Sauerkraut Hotdish

I grew up eating Sauerkraut Hotdish.  It isn’t something many of you will be excited about and might be tempted to just skip this post thinking it’s only a recipe and one I won’t eat, but I’m going to tell you the story that goes with it.

My dad was a good eater and mom was a good cook.  I don’t ever remember my dad complaining about or even suggesting what mom cooked.  That didn’t happen.  Both of my parents grew up during the Depression and I think that taught a lot to be thankful for food.

One day Dad was in the barn milking cows and he heard a recipe being given over the radio.  He ended up coming in the house and told mom that he thought he’d like to try that.  Dad thought he remembered all the ingredients but wasn’t sure.  He told them to mom and then he told her they could write in to the radio station and get the recipe.   Remember this was in the 70s long before internet when all we’d have to do is click a button and we’d have the recipe.

Mom wrote down what Dad could remember and she thought being there were so few ingredients, she was sure Dad was missing some so she wrote to the radio station to get the recipe.

Here it is:

1 1/2 pounds hamburger
1 small onion chopped
1 bag of egg noodles
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
1 small can of sauerkraut

Set noodles to boil.  Brown hamburger and onions.  Mix cooked noodle together with the other ingredients…Done.


It’s a very simple recipe and once the recipe came in the mail, Mom checked what Dad had written down and he had remembered everything.  It seemed to simple.

Mom made it…and we liked it.  Mom ended up taking the recipe and taping it to the inside of the kitchen cabinet door.  She taped all her favorite recipes to the inside door of the cabinet.

I grew up and moved away.  My Mom passed away in 1990 and my Dad in 2007.  We went to clean the house…what a task.  I was working in the kitchen and a smile came to my face when I saw the sauerkraut hotdish recipe taped to the cabinet door.  It had been there for at least 30 years.

I went home and made if for my family.  There were mixed reviews.  For the most part…they liked it or at least ate it.  Kayla told me, “I have fond memories of it as a comfort food of home, but don’t eat it anymore because the meat.”  (she’s a vegetarian now).  I asked Karl what he thinks now.  He said, “Sauerkraut: yes. Hotdish: yes. Sauerkraut hotdish: Big ol’ NOPE.”  That’s okay..more for me Karl.

Kalissa has gone on and made it for Craig.  Craig is a big NO.  Well actually when Kalissa asked if he liked it he said, “It’s okay.  You can make it once a year or so.”…and then Craig went into his usual question of why it’s a hotdish or a casserole.  I was born in southern Minnesota and everything is a hotdish there.

So the recipe isn’t something everyone will like.  I know I like it…I know Kalissa likes it.  In fact when Craig was working at the farm implement dealer, he’d have to go to continuing education and would be gone for 3-4 days at time.  Kalissa would call and say, “Craig is going to be gone, can I come over and we can have sauerkraut hotdish?”

When Georgia was here last, I tried it out on her and she loved it.  Here she is eating it…


Just out of curiosity I checked it out.  Online versions add cheese to theirs.  Now that sounds awesome.

I’ve told my kids several times that putting cheese on everything is a newer thing.  Growing up we had grill cheese sandwiches.  Mom put cheese on a fish sandwich if she made them and occasionally we had homemade pizza.  That was very occasionally.  I also explained to them that back then cheese wasn’t typically pre-shredded.  They, of course, with all their cheese eating was sure I lived in dinosaur time!!  Seriously though, I don’t remember eating a lot of cheese growing up but now we put cheese on everything.

So next time I make it, I think I’m changing with the times.  I’m going to add swiss cheese…and online recipes say to bake it in the oven for a little bit.  Yum.  I bet the flavors will all blend more.  I’m going to try to do that too.  Here’s the recipe I found.

So what do you think…do you think you’d try sauerkraut hotdish?

34 thoughts on “Sauerkraut Hotdish

  1. Sue

    Sounds really good- but my husband refuses to eat sauerkraut- so I guess I’ll have to save it for when he’s gone!

