Serbian Sauerkraut and Beans

Homemade sauerkraut in preserving jar
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Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Soak: 8 hrs
Total: 11 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
584 Calories
25g Fat
54g Carbs
36g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 584
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 2089mg 91%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 14g 50%
Protein 36g
Calcium 178mg 14%
*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.)

This recipe for Serbian sauerkraut and beans or kupus i grah is a thick porridge that can be served as a main course or side dish. It is flavored with bacon or other smoked meat. 


  • 1 pound white Great Northern beans
  • 1 pound sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound diced bacon
  • 1 small finely diced onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot or sweet paprika, or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Wash beans and soak them overnight in about 2 gallons water. When ready to cook, drain, and rinse beans, then transfer them to a large pot or Dutch oven with 1-gallon of water. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 2 hours or until almost tender, adding more water, if necessary.

  2. Add sauerkraut and continue cooking while you prepare this (roux). Sauté bacon and onion in large skillet until fat has rendered from the bacon. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon and onion, and stir it into the sauerkraut and beans along with the garlic.

  3. Into the bacon grease, add flour, salt, pepper, and paprika, stirring constantly to prevent burning, until zafrig is golden brown. Remove from heat and slowly add 2 cups cold water, whisking constantly until smooth. Add this to the sauerkraut and beans, mixing well. Cook 20 minutes. If too thick, add more water. If too thin, cook longer.