Smoked kielbasa, tangy sauerkraut, mustard, and beer for flavor all come together for an absolutely delicious easy slow cooker kielbasa and sauerkraut recipe.
I have quickly learned that cooking sausages in the slow cooker is a delicious way to prepare them. It all started with me making slow cooker sausage and peppers and now I am hooked!
They become sooo tender. And a characteristic of most sausages is to be flavorful already, so cooking them low and slow surrounded by sauces, veggies, and other tasty ingredients just makes for out of this world flavorful dinners!
You will also be amazed at how cooking the slow cooker sauerkraut makes it almost silky in texture-- you have to try it!
- Kielbasa Sausage. Anything labeled kielbasa or polish sausage will work here. Kielbasa is a polish sausage (kielbasa literally means "sausage") and it can be made from a variety of meats, but typically the ones you will see in an american grocery store are made from beef or pork and are smoked kielbasa. My favorite variety is from the Teton brand, the taste is great, and it is a sausage made from grass fed beef.
- Sauerkraut. This recipe calls for a lot of sauerkraut and it is so tasty. I love the way that it softens as it cooks in the crock pot. The sourness also mellows out some, but you still get a bit of that "bite." You can use store bought like Wild Brine or homemade. You can even use red cabbage sauerkraut for some nice color.
- Beer. The liquid used here is beer. It adds a little something, and smells AMAZING as it is cooking. Don't worry, the majority of alcohol cooks off. If you would prefer another liquid you could try apple juice, apple cider, or even chicken stock.
- Onion. With such a simple recipe, every ingredient counts! Thinly sliced onion cooks down and mixes in with the sauerkraut very nicely.
- Salt. Sauerkraut can be very salty depending on the variety. I recommend waiting to salt until the cooking process finishes and tasting the dish first.
- Brown Sugar. Just a hint of sweetness! My husband said adding the brown sugar is really what took this crockpot kielbasa sauerkraut recipe over the edge.
- Spicy Brown Mustard. I love mustard with pork and with sausages, so it just felt like a natural fit here. I used spicy brown, but stone ground, deli, or even regular yellow mustard would work.
For full ingredient list and amounts, see recipe card below.
How to make kielbasa and sauerkraut in the slow cooker
Step 1. Cut of kielbasa sausage into 2-3 inch pieces. Place in the bottom of your slow cooker.
Step 2. Pour beer over top.
Step 3. Pour sauerkraut, along with any accompanying juice, over top.Top with sliced onions, minced garlic, brown sugar, and mustard. Cover.
Step 4. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
- The sausage is already cooked through, so this dish can technically be done faster. So if you are looking for a slow cooker recipe that can be done in about two hours, this is it! However, allowing it to cook a bit longer makes everything super tender and flavorful!
- The sausages can be left whole if desired.
How to serve kielbasa and sauerkraut
- On its own. Keep this dish low carb by serving the polish sausage and kraut as is.
- With noodles. I lover no yolk egg noodles with butter with this easy slow cooker kielbasa dish. Serving the dish this way, reminds me of haluski, another popular polish dish.
- On a bun. These tender sausages go great on a bun, just like a brat. Squirt an extra helping of mustard on top if you would like!
- We love having ketchup and mustard on the side to dip the sausages in, no matter which way we serve it.
Of course! I am all about adding layers of flavor wherever you can, so browning the sausages first would be a great idea. I didn't do that here, and it isn't necessary but it would hurt or change the rest of the recipe at all.
I highly recommend making a big crock pot full of this dish (it is simple to double the recipe) and having lots of leftovers. It heats up really well in the microwave.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
more slow cooker recipes
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Easy Slow Cooker Kielbasa and Sauerkraut
- 20 oz. kielbasa sausage cut into 2-3 inch pieces
- 3 cups sauerkraut
- 1 12 oz. wheat beer
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
- salt to taste
- Cut of kielbasa sausage into 2-3 inch pieces. Place in the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Pour beer over top.
- Add sauerkraut, along with any accompanying juice, over top.
- Top with sliced onions, minced garlic, brown sugar, and mustard.
- Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
- Taste and add salt if necessary.