Sauerkraut and Weenies

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This is an old-fashioned Southern main dish. As the name suggests, all you need is sauerkraut and weenies to make this tangy yet delicious dish.

Sauerkraut and weenies on plate with beans and bread roll.

This sauerkraut and weenies recipe was one of my dear favorite meals as a girl and still is. It is a prime example of a budget meal (very common in the South back in the day) and so very good! Oh goodness, I’m getting hungry.

Now, I realize some folks are just not sauerkraut fans. Chances are, I lost about half of you in the title of this post. But I know some folks saw that photo and your stomach started growling, and chances are pretty darn good that you’ll be having this for supper tonight. Those who don’t fit into this category, feel free to think of the rest of us as weird. We won’t mind and there will be more sauerkraut for us! Everyone has their preferences and it’s all good either way. 

This is one of those meals that is great with slices of polish sausage. But I still like to cook it how Mama did growing up; just by chopping up a few weenies and cooking until the sauerkraut and weenies brown a bit. That’s all there is to it. You can add as many weenies or sausage as you like and if you’re vegetarian, just get some vegan hot dogs and keep on keeping on. If you want to take it up a notch, you can make your own sauerkraut as I do in this post. Put it on your Classic Reuben Sandwich and you will crave it every day.

Ingredients for sauerkraut and weenies.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Sauerkraut
  • Weenies
  • Salt and pepper

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How to Make Sauerkraut and Weenies

Place sliced sausage in skillet.

Slice your weenies and put them in a large skillet.

Add sauerkraut and cook, stirring often.

Add in about two cups of sauerkraut.

Cook this over medium to medium-high heat, stirring often.

Season with salt and pepper.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

You can start with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper and then adjust to make it just right for you. 

Cook this until your weenies and sauerkraut get a little brown or you can just cook it until everything is heated through.

Now here is a supper from the old days!


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I recommend reheating on the stovetop on low heat until heated through.

Recipe Notes

  • How many weenies you use is up to you. We used to have to determine this based on how many we had, so to be able to use as many as you want is a big step up nowadays.
  • I have a friend from Germany ~waves to Gudrun~ who swears by the bagged sauerkraut so I started buying it and now I’m a convert, too. You can get it in the refrigerated section near the weenies usually and sometimes near the deli if they have a refrigerated section there as well. Mama likes the kind you get in a glass jar and we’ve both used the kind that comes in a can (which you get on the vegetable aisle). Overall, they are all good and there isn’t a lot of price difference so it is up to you to pick your favorite.
  • As mentioned, you can use a different type of sausage with the sauerkraut. For example, sauerkraut and brats (bratwurst) is a popular dish in Germany. Kielbasa or franks also work.
  • For extra flavor, add 1 diced apple to the skillet as well.

Recipe FAQs

What goes well with sauerkraut and weenies?

Here are some serving suggestions for your sauerkraut and weenies:

Do you drain sauerkraut before cooking?

If you’re using jarred sauerkraut, you’ll want to drain it before using it.

What condiment goes well with sauerkraut?

Mustard, ketchup, green tomato relish, and hot sauce (like sriracha or tabasco sauce) all pair perfectly with sauerkraut.

How do you season sauerkraut?

Besides salt and black pepper, if you want a touch of sweetness add up to a tablespoon of brown sugar. If you want a more savory flavor, add a teaspoon of caraway seeds. Alternatively, for a kick, add a dash of red pepper flakes or a teaspoon of paprika.

What food goes well with sauerkraut?

Here are some other dishes that pair well with sauerkraut:

You may also like these recipes:

How To Make Sauerkraut

Southern Fried Cabbage With Bacon

How To Make Kimchi At Home

Kielbasa Sausage Recipes

Classic Reuben Sandwich

Kielbasa Skillet

Sauerkraut and Weenies

This is an old-fashioned Southern main dish. As the name suggests, all you need is sauerkraut and weenies to make this delicious dish.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sauerkraut, sausage
Servings: 4
Calories: 268kcal


  • 2-4 weenies or polish sausage
  • 2 cups sauerkraut
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Slice weenies into small pieces and place them in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat.
    2-4 weenies or polish sausage
  • Add sauerkraut. Cook, stirring often until kraut and weenies brown slightly. Salt and pepper to taste.
    2 cups sauerkraut, salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve hot.


Calories: 268kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

This was originally published in 2010. I updated the post and photos in 2020.

Life is really simple,

but we insist on making it complicated.

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  1. LOL my grandmother called the dirt necklaces Granny Beads–she used to kid with my brothers and check them for granny beads after they came in from playing. Brings back memories…:)

  2. I love mine with kielbasa….I also learned from a Polish friend, to take the bite of the sauerkraut down a notch or two, I add about 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce and a plop (how’s that for southern measurements??) of brown sugar….I use the Splenda brown sugar blend. Voila….now Everybody eats and loves it, even the picky ones that would never touch it. Cooks up great in the crockpot too, just throw everything in that morning on low, stir…..and have dinner ready when you come home!

  3. Growing up, one of my mama’s “budget meals” was pork neck bones cooked with potatoes. YUM!! You cant get any cheaper than neck bones. Boy they sure made the “taters” taste good! Smash them on your plate and dump a big ole spoonful of sauerkaut on top..Mm Mm good!

  4. They’re “Granny beads”, Christy! That’s what we called our dirt necklace! LOL! Then we’d run right back out after supper and catch “lightening bugs” in glass jars with holes punched in the lid. The girls would always pinch the tail off one and stick it to our finger for a “diamond” ring! Now look what you’ve sparked in my mind! For just a few minutes I was young and carefree again. Thanks!

    1. Love it! As a Southern country girl, I did the very same things! Sure brings back memories. Mama called mine Granny Beads also. We had sauerkraut & weenies quite often…. she had to stretch our food also. Made lots of casseroles to help out with the “stretchin”. She would also take a package of weenies, slice them up. She would then put 2 cups of water into a large pot, bring to a boil, add a cup of rice, 6oz of tomatoes sauce, about 1/2 cup chopped onion & those weenies, salt, pepper. Stir, lower heat & cook for 20 minutes. VIOLA! We had po folks’ Jambalya!

  5. Hi Christy,

    Do you drain rinse your sauerkraut first? We always did. And we always put in a pinch of sugar. Yum We always have sauerkraut on the table for Thanksgiving and Christmas. My friend from NY says that’s a Maryland thing or local things because they don’t do it in NY. Does anyone else make sure it’s on your holiday table?

    1. only New Years for us, but I don’t know why we don’t have it every holiday! Sauerkraut is one of my favorites! Maybe I’ll start a new Labor Day tradition.

    2. You know what else is great in the kraut? a couple of sliced carrots and a few shakes of ginger,when it is cooking! No need for sugar. Onion, carrot and a touch of ginger is a winning combo!

      1. We always added sugar and caraway seeds and National Hebrew beef hot dogs…. and side order of cornbread drenched in butter.

    1. Yummy! One of my favorite meals growing up was kraut & weenies, black eyed peas, and mac and cheese. Shoot, I still love it now! When I got married, my New Jersey father in law was shocked that I ate sauerkraut. Course, I had to explain that in our house sauerkraut was a side dish, not a condiment, lol!

        1. 5 stars
          This was my favorite meal growing up and even became my birthday dinner! I asked for it every year on my birthday. We always had baked beans and mashed potatoes to round it out. Phone

        2. When I was a child, I stayed with my aunt and my mom worked. She would cook ribs and kraut and it was delicious! There was nothing else in this dish that she cooked in her MirroMatic pressure cooker. I don’t know if she cooked the kraut as she pressured the ribs or added it afterward. Have you ever done this and how did you make it? Thanks!

      1. My mom made this when I was a child. My dad & I liked it. I don’t remember her adding salt. I’m sure she was happy when she found something I’d eat. I was a picky eater. Not anymore i love most veggies raw & fresh. I make this every so often, my hubby likes it too.

      2. When I was a child, I stayed with my aunt and my mom worked. She would cook ribs and kraut and it was delicious! There was nothing else in this dish that she cooked in her MirroMatic pressure cooker. I don’t know if she cooked the kraut as she pressured the ribs or added it afterward. Have you ever done this and how did you make it? Thanks!

    2. Oh my gosh Christy, I can’t believe you didn’t put any bacon grease in your sauerkraut. My mom always did, and I still do too. I very seldom use weenies anymore, but have changed to that sausage that’s curled up in the package like a horseshoe………can’t think of the name of it~!! 😉 We always had pinto beans, corn bread, crispy fried taters and a big ol’ onion with our kraut. We too were poor and ate a lot of bean, taters, and gravy. I got to where I couldn’t eat gravy for many years, but certainly enjoy it again now. If I remember correctly, Mother always had black-eyed peas and fried cabbage for New Year’s.

      1. Doris, glad to know I am not the only one “bad” enough to enjoy my kraut and weenies seasoned with bacon grease. We love warm German potato salad and crackling cornbread to round out the meal.

      2. You weren’t poor! You were very blessed to have these delicious dishes and the beautiful memories to go along with them! I’m right with ya!! 🙂 Ahhhh, the simple things in life!!!

      3. We always have stewed potatoes, some kind of pea ( green, butter pea, black eye,. etc) crunchy corn bread lots of honey butter! YUM-O! I’m having if for supper tonight matter of fact.

    3. 10 years later and during a Pandemic, with stay home order and I am eating them for lunch wishing I had some pintos too

    4. When I was growing up, my parents went through a tough financial time when my father lost his job. There were 6 of us, and my mother couldn’t afford a hot dog for each person, so she served a supper entree of canned baked beans with a few hot dogs sliced up in it.

    5. 5 stars
      We had this too! Loved it! Still do. My mom used to put spare ribs in with the weenies, and let em cook and cook. She would serve it with mashed potatoes as the side. Still brings back fond memories! Thank-you!!

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