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Sauerkraut Chowder


  • 3 -4large russet potatoes
  • 1medium onion, chopped
  • 1(15 ounce) can sauerkraut
  • 1(10 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1(8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1(1 lb) package kielbasa, diced (optional)
  • water
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Cut potatoes into bite size pieces (you can peel them if you would like, I leave the skin for extra nutrients) place in a dutch-oven or soup pot, cover with water, add onions and boil until cooked through and fork tender.
  • When potatoes are done add sauerkraut, evaporated milk and cream cheese; stir until cream cheese is completely blended.
  • At this time if you wish to add the kielbasa do so.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste (don’t let the sauerkraut fool you, the potatoes take away most of the tartness so you will need more salt than you think so make sure to taste).
  • Cover and cook at a low simmer for 30 minutes.


  • Axe

    After careful consideration with DW, we decided that this was a solid 4 star recipe. (please see my rating system) A truly different chowder and a great departure from the standard seafood, fish or other protein chowders. I’m not sure what to do to tweak this, but one of the things we did was to use chicken stock instead of plain water and that boosted the flavor nicely. Mika’s idea of adding some freshly greated cheese is a good one. Garlic would also be a welcome addition. Thanks for posting!

  • snew1234

    This is a family recipe submitted by my daughter. It is interesting to see how people “tweak” it for their own preference. It definitely is better the next day. Some said it was too thin. That may be due to the amount of water you use. I only use enough to just cover my diced potatoes. It will also thicken if allow to cook onn a low heat longer. My sister adds a stick of butter to hers but we usually leave that out or just add a small amount. I am really glad to see that people are still enjoying this recipe!

  • Daniela

    This soup really is amazing. It’s my new favorite! I used smoked turkey sausage instead of kielbasa and it didn’t need any extra salt. Thanks for sharing your mom’s recipe! NOTE: I just made this for the second time. I used a very mild kraut and no meat and it had no flavor whatsoever. You definitely have to use a strong tasting sauerkraut and using a smoked sausage or kielbasa gives it alot of extra flavor.

  • Cinnamon Turtle

    For a cold winter night, this was great made with Tofurkey meatless Polish Sausage. I added powdered veggie broth with the water and used fat-free evaporated milk and low-fat cream cheese. Three people emptied the pot. Thanks for a great recipe. This was so easy, it will surely become one of my go-to winter soups, especially since I usually have these ingredients on hand. If you like dill pickle soup, you’ll love this.

  • Chef GreanEyes

    Yummy! We both enjoy polish sausage and sauerkraut so there couldn’t be a better way to enjoy this combo on a cold, rainy day like today! used 6-8 russets and boiled with salt. while they boiled i chopped the onion and pan fried it with cracked black pepper and unsalted butter. i had let the package of cream cheese sit out and whisked it in a bowl with about half a cup of half and half. added onions to soup when all was done and turned to simmer. caramelized the sauerkraut with granulated garlic, cracked pepper, and a few diced multi color mini sweet peppers. added them to the pot. carefully spooned out some of the broth into cream mixture to temper it and then added to pot. cut up kielbasa in thinner half coins and also pan fried in the cast iron. threw in pot when done. i also had some leftover home made shallot cream cheese from bagles and mix that with some broth to temper and put in pot so it would get used up. very good soup! im sure its calorie free too! ha ha! 😉 Thanks Jaimelee!

  • jessiethebestie

    I used this as a base recipe idea and loved it! I did not use new ingredients, I had leftovers from a bratwurst, sauerkraut, and potato dinner that I was trying to re-use so I doubled the evaporated milk (fat-free) and cream cheese (low-fat). I also put it in the slow cooker at lunch so I added 1 cup of low-fat milk so it wouldn't get too thick, cooked on low for about 5 hours. It was so good yet slightly different. A side of biscuits and we have a winner!

  • Nana Lee

    I have to say I was a bit skeptical about sauerkraut and cream cheese! But it wourled out just fine! I did add the kielbasa to the potatoes and onion before cooking them. I found it gave a great depth of flavor to the soup. Removed the kielbasa before adding the milk and cheese. When it was heated through and creamy, I cut the kielbasa into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces and added to the pot. Raves here! Thanks for posting. jaimelee.

  • arroz241_11561377

    Well, I just made this with much trepidation because of the sauerkraut / cream cheese combo. The only thing I did differently, was to add some ham soup base to the water, and a finely chopped carrot (had one left in the crisper that needed to be used) to the potato / onion boil. The recipe doesn’t say whether or not you should drain and or rinse the sauerkraut, so I just drained 1/2 the liquid out of the can, but did not rinse it. When ever I use sauerkraut in anything else, I drain and lightly rinse it, because I don’t like that intense sour taste. I figured, though, that if I did that in this recipe, I’d just have cabbage soup. I also added diced kielbasa, that I had pre-cooked, to it. Anyway, I tasted it, and it’s delicious. Other reviewers have said it’s better the next day, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

  • razzintaz

    Wow!!! I had one of my kids that kept asking when we could eat because it smelled so good. I DOUBLED this in my crock pot. First I put in 1 1/4 cup of presoaked small white beans that I had sprouted the day before. I used the last of my russet potatoes then used red potatoes also. I used two smoked kielbasa that were 12 oz. each an I quartered them lengthwise then cut them every half inch. I cut my onion in half and sliced it by the quarter inch, then I browned it in butter before adding it to the crock on top of the potatoes. I buy my kraut in bulk, so used 4 cups for the doubled recipe. I did not drain the kraut, so some of that liquid was used in place of the water. I only added enough water to cover the potatoes. Cooked on high for 5 hours then I put one 8 oz. brick of cream cheese on top and 8 oz. of sour cream on top of that. Twenty minutes later I came back to stir it all in. It wasn’t as thick as I wanted so I added another 8 oz brick of cream cheese.

    My mom who doesn’t care for kraut loved this and most of my kids liked it too.
    Next time I will try to do it “correctly” , but this was still yummy.. And bonus, I had enough for my son and I to have for lunch the next day.

    So I layered this in my crockpot as follows:
    Beans, potatoes, onions, kraut and kielbasa then black pepper.

  • merkolson

    As a “dad” who doesn’t cook much (short of grilling steaks), I treated the family to this dish tonight. I made the polish kielbasa version of this, and grilled the kielbasa before adding, and also used the fat free versions of cream cheese and evaporated milk.

    Despite the fact that I don’t cook in the kitchen all that much, I nonetheless found this dish extremely easy to prepare. The best part was that the meal was a BIG HIT, and everyone thought it was delicious. I got a lot of praise for my efforts, and the family was surprised that dad could deliver such a tasty dish to the table. THANK YOU for sharing your mom’s recipe with us. I hope you don’t mind, but I believe that in the future, my girls will be referring to “your mom’s recipe” to “One of our Dad’s Awesome Recipes”… LOL