This Slow Cooker Kielbasa recipe takes minutes to assemble making it perfect for days you find yourself short on time. The kielbasa and sauerkraut stays moist and becomes so flavorful as it’s marinated in the brown sugar, apple cider, and onion mixture.

Kielbasa and sauerkraut on a bun.

Grab a nice serving of the sauerkraut and place it atop the kielbasa and you have a delicious meal! I prefer eating the kielbasa and sauerkraut on a bun or hoagie roll. However, it’s totally optional! You can be creative.

Serve the kielbasa over rice with a side of veggies. OR cut the kielbasa into bite size links and serve these as an appetizer for a party or sporting event.

Moment of truth, do you know what kielbasa is?

To be honest, I didn’t! I knew it was meat but that was the extent of my knowledge.

What is Kielbasa?

Kielbasa is a Polish sausage that has been seasoned. Kielbasa is typically seasoned with black pepper and garlic.

Polish kielbasa is traditionally made from ground pork.

Kielbasa and sauerkraut on a bun sitting on a tin plate.

There are a handful of kielbasa slow cooker recipes roaming the internet and I thought I better add another one to the mix. Besides, I would never hold back a yummy recipe! Note, this recipe has been adapted from Brown Eyed Baker. She uses beer in her kielbasa, I don’t drink beer, so I adapted it for those who don’t drink alcohol.

If you like beer and kielbasa, feel free to replace the apple cider with beer.

How to make Slow Cooker Kielbasa

Cut the Polish kielbasa into links. I keep cut mine about 2 inches in length. You can cut them into larger links or smaller ones.

Place the kielbasa links inside a slow cooker.

A white slow cooker full of kielbasa cut into links.

Drain the sauerkraut. To do this, I poured a jar of sauerkraut in a strainer and gently pressed on the sauerkraut do help get rid of the liquid.

Place the drained sauerkraut in the crock pot overtop of the polish kielbasa.

Sauerkraut overtop kielbasa in a white slow cooker.

Now, place some olive oil in a saucepan. Over medium to medium-low heat cook the onions. You want the onions to be golden and starting to brown.

Add the sparkling apple cider and brown sugar to the saucepan. I use Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider for this recipe. It’s a perfect way to use up the leftover holiday drinks! And what better way to use them then in a kielbasa and sauerkraut slow cooker recipe. ??

Onions in a saucepan with apple cider and brown sugar.

Once the brown sugar has melted pour the sugar/cider/onion mixture overtop of the sauerkraut.

Place the lid overtop the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

A white slow cooker with sauerkraut, kielbasa, and onion/apple cider mixture poured overtop.

Once you’re ready to eat, place the kielbasa and sauerkraut on a bun and eat up!

This is a filling meal that is moist (I know some of you hate that word, but I actually like it) and straight up delicious.

I served my parents this meal for dinner when they came by last weekend. My mom’s first comment, “This meat is so moist! It tastes AMAZING!”

There you have it friends. My mom doesn’t like sauerkraut, but she loved this meal.

And you will too!

Kielbasa and sauerkraut on a bun sitting on a tin plate.

Craving more? Be sure to check out these delicious dinner recipes:

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Kielbasa and sauerkraut on a bun.
Print Review
5 from 2 votes

Slow Cooker Kielbasa

This Slow Cooker Kielbasa recipe takes minutes to assemble. The kielbasa stays moist and becomes so flavorful as it's marinated in the brown sugar, apple cider, and onion mixture. Topped with a generous serving of sauerkraut and you have a delicious sandwich!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 4 hrs
Total Time: 4 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 8


  • 1/2 yellow onion - diced
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 2/3 cup sparkling apple cider - can use beer in place of the apple cider
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon light brown sugar - packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 pounds polish kielbasa
  • 32 oz sauerkraut - drained


  • Cut the kielbasa into links. Place in a slow cooker.
  • Add the drained sauerkraut to the slower cooker. 
  • In a medium sized saucepan over medium low heat add the olive oil. Once shimmering, add the diced onion. Cook for 10 minutes or until soft and lightly browning. 
  • Add the brown sugar, apple cider, and salt to the saucepan. Stir and continue cooking over medium low heat until the sugar is dissolved. 
  • Remove from heat and pour the sauce into the slow cooker overtop the kielbasa and sauerkraut. 
  • Cover. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Serve on hoagie buns. 


You don't have to use sparkling apple cider for the liquid. Try using beer instead! Any kind will do. 
Use a strainer to drain the sauerkraut. 
Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker


Calories: 614kcal (31%)Carbohydrates: 13g (4%)Protein: 25g (50%)Fat: 50g (77%)Saturated Fat: 17g (85%)Cholesterol: 119mg (40%)Sodium: 2314mg (96%)Potassium: 655mg (19%)Fiber: 3g (12%)Sugar: 7g (8%)Vitamin A: 20IUVitamin C: 19.3mg (23%)Calcium: 60mg (6%)Iron: 4.2mg (23%)
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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