German Cabbage Roll, called Krautstrudel in German, is a crunchy filo dough rolled up around braised cabbage with bacon bits. Usually served with a simple horseradish-dill sauce!
When you think of strudel, you probably automatically picture a sweet apple strudel. Am I right? Well in Central Europe they make some great savoury ones too! You can find some pumpkin, spinach, sauerkraut and more strudel types here and there. This German Cabbage Roll is a braised cabbage with bacon bits served with a delicious homemade horseradish-dill sauce.
The original dough to cover the strudel is usually a thin and elastic puffy dough. Although, for this recipe, I’ve used stacked phyllo sheets with a light spray of olive oil on each sheet. I like the flakiness of the phyllo, plus it contains way less butter than the flaky puff dough. The only thing with phyllo is to make sure you overlap the sheets so the liquid doesn’t escape from the strudel. Also, when in the oven, better add the strudel on the bottom level, to prevent burning the top.
As for the filling, a braised mix of cabbage, onion and bacon bits. As for spices some German aromatics of sweet paprika and caraway seeds. The type of cabbage is up to you, although Savoy or White cabbage are the popular choices.
Surprisingly, the amount of sweet paprika german cuisine uses in their cuisine. As for the caraway seeds, if you don’t know them yet, they look like cumin seeds although they taste nothing like it. They taste a bit bitter-sweet. They are also well known to help with digestive problems like heartburn, gas, bloating, etc. Often used in meals like sauerkraut for its counter effect. Caraway seeds should be essential to any cabbage meals.
To go with the KrautStrudel is a great and healthy dip; a horseradish-dill sauce. The original sauce uses sour cream, which is difficult to find where I live. So, I’ve exchanged it for a natural greek yogurt but it could also be Creme fraiche. The resulting sauce is lovely and fit to perfection this KrautStrudel. The horseradish give a welcomed spicy kick to the whole meal.
Here are other German inspired recipe of mine:
So let’s roll this strudel up!
German Cabbage Roll (Krautstrudel)
- 1/2 White or Savoy cabbage (finely chopped)
- 1 pack frozen filo/phyllo pastry (or pate brise)
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 150 g smoked bacon bits
- 150 ml chicken broth
- 30 g butter
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- salt and pepper
The horseradish-dill sauce
- 150 g plain greek yogurt (or creme fraiche, sour cream)
- 2 tbsp horseradish (grated)
- 1/2 lime or lemon
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt and pepper
- caraway seeds
- Make the horseradish sauce by mixing all the ingredients, and leave it in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Add the onion, butter and salt to a big pan at medium-low heat and soften for 5 minutes.
- Bring up the heat to medium-high, and add the bacon bits.
- When the bacon bits are well cooked, add the white cabbage, the broth, and the paprika.
- Let the cabbage cook through; broth reduces until almost gone, for about 10 minutes.
- When the volume is down by half, add the cornstarch mix (mixed with 3 tbsp of cold water) and mix until barely any liquid is left.
- Take off the fire, check the seasoning and reserve.
- On a big piece of baking paper, stack the filo sheets one over the other to make a big rectangle the size of the oven metal baking sheet while having a layer of olive oil (spray or brush) between each sheet.
- Add the cabbage mixture to the lower center of the sheet, then fold the sides over the mixture and roll up the Strudel. Transfer with the help of the baking paper to the baking sheet.
- Add an extra layer of olive oil (I use a spray, then it’s just a fine layer) on top of the Krautstrudel, some extra paprika, caraway seeds and salt.
- Cook at 200°C (400F°) for 20 minutes in the oven, at the lowest level, until light brown.