Beer and Brown Sugar Kielbasa & Sauerkraut

Two major disclaimers right off the bat:

#1: I have never been a fan of kielbasa.
#2: I am even less of a fan of sauerkraut.

Yet, I am hopelessly in love with this recipe. It doesn’t make logical sense. And yet, the stars somehow aligned. Could it be that beer and brown sugar make all the difference? Given the magical powers of both, it’s certainly possible. Back on the 4th of July, my Chief Culinary Consultant and I went to his friend’s house for a cookout. He mentioned there was kielbasa and sauerkraut (which I typically pass right over), and as a footnote said that they were cooked in beer and brown sugar. My ears shot up faster than a dog who hears a bread bag being rustled (or a peanut butter jar open, or a banana being peeled. Okay, my dog is weird!). I had to try it, even though I still kind of thought I wouldn’t really be crazy about it. Forget being crazy about it, or even liking it, I loved it. Afterward, I was sorry that I had filled up on so many side dishes because I was dying for another sandwich but was too full.

Over the last few months we reminisced about how great those kielbasa sandwiches were and how we needed to get the recipe from his friend. Finally last weekend we scored the recipe, and within hours had it simmering away in the crock-pot. This recipe honestly couldn’t be any easier to make – less than 10 minutes to get everything into your slow cooker, and then let it do the work. As with most things like this, the longer you let it cook the better it will taste. The kielbasa becomes so tender that it melts in your mouth, and the sauerkraut takes on a sweet flavor – delicious! If you’re a kielbasa and/or sauerkraut-averse person, take it from one of your brethren – you NEED to give this a shot!

This is perfect for football game days, and even for late Oktoberfest celebrations. Enjoy!

One year ago: The Baked Brownie
Two years ago: Black Bean Mushroom Burgers
Three years ago:  Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake
Four years ago: Sweet Dinner Rolls

Beer and Brown Sugar Kielbasa & Sauerkraut

Yield: About 10 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 to 10 hours

Total Time: 4 to 10 hours

Ingredients:

12 ounces beer (can or bottle)
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
3 pounds polish kielbasa
1 bag (or jar) sauerkraut (32 ounces), drained

Directions:

1. Combine the beer and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, until the sugar melts and the mixture is slightly thickened; set aside.

2. Cut the kielbasa into links and place in a slow cooker. Cover with the drained sauerkraut. Pour the beer and brown sugar mixture over top. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours, or on low for 8 to 10 hours. (We ended up doing a combination - high for 3 hours and then low for another 3 or so. Definitely the longer it cooks the better it tastes!)

3. Serve on its own or on your favorite sandwich roll.

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157 Responses to “Beer and Brown Sugar Kielbasa & Sauerkraut”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. Stephanie @ The Brunette Foodie on October 14, 2011 at 5:41 am

    Michelle, these sound wonderful for the football season. I LOVE sauerkraut, and my husband loves kielbasa…so together we should be able to enjoy these easily!

    Reply

  2. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on October 14, 2011 at 6:24 am

    I actually love the combination of kielbasa and saurkraut but this sounds even better with the brown sugar kielbasa for balance!

    Reply

  3. Choc Chip Uru on October 14, 2011 at 6:52 am

    Dad is a big fan of all these components – he was practically drooling and I can’t wait to make it :)

    Reply

  4. A Kitchen Muse on October 14, 2011 at 7:18 am

    I love Kielbasa! Hubby has a poker night coming up and I know what I’m making for it! I’m drooling.

    Reply

  5. Jennifer@Peanut Butter and Peppers on October 14, 2011 at 7:21 am

    I don’t like Kielbasa, but this looks hella good! My Hubby would love it! Maybe I’ll give it another shot?

    Reply

  6. Carrie@ Bakeaholic Mama on October 14, 2011 at 8:07 am

    OH MY GOD! I’m freaking out a little over how good that looks. I need to make it asap. I’m being good this week watching my calories and I’m hungry! I’m going to fall of the wagon thanks a bunch! ;)

    Reply

  7. Penny Wolf on October 14, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Taste buds change especially with good recipes.

    Reply

  8. Kerri on October 14, 2011 at 9:01 am

    This looks amazing!! I love crockpot recipes, too. I made something similar to this with turkey kielbasa a few months ago and it was a huge fail – the kielbasa was mushy. It was one of the few times my family and I had to actually throw a meal out and eat cereal out of desparation. I’m assuming the “mushiness” was due to the fact that it was turkey kielbasa. I’m anxious to try this one and redeem myself. :)

    Reply

    • Vicky on October 10th, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      Kerri, this is very late, but I think your sausage was over cooked, and that is why it was mushy.

      Reply

  9. Kristy on October 14, 2011 at 9:13 am

    There’s no other way to eat sauerkraut than with brown sugar!!

