Sauerkraut Balls

One of my favorite restaurants in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio is Schmidt’s Sausage Haus. Every time we make it back to Columbus Schmidt’s is always one place that we have to stop. They have been serving traditional German-American food since 1967, making it a landmark eatery in Central Ohio. When Andrew was attending medical school we lived in German Village and Schmidt’s was only a five-minute walk away. We would walk down there at least once a week and have dinner. During football season we would buy their bratwurst and a few of their appetizers and bring them tailgating. Everything on their menu is absolutely incredible, but one of my favorites is the sauerkraut balls. Football season just isn’t the same without having sauerkraut balls at our tailgate. This past college football season I went on a hunt to try to recreate those delicious sauerkraut balls in my own kitchen. These deep-fried, savory little sausage sauerkraut balls were a hit! Serve warm with some Dijon mustard for a finger food that will have everyone coming back for seconds!

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Sauerkraut Balls

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  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sauerkraut, squeezed dry and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs, divided
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 6 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying
  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, fry pork sausage and onion until sausage is evenly brown and onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Drain and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Crumble sausage mixture into a large bowl and add drained sauerkraut, mustard, garlic salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons bread crumbs. Combine cream cheese and parsley, and mix into sauerkraut mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Shape sauerkraut mixture into 3/4 inch balls.
  4. Place flour in a shallow dish.
  5. In a second shallow dish, place egg.
  6. In a third shallow dish, remaining bread crumbs.
  7. Dip each sauerkraut ball first into the flour, then the egg and roll in bread crumbs. Deep fry in batches for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

Yields: 32 Sauerkraut Balls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Ready In: 2 hours (includes chilling time)

Source: adapted from

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17 Responses to “Sauerkraut Balls”

  1. #
    amandajbailey — February 5, 2012 @ 10:47 am

    Reblogged this on Jack of all trades, Master of None and commented:
    These sound and look amazing. Thanks for sharing Sweet Pea’s Kitchen.

  2. #
    ChgoJohn — February 5, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    I saw sauerkraut in the title and rushed over here. I love the stuff and use it on and in whatever I can. I was glad to see you don’t rinse it before using it. Watching a TV cook rinse sauerkraut before using makes me crazy. These sounds really good and I’ll be trying them real soon. 🙁

  3. #
    Chica Andaluza — February 5, 2012 @ 11:01 am

    Yes please!

  4. #
    Tracy — February 5, 2012 @ 11:51 am

    Wow, I’ve never seen anything like these before! As a Polish gal myself, I do love my sauerkraut! These look delicious!

  5. #
    trbofrau — February 5, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

    I showed my husband this (loves German things) and this is a must have. We aren’t fried food lovers but this looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

  6. #
    Miss Tasty — February 5, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

    This is a new thing for me! I LOVE sauerkraut. I’ll be making this very soon!!

  7. #
    Angel's Homestead — February 5, 2012 @ 10:40 pm

    Sauerkraut lover here to, and these look delicious! Pinned it.

  8. #
    GoodbyeNavi — February 6, 2012 @ 9:50 am

    I was sold by the Blue Moon in the picture.

  9. #
    Sharon — February 6, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

    When we moved to Chicago from Cleveland and asked for Sauerkraut Balls at the deli at our grocery store for our first New Yr’s here, you would have thought we’d grown three heads! My husband will be thrilled to see this recipe!!!

  10. #
    Ragamuffin Diaries — February 6, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

    wow, I love sauerkraut. These look like such a delicious idea!

  11. #
    lilbitsofsense — February 8, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

    Reblogged this on lilbitsofsense and commented:
    Something to try!

  12. #
    natasha — February 8, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I went to Ohio State undergrad and worked at Barley’s Ale House in the Short North. They served these as an appetizer and I LOVED them! I cannot wait to try this recipe!

  13. #
    iamahoneybee — February 27, 2012 @ 8:37 pm

    I LOVE sauerkraut! I can’t believe this exists but I want it so badly. PINNED!!!!

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  15. #
    Jodie — January 10, 2014 @ 6:50 pm

    Thanks for posting this 🙂 We live in Columbus, and I LOVE me some Schmidts!!

    • Christina replied: — January 11th, 2014 @ 4:06 pm

      Schmidts is one of my favorite restaurants in Cbus. Every time we go back to visit my parents we have to stop! My husband and I used to live within walking distance to it when he was in Medical School…dangerous, just dangerous. Let’s just say we go to know the in house band “Squeezin’ N’ Wheezin'” really well! 🙂

  16. #
    Melanie — December 30, 2014 @ 11:51 am

    I went to pharmacy school at Ohio State, and I remember Barley’s sauerkraut balls (and Schmidt’s as well!)! They were delicious! I now live in Northern Florida, but Barley’s sauerkraut balls are a New Year’s Eve tradition for my family 😉

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