Slow Cooker Kielbasa With Sauerkraut and Apple

Sauerkraut, Apples, and Sausage
Christine Wehrmeier/Moment/Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 7 hrs
Total: 7 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
486 Calories
22g Fat
62g Carbs
13g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
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.)

Kielbasa and sauerkraut are a classic combination, and when sliced apples, brown sugar, and caraway seeds are added, and it's cooked slowly all day, the result is a sweet and sour dish that makes a nice family dinner.

Although sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) has a strong flavor, it is mellowed by rinsing and wringing out the sauerkraut to remove the brine; the apple and sugar also bring sweetness, balancing out the sour taste. This dish provides protein and vegetables for your meal, so all you need are some crusty rolls on the side.


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  • 1 pound sauerkraut
  • 1 pound kielbasa (or another similar smoked sausage)
  • 3 to 4 tart apples (thickly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 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, if using.

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

  6. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until the apples are tender.

  7. Stir before serving and enjoy.


  • 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.
  • Vary the amount of sugar to suit your taste.

What is Kielbasa?

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

Stovetop Method

This slow cooker recipe is convenient for a make-ahead meal, but you can also cook it quickly in a skillet on your stovetop. Simmer the apples and sauerkraut together for 10 minutes, and 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 version, but it is a quick and easy method.

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