good too. Hominy is a popcorn-shaped whole-grain corn, dense, chewy and nutty. Look for it in the Mexican section of grocery stores or substitute fresh corn or another canned bean. Yellow hominy is especially pretty in Sauerkraut Salad but doesn't affect taste. Rice vinegar is less harsh than white vinegar but really, any good clear vinegar will do. The brand I use is 4.3% acidic.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See .
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 39 Calories; 1g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 72mg Sodium; 7g Carb; 1g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 1g Protein WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 1 & PointsPlus 1 & SmartPoints 1 & Freestyle 1 & myWW green 1 & blue 1 & purple 1 & future WW points This recipe has been "Alanna-sized" with reductions in fat and sugar and additions of low-calorie and fiber-rich vegetables and additions of protein- and fiber-rich beans.

Love Summer Salads? Me Too!

Favorite Summer Salad recipes ♥, a huge super-organized collection of healthy salads for quick lunches, salad suppers, potlucks and parties.
~ Favorite Summer Salad Recipes ~
Wild Rice Salad ♥, a favorite summer salad, made with wild rice for heartiness, celery for crunch, red pepper and green peas for color, volume from mushrooms.

Tomato Soup Vegetable Salad ♥, a retro salad updated from the 1960s. Great crunch, a real crowd pleaser.

Best-Ever Macaroni Salad, the summer classic, just better ♥ Great crunch, thanks to six different vegetables in a light and bright savory dressing. Budget Friendly. Potluck and Party Friendly. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Seasonal Cooking: Late Spring Across the Years

Three Easy Italian Appetizers Chocolate Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cake Roasted Salmon & Asparagus Confetti Potato Salad How to Make Rhubarb Jam & Rhubarb Jelly In An Hour Sauerkraut Salad Ten Tips for Better Burgers Easy Easy Grilled Mushroom Appetizer Cauliflower Salad with Fresh Herbs Cucumber Dip with Feta Mini Porcupine Meatballs Afghan Chicken & Rice Casserole (Kabeli Palau) Easy Garlic-Herb Mediterranean Chicken ("Med Chicken") Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothies Mexican Rice

This Week, Elsewhere

~ Pimm's Original ~
~ but really, the story and photos of a mother-daughter weekend, the OCHERs and the YaYas, nearly 60 years in the making ~

~ more Recent Recipes ~
A Veggie Venture

If you like Kitchen Parade's recipes, you'll love A Veggie Venture, my food blog about vegetables with more from-scratch recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, home to the famous Alphabet of Vegetables and vegetables in every course, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ sauerkraut recipes ~
~ canned & dried beans ~
~ hominy ~
~ cucumber ~
~ celery recipes ~
~ carrots ~
~ bell pepper ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous5/22/2008

    I've never heard of sauerkraut in a salad, this sounds excellent. Add it to my list for the weekend -

  2. I've gotta say, Alanna, I'm not too familiar with sauerkraut. It wasn't popular in New England or North Carolina or here in SoCal. Perhaps I need to take a trip to Minnesota to appreciate it? :)

  3. Anonymous5/22/2008

    I've seen sauerkraut salad recipes in cookbooks before but they always looked - just bad. YOURS looks - just great. From the picture, I can almost taste it. Guess I'll have to make it to know for sure.

  4. That looks really good...and I am not usually a sauerkraut fan. That is going to be my first summer potluck recipe.

  5. We love sauerkraut! and this looks fabulous!

  6. Since I love kraut I'll love this salad....Probably won't rinse quite as thoroughly as some... (But I always do rinse)
    I can get freshly made sauerkraut at the meat counter in my supermarket... fresh or cooked!

  7. Anonymous6/08/2008

    We just tried the recipe and substituted small black lentils for the black beans. It made the salad even more crunchy! Delicious!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna