This slow cooker sauerkraut sausage dish has all the deliciousness of the classic kraut and sausage…BUT it’s bumped up a notch with the yumminess of barbecue! AND with only 5 ingredients, you can’t beat it.
Oh! AND there’s an oven version too! It’s not been made in a skillet around here yet. So I can’t recommend that method yet. BUT the oven method melds the flavors pretty well. The slow cooker method does better BUT one doesn’t always remember (if “one” is me anyway).
BUT if you aren’t looking for a “different” option…you can always check out our Traditional Kraut & Kielbasa recipe page. I say page ’cause I cooked one but gave LOTS more recipe options too!
NOW…the pic above shows carrots too. That actually makes six ingredients. BUT those are necessary. I didn’t think they added enough extra taste to warrant them as an ingredient.
You CAN add them if you want to of course, but they don’t add any additional flavor really. Vitamin content, sure. Taste, no.
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Slow Cooker Sauerkraut Sausage Ingredient Options
I didn’t happen to have any barbecue sauce on hand when I was asked to make this recipe. I know! ME. Insanity. So, instead of tossing in a cup or two of bottled barbecue sauce I used tomato juice and brown sugar.
You can use bottled barbecue sauce with just about the same results. Either one is really good!
Also, another quick note on the tomato juice and sugar…you can use the minimum quantity recommended IF you want it less soupy. BUT it will cook much faster and possibly burn if you aren’t around to watch it a bit. Just FYI there.
Printable for Slow Cooker ‘Kraut & Sausage
- 1 14- ounce package Little Smokies or other sausages cut into links
- 1 1/2 pounds sauerkraut
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups tomato or vegetable juice
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots optional
Lightly oil, butter or spray the slow cooker insert.
Toss the sausages in the bottom of the crockpot.
Sprinkle the diced onions over the top.
Layer in the sauerkraut.
Mix the juice and brown sugar, stir until well combined; pour over the sausages and sauerkraut.
Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours. At least 3 on high. Check onions for doneness.
Stir well before serving.
Follow the same steps as above but increase the juice to 2 cups.
Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 60 minutes.
Pour all ingredients into a large, pre-labeled freezer bag. Please see notes about sauerkraut.
Lay flat, squeeze out excess air and freeze.
Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.
Freezing your sauerkraut is up to you. Honestly, I think it depends on the kind of 'kraut you're using.
If you get the pre-canned stuff off the shelf, freeze away. Or just wait and add it on cooking day (just make a note on the bag). For this option, just weigh out the difference between making sure you remember to add the 'kraut the day of cooking vs the amount of freezer space you have available.
If you purchase the refrigerated kind and IF it is fermented instead of canned AND if you want the natural probiotics in the sauerkraut to remain active...well, don't freeze it. Make a note on the freezer meal and add it the day you cook.
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