Easy, savory sauerkraut strudel with smoked bacon. You can enjoy it warm, fresh out of the oven, or completely cooled down – it is delicious either way.
German strudels are not limited to the classic apple filling for the pastry, not even to the realm of sweet fillings such as berries, stone fruit or this pumpkin version.
Savory examples are very common and this simplified sauerkraut strudel recipe with bacon is a star representative.
The Ingredients You Need for Krautstrudel
To make a krautstrudel you need to round up good quality sauerkraut (aka no vinegar in it), bacon (we recommend smoked), butter, an onion, an egg, bread crumbs and spices like caraway and cumin seeds. And of course – strudel dough.
You can, if you have the time and desire, make a strudel dough from scratch (see recipe card for details), but using puff pastry is much easier and in no time at all you will get the flaky layers of crust you see in the picture above.
Step by Step – Make a Sauerkraut Strudel
Dice and cook the bacon, let drain on paper towel and saute a diced onion in the bacon grease. Let it cool down. Drain enough sauerkraut to give you two packed cups. Combine all these ingredients with an egg, breadcrumbs and seasonings (#1).
Thaw the puff pastry according to the manufacturer’s instructions and brush each of the two sheets that come in a package with melted butter (#2) below.
Spread half of the sauerkraut and bacon mixture onto each puff pastry sheet and be sure to leave room around the sides to roll and pinch the ends (#3).
Roll, nicely tuck in the ends, thoroughly brush with melted butter (#5) and bake in a 350 F oven (so that the butter doesn’t burn) for 35 – 40 minutes.
TIP: When cutting your savory strudel use a serrated knife for best results. Resist the urge to slice the strudel right after you pull it out of the oven so that it doesn’t flake excessively. Allow it to cool down for a few minutes.
Sauerkraut strudel goes really well with sour cream – we vouch for that. If you use real, lacto-fermented sauerkraut (this is why we cautioned you against vinegar versions earlier) you will find that it’s flavor is quite mild. It also gets uplifted by the addition of bacon and spices and sour cream joins the flavor symphony rather harmoniously.
If you have green onions around, finely chop up some and mix them into the sour cream.
Mustard is our next favorite condiment for sauerkraut strudel and if we may suggest – beer mustard is not a bad idea. Or honey mustard.
Or you can mix equal parts of yogurt and mayo, flavor with smoked paprika to taste and serve that as the dip.
Whatever the condiment you choose to accompany it, sauerkraut strudel is a great beer garden menu item and an essential appetizer for every Oktoberfest party food spread. German pilsners make wonderful pairing partners, so do Marzens.
Other Savory German Strudels
The strudel filling ideas listed below can inspire you to create your own savory strudel version. Always brush the strudel with melted butter before baking it for the crust to turn golden and more delicious.
Chicken strudel – saute a diced onion, chop up leftover cooked chicken breast (2 cups needed), combine them after the onions cool down, add a beaten egg and two tablespoons of mayo, salt and pepper.
Potato strudel – boil, then peel and grate four medium sized starchy potatoes (Russet etc.), add a beaten egg, a tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt, pepper and your favorite seasonings and use as a filling.
Bratwurst strudel – remove six bratwursts from their casings, brown them along with a diced onion, season with salt and pepper, cumin, caraway, when cooled down mix with a beaten egg.
Cheese strudel – grated cheese (2 1/2 cups), sauted onion, a tablespoon of bread crumbs, maybe some diced ham – you get the idea.
Mushroom strudel – saute 2 cups of mushrooms and 2 diced leeks in butter, add thyme, 2 tbsp bread crumbs, season with salt and pepper, cool down, add a beaten egg to hold it all together and use as a filling.
Vegetable strudel – saute 2 cups of chopped asparagus or another vegetable of your choice along with an onion and once cooled down season to taste, add a beaten egg and some bread crumbs, mix and you have a vegetable filling.
- 1 package puff pastry (thaw both sheets)
- 4 tbsp butter (1/2 stick, melted)
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp bread crumbs
- 2 cups drained sauerkraut, cups must be packed
- caraway seeds, to taste
- cumin, to taste, but at least 1 tsp
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Dice the bacon and cook in a pan over medium heat until it renders the fat but is not yet crispy. Drain on paper towel and saute the diced onion in the rendered bacon fat. Cool down.
- In a bowl combine the drained sauerkraut, bacon, onion, egg, bread crumbs, seasonings. Mix well together.
- Roll out the puff pastry sheets, brush with half the melted butter. Reserve the rest.
- Spread half of the sauerkraut mixture over each sheet, roll and pinch to tuck in the ends. Place each strudel seam side down onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and brush with melted butter.
- Bake for 35 minutes or a bit longer, until nicely golden brown. Let cool down a bit before cutting in sliced with a serrated knife. Serve with sour cream or mustard as a dip.
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