If you’re looking for a traditional Polish kielbasa and sauerkraut recipe that can be made in a crockpot, you’ve come to the right place. This crockpot kielbasa and sauerkraut dish is a tart and tangy meal with a hint of sweetness. It’s the perfect comfort food for a cold winter’s night!
Sauerkraut and kielbasa is a classic combo that originates from Poland. Kielbasa is a type of sausage that is traditionally made with pork, garlic, and other spices. Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage that has a sour, tangy flavor. Together, they’re a match made in Heaven!
How to Make Kielbasa and Sauerkraut
Traditionally, kielbasa and sauerkraut are cooked in a pot on the stove. However, this crockpot version is just as delicious and much easier to make. Simply throw all of the ingredients into the crockpot, add a few extra things like brown sugar, beer and apples and you get a deep, flavorful dinner that is simple to make any day of the week!
What is Sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is a delicious pickled cabbage with a tart flavor that is perfect for dishes like “kielbasa and sauerkraut”. It’s made by fermenting cabbage in a brine (saltwater) solution. This process breaks down the cabbage’s cell walls and creates lactic acid, which gives sauerkraut its sour flavor.
As an adult, I had only eaten sauerkraut as a side when my husband grilled kielbasa or sausages, but we ate it all the time as a kid. Remembering that sauerkraut is so good, I decided it was time to find more ways to cook with it.
So of course, I went straight to my crockpot.
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Sauerkraut & Kielbasa
This easy crockpot recipe has just a few simple steps but will take your kielbasa and sauerkraut to a new level of yum! This dish is perfect to serve for dinner, at a football party, or backyard cookout.
Ok, so I bet you are thinking…I just need kielbasa and sauerkraut right? Who needs a recipe? Sorry, but to get this level of deliciousness you need a few more ingredients to make this memorable meal.
In order to balance out the tart of the sauerkraut, you will need a few items to give it the sweet twist that really makes this recipe shine.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Sweet Onion
- Beer or Water
- Honey Crisp Apple
- Brown Sugar
- Caraway Seed
How to Cook Kielbasa and Sauerkraut
As you’ve probably guessed by now from the recipe and blog name, this kielbasa and sauerkraut slow cooker recipe will be made in our trusty crockpot. Not only is the crockpot a huge time saver, but it also allows all of the flavors to marry and deepen while it cooks. That’s a win-win in my book!
Step 1. Cook onions and garlic on the stove. If short on time you can skip this step and just add the onions and garlic to the crockpot.
Step 2. Add the sauerkraut, apple, onion, garlic mixture, and caraway seeds to the crockpot. Stir.
Step 3. Cut kielbasa into ½” pieces. Add to crockpot.
Step 4. Mix beer/water and brown sugar together in a separate bowl. Pour over the sauerkraut mixture. Stir ingredients together.
Step 5. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 4-6 hours.
I make everything gluten-free in our house because my husband has celiac disease. Unfortunately, beer has gluten in it, so to stay gluten-free you’ll need to swap to a gluten-free beer or water. I use gluten-free Omission beer.
I find that the gluten-free beer adds just as much flavor to the dish and it still tastes great! If you don’t mind the gluten, then by all means go ahead and use your favorite lager beer.
This recipe is dairy-free. So you’re all set!
You could easily make this a vegetarian dish by swapping out the kielbasa for a vegetarian sausage. I’ve made it with Tofurkey kielbasa before and it was really good!
This Crockpot Kielbasa and Sauerkraut dish is a classic Polish recipe that is simple to make in the crockpot. The sauerkraut and kielbasa cook together in the slow cooker, making this a hearty, one-pot meal. Enjoy this dish with some mashed potatoes or rye bread for a complete meal.
Want more Delicious Crockpot Recipes?
Crockpot Kielbasa and Sauerkraut
- 2-3 pounds kielbasa or sausage
- 1 sweet onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 32 ounces sauerkraut cut into coin-sized pieces
- 1 honey crisp apple or other sweet apple peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 1 cup beer or water use gluten free beer to keep gluten free
- 2-4 tablespoons brown sugar
- Heat oil on stove and cook onions and garlic on stove until soft.
- Add the sauerkraut, apple, onion and garlic mixture, and caraway seeds to the slow cooker crock. Stir.
- Mix beer/water and brown sugar together in separate bowl. Pour over the sauerkraut mixture. Stir ingredients together.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 4-6 hours.