Dinner/ Lunch

Sauerkraut Barbecue Sauce

Hi, y’all! I’ve been eating a lot of sauerkraut and kimchi lately for the probiotic boost. There’s a guy at the Nashville Farmer’s Market that sells it, woot!

I created this super easy barbecue sauce to use up all the good, briny liquid left over at the bottom of those delicious jars. It’s a spicy-sweet-tangy mashup that’s juuust right in my book.

I list sauerkraut here for the probiotics, but any liquid left over from a jar of pickled stuff works well – roasted red peppers, pepperoncini peppers, etc. Just watch out for the spice level some hot pickled peppers add and adjust the seasonings accordingly.

You have two options with this sauce. You can just whisk the ingredients up cold and toss the sauce on what you’re coating last minute to preserve the probiotics of the sauerkraut. Or you can heat it in a pan and serve hot.

Heating bacteria kills it, of course, so bringing this sauce to a vigorous bubble murders the little guys. If you use another kind of brine, it doesn’t matter – bubble away. The spices in the sauce stay a little grainer in the cool version, but it’s still mighty tasty.

I love finding ways to use up every little drop of something, tatanka-style. Hope you enjoy!

Sauerkraut Barbecue Sauce

Print Recipe
Serves: 3/4 cup Cooking Time: 10 mins.


  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • ½ cup ketchup, preferably organic
  • ¼ cup sauerkraut juice
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ¾ tsp. chipotle powder*
  • 2 Tbs. raw honey
  • Pinch salt and pepper



COOKING DAY – For live probiotic sauce: Whisk all ingredients together and store in fridge until serving. For cooked sauce: Simmer over medium heat 5-10 mins., whisking occasionally. Cool and store in fridge.


SERVING DAY – Drizzle over or toss with any desired dish.


*As written, this is a pretty spicy sauce. If your spice threshold is low, substitute the chipotle powder for smoked paprika or half chipotle and half paprika.

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