Crock Pot pork and sauerkraut features tender pork loin slowly cooking in tangy sauerkraut and seasonings in this classic German New Year's meal.
Whether you are preparing this as a New Year's tradition, or simply craving an effortless family meal, busy families will love this crock pot pork and sauerkraut recipe because it could not be easier to prepare for dinner. The ingredients for this traditional dish simply get added to your slow cooker and simmer away while you worry about more pressing matters of the day.
New Year's Pork and Sauerkraut
Eating pork and sauerkraut is a popular New Year's day tradition in Germany thought to bring blessings and wealth in the coming year as bountiful as the number of shreds of sauerkraut in the pot, which is why this dish is also called good luck pork and sauerkraut. Like many other ethnic cuisines and traditions, the great flavors of this meal have taken root in America as well, being particularly popular with the Pennsylvania Dutch.
Ingredients and Substitutions
I recommend using a 6-quart crock pot for this slow cooker pork and sauerkraut recipe.
- Pork Loin - I find boneless pork loin to be the best cut of pork for this meal. It is flavorful, lean, cooks up perfectly tender, and is inexpensive to purchase. What more could you want? Some people use pork tenderloin instead, and it will certainly work well, but it has a much higher price point at the grocery store and the final result won't taste much different. Pork chops also work well, as they are typically cut from the loin.
- Sauerkraut - Using bagged or canned sauerkraut works perfectly well, however, try making homemade sauerkraut if you really want to make this meal exceptional. Oh, and don't worry about the flavor of sauerkraut overpowering this dish, it doesn't.
- Caraway Seeds - These are optional but recommended.
- Brown Sugar - The brown sugar and apple really tame down the tanginess of the kraut.
- Granny Smith Apple - You can substitute any other baking apple.
- Butter - Feel free to use some bacon fat in combination with butter for a smokier flavor. A mixture of apple butter and bacon fat would be phenomenal.
- Table Salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
How to make Crock Pot Pork and Sauerkaut
Pork and sauerkraut is well suited to make in the crock pot. Begin by placing the raw pork in the slow cooker with all of the remaining ingredients and let everything cook for 6 hours on low heat, but it is even better if you take the time to brown the exterior of the pork loin by searing it in a large skillet prior to placing it in the slow cooker. The browning of the meat adds a great layer of flavor.
The pork is done when it is tender but not falling apart. Remove it with a slotted spoon and slice the pork into individual servings then serve with the sauerkraut mixture and cooking juices.
Note: You do not need additional liquid when cooking pork in a crock pot. Juice will render out of the meat as it cooks and combine with the sauerkraut juice to ensure everything stays moist.
Can I make Pork and Sauerkraut in the Oven?
If you don't have a slow cooker, or choose not to use one for whatever reason. You can easily make pork and sauerkraut in the oven. When using this cooking method, the best piece of equipment would be a Dutch Oven. The pork can be seared in the Dutch Oven on the stove top with a little oil, then the remaining ingredients can be added, and the Dutch Oven can be covered and placed in a 350-degree oven until tender. I would expect this to take about 2-3 hours. If you love Dutch Oven recipes, check out my Beer Braised Short Ribs too.
What to Serve with Pork and Sauerkraut
The best side dish to serve with pork and sauerkraut is mashed potatoes. Light and fluffy mashed potatoes are perfect for soaking up all of the delicious cooking liquid pulled from the crock pot. Place a slice of pork on top of a scoop of potatoes, ladle over some kraut and juice and enjoy by the forkful! Roasted potatoes are another great option!
If you are craving more German food, check out my Wiener Schnitzel recipe and make up a big batch of homemade spaetzle to serve with it! Otherwise, Sauerkraut and Dumplings is always an easy favorite.
Storing & Reheating Leftovers
This easy pork and sauerkraut recipe is perfect to make in advance because it stores and reheats well, plus it tastes even better the second day. The leftover pork should be stored in an airtight container with the sauerkraut mixture and set in your refrigerator to be enjoyed within five days.
The leftovers can easily be reheated in the microwave in individual servings, however, if you made this in advance to serve a crowd you can bring it back up to temperature in your slow cooker, but expect this to take an hour or longer.
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Crock Pot Pork and Sauerkraut
- 3-4 pound Pork Loin
- 2 pounds Sauerkraut (with juice)
- 1 teaspoon Caraway Seeds (optional but recommended)
- 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 1 medium Granny Smith Apple (cored, peeled, and chopped)
- ¼ cup Butter
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
- Add pork loin to a 6 quart slow cooker and top with sauerkraut, sauerkraut juice, caraway seeds, brown sugar, chopped apple, butter, salt, and black pepper.
- Turn slow cooker on low and cook for 6 hours, or until pork loin is tender but not yet falling apart.
- Cut the pork loin into individual serving sizes and serve topped with sauerkraut and cooking juices.
This recipe was originally published August 29, 2018, on FoxValleyFoodie.com.
I just made this today and it was fabulous!! I made it exactly, except I had 1 Fuji apple that needed to be used up so I substituted that for the Granny Smith. It was a hit!! Pinning this for next year! Thank you and Happy New Year!
This is by far the best pork and sauerkraut I’ve ever had. I used tenderloins and prepared in a Dutch oven instead of a slow cooker. Outstanding!
I made this tonight and could not get over the raves I got from my family absolutely wonderful 🙏
I found this recipe on New Year's Day. I used a 1 pound pork tenderloin, one can of sauerkraut with the juice, and half of the remaining ingredients for my two meat eaters. My husband said it was the best pork and sauerkraut he’d ever eaten. I served it with Yukon gold mashed potatoes. So easy and a big hit. This one’s a keeper! Thank you for sharing!
Followed recipe exactly & this is really nasty. My sister is trying to rescue the pork now. Will never make this again.
Hey Robin. Even in a slow cooker I check my pork roast (any roast) an hour or more before the cook time suggested. When it is tender and to your liking - it will de done. Use a meat thermometer to make sure meat is at a safe temp.. I use a pork shoulder roast because it has more fat and does does not get as dry as a loin roast if overcooked. I mix my sauerkraut in a bowl with unsweetened applesauce (2 small individual container size) brown sugar to Taste and caraway seeds. I brown my roast on both sides after seasoning with salt and pepper and granulated garlic or fresh garlic. Put the roast on top of a layer of sliced or chopped onions, I add the sauerkraut on top of and around the roast. Pour a cup or so of chicken broth to the bottom of the bowl of the slow cook and cook until done.. On slow start checking at 5 or 6 hours. Every cooker is different. I serve the kraut over dumplings with the sliced pork next to it. I do rinse my kraut just a LITTLE so it is not too sour.. just enough for us. That is why I add the chicken broth. The recipe on this site is a great recipe. I have just been making my pork and kraut this way for Years, I just find a bone in pork roast or shoulder is more moist and tender than a tenderloin., in a slow cooker.
Could this be made and frozen for later?
Fox Valley Foodie
That should work just fine.
Loved this recipe, and I will make it again and again. Really enjoying the leftovers too. I used the temperature probe feature on my crock pot, and the roast was cooked perfectly.
I just made this over the weekend. . It was delicious! A real keeper!
All I can say is "wow!"
I made this with a one-pound price-reduced pork loin roast, and it turned out AMAZING!
Even though my roast was a quarter of the size recommended, I reduced the quantities of the other ingredients by half (figuring more was better!) I used one small apple and a tablespoon of brown sugar. My sauerkraut didn't have much liquid in it, so I added a couple of tablespoons of cider vinegar, and about a quarter cup of water.
Some recipes are good. This was beyond good. I will make it again, and often! A perfect fall/winter dish.
My mother made the best ribs and sauerkraut in the world.. So, when I first looked at this recipe I thought, "Nyet!" But after reading the comments, especially Carol's who like I, used her mother's recipe, sans the apple, I will have to give this a try!!
This recipe was awesome. Followed it to a tee. Very tasty. I served it with boiled/mashed red potatos. Perfect meal for a cold winter day.
Previously used my Mother's recipe with ribs, no apple. This was amazing & as suggested, I browned the pork loin. I may even make this more than once a year ! Thank you.
Fox Valley Foodie
I am thrilled you liked it!
I made today in dutch oven with a few changes. Seared rhe roast. Instead of brown sugar, drizzled maple syrup.m over sauerkraut. No butter used olive oil and 1 clove chopped garlic. Yes, apple.Delicious, TY
I've been making this for years! I will have to try your version.
I have been making your sausage, potatoes and sauerkraut with mustard cream pretty regularly. I am stoked about this!!
This looks interesting! I'll have to try this one. Thanks for sharing!