German Sauerkraut Roll

German Sauerkraut Roll is a grilled, spiral loaf of beef, bratwurst, cheese and sauerkraut that can be served several ways.

German Sauerkraut Roll

This is grilled and makes a nice meatloaf shape that can be carved into slices as an elegant grilled dinner item with a sauerbraten type of gravy or made into German burgers by serving on a bun, with an extra slice of swiss melted on top. It’s different, to be sure, but in a good way, and it is delicious and all my family enjoyed.

I first made this last year when I considered doing the grilling forum at, where it is also posted. Bill and I were to moderate that one together but he got so busy with other things I let it drop. I did have a photo taken from last year when I developed this recipe, but I have no idea where it went. This photo is alright though. I gives you a good look at the spiralling of the kraut and cheese. The smokiness from grilling is really excellent in this. Although you could also do this in your oven.

You can serve this with a gingersnap gravy, on a plate with either Dusseldorf mustard or steak sauce, kind of the way you would eat meat loaf. You could also try making this as a fancy burger, using a slice of the roll. Or in an option I tried this time (with some leftovers), using a slice with mustard and provolone cheese on Tuscan bread and making a panini. Rye bread would have been perfect for that, but I was out.

I am pleased as punch that my German Sauerkraut Roll has been named the winner of the “Tailgate Challenge” sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. You can read all about it here.


    • 1 small onion, finely chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 lb ground beef
    • 1 lb bulk bratwurst (no casings)
    • 3/4 lb cold pack sauerkraut, drained and squeezed dry
    • 4 ounces shredded swiss cheese
    • 1 tablespoon dusseldorf mustard or 1 tablespoon other German mustard
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon butter or 1 tablespoon oil

Sauerkraut Roll Sandwich
Probably not one of my best pictures and the cheese does look a little stringy, but that, my friends, is cheesy goodness. ~Sue


Prepare grill for indirect cooking.
Saute onion and garlic until onion is translucent.
Allow to cool, then mix in meats, mustard, salt and pepper.
Oil or spray a cookie sheet sized piece of wax paper.
Evenly spread out meat into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.
Layer cheese and sauerkraut over the surface of the meat.
Carefully roll meat up as a jelly roll, pinching sides and seams closed.
Place on grill away from direct heat and cook until center of roll registers 160F on a meat thermometer, about 75 minutes.
Allow to stand 15-20 minutes before slicing.

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8 responses

  1. Definitely looks interesting Sue, true!
    Might have to put this on my list no to do!
    Cheers! Joanne

  2. Sounds like Reuben sandwich – which we love. Not tailgaters; don’t have a grill. Can these be done in the oven? Temp? Time? Love to make these for family.

    • Try baking at 375F on a roasting rack until the inside temp is 160F. It might leave some marks from the roasting rack, but it does need to be able to drip.

      • I want to cook this this weekend! It looks delicious!

        Do you have a time in mind for using an oven? I’d like a rough time so I don’t have to open and close the oven door as much.

        Thank you for the great recipe!

  3. My son found this recipe for me….I have packed away a cookbook that I’ve had for 52 years that contained similar recipe called “Beef Roll Up.” So I went on a hunt to find something very similar. This is almost the same but, from my memory, my recipe called for adding French Dressing, crumbled rye bread, caraway seeds, and gruyere cheese. I appreciate now knowing that my dish must arrive at 160 degrees internally.

    • There are variations on this kind of recipe- some involving ground meats and others using pounded steak. While the proper cook temp varies for different meats, the 160 in this one implies a well cooked temperature that is firm (so the roll holds) without being dried out. When using the crumbled rye, be careful not to make it too tender so the roll doesn’t also crumble. If you have that issue, cut back on the amount with the next recipe test. Hopefully you will locate your recipe!

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