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Can You Freeze Sauerkraut?

The answer isn't so simple.

<p>Lana M/Getty Images</p>

Lana M/Getty Images

Sauerkraut, once just a topper for sausages or a staple of Reuben sandwiches, has had a new heyday as a probiotic powerhouse. But if you've gone a little too all-in on sauerkraut and have a lot left over, you may be wondering: Can you freeze sauerkraut?

Related: Sauerkraut Is Surprisingly Good for Immunity and Gut Health—Here's Why R.D.s Love It

Before you put your leftovers in the deep freeze, check out why you may want to reconsider freezing your sauerkraut—and what to do with your leftovers instead.

Can You Freeze Sauerkraut?

Technically, you can freeze sauerkraut, but there are reasons to avoid the deep freeze if possible. Most importantly, spending time in the freezer can kill off the live bacteria and yeast that are produced in the sauerkraut (AKA probiotics). That can make the sauerkraut less beneficial for your gut health and immunity, which probiotics can help boost.

And freezing sauerkraut can have some impact on its texture and flavor, too.

How to Store Sauerkraut Safely

The good news is that you should have plenty of time to use up your leftover sauerkraut, as long as it's properly stored in the fridge. After all, sauerkraut's fermentation process was actually created as a way to safely preserve cabbage for months, long before refrigeration was available.

Like many preserved foods from back in the day, salt was the essential ingredient. In fact, sauerkraut features just two ingredients: You make it by adding salt to the cabbage (about two teaspoons for every pound of cabbage), and letting it sit and ferment.

While you'll likely get the best flavor and quality if you use up the rest of the sauerkraut in your fridge within a month or two of opening the jar, the sauerkraut should still be safe to eat for at least six months if properly stored in the fridge.

If you do decide to store your sauerkraut in the freezer, you should placeit a freezer-safe bag, and squeeze out as much air as possible to help prevent your sauerkraut from becoming freezer burned. Using it as quickly as possible will help reduce the risk that you lose probiotic power and flavor and texture during its time in the freezer.

Recipes That Feature Sauerkraut

If you have a ton of sauerkraut left over, don't worry. While sauerkraut is the perfect accompaniment for pierogies, sausages, and pork chops, there are plenty of other ways to work it into your menu.

These recipes will help you make quick work of leftover sauerkraut—whether you're looking for a tasty dinner or late-night snack.

Mushroom Reuben Sandwiches

Greg Dupree
Greg Dupree

Reuben sandwiches are traditionally made with corned beef, but this vegetarian version uses crispy mushrooms in their place, with sauerkraut and melted Swiss or provolone on top. Plus, we have our own version of Thousand Island dressing to add to the mix.

Crispy Mushroom Reuben Sandwiches

Carrot-Apple Slaw

Antonis Achilleos
Antonis Achilleos

This brightly colored salad is the perfect crunchy addition to your next barbecue or picnic. Even people who aren't that into sauerkraut will love this tasty side, as the shredded carrots, apples, and raisins help balance out the sauerkraut's tartness.

Carrot-Apple Slaw

Related: How to Make Coleslaw, According to Professional Chefs

Fish Stick Tacos

<p>Caitlin Bensel</p>

Caitlin Bensel

This super-easy taco recipe features a touch of sauerkraut and a dollop of sour cream—along with an array of colorful veggies—for a fast weeknight dinner.

Fish Stick Tacos 

Reuben Quesadillas

Antonis Achilleos
Antonis Achilleos

Make a Reuben the easy way with this fun fusion of Tex-Mex and Jewish deli favorites. Tortillas are filled with sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing, corned beef, and Swiss cheese.

Reuben Quesadillas

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