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Romanian Braised Sauerkraut Recipe - Varza Calita


Romanian Braised Sauerkraut or Varza Calita

Romanian Braised Sauerkraut or Varza Calita

© 2010 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This Romanian recipe for braised sauerkraut or varză călită (VAHR-zuh cuh-LEE-tuh) takes on a reddish color from the added tomato sauce. Don't discard the juices drained from the sauerkraut. They are the building blocks of many Romanian sour soups known as ciorbă. See this Romanian Sour Cabbage Soup recipe.

Here's a larger photo of Romanian braised sauerkraut.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings Romanian Sauerkraut


  • 2 pounds sauerkraut
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper or to taste
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine


  1. Drain sauerkraut, reserving juices for other uses like sour soups. Place them in a glass jar with a screw top and refrigerate. Wash sauerkraut, drain and soak in cold water 30 minutes. Drain and squeeze sauerkraut dry.

  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter, add sauerkraut, coating with butter and saute 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add pepper and tomato sauce. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 50 minutes, adding water if necessary if it becomes too dry.

  3. Add salt, paprika and wine. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Serve with pork, poultry or fish.
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