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We Know Our Sources: Cleveland Kraut

Brothers-in-law Drew & Luke have a shared interest: fermented food. Several years back the two had both been experimenting with fermentation in their respective states and, once both in Ohio, began to work together and try out different flavor profiles. After taking their talents to Cleveland Culinary Launch Kitchen, the two created Cleveland Kraut. Add in Drew’s brother Mac and you have a winning team.

Cleveland Kraut Founders

The two brothers grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio and were “born and raised on Heinen’s,” according to Mac. So when it came time to expand their line to grocery they knew where they wanted to see their product. They sat down with Heinen’s Deli Director, Tony Tamburro, in 2015 and have been bringing their jarred goodness to Heinen’s shelves ever since.

Sourcing and Production

As much as possible, the company sources its ingredients from local farms and producers. All of their cabbage, for example, comes from Ohio farms.

In regards to fermentation, they entered the food scene at a great time for their product. Awareness of raw, probiotic foods is on the rise and, as Drew pointed out, “even if they’re completely new to fermented food, they’ve heard something.”

Have you experienced the crunch of Cleveland Kraut yet? It’s both memorable and intentional.

“There’s something to be said about providing a product that’s made in an old-fashioned way,” says Drew.

Try out these recipes…

In the spirit of #BurgerBash, we thought you might enjoy making these

Classic Cleveland Kraut Tuna Burgers

from Chickpea in the City.

Classic Cleveland Kraut Tuna Burgers

Serves: 3-4
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins


  • ½ cup white onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cans 5oz. albacore tuna, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 slices of sprouted grain bread, processed into ¾ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup oat flour
  • 1 tbsp plain yogurt (I used Siggi’s Skyr Yogurt, plain)
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 3 sprouted whole wheat burger buns
  • ¾ cup Cleveland Kraut (or kraut you have on hand)
  • ¼ cup microgreens

Classic Cleveland Kraut Tuna Burgers


  1. First begin by sauteing your chopped white onions in 1 tbsp olive oil for about 5-10 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside.
  2. Next, combine your tuna, eggs, yogurt, homemade or store-bought breadcrumbs, oat flour and Old Bay together into a large bowl. Mix well.
  3. Form into 4 to 5 medium-sized patties (about 3 inches wide) and place delicately onto pan coated in 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat. Cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.
  4. Preheat oven to 400º and place burger buns in the oven for 5 minutes to toast.
  5. Cut your tomato into thin slices and place on top of your tuna burgers with a sprinkle of microgreens and ¼ cup of kraut onto each burger. Place each tuna burger onto a bun, eat and enjoy!
Gnar Gnar Sauerkraut Balls 

by Whole Food | Real Families

These Gnar Gnar Sauerkraut Balls are spicy on the inside with a crispy shell of Panko breading.

Servings: 50
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes


  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 16 oz jar Cleveland Kraut Gnar Gnar sauerkraut (drained)
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin (green only)
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko
olive oil (for pan-frying)
  • parsley (for garnish)

For Dipping:

  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 bunch chives

Gnar Gnar Kraut Balls


  1. Heat butter a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, over medium heat.
  2. When butter is melted, add ¼ cup of flour and whisk until flour is well-combined and pasty. Add beef broth slowly, continuing to whisk until a thick gravy forms.
  3. Add Gnar Gnar Sauerkraut, sliced green onions, a dash of Worcestershire, and kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste. Stir until well combined and allow it to cook on medium-low heat until thick.
  4. Spread the Gnar Gnar out on a sheet pan and place it in the refrigerator for 2 hours or in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will make it easier to roll into balls.
  5. Remove from the refrigerator and make tablespoon-sized balls by rolling the Gnar Gnar in your hands.
  6. Dip the balls first in flour, then in the egg wash, and then in the panko.
  7. After wiping out your skillet or Dutch oven, pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Heat oil over medium heat until it is shimmering but not smoking. Place the 3-4 Gnar Gnar balls at a time into the hot oil carefully and brown until deeply golden, turning often to prevent burning. Do not overcrowd the pan and do not add to oil that is not hot.
  8. When the Gnar Gnar balls are cooked completely, remove them carefully and allow them to drain on a paper towel to absorb any oil.
  9. Pile them on a platter and top with fresh parsley to serve! Mix 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup sour cream and lots of fresh chives for dipping.
  10. Note: we use white whole wheat flour as our house flour but conventional white flour and gluten-free baking mix also works very well, depending on your dietary needs. Also, if you would like a vegetarian option, replace the beef broth with vegetable broth. Enjoy!
Heinen's logo in black
By Heinen's Grocery Store
In 1929, Joe Heinen opened the doors of a small butcher shop on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, aiming to establish himself as the city’s purveyor of quality meats. As customers came into Heinen’s new shop for their meat purchases, they began asking him to carry groceries as well. Joe added homemade peanut butter, pickles and donuts and by 1933, business had grown enough to include a line of produce and canned goods. Heinen’s Grocery Store was born.

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