Right out of the gate, I feel like I need to tell you these burgers do not contain sauerkraut. I never really knew why they called them Kraut Burgers instead of Cabbage Burgers but you have to admit Kraut Burger sounds better. Apparently, the recipe dates back to Germany at some point. I can honestly say I never ate a Kraut Burger while I lived in Germany.
When I was growing up my mom would make these burgers on special occasions. My mom worked full-time when I was growing up so when she made them it was always a big deal. I guess that's why I see it as comfort food.
Mom says she mostly made Kraut Burgers when we had company. That makes sense because everyone was always impressed with the results.
Somehow they never taste quite as delicious when I make them, but my kids say they taste the same as moms. They also reminded me that everything tastes better when your mom makes it. True.
I always have to play with recipes to see if I can make them healthier. I've included my mom's original recipe, unchanged. Also, I included two other versions of the dough, one with sprouted Spelt flour and one with pineapple juice.
One final note, you can always use pre-made dough if you prefer not to make your own. My mom says it's available in the freezer section and I have also noticed pizza dough at Trader Joe's that I believe would work.
I'm still working on the gluten-free dough recipe so check back! I hope to have it added soon.
Before you begin working on the filling you will need to prepare the dough. Make the dough according to the recipe instructions and let it rise while you prepare the filling.
When the filling is ready and cooled off a bit the dough will be ready to punch down and roll out. If you are cooking with kids this is a great job for them as most children enjoy rolling dough.
My mom usually works with half the dough at a time because it's more manageable that way. After the dough is rolled out we use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 6 or 8 pieces depending on how big you want each burger to be.
Once you have the dough cut out it's time to add the filling. I am pretty sure my mom just eyeballs this but the recipe should make 8 good size burgers. The goal is to enclose the mixture with dough by folding the dough over the mixture and pinching the overlapped edges together.
I almost always double or even triple this recipe because it's such a good grab and go food, it will easily feed a crowd. Something about the smell of warm yeast bread just brings everyone to the kitchen!
Kraut burgers taste good cold and they make a fabulous lunch box food!
Original Yeast Dough for Kraut Burgers
2 packages of active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
1 tsp salt
2-3 cups bread flour
Add yeast and 2 teaspoons of the sugar to warm water
Stirring add milk to water mixture
Mix about 2 cups of flour with the remainder of sugar and salt
Add dry mixture to liquid mixture
Mix with mixer until dough is elastic
Put in enough flour to make dough form into a nice ball
Pour out onto a lightly floured surface and knead (if you use a kitchen aid mixer instead let it mix on low speed 6-8 minutes and skip this step)
Let dough rise while you make the meat and cabbage mixture
Goes great with sweet potato fries
Hawaiian Dough option
4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups room temperature pineapple juice
1/4 cup brown sugar (optional depending on how sweet you like bread)
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
Mix and knead together all of the ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until the dough forms a nice ball. If you're using a stand mixer, using the dough attatchment, mix at low speed for 6 to 8 minutes.
Sprouted Spelt Dough Option
4 cups sprouted Spelt flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
Mix and knead together all of the ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until the dough forms a nice ball. If you're using a stand mixer, using dough attatchment, knead at low speed for 6 to 8 minutes.
Spelt contains more protein than modern wheat, and the protein is easier for a lot of people to digest. This means that some people who are allergic to wheat may be able to tolerate it. It has gluten, just like wheat, so it is not suitable for a gluten-free diet.
Mom's Kraut Burgers
1 batch of yeast dough
1 pound ground beef
6 cups shredded cabbage
1 can or about 12 ounces enchilada sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
Add all ingredients to pan
Cook until cabbage is tender and beef is cooked through
Set mixture aside to cool
Divide yeast dough in half, work with one half at a time
Roll out first half of dough about 1/4 inch thick
Cut into pieces (four or 6 depending on how big you want the burgers)
Spoon hamburger mixture onto pieces of yeast dough
Wrap ends around meat making a bundle
Place bundle on baking sheet edges side down
Repeat until all mixture and dough are used
Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes
Tops should be lightly browned
Brush with butter if desired
I love using Trader Joe's enchilada sauce but you can use any kind you like.
It's best not to have the burgers touching in the pan but you can see that it won't ruin the burgers if you have to let them touch. Ideally, edges won't touch; when baked they look like an uncut burger bun.
Serving Size 1/8 recipe
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 9 g
Total Carbohydrates 42 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 2 g
Protein 21 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.