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Sauerkraut is a favorite of mine, and this tasty Polish Sauerkraut Soup recipe helps scratch the itch when I need some of that tangy flavor. Add a bit of bacon, cream, and sausage to round out this delicious comfort soup. Kapusniak is the traditional name of this soup, but I call it fantastic. Give this Sauerkraut soup a try today!

Bowl of sauerkraut soup in a white bowl on a grey table top.
Dig into this zesty soup with sauerkraut zing!

🇵🇱 What makes this recipe special?

If you are into sauerkraut, you know the love I feel for this fermented vegetable. Of course, I love it on hot dogs, and sometimes I just eat it straight. This comforting soup is a great way to get a bit of Polish recipe heritage along with a sauerkraut flavor fix.

Oh, did I mention it is a quick dish that can be cooked in one dutch oven? Even better, right? A quick, flavorful, filling soup recipe with sauerkraut. 

While this is my first Polish recipe, this is not my first sauerkraut dish, and you should also check out this Sauerkraut and Sausage Knoephla Skillet Dish or this Reuban Casserole recipe. Both are comforting dishes that use fermented cabbage. Whatever you eat today, make sure to treat yourself! 

🥬 Ingredients

Sauerkraut is the star of this dish, but other ingredients help pull this together into the comforting dish it is. Here is a list of our ingredients.

Ingredients for sauerkraut soup.
Water, flour, Cream, onions, carrots, celery, kraut, bay leaf, heavy cream, salt, pepper, bacon, kielbasa, potatoes, and beef broth.
  • Original sauerkraut – I have used both original and sweet sauerkraut and prefer the original. Sweet worked, but I recommend the original.
  • Russet potatoes – Other potatoes will work, as well. Russet is a great soup potato.
  • Beef broth – Chicken broth or vegetable broth would also work.
  • Water
  • Bacon
  • Beef kielbasa – Pork Kielbasa works, as well. 
  • All-purpose flour
  • Bay leaf
  • Carrot, celery, onion
  • Heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper

See the recipe card for quantities.

🍲 Instructions

We use a Lodge dutch oven, which allows us to do this all in one pot. Still, you could also cook this sauerkraut soup in a soup pan and saute some of the ingredients in a separate saucepan or saute pan.

First, cook off some chopped bacon and remove the bacon once crispy. Add vegetables to the bacon grease and cook until the vegetables start to soften, which should be about five minutes.

From here, add the sauerkraut to the pan. This acts as a deglaze on the bottom of the pan and gets up all those little bacon bits cooked at the bottom of your dutch oven or saute pan. 

Then, add flour and mix. This will help thicken the mixture.

Process for making sauerkraut soup.
Cook bacon and then remove the bits. Cooke the veggies in your pan with seasonings and then add sauerkraut to deglaze. Stir in your beef broth, water, and bay leaves. After simmered until veggies are done, add bacon and cream.

If using a dutch oven, here is where you would add beef broth, water, and a bay leaf. If cooking in a separate saute pan, transfer to an appropriate soup pan and then add the same ingredients.

Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are done. This is about 25 minutes but adjust as appropriate. Remove from heat, add the bacon previously removed, and stir in the cream. 

🤷 Sauerkraut soup substitutions and variations

There are a few different ways to mix this recipe up to your taste.

  • Sauerkraut – I use Frank’s Original as my go-to on this. The sweet sauerkraut also works. Or heck, do you make your own sauerkraut? Give that a try.
  • Sausage – You can try different sausages for this dish. I call for beef kielbasa, but pork works. Really, any cured/smoked sausage are options for this dish.
  • Cream – Want it less creamy? Don’t add the heavy cream or just add milk. 

📦 Storage

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days. I have also frozen this, and it thawed just fine. 

🎓 History tidbit

While sauerkraut is often associated with Germany, it has become a popular food in many culinary traditions, including Polish tradition. Interestingly, it is the Chinese that are credited with the first to ferment cabbage over 2000 years ago and it wasn’t until the 16th century that it became popular in Europe. 


What is sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. It can be as simple as cabbage and salt that is allowed to sit.

What food tastes good with sauerkraut?

Sausage tastes great with sauerkraut, but creamy soup also tastes great!

Can you freeze sauerkraut soup?

Yes, sauerkraut soup freezes well. 

A hand lifting a spoonful of sauerkraut soup.
This Sauerkraut soup is easy to make and super flavorful.

📝 Tips and tricks

  • Use a Dutch Oven to make this easy to cook in one pot, but a saucepan can be used to saute the veggies and sauerkraut before putting it in the dutch oven. 
  • Chopping bacon can be made a bit easier by putting it in the freezer for 15 minutes before chopping. This firms it up a bit and makes the bacon easier to work with.

🛠 Products used in this recipe

😋 Did you make this recipe?

That is awesome, and thank you so much for giving this Polish Sauerkraut Soup with Sausage (Kapusniak) recipe a try. If you could leave a rating in the comment area below, it would be greatly appreciated. This lets me know how I am doing and also helps others decide if they want to make this recipe. Most of all, thanks for visiting Ramshackle Pantry.

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Bowl of sauerkraut soup in a white bowl on a grey table top.

Polish Sauerkraut Soup with Sausage (Kapusniak)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.7 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Ben Myhre
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Bowls 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Polish
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If you love sauerkraut, this Polish Sauerkraut Soup with Sausage is the recipe for you. Tangy flavors with bacon, sausage, cream, and, of course, sauerkraut! Give this flavorful soup try today.


Units Scale
  • 14 ounces of saurkraut
  • 1/2 pound russet potatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cup water
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 7 ounces beef kielbasa, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)



  1. In a dutch oven or saute pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon until done and crispy. Drain on paper towel.
  2. Leave grease and remove (and reserve) bacon for later use.
  3. Add onion, carrots, celery, kielbasa, potato, salt, pepper, and mix.
  4. Cook for about 5 minutes or until vegetables start to soften. 
  5. Add sauerkraut and stir. This will act like a deglaze when you stir to get all the bacon flavor into the dish.
  6. If you are cooking in saute pan, move to a larger soup pot. If using a dutch oven, continue in same pan.
  7. Add flour and stir.
  8. Add broth, water, & bay leaf
  9. Bring to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until potatoes are soft and cooked through
  10. Add cream and bacon back into the soup and serve


  • Use a Dutch Oven to make this easy to cook in one pot, but a saucepan can be used to saute the veggies and sauerkraut before putting it in the dutch oven. 
  • Chopping bacon can be made a bit easier by putting it in the freezer for 15 minutes before chopping. This firms it up a bit and makes the bacon easier to work with.

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  1. This was pretty good, I did think it was too salty and that was after using beef broth that was low sodium and omitting the 1/2tsp of salt. I doubled the recipe & still found it too salty. But it very well could have been the polish sausage that made it salty. Either way it was very good but I would prefer less salt flavor. I also think that maybe the kraut enhances the salt in meat.