Sauerkraut Balls Appetizer Recipe

Sauerkraut balls on a tray

Sarah Bossert/Getty Images

  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 30 Balls (10 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
491 Calories
34g Fat
35g Carbs
12g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 30 Balls (10 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 491
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 44%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 114mg 38%
Sodium 1414mg 61%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Protein 12g
Calcium 133mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Even though this recipe for sauerkraut balls is Americanized, it combines ingredients Eastern Europeans love—sauerkraut, ham, onion, and garlic.

When rolled, dipped in fine cracker crumbs and fried, they make a tasty appetizer, especially if served with honey mustard, and would be ideal for tailgating, potlucks, and other entertaining. For a lower-fat version, they can be baked in the oven.

This recipe is adapted from one by The Fremont Company, makers of SnowFloss and Frank's Sauerkraut.


  • For the Sauerkraut Balls
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  • 1 1/2 ounces butter
  • 1/2 pound cooked ham (finely chopped)
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 pounds sauerkraut (drained, squeezed, and finely chopped)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup stock (beef)
  • For Frying
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs (mixed with 2 tablespoons water)
  • 1 cup saltine cracker (fine crumbs)
  • Optional: honey mustard for dipping

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this appetizer is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Sauerkraut Balls

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

  2. In a large skillet, sauté onion and garlic in butter over low heat for 5 minutes.

  3. Stir in ham and 6 tablespoons flour and cook until brown.

  4. In a large bowl, combine sauerkraut, 1 egg, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, and stock.

  5. Add to contents of skillet and cook on low until mixture forms a thick paste.

  6. Remove from heat, cool and chill 3 hours or overnight.

Fry the Sauerkraut Balls

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a deep saucepan, heat oil to 375 F. 

  3. Using a cookie scoop, form 1-inch balls.

  4. Roll balls in flour.

  5. Then dip ​in 2 eggs mixed with 2 tablespoons water.

  6. Lastly, roll the balls in cracker crumbs. 

  7. Let sauerkraut balls dry for 10 minutes, then deep fry until brown on all sides. Watch carefully, because this will only take a few minutes.

  8. Drain on paper towels.

  9. Serve warm or at room temperature with frilled toothpicks and honey mustard, if desired.

  10. Enjoy!


  • Sauerkraut balls can be frozen after breading and fried from the frozen state (watch out for hot oil splattering).
  • For a lower-fat version, bake sauerkraut balls on a parchment-lined sheet in a 350 F oven for 20 minutes or until browned.