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German Krautstrudel: An Easy Savory Cabbage Roll

German Krautstrudel is a delightfully easy savory cabbage roll, perfect for the season. With soft sauteed strands of cabbage, the smoky flavor of bacon, and a savory crunch of caraway seeds; all wrapped in a delicate, flaky crust. 

Closeup view of slices of Krautstrudel

It’s a treat friends and family will love.

Krautstrudel is simply a cabbage strudel.

When one thinks of strudel, apple strudel often comes to mind. Definitely a must for apple season.

Yet a Krautstrudel, or cabbage strudel, should also be a must. Distinctly different, savory, and so easy, it’s a dish you won’t want to miss this season.

This is a new favorite in our house. And I can thank my niece, Maria, for enlighting me.

She is living with her husband in the Black Forest region of Germany, teaching art. And fully immersed in the culture, cooking her way through German cookbooks, hiking, and traveling throughout the region.

A few weeks ago, she sent me some photos of a Krautstrudel she was making in her German kitchen from Luisa Weiss’ cookbook, Classic German Baking.

German Krautstrudel: An Easy Savory Cabbage Roll | 31Daily.com

And I was hooked.

German Krautstrudel: An Easy Savory Cabbage Roll | 31Daily.com

She made her own strudel dough, which looks amazing.

It wasn’t but a couple of days before I had to make my own.

And it was as good as it looked!

I simplified the recipe to fit a busy lifestyle.

Krautstrudel Ingredients

Specific ingredient measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here is a brief summary of the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 8 – 10 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 slices bacon, diced (or Canadian bacon, diced)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced finely
  • 1 small head green cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds + more for the top
  • freshly ground black pepper

Krautstrudel Ingredient Notes

Cabbage: Although I prefer to use a small head of shredded fresh cabbage, if time is a factor, try using a store-bought bag of coleslaw. Or, if you’re a sauerkraut fan, you can substitute that for the fresh cabbage too.

Dough Options for Kraustrudel

But if you wanted to make your own strudel dough, it’s a simple process that yields delicious results.

Strudel Dough Recipe

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup cold water

Combine the flour and salt in a small bowl. Add the oil and mix into the flour. Slowly add the water, using a fork or your fingers to stir. Continue to work the dough until it comes together. Transfer to a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes. Let rest for about 30 minutes. Roll out the dough until it measures 10 by 13 inches. Then begin carefully stretching, with patience and using a towel, until the dough measures about 16 by 24 inches.

Phyllo Dough

We chose to use phyllo dough as it most similarly resembles a homemade strudel dough. And is store-bought ready and convenient. If using frozen phyllo dough, be sure to thaw it ahead of time, following package instructions.

German Krautstrudel: An Easy Savory Cabbage Roll | 31Daily.com
Closeup view of slices of Krautstrudel

German Krautstrudel: An Easy Savory Phyllo Cabbage Roll

Yield: 2 rolls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

German Krautstrudel is a delightfully easy savory cabbage roll, perfect for the season. With soft sauteed strands of cabbage, the smoky flavor of bacon and savory crunch of caraway seeds; all wrapped in a delicate, flaky crust. It's a treat friends and family will love.

Ingredients

  • 8 - 10 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 slices bacon, diced (or Canadian bacon, diced)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced finely
  • 1 small head green cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds + more for the top
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Follow package instructions to thaw phyllo dough. Usually overnight in the refrigerator or a couple of hours on the counter. Do not unwrap the phyllo until the filling is ready.
  2. To make the filling: In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chopped bacon, onion and red pepper. Saute until the onion is translucent and the bacon is cooked; 3-4 minutes. Then add the shredded cabbage and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, or until the cabbage is soft. Add the caraway seeds and season with salt and black pepper. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a work surface that will ultimately fit onto a baking sheet. It's easier to transfer the cabbage roll to the baking sheet when it's already on parchment. Brush a small amount of olive oil directly onto the parchment paper.
  5. Unroll 4-5 sheets of thawed phyllo dough onto the coated parchment paper. Working quickly, brush olive oil on the top layer of phyllo. Then spread half of the cabbage mixture over one-quarter of the dough along the bottom short side edge, leaving a 1-1/2 inch border around the lower edges. Gently fold the sides of the dough over the filling, followed by the bottom edge of the dough. Working carefully, begin to tightly roll the dough into a cylinder shape, tucking the side edges in as you roll. Ending with the seam side down. Brush the top liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with caraway seeds and black pepper.
  6. Repeat with the second roll.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until the dough is flaky and browned. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Using a serrated knife, slice into 2-inch pieces. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 137Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 301mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g

