Sauerkraut and Sausages with Apples is one of our favorite dishes from Germany and Poland. The apples (along with a little cider and brown sugar) help cut the sourness of the sauerkraut with just the right amount of subtle sweetness that goes perfectly with the rich, juicy sausages!

If you love German food, be sure to also check out our Authentic German Sauerbraten Recipe, Easy Homemade German Spaetzle, and German Apple Cake with Streusel Topping [Apfelkuchen mit Streusel]!

Sauerkraut and Sausages with Apples on a white plate filled with mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts

Sauerkraut and Sausages with Apples can really be made using any fully-cooked German or Polish style sausage like Kielbasa, Bratwurst, or Knockwurst, although we tend most often to stick with smoked kielbasa.

Serve this with some dill mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts for a delicious Oktoberfest dinner!

While I'm not going to make any claims about this being authentically German, I would say that the flavors and textures definitely remind me of foods I ate while living there during part of my law school career.

Paul and I lived in Frankfurt for a summer doing legal internships based out of Germany. It was an AMAZING experience and we have had a soft spot for that country and it's food and flavors ever since.

While apples may not be the star of this dish, they play a really important supporting role of rounding out the flavors and balancing the sourness of the sauerkraut and richness of the sausages.

You could really use any good baking apple, but I went with Pink Lady apples when I made and photographed this dish.

And if you have ever wanted to know about what sauerkraut is, how to make it yourself, or how good it is for you, this link to the ultimate guide to sauerkraut is incredibly helpful!

a large blue pot with ingredients for apples and saurerkraut

Sauerkraut and sausages isn't a super quick dish to prepare, but the upside of that is most of the cooking time is passive where sauerkraut and apples are simmer together or everything is slowly cooking in the crock pot, so it's not like any of this is hard or requires much skill in the kitchen.

I find sauerkraut and sausages with apples especially comforting on gray, overcast days when I want something super cozy. And my entire family loves it and gobbles it right up.

Nobody tell my girls that most kids turn their noses up at sauerkraut, m'kay? Cuz' I'm going to ride that train as long as it's running.

sauerkraut and apple sausae next to roasted brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes

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Sauerkraut and Sausages with Apples

5 from 17 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine German
Servings 6 servings
Sauerkraut and Sausage with Apples can be made using any German or Polish style sausage like Kielbasa, Bratwurst, or Knockwurst.  The apples (along with a little cider and brown sugar) help cut the sourness of the sauerkraut with just the right amount of subtle sweetness that goes perfectly with the rich, juicy sausages.  Serve this with some dill mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts for a delicious Oktoberfest dinner!


  • 1 2-pound pouch or jar of sauerkraut, from the refrigerated section of the deli aisle
  • 2 medium apples diced
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds optional
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup apple cider or apple juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 lb. kielbasa cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces bacon


  • Drain and rinse the sauerkraut. 
  • In a large sauce pan or Dutch oven, combine the sauerkraut, diced apples, caraway seeds, brown sugar, apple cider and salt over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, for 90 minutes, stirring periodically.  Remove to the bowl of a slow cooker and turn on to low heat.
  • Slice uncooked bacon into ½-inch pieces.  Wipe out the pan used to cook the sauerkraut and heat over medium-high heat.  Add the sliced bacon and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until crispy.  Remove bacon to the slow cooker with the sauerkraut using a slotted spoon and drain all but 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings.  
  • Heat the bacon drippings over medium heat, then add the sliced onions and kielbasa.  Cook for 12-15 minutes, until the onions begin to caramelize and the sausage is starting to crisp and brown around the edges.  Transfer to the slow cooker with the other ingredients and cook on high for 1 ½-2 hours or on low for 3-4 hours.  
  • Serve with mashed or roasted potatoes.


Adapted from Our Best Bites.


Calories: 555kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 18g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 1237mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

    1. Still loving this recipe! Thanks for sharing it with everyone of the Celebrate 365 All Things Apple Blog Party!

  1. Now that is a plate of food I would not mind seeing at my table tonight! This looks delicious and sounds so full of flavor!

  2. Oh this brings back so many Oktoberfest memories! Sausage + Sauerkraut + apples is like the perfect German comfort food! Now I want to be in Germany!😍

  3. 5 stars
    This looks like a great dinner to me. I am sauerkraut with anything is delicious. I could eat a plate of this right now....and it's only lunch time here.

  4. 5 stars
    I'm usually not a fan of sauerkraut, but you make it look so good! I bet the combo with the apples & brown sugar make it taste amazing!

  5. Oh my word!! I know the next sauerkraut recipe that I am trying! This looks SO DELICIOUS!! sauerkraut, pork and apples are just such a fantastic pairing!

    1. I haven't gotten around to trying this one in the Instant Pot yet, but I would start by browning the bacon, then adding everything else with the sausage on top. I would also increase the liquid to 1 full cup of apple juice, and try setting the instant pot on HIGH pressure using the manual setting for 8 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural release. At least, that would be my starting point. If you try it, please let me know how it works!

  6. Hi - do you really mean to call for 12 POUNDS of sauerkraut? Seems like a lot - 2 pounds per person?

    Just made your rye bread and it is wonderful. Thanks!

    1. So glad you loved the rye bread! Sorry for any confusion there - there is a space between the 1 and 2 but I added parentheses so it is more clear that the recipe calls for 1 (2-pound) jar or bag of sauerkraut. 12 pounds would be a lot!

  7. Such a great sounds. This sounds like the perfect harvest dinner to me. Such a comfort food. Thanks for sharing your information.

  8. Excellent dinner! I really enjoyed the bacon in it and I served it with cauliflower mash to keep the calories down. My whole family loved it. I used some beer to replace the apple juice because I did not have any on hand. What I particularly liked was that I could prepare this in stages. For example, I cooked the sauerkraut and apples and basically stopped after step 2, keeping that in the refrigerator overnight. Then the next day, I carried on with the recipe. This simplified the meal so much! I also tripled the recipe so we had leftovers which I am planning to serve to guests for dinner tonight!