Traditional Polish Christmas Eve Sauerkraut with Forest Mushrooms

Sauerkraut with forest mushrooms is a typical dish, served in Poland on Christmas Eve. The recipes vary from region to region and from family to family. This one below is my favorite.

Polish Christmas Eve Sauerkraut with Mushrooms

Recipe by Anna BembryCourse: Sides, VegetablesCuisine: PolishDifficulty: Simple


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 kg (roughly 2 lbs) sauerkraut

  • 50 g dried porcini mushrooms (that’s roughly 2 handfuls)

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 1 small carrot, peeled and coarsely grated

  • 5 tablespoons oil (canola, vegetable or sunflower seed)

  • 2 cups water, cold

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 allspice berries (alternatively use 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice)

  • 1 level teaspoon sugar


  • Place the mushrooms in a bowl and pour over with 2 cups of cold water. Cover with a lid and set aside to soak, best if overnight.
  • Strain the mushrooms but don’t discard the soaking water. Dice the soaked porcini into small stripes.
  • In a large skillet, heat up oil over medium heat. Add finely diced onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  • Place sauerkraut in a colander, strain any excess liquid and transfer it into a pot. Add sauteed onion, grated carrot, diced mushrooms, bay leaves, allspice, and seasoning (except the sugar). Pour in the collected mushroom water and stir everything with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn down the heat to low and let it simmer for 2 hours. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot. If necessary add a little bit more water. At the end of the cooking time add a symbolic teaspoon of sugar to equalize the acidity. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

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