Living up to my origins [Savoury Sauerkraut Bread Pudding]

Will you believe that sauerkraut has not been part of my diet for ages already? Yes, I’m German and here I am confessing that what you’d believe to basically be a staple food for me is not. Maybe my parents didn’t like it themselves or my mum simply didn’t serve it up because she knew me and my siblings wouldn’t eat it. Either way it never made an appearance on our table. Granted, my family is far from typically German – in the way we eat at least. Unless we’re talking winter and specifially Christmas, that is. When my grandma’s Rotkohl [spiced red cabbage] is a must – or somebody is going to throw a fit -, Grünkohl [kale prepared in a special way and stewed with smoked pork chops and a certain type of sausages] and other traditional dishes make an appearance.

Why, yes, I'm totally throwing in a picture of Christmas candles here.

Why, yes, I’m totally throwing in a picture of Christmas candles here.

But I digress. Sauerkraut. With me going vegetarian years ago a plethora of meat-less cookbooks have been finding their way into my parents’ house. One of these had a recipe for an oriental spin on the German classic Semmelknödel served with a side of sauerkraut. It’s one of these dishes that I’ve been preparing numerous times for me and my parents after veganizing it and I can’t get enough.


Unfortunately, though, Semmelknödel are a bit too involved to make just a single serving. Yet I’ve found myself longing for this comfort food during the recent colder days. Then I saw Amanda’s post for bread pudding and my mind got spinning … Vegan bread pudding – not that hard to do. Actually, I came up with a sweet recipe for it, too, which I’ll share soon. Back to the savoury, though.

Savoury bread puddingWhen I spotted fresh sauerkraut on a recent trip to the health food supermarket I couldn’t help but buy a bucket on a whim. Thinking about how to use it I remembered above-mentioned Semmelknödel and knew I had to satisfy my craving. Obviously that meant getting some bread – or in my case: a whole grain roll – which was a random way of overcoming a fear food. Feel free to laugh but yes: bread, rolls and the likes are still scary to me. The exact ingredients or nutritional stats? Not shown. And it’s still ingrained somewhere in my mind that they won’t fill me up. Well, I’m digressing again. All I can say is that this did most likely not just fill me up but satisfied my cravings for perfect comfort food. Bonus points for eating it with a side of candlelight. Who says it takes two for a candlelight dinner?


Yes, this was taken at another day than the first picture.

Savoury vegan Sauerkraut Bread Pudding

  • 150 g fresh sauerkraut
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • olive or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup passata/tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp smoked red paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 4-5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 whole wheat roll [several days old/stale and preferably with lots of seeds], cubed*
  • 100 g/3.5 oz silken tofu
  • 1/2 tbsp cashew butter or white (!) almond butter [roasted might work but won’t add the same mild and creamy taste]
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 75 g chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1. Sauté the onion in the oil until translucent.

2. Add sauerkraut, passata, 1/4 cup of water and spices. Let simmer at medium heat for about 15-20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile blend the silken tofu, cashew butter, nutritional yeast and 1 tbsp of water. Set aside.

4. When the sauerkraut is almost done cooking, add the mushrooms and let cook for another few minutes.

5. Add the chickpeas.

6. Transfer the sauerkraut to a baking dish, top with the breadcubes. Mix them in just slightly. You still want most of them on top so they’ll stay crisp.

7. Pour the silken tofu mixture on top spreading it over the whole dish.

8. Bake in the preheated oven [175 °C/350 °F] for 20 minutes.

* if you don’t have day-old bread sitting around you can imitate the needed crispyness by microwaving the cubed roll for about a minute

If you want to feel virtuous while eating this you could do so while reading up about the health benefits of sauerkraut ;). Comfort food and good for you? It doesn’t get any better in my opinion. [And no, I didn’t lecture myself on all its benefits and it still was amazing.]

I’m linking up with both Kierston’s Recipe Friday and – because I know some might think of this dish as strange but [more than just] good – Laura’s celebration of all things unsual, too.


Happiness inducing today: A chat with a sweet old lady at the Farmers’ Market. She was 80 years old, not at best health anymore but had a great attitude. A happiness inspiration.

