Kapustnica Recipe

Discover the mouthwatering world of Slovak cuisine with our Kapustnica recipe. A flavorful journey awaits! 🍲🇸🇰 #Kapustnica #SlovakCuisine



  • Cuisine: Slovak
  • Category: Soup
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 5
  • Calories: 250 calories

Kapustnica is a beloved traditional Slovak sauerkraut soup that holds a special place in Slovak cuisine, often associated with festive occasions like Christmas and New Year's. This hearty and flavorful soup showcases the rich culinary heritage of Slovakia.

The star ingredient is sauerkraut, which brings a delightful tangy flavor to the dish. Kapustnica combines this sauerkraut with smoked sausage or kielbasa, creating a satisfying blend of savory and smoky notes.

The soup is also enriched with a combination of aromatic spices, including paprika and caraway seeds, which add depth and warmth to the flavor profile. It's not just a dish for the taste buds; Kapustnica carries a sense of tradition and togetherness. Families and friends often come together to enjoy this comforting soup during the holiday season.

Kapustnica is typically served hot and garnished with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh dill. This combination of flavors and textures creates a delightful balance, making it a popular choice for gatherings and celebrations.

The soup is a testament to the importance of food in Slovak culture, where every meal is an opportunity to share warmth and hospitality with loved ones.


Explore our authentic Kapustnica recipe - a taste of Slovakia's finest. Hearty, flavorful, and perfect for celebrations. 🍲🇸🇰 #KapustnicaRecipe


  • 1 lb (450g) sauerkraut
  • 1 lb (450g) smoked sausage or kielbasa
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 can (14 oz) of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 oz) of tomato sauce
  • 6-8 cups of water or vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sour cream and fresh dill for garnish

Method Instructions

  1. Start by rinsing the sauerkraut under cold water to reduce its sourness, then drain it well.
  2. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and sauté until they become translucent.
  3. Add the sauerkraut to the pot and continue to sauté for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cut the smoked sausage or kielbasa into bite-sized pieces and add them to the pot. Sauté for a few more minutes until the sausage starts to brown slightly.
  5. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and paprika. Let everything cook together for another 5 minutes.
  6. Pour in the water or vegetable broth, add the bay leaf, and caraway seeds (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 30-40 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  7. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings as needed. You can add a bit of sugar if you find it too sour.
  8. Serve hot, garnished with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh dill. Enjoy your homemade Kapustnica!

Recipe Video


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Recipe Tags: Kapustnica, Kapustnica Recipe, Recipe


Serving Kapustnica is a delightful experience, and it's traditionally done with a few key accompaniments to enhance the flavors. Here's how to serve Kapustnica:

  • Hot Soup Bowl: Ladle the hot Kapustnica into individual soup bowls. Ensure that each serving has a mix of sauerkraut, sausage, and flavorful broth.
  • Sour Cream: Add a generous dollop of sour cream on top of each serving. The cool and creamy sour cream balances the tanginess of the sauerkraut and adds a delightful creaminess to the soup.
  • Fresh Dill: Sprinkle a pinch of freshly chopped dill over the soup. Dill not only adds a burst of freshness but also complements the overall flavors of the soup.
  • Bread: Serve slices of crusty bread, such as rye or a hearty white bread, on the side. The bread is perfect for dipping into the soup and sopping up the delicious broth.
  • Enjoy: Kapustnica is best enjoyed piping hot, and the combination of sauerkraut, sausage, and the creamy topping of sour cream creates a harmonious and hearty flavor.
  • Optional Garnishes: Some people also like to add a bit of smoked paprika or a slice of lemon for an extra layer of flavor. Feel free to customize the garnishes to your taste.


  1. Rinse the Sauerkraut: Since sauerkraut can be quite tangy, it's a good idea to rinse it under cold water before using it. This will help reduce its sourness and make the soup more balanced.
  2. Select Quality Ingredients: Choose high-quality smoked sausage or kielbasa for the best flavor. You can also experiment with different types of sausage to find the one you like the most.
  3. Adjust Sourness: The level of sourness in Kapustnica can vary based on personal preference and the sauerkraut used. If you find the soup too sour, you can add a bit of sugar to balance the flavors.
  4. Use Homemade Broth: While using water is perfectly fine, using homemade vegetable or chicken broth can enhance the overall flavor of the soup.
  5. Don't Overcook: Be mindful not to overcook the sauerkraut or the sausage. They should be cooked until heated through and slightly browned for the best texture and flavor.
  6. Spice It Up: You can adjust the amount of paprika and caraway seeds to your liking. If you enjoy a bit of heat, you can even add a pinch of hot paprika.
  7. Serving Style: Serve Kapustnica hot with the recommended garnishes. The contrast of hot soup, cool sour cream, and fresh dill is part of what makes this dish special.
  8. Customize: Feel free to customize the recipe to suit your taste. You can add other vegetables like bell peppers or carrots if you like, or try different types of sausage to create your unique version of Kapustnica.
  9. Leftovers: Kapustnica often tastes even better the next day as the flavors meld. So, don't hesitate to make extra for leftovers!

Ingredient Substitutes

And if you need to substitute certain ingredients in the Kapustnica recipe due to dietary restrictions, preferences, or ingredient availability, here are some options:

  1. Sauerkraut Substitute: Cabbage: You can use fresh cabbage as a substitute for sauerkraut. It won't have the same tangy flavor, so consider adding a little vinegar or lemon juice for acidity.
  2. Smoked Sausage Substitute: Vegetarian Sausage: If you're vegetarian or prefer not to use meat, there are various vegetarian sausages available that can be used as a substitute. Look for ones with a smoky flavor. Smoked Tofu: Smoked tofu can provide a similar smoky element. Cut it into small pieces and add it to the soup.
  3. Sour Cream Substitute: Vegan Sour Cream: If you're vegan or dairy-free, you can use a dairy-free sour cream alternative made from ingredients like cashews or coconut. Greek Yogurt: If you're looking for a lower-fat alternative, Greek yogurt can be used instead of sour cream.
  4. Broth Substitute: Vegetable Broth: Use vegetable broth as an alternative to chicken or beef broth if you prefer a vegetarian version of Kapustnica.
  5. Caraway Seeds Substitute: Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds have a somewhat similar flavor to caraway and can be used in its place.
  6. Tomato Sauce and Diced Tomatoes Substitute: Fresh Tomatoes: You can use fresh tomatoes, chopped or pureed, as a substitute for canned tomatoes. Add a little extra liquid if needed.


In conclusion, Kapustnica is more than just a soup; it's a heartwarming tradition and a delicious taste of Slovakia's culinary heritage. So, embrace the flavors, gather your loved ones, and savor the joy of this classic dish. Create memories, share stories, and continue the legacy of Kapustnica for generations to come. With each spoonful, you're not just tasting a recipe; you're tasting the soul of a culture.

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