Sauerkraut is a dish most folks either lover or hate. I know I wasn't a fan as a kid but it's grown on me over the years. This particular crock pot kielbasa and sauerkraut recipe is a very simple dish that easy to toss together and enjoy when you get home.
Some kielbasa and 'kraut recipes call for potatoes. I didn't add them to this dish...but there's a recipe below for that too, so you can cook it either way. Personally, I wanted to do a "fake-out Reuben" with the leftovers from this dish. So potatoes wouldn't have worked.
There Are Lots of Ways to Cook Kielbasa & 'Kraut
Since reaching adulthood, I've had kielbasa and 'kraut dozens of times. I've made those "fake-out" Reubens a lot too. But I think the weirdest thing I've ever eaten was Sauerkraut Pizza. Trust me, even though I already liked sauerkraut, I had to be talked into trying it. Man, oh man! I am SO glad I did.
It came from a little corner pizza shop named the Pizza Corner Restaurant in Valley City, ND. It had Canadian bacon, mushrooms, and sauerkraut on it. It was amazing. Now I want pizza 🙂 Maybe I'll use part of the leftover kraut to make pizza too.
Okay, I digressed. But every time I eat 'kraut, I think about that pizza. Can't seem to help it. But THIS recipe. This recipe doesn't include a lot of anything.
Just five ingredients:
- Honey or Brown Sugar
There's the thing, though. You don't have to add any of that stuff. If you get the "good stuff". And I mean the good 'kraut here...you can just toss your kielbasa and sauerkraut in the crock pot and cook away. And by good I mean the refrigerated version, not the canned item on the shelf. The shelf stable variety isn't bad, but the refrigerated version is usually better.
About those optional ingredients...
Onions, they are totally optional. Butter, adds a nice flavor but totally optional too. The brown sugar or honey...that completely depends. It's a taste bud issue. How sour or sweet do you want your dish to be? AND it depends on the brand of 'kraut you purchase. So there are a lot of variables and a lot of options.
You don't need to worry about it. If you're concerned it coming out too sweet or too sour...just cook the recipe WITHOUT any sweetener. A couple hours before supper, taste it. If it's too sour, add the brown sugar or honey. Then stir it up and cook it for a bit longer. It will have plenty of time to blend together.
This particular crock pot sausage and sauerkraut recipe was made to feed a crowd. It was also made for there to be lots of leftovers.
- Dinner #1 tonight: A bowl of Sausage & Kraut with a side salad.
- Dinner #2 (probably a couple nights from now): "Fake Out" Reubens. Toasted rye bread, Swiss or Provolone slices, and sausage & kraut piled high. Most likely with a side of fries and sliced tomatoes.
- Then I'll freeze the last of the leftovers and make that pizza I was drooling about when I started writing. But yep, you heard right. You can freeze this dish. Before or after cooking, either one works.
Printable Crock Pot Kielbasa and Sauerkraut Recipe
5-Ingredient Crock Pot Kielbasa and Sauerkraut
- 1 or 2 packages of kielbasa sausage depending on how much meat you want
- 2- pound bag sauerkraut
- 1 medium onion sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar optional
- 1 tablespoon butter
If You're Making "Fake Out" Ruebens
- Spicy brown mustard
- Swiss cheese slices
- Rye bread
- Butter the crockpot insert
- Slice the kielbasa into chunks the size to fit your bread if you intend to make sandwiches
- Place the sliced sausage into the bottom of the crockpot
- Layer the sliced onion on top the sausage
- Sprinkle on the brown sugar or drizzle on the honey if you are using it
- Pour the sauerkraut over the top with the juices
- Cover and cook on low for 5 to 8 hours
If you're making Sandwiches
- Lightly butter the rye bread and toast for 2 to 3 minutes
- Lay a slice of swiss cheese on each piece of bread and toast until melted
- Arrange slices of kielbasa and drained sauerkraut on the toasted bread to your preference
Alternative Kielbasa & 'Kraut Recipes
Like I was babbling about earlier, there are lots of options when making kielbasa and 'kraut. None that I've found are particularly difficult. They just taste a bit different. The one I cooked and featured it our favorite. Mostly because it's the most versatile.
Here are a few options for you to try too...
Crock Pot Kielbasa Sauerkraut and Potato Dinner
This recipe almost like the one listed above, but with potatoes added. It's DELISH! Serve with a side of spicy mustard, you won't be disappointed...
Crock Pot Kielbasa Sauerkraut and Potato Dinner
- 2 pounds sauerkraut
- 3 medium potatoes cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 medium onion sliced into rings
- 14.5 oz chicken broth
- 2 pounds kielbasa cut into serving size pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- Layer the kielbasa, onions, and potatoes in the crockpot
- Cover with the sauerkraut and pour the chicken broth over the top
- Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours
Crockpot Kielbasa & Sauerkraut with Beer
This is another super versatile recipe. It works great for sandwiches. I thought the flavor was a bit off for pizza, so this wasn't our favored dish this round.
Slow Cooker Kielbasa Sauerkraut and Beer
- 2 pounds kielbasa
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds sauerkraut
- 1 12- ounce beer of your choice
- Toss everything in the crockpot
- Pour the beer over the top
- Cover and cook on low for at least 7 hours, up to 10 works great
- Cook until the meat is hot and plumps
Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Sauerkraut and Kielbasa
Pork Roast with Sauerkraut and Kielbasa
- 2- pound pork loin roast
- 1 pound kielbasa
- 4 pounds sauerkraut cut into chunks
- 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Lay the pork loin in a buttered or oiled crock pot
- Tuck pieces of kielbasa around the edges
- Sprinkle on the thyme and pour the sauerkraut over the top
- Cover and cook on low at least 7 hours
Let us know if you try one and what you think...Rock that Crock!