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Great Ohio Recipes: Fried Sauerkraut Balls

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Fried Sauerkraut Balls
Great Ohio Recipes

Fried Sauerkraut Balls

Eating pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day for good luck is a German custom still practiced in parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio. This January, consider instead frying up an Akron-born hors d’oeuvre — fried sauerkraut balls. Cheesy, meaty and with just the right amount of tang from the sauerkraut, these delectable snacks have the perfect balance for someone trying sauerkraut for the first time. 

Scrumptious Sauerkraut Balls

Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 20 mins
Additional Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 2 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 8
Yield: 32 balls



  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sauerkraut, well drained and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¾ cup Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying, or as needed (Optional)



  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir sausage and onion in the hot skillet until sausage is crumbly and browned, about 10 minutes. Drain grease and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Transfer sausage mixture into a large bowl. Stir in drained sauerkraut, 2 tablespoons bread crumbs, mustard, garlic salt, and pepper. Combine cream cheese and parsley in a small bowl; mix into sauerkraut mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Place flour into a shallow bowl. Whisk together egg and milk in another bowl. Place 3/4 cup bread crumbs in a third bowl.
  4. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  5. Shape sauerkraut mixture into 3/4-inch balls. Coat balls in flour, then dip in egg mixture and roll in bread crumbs to thoroughly coat.
  6. Working in batches, fry balls in hot oil until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and serve hot.



After breading, the balls can be quick-frozen on a cookie sheet, then stored in freezer bags. They do not need to thaw before frying.


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