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24 Comments

  1. This is delicious. I used cabbage but like the zang of sauerkraut so I added a little apple cider vinegar and some chopped jalapenos with a little of their juice. So good. And I am glad I read about freezing one. I would not have thought about doing that and had a lot go to waste. Now we’re having one with dinner and one another time. Thanks for a super creative and tasty recipe!

  2. In one of your pics, there looks like a red sauce is drizzled over the baked strudel. No mention of a sauce but love the idea, insight into what it is?

    1. Hi Lesley! That sauce does look good! That was the Krautstrudel my niece in Germany made. I’ll text her to see if she remembers what she used!

    2. Hi Lesley, we had a ZOOM Christmas call today with the family. My niece said they drizzled a red chili sauce over the krautstrudel. They loved it!

  3. I really loved this and it was very easy to make. Since I live alone I assembled the second one, wrapped it in parchment, put it in a freezer bag and froze it for later. I will be making this again with saurequart. I like the tang.

    1. When our son is away at college, I often will do the very same thing. It’s so fun to have one ready to go! Plus, sauerkraut brings a ton of flavor!

  4. My husband HATES cabbage AND caraway seeds! Personally, I *need* these things, so I am going to make it, but maybe in smaller rolls – possibly 4 instead of 2. If I do, I will have to freeze the extra. When freezing, should it be done before baking or after? Thanks!

    1. Oh dear! I have a cabbage hater in my family too. I would omit the caraway seeds and sometimes cabbage haters love the pastry enough to make up for the cabbage :)! Try adding a couple slices of crumbled bacon and perhaps swap the phyllo dough with puff pastry.

  5. Hello, phyllo tends to be difficult to work with….wondering if this could be made with puff pastry sheets instead? thoughts

    1. It can definitely be made with puff pastry. The dough will have a different texture but will be much easier to handle.

    1. Hi Liz!

      I’ve not made this ahead of time but from my experience with phyllo dough and from what I’ve studied, it should be fine. Be sure the filling has cooled completely before assembling the krautstrudel. My only hesitation is whether the cooked cabbage would accumulate moisture. You don’t want it to be soggy. Be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap before storing in the refrigerator. Here is a great resource on phyllo dough tips: https://www.foodandhome.co.za/recipes/simple-tips-with-phyllo-pastry

  6. I made this last winter and it was delicious, especially the taste of the caraway. I will definitely be making this over the holidays.

      1. I had two of these rolls in the freezer. I baked one tonight, such a nice change of menu for being stuck at home. Thank You!!

        1. That’s a great idea! I hadn’t thought of that. You know what they say about great minds ? – we had a cabbage soup tonight that was also a nice change of pace. I’ll post that recipe soon.

          It looks like our quarantine here in Washington will last awhile. I’m going to make krautstrudel for the freezer! Thanks for the idea.

  7. Oh I definitely want to try this! I will have to make it with other stuff tho since half of my household isn’t really too big on cabbage. Ok, they really don’t like it except maybe in coleslaw (1 is iffy even with coleslaw.) I would enjoy this tho and maybe my Mom would too so this would be good when she visits 🙂

    1. It’s SO good. I have an iffy cabbage eater in my house too. Sourkraut is a no-go with him — but he really liked this made with fresh cabbage! I’m so glad my niece pointed me to this recipe. And love that it’s authentically German.

  8. Thanks for a good sounding recipe. Question: if using prepared sauerkraut in place of cabbage or slaw, what size package or number of cans do you suggest? Also, do you recommend sautéing with onion after rinsing to enhance the flavor, or not necessary? And would the baking time need to be adjusted? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Karen! Yes, you can easily sub sauerkraut for the raw cabbage. I would use one 14-ounce can of sauerkraut. Everything in the directions will be the same. Add the sauerkraut when you would add the cabbage and saute until it’s heated through. Baking time should remain the same, you’re looking for a golden crust.

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