Recipe: Schmidt's Sweet Kraut

Renee Casteel Cook
Schmidt's Sweet Kraut

German Village is a picturesque tangle of brick streets. At the end of one sits Schmidt’s Sausage Haus, a neighborhood staple and gathering place for generations of celebrations. Schmidt’s is one of the oldest landmarks in the community, having originally opened as a meatpacking facility in 1886 and then as a restaurant in 1967.

Schmidt’s signature Sweet Kraut is a year-round staple featured on the menu’s “Legendary Sandwiches,” such as the Mama Rueben (German bologna on specially made rye bread with melted Swiss cheese and dressing) and the Turkey Reuben (swapping the bologna for honey-roasted turkey).

It’s a different spin on the sauerkraut most are familiar with, and can be served cold and crisp (for summer) or hot alongside winter dishes like the classic New Year’s Day combination of pork and kraut. Fifth-generation owner John Schmidt prefers to serve the Sweet Kraut alongside baked pork ribs, instead of the more traditional roast pork. Schmidt says he hates regular kraut but loves how this sweet version complements the ribs.

Servings: 6


  • One 20-ounce can sauerkraut (Silver Fleece brand recommended)
  • 1/4 cup canola salad oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup celery, diced (1/4 inch)
  • 1 cup onion, diced (1/4 inch)
  • 1/3 cup green pepper, diced (1/4 inch)


In colander, drain sauerkraut and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and sugar until uniform in color.

Add celery, onion and green pepper to vinegar mixture.

Continue to whisk until liquid becomes a light green color.

Add kraut and mix well by hand.

Refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled.