If this “recipe” for Cheesy Sauerkraut Toast is a surprise to you, I gotta tell ya it was a surprise to me, too! I came across the concept quite by accident on the New York Times website and immediately latched onto it as a way to use up a little sauerkraut leftover from making my Reuben Sandwiches.
See, every year I usually make, in typical American Irish fashion, one of my Corned Beef & Cabbage recipes. (This year it was Whiskey & Marmalade Glazed Corned Beef) and every year I hafta have a Reuben! And every year, I have sauerkraut, and often a little marbled rye leftover long after my Corned Beef is gone!
About Cheesy Sauerkraut Toast:
So if you like Rueben sandwiches, I guess maybe the idea of Cheesy Sauerkraut Toast isn’t too much of a stretch! The toasts are quick and easy, and there’s no doubt that sauerkraut, like many fermented foods, is good for you and has some great health benefits.
Of course, there are a lot of ways to use a little sauerkraut. It’s perfect with hot dogs or brats like my Better than Classic Beer Brats, and is a perfect side for all kinds of German and/or Eastern European dishes. I probably have around a dozen or so recipes on my site that call for a bit of sauerkraut; just use the search engine or follow the tag sauerkraut at the bottom of the page! I might have to do a post someday soon just on sauerkraut and how it can add a bit of zing to all kinds of dishes!
For “healthy-ish” and simple, though, nothing beats these Cheesy Sauerkraut Toasts!
Making Cheesy Sauerkraut Toast:
First of all, you’re gonna need toast! As I said, a little leftover rye or marble rye is marvelous for this sandwich; I just used Italian bread, and a baguette or sourdough would be marvelous. It’s probably best if the bread isn’t too “fluffy” so it stands up to the sauerkraut, but do drain it well. (For a milder flavor, sauerkraut can be rinsed, and an old German trick is to add a touch of sugar if you find it bitter.) Use the toaster if you want and the bread fits, or lay the bread on a cookie sheet and broil it. Whatever works for you.
Then, simply add the sauerkraut and cheese of your choice, sliced or grated, and you can make it just as is, just a few minutes under the broiler. One thing about the Times – they always have a lot of comments, so I have a few suggestions to up the game!
Playing with the Ingredients:
First of all, the Times includes Pickled Jalapenos (here’s my Pickled Jalapeno recipe) tucked under the cheese, which intrigued me, but I didn’t happen to have any. I think it would have been marvelous and several commenters added even more heat with red pepper flakes, lots of black pepper, or used serrano peppers.
I used roasted red pepper strips, others tried capers, olives or pickles, and even pickled onions. (Here’s my easy Pickled Red Onion recipe.) Peperoncini was an interesting add it, which made me think of Giardianera would be great, too. Some added tomato. And of course, someone turned it into a kind of Reuben with thousand island and corned beef, another made theirs with roast beef. and other used ham or turkey. And these days, hey, why not put an egg on it, with a runny yolk, of course.
The Times thought horseradish or brown mustard would be marvelous on the bread before the sauerkraut was added; I opted for the mustard. Others added Dijon. Some added in mayo (hey, there’s always a couple in any group, lol!) And one even added pizza sauce and turned it into pizza.
Cheddar cheese, a good sharp one was suggested. Others liked melty Monterrey Jack, and of course, Swiss is always gonna be appropriate. Either slices or grated cheese will work for the recipe, but I do like the ease of a slice!
While many made the toasts as directed in the oven (or a toaster oven), some toasted the bread then microwaved, some used their air fryers, others made a kind of grilled cheese and one commenter made a quesadilla. Another cut into small squares and turned into appetizers.
How to Store Sauerkraut:
Sauerkraut is a fermented product and will literally (if not contaminated by the cook!) keep in the fridge, in its juices for ages. Well, literally for months! Although the whole purpose of me making and passing on the recipe is to not have a bit of sauerkraut cluttering up the fridge!
Just place it in an airtight container, preferably a little deeper than shallow so the sauerkraut all remains juicy, covered, and stash it. You could opt for a Ziploc bag if you prefer.
Saving Money on Cheesy Sauerkraut Toast:
Any time you’re using a product rather than wasting it, it’s always a money saver! You can buy sauerkraut in the refrigerator sections of some stores, in glass jars, or in cans. All sauerkraut brands are going to taste a bit different, but as far as quality, it’s amazing how good some of the canned sauerkrauts are.
As far as cost, the canned product is always going to be less inexpensive. The jars vary, anywhere from a couple of dollars all the way up to eight dollars or so for some of the fancy ones. And the pouches are usually pretty pricey. Sauerkrakut is easy to make but does take time, btw.
Well, guys, whaddya think? Does this sound crazy good or just plain crazy to you? If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to know how you did it and what your special touches and variations were, and of course, how you like the Cheesy Sauerkraut Toast.
I think they’re great for breakfast or a light lunch or dinner and a great option for any meatless meals! Take care all, and I’ll see ya soon!
Cheesy Sauerkraut Toast
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 to 8 minutes
- Total Time: 1 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Sandwiches
- Cuisine: American
- 4 slices of bread
- 1 to 2 cups (4 to 8 ounces) drained sauerkraut
- 4 slices cheese, Cheddar suggested
- additional ingredients as desired, see text in post
Place oven rack six inches from broiler. Place the bread on a foil-lined baking sheet or tray and watching closely, toast for a minute or two per side.
Add well drained sauerkraut to the top side of each toast, making sure to cover completely so the edges won’t burn, top with cheese and broil, two to five minutes until the cheese is bubbly and browned in spots.
Keywords: Bread, Cheese, new york times, Sandwiches, Sauerkraut