  2. Donna

    Sounds good though I think I’ll add the cheese – dh is a cheesy kind of guy ;-) Pun intended. LOL!
    Love and prayers

  3. Ruth

    Your recipe calls for two separate bags of noodles, is this real, or a typo? My mom served sauerkraut one time that I remember as a child. Not sure I would eat it again, but can’t remember if I liked it or not. The rest of it sounds tasty!

  4. Kelly L Broughton

    It sounds like something I would try, not sure if I would like it but would give it a try. I would want to try it with and without the cheese. My husband does not like sauerkraut so it is not something I would probably make unless I had some others who would want to try it with me.

  5. Hedy

    I love sauerkraut but just not sure this is a dish I would like. Your kids like it though, so it’s probably very tasty, especially baked with cheese. And I agree with you that we never ever added all this cheese to food like we do now.

  6. Stephani in N. TX

    Now I have some clue where Teri Atkinson came up with the name of Minnesota Hotdish for her book of scrappy quilts, many of which I have made several times. My sauerkraut consumption is limited to the hot dogs we had with sauerkraut living in the Northeast, and sauerkraut with ribs dinner that I inherited from my husband’s Polish side of the family. Both delicious.

  7. Claudia Duke

    I grew up eating sauerkraut and sausage, love it. My husband finally acquired a taste for it, but not a favorite. I also like sauerkraut with poppyseed. This dish sounds like something I’d like so I may try it. Not sure about the cheese though. I’d want to try it both ways.

  8. PB from MN

    Being from Minnesota, I totally understand the love of a hotdish. My husband does not like sauerkraut so I would make it just for me. I do make my own sauerkraut in the fall, so that would be another way to use it. It is a bit of a family affair to make. Once it is ready, I freeze it in small packages. Freezing the sauerkraut takes people by surprise, but it is great that way.

  9. Anne Deedrick

    I’d give it a try especially the cheese version. When I was in Home Economics in HS we made a Saurkraut Chocolate cake. I was more picky then but remember liking it.

  10. Signe in Virginia

    Not a sauerkraut fan….. I would make it without the sauerkraut and maybe add some chopped green pepper to saute. Not a big melted cheese fan either.

  11. Cynthia

    It sounds yummy! I’d also try it by substituting corned beef for the hamburger and Swiss cheese on top and baking it in the oven. When it’s done, I’d drizzle 1000 island dressing over it.

  12. Lisa in eastern Washington state

    Your casserole sounds delish, I will definitely make it as both my husband and I love sauerkraut. My Mom always made homemade sauerkraut every year from her cabbages. It’s funny your comment about cheese in everything nowadays, but you’re exactly right. Other than grilled cheeses sandwiches, we didn’t have it on other sandwiches and I don’t remember it in casseroles. Must be a modern thing!

  13. Donna T

    I love sauerkraut but it has to be homemade! I can no longer eat it from a can! It is on my bucket list to learn how to make it!

  14. Brenda in SC

    Jo, this sounds really good and I am trying it this evening and adding the swiss cheese as well. It has everything we love. My hubby is Hungarian, so he adores sauerkraut and I think I may even add just a touch of cream cheese to make it creamer. I will let you know how it turns out.

  15. Andi

    Hi Jo!
    I love Sauerkraut, and I think I’d love the hotdish ( with cheese). I sure wish I could eat it, but its just loaded with salt. Not good for folks with heart issues.
    I love all the recipes you share, thanks for this!

  16. Lisa B

    My mom cooked sauerkraut with some kind of pork. I didn’t mind The Taste but as a kid the texture always got to me. And then of course there is sauerkraut on hot dogs or sausage dogs. And I had sauerkraut in chocolate cake once and you couldn’t even tell it was there. One of my aunt’s made her own crock full of sauerkraut in the corner of her kitchen. Ah, the memories. Thanks for the reminder of days long past.

  17. Marianne

    I just wanted to say that before we painted our kitchen cabinets last year, I had my favorite recipes taped on the back of all the doors For 30+ years. The painter was flabbergasted, but it worked for me. Now I can’t find half of them! GOod times, getting old!
    Thanks for the memory.

  18. Robby H.

    We like sauerkraut and eat it with our brats all the time. In fact, I’m thinking instead of beef I might chop up something like some kielbasa and brown it with the onion and then add everything else. Possibly a bit of swiss cheese toasted on top, but it feels unnecessary with the sausage.

  19. Brenda

    Sauerkraut,weinies,mashed potatoes,baked beans EVERY New years day. Sauerkraut also adds a w/o fearful bit of pizzazz to homemade vegetable soup. Wow I need to go prepare lunch.

  20. Cheryl

    Love your new header. I would eat the hot dish, but it’s a lot for one…..my roomie would say no!

  21. Elizabeth Bushong

    Sounds great! I’ll try it without the noodles. Sauerkraut is actually pretty low in salt, as true sauerkraut is made of only cabbage and a little bit of salt to start the fermentation. Lots of cabbage, a sprinkling of salt! I’ve made it a number of times when we had an abundance in the garden. Thanks.

  22. Jackie

    Well, I would definitely try it if it used something besides cream of mushroom soup. I don’t like mushrooms and they’re too hard to pick out of a recipe if it uses cream of mushroom soup. Maybe cream of chicken or cream of asparagus would work for me.

  23. Gloria Gleason

    I will love it! Cabbage rolls with the kraut are always delicious. I was served sauerkraut straight out of a can once! No way could I touch it! Ha!
    Georgia is adorable! All the kids are!
    Thoughts & prayers for all,
    Gloria

  24. DebMac

    Both my parents grew up during the Depression and ate a lot of sauerkraut. Pop grew up in a “German” home and his father filled the plates and you ate what you were given. Sauerkraut was on the menu often. When my parents first married, my mother made sauerkraut for a meal and my father told her she was never to serve it to him again. He grew up eating it, hated it, and would not have it served to him in his own home. It was fine if she ate it when he wasn’t home but if she didn’t get the house aired out well, he could smell it when he got home. One of the very few things he ever complained about. Needless to say, my siblings and I don’t eat it or like the smell of it.

  25. Mandy

    I dont keep recipes on pantry door, but do keep a list of family favourite meals on the inside of the door. For those evenings when I couldn’t think what to cook. It’s still there 30 years later but only me to cook for – but still helps me decide! Also still have the canteen price list from kids primary school there – youngest left primary school in 2001.

  26. Janet R

    I like sauerkraut, so I think I’d like it. I haven’t convinced my hubby to like it yet. I’ve “corrupted” (his teasing words) him into eating and liking lots of things, though, so I might give it a shot.

    Thanks for sharing it!

  27. Judith Fairchild

    I grew up eating sauerkraut with just about everything. Mom often made it. I loved it cold so she would save me some for my plate. Sauerkraut and sausages or hotdogs yummy. Not to sure about your hotdish. Might try it though. That’s the great thing about sharing recipes you can try them the change it to your taste. Thanks for reminding me.

  28. Darby

    We ate a similar hotdish growing up. The only difference was my mom used ground pork sausage instead of hamburger. It wasn’t my favorite as a child but now it is a comfort food.

  29. gloria

    Your original hot dish sounds great. Sauerkraut cake wasn’t actually with sauerkraut. The broiled topping was made with cocoanut and brown sugar and when broiled briefly it looked like sauerkraut. Recipe from the 40’s. Just a butter plain cake. Delicious!

  30. Sue G.

    I made the recipe tonight. I swapped out the mushroom soup for cream of celery. Im allergic to mushrooms. Husband turner his nose up at it and I needed to have a back up plan just in case. Turned out great!!! Family loved it. Will be doing again. Very easy to make. Thanks!!!!!

  31. ashley

    I’ve never had a hotdish but it definitely sounds like something I would be a fan of, maybe this is because I love sauerkraut and I’m always open to new recipes using kraut. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

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