Crunchy deep-fried crust, soft pillowy mashed potatoes, and tangy sauerkraut, all rolled together into scrumptious sauerkraut balls! These tangy party appetizers are the best sauerkraut balls you've ever sunk your teeth into, I promise! Get ready to whip up a batch for your next game day celebration!
What sauerkraut should I use?
I love making homemade sauerkraut, not only does it tastes better than the store-bought variety, but I love the health benefits from eating it raw. If you haven't tried it yet, check out my instructions for making your own homemade sauerkraut. It is a fun project, and the most difficult step is just waiting!
However, I do not think homemade sauerkraut is well suited for this recipe. It is too crunchy and will detract from the light, fluffy texture of your sauerkraut balls. Instead, I recommend simply picking up a can of sauerkraut from your grocery store.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Potatoes - You need to use baking potatoes, such as Russet potatoes for this recipe. Yukons and reds will be a poor substitute.
- Canned sauerkraut
- 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 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 dish 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 large skillet and heat oil to 350 degrees. 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.
Can sauerkaut 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
These crispy and fluffy sauerkraut balls are the perfect appetizer to serve with Russian Dressing or Thousand Island dressing. Dijon mustard or stone ground mustard would work as well as a dipping sauce too. Even my Big Mac Sauce would be amazing with these deep-fried morsels! If you are craving a dipping sauce that is a little sweeter, you could use honey mustard as well.
Ever since I started making my own sauerkraut I have been on the lookout for new sauerkraut recipes to incorporate it into, and this one is a keeper. If you want to make a large batch of these sauerkraut balls, just put them in a warm oven as you work on additional batches. No special equipment is needed, as you can deep fry in a heavy-bottomed skillet on the stove. However, I do highly recommend you purchase a good thermometer to keep track of the oil. There are deep frying thermometers you can buy if you fry a lot, but I just use a normal kitchen meat thermometer as a multitasker.
More Deep Fried Appetizers
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- 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.
- Add sauerkraut, seasonings, egg, flour, and breadcrumbs with the potatoes and combine.
- 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 oil to skillet a couple inches deep 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.