Crunchy deep-fried crust, soft pillowy mashed potatoes, and tangy sauerkraut, all rolled together into scrumptious sauerkraut balls!
I promise these will be the best sauerkraut balls you've ever sunk your teeth into! This is the perfect appetizer for your next party or game day celebration!
What are they?
German sauerkraut balls are a delicious mixture of sauerkraut, potatoes, and caraway seeds that are breaded and then deep-fried until golden brown and delicious. This easy recipe makes great finger food for any gathering.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Potatoes - You need to use baking potatoes, such as Russet potatoes for this recipe. Yukon gold and red potatoes will be a poor substitute.
- Canned sauerkraut - I love homemade sauerkraut, but the softer texture of canned or jarred sauerkraut is best for this recipe.
- Large Egg
- Caraway seed - This seed is associated with the strong flavor of Rye bread, I would not omit it because it brings a lot of flavor.
- All purpose flour - Flour will be needed as a binder for the balls and for the coating.
- Dry bread crumbs - These are used in the sauerkraut mixture and in the batter.
How to make them
To start this deep-fried sauerkraut balls recipe you will need to peel and boil your potatoes until tender in a large pot of salted water. Once tender, drain them from the water and mash them in a large mixing bowl.
The mashed potatoes will be really hot right now, so it is recommended to let them cool briefly so they are easier to handle. While cooling, the sauerkraut, egg, salt, pepper, caraway seeds, flour, and breadcrumbs can be added to the potatoes. Combine this egg mixture with a fork.
Tip: It is important to squeeze the sauerkraut to expel the liquid. Too much liquid will make the balls soggy and fall apart.
Once combined, form the sauerkraut and potato mixture into bite-sized balls by rolling the mixture between your hands. I recommend 1-2 tablespoons of mixture for each ball or use a cookie scoop for consistent sizing. Aim for roughly 1-inch balls.
Set up a dredging station containing a shallow bowl of flour, a separate bowl of beaten eggs, and a small bowl of breadcrumbs. Dredge the balls in flour, then eggs, and finally the breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess after each dredge.
Add a couple of inches of oil (ensuring there is enough oil to cover the sauerkraut balls) to a frying pan and heat oil to 350 degrees (or use a deep fryer). Personally, I like to use my cast iron chicken fryer for this. Anything with tall sides will work.
Place the battered sauerkraut balls in the hot oil in a single layer and fry for 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oil and let drain on paper towels or on a wire rack. Work in batches as necessary.
Tip: These delicious sauerkraut balls can be kept warm prior to serving by placing them in a 200 degree oven.
Can sauerkraut balls be baked?
Deep frying this fun appetizer is the best way to make it, but they can be prepared as baked sauerkraut balls as well. I would recommend lightly brushing the exterior of the balls with olive oil to assist with some browning and crisping of the crust. Then these can be placed on a baking sheet and placed in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.
What to serve with Sauerkraut balls
- Dressing - These crispy and fluffy sauerkraut balls are the perfect appetizer to serve with Russian Dressing or Thousand Island dressing.
- Mustard - Dijon mustard or stone ground mustard would work as well as a dipping sauce too. If you are craving a dipping sauce that is a little sweeter, you could use honey mustard as well.
- Big Mac Sauce would also be amazing with these deep-fried morsels!
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- Large skillet
- 4 medium Russet potatoes (peeled and diced)
- 15 ounce canned sauerkraut (drained and squeezed dry)
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon caraway seeds
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup breadcrumbs
- 3 eggs beaten
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- Cooking Oil for frying
- Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until tender and then remove them from the water and mash them in a bowl.
- Let potatoes cool slightly so they are easier to handle.
- Combine sauerkraut, seasonings, egg, flour, and breadcrumbs with the potatoes in a large bowl.
- Shape sauerkraut mixture into bite-sized balls by rolling them between the palms of your hands. You are aiming for small balls around one inch in size.
- Coat the balls with batter by dredging each ball in flour, then beaten egg, and finally breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess after each dredge.
- Add a couple inches of oil to a large skillet and heat to 350 degrees.
- Fry for about 4 minutes or until golden brown, working in batches if needed.
- Remove from the hot oil with a slotted spoon and let excess oil drain on paper towels before serving.
- Serve with Russian dressing for dipping.
This recipe was originally published on FoxValleyFoodie.com May 30, 2015.