Slow Cooker Kielbasa With Sauerkraut and Apple

Sauerkraut, Apples, and Sausage
Christine Wehrmeier/Moment/Getty Images
  • Total: 7 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 7 hrs
  • Yield: 4 portions (4 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
486 Calories
22g Fat
62g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 portions (4 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 486
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 29%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 58mg 19%
Sodium 1887mg 82%
Total Carbohydrate 62g 23%
Dietary Fiber 7g 27%
Protein 13g
Calcium 80mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This slow cooker kielbasa and sauerkraut is a classic combination of ingredients. Sauerkraut and sliced apples complement the kielbasa in this tasty slow dish you can start in the morning and enjoy for dinner. The optional caraway seeds add some texture and flavor, and the brown sugar gives the dish its wonderful sweet-sour taste.

Kielbasa is a Polish sausage that can be found in most supermarkets in the U.S. The smoked sausage is usually made with beef, pork, or turkey. The word "kielbasa" means "sausage" in Polish. Many of the smoked sausages available in the supermarket are pre-cooked and so you really will only be reheating the sausage in the slow cooker.

People generally either love sauerkraut or can't stand it. This fermented cabbage has a strong flavor, but it is balanced in this dish with the sweetness of the apple and sugar and mellowed by rinsing and wringing out the sauerkraut to remove the brine. You can vary the amount of sugar to suit your taste.

This is an easy slow cooker dish that makes a nice family dinner. Or take the finished dish along to a potluck dinner or tailgating event and serve it hot from the slow cooker.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sauerkraut
  • 1 pound kielbasa (or another similar smoked sausage)
  • 3 to 4 apples (tart, thickly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (kosher)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 3/4 cup apple juice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Rinse the sauerkraut and squeeze it dry to remove the brine. Place half of the sauerkraut in the slow cooker.

  3. Cut the sausage into 2-inch lengths. Place the sausage pieces in the slow cooker.

  4. Continue to layer the ingredients in the slow cooker in this order: the sliced apples, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and caraway seeds.

  5. Top with the remaining sauerkraut. Pour the apple juice over all.

  6. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or until apples are tender. It will be fine cooking for a longer time but is likely to be ready sooner. Stir before serving.

Tips

  • This dish provides protein and vegetables for your meal, so you might add some crusty rolls to go with it as a starch.
  • Refrigerate any leftovers in a sealed container so the aroma of the sauerkraut doesn't transfer to the other items in your refrigerator. You can reheat the leftovers in the microwave for meals the next day.

Variation

This slow cooker recipe is convenient for a make-ahead meal. But you can also make the same meal quickly minutes in a skillet on your stovetop. Simmer the apples and sauerkraut together for 10 minutes, then add the sausage, sugar, salt, and pepper. Heat through for about 5 minutes. It may not have the same depth of flavor as the slow cooker meal, but it can be a quick and easy method.

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