You can use hulled or pearl barley in recipes.

How to Cook Barley and Sauerkraut

by Melissa Hamilton

Barley and sauerkraut is a traditionally Polish combination of foods that are delicious, and easily paired with a variety of meats or other ingredients for a full meal. With knowledge and practice, any modern mom will be whipping up fabulous barley and sauerkraut dishes in no time. Barley has fiber and B vitamins, while sauerkraut is high in vitamins A and C, providing excellent health benefits for your family. After you’ve made this dish, you can easily heat sauerkraut and also add it to other dishes.

Barley and Sauerkraut

Add six parts water and four parts sauerkraut, including the sauerkraut juice, to a large pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil.

Once the sauerkraut is boiling, stir and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for one hour.

While sauerkraut is simmering, rinse one-half part barley. Rinsing barley is important as it minimizes the amount of starch in the grain and keeps the dish from having a slimy taste.

Add barley to the pot. Continue simmering until you see that the barley is fully cooked, which is approximately 30 minutes.

Add any additional ingredients you desire, stir to mix, and serve. Onions, mushrooms, celery, or pork are flavorful additions to a barley and sauerkraut dish. Simply saute the foods separately before adding the extra ingredients.


Add three parts water or broth to a large saucepan. Using chicken or vegetable broth adds flavor to the barley. If you prefer an unflavored barley, use water with a large pinch of salt.

Bring the water or broth to a boil.

Add one part barley and stir. Turn heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 to 50 minutes.

Remove from heat and let stand uncovered for five more minutes. Drain any excess liquid before serving or mixing with other foods.


Put two parts sauerkraut and three parts water in a pot. Add any juice from the sauerkraut container to the pot as well. It will add extra flavor to the sauerkraut.

Cook the sauerkraut until it is boiling, stirring occasionally.

Simmer for an hour before serving or before using it with other ingredients.

Items you will need

  • Barley
  • Sauerkraut
  • Large pot
  • Broth
  • Salt


  • Polish sausage is a delicious pairing with sauerkraut, as well as in a barley and sauerkraut soup. Try mixing barley with lentils and creating a healthy soup for your family.


About the Author

Melissa Hamilton began writing professionally in 2007. She has enjoyed cooking creatively in the kitchen from a young age. In addition to writing cooking articles for various publications, she currently works in the restaurant industry as a food and beverage trainer.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images