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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 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!
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.
More German Recipes You'll Love
- Authentic German Sauerbraten Recipe
- Traditional German Red Cabbage [Rotkohl]
- Easy Homemade German Spaetzle
- German Apple Cake with Streusel Topping [Apfelkuchen mit Streusel]
- Apfelstrudel Recipe (German Apple Strudel)
- Black Forest Cake
- Air Fryer Brats
Sauerkraut and Sausages with Apples
- 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.