Enjoy your weekend!


Are there any traditional foods or recipes from your country you didn’t eat as a child but grew to like when you got older?

Do you like sauerkraut? Any favourite recipes?




14 thoughts on “Living up to my origins [Savoury Sauerkraut Bread Pudding]

  1. Flake And Cake says:

    This looks gorgeous! So the BBC had a funny documentary where they sent two journalists to live the average German life (in Germany) for a few weeks. There was a really funny moment when they tried to cook a German meal for their neighbours. The neighbours were really polite until one said “um.. why have you not cooked the sauerkraut?”. We tend to eat it cold here in the UK and assumed that was how it was supposed to be eaten!

  2. Davida @The Healthy Maven says:

    This is one crazy recipe! I never would have thought of this but I have a good feeling it works 🙂 I love sauerkraut. There was this little restaurant in NYC that made the most amazing tempeh Reuben sandwiches with homemade sauerkraut. I crave them daily!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Reuben sandwiches – I’ve heard of them before but never had one because the idea seemed … unsual to me. And I promise this recipe definitely works and it’s way less crazy once you taste it. Dare I even say: crave-worthy :)?!

  3. Amy @ The Little Honey Bee says:

    Can we still be friends even though I really don’t like sauerkraut? Sorry 😦 There are actually many Canadian foods that I have the opposite effect with: loved them when I was little, now don’t love them. Namely… maple syrup. I like maple syrup flavored things but now it gives me a headache! And there are many more fun pancake toppings than just maple syrup. Hope you are having a great weekend.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Well, I think I can make an exception for you ;). Honestly, though, I completely understand. Sauerkraut has an aquired taste and as I said I’ve only grown to like it during the past year or so.
      Funny how you mention maple syrup. It’s another one of those foods I grew up without and I disliked it upon first taste. These days, however, I’ll use it occasionally. I’m sorry it gives you headaches.
      Happy weekend!

  4. Emily says:

    How do you come up with these recipes?! Seriously. Share your secrets!
    I’ve only had sauerkraut once and I wasn’t a huuuge fan but it’s probably because I was really young at the time. We actually have specials going on for Octoberfest at the restaurant where I work and sauerkraut is one of the topping specials. Maybe I’ll give it another shot!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Secrets? It’s the all-around inspiration from blogs, cookbooks, magazines – and my cravings :).
      Sauerkraut isn’t sauerkraut. It really depends on the way it’s prepared for me and raw definitely isn’t my favourite. So if that’s what the restaurant you work at serves it like maaaybe don’t make this your next go at it. Also, it’s fun to see Octoberfest being celebrated everywhere over there, too. The ‘original’ one in Munich is already over by now :).

  5. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli says:

    Wait, white almond butter? What is this creation of which you speak? 😉 This looks incredible, MP! I’ve been really curious about experimenting with silken tofu more now that I’ve had so much success with my “tofana” porridge! I’m not sure why, but for the longest time, it intimidated me…even after using the firm stuff more and more! I wouldn’t have even THOUGHT to use it in a bread pudding!

    I grew up with a lot of southern specialties…fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, baked beans…but I was never a fan of southern-style greens (collards) until a couple of years ago. Now I could seriously go back in time and smack myself for turning my nose up at them for all those years! Lol And sauerkraut is actually something I’ve only discovered my love for recently. I scored this HUGE jar made from red cabbage and apples at one of my favorite foodie stores about a month ago and I’ve been trying my best to ration it out! Haha!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Should it really be possible that white almond butter is one of the few ingredients not available in the States?! Because you totally need it in your life! There are actually several brands available [not usual for Germany] but this is the one I use:
      Collards – I’ve heard about them before but don’t think I’ve ever had them. Actually I’m not even sure what to look for as the translations seem to differ hugely.
      Aaaah! The red cabbage ‘sauerkraut’ you’re talking about wouldn’t be called sauerkraut over here but simply “Apfel-Rotkohl” and it’s one of my favourite dishes at Christmas. My grandma makes the best ever – obviously 😉 – it’s like crack and I wish I could mail you some. Great, now you got me craving it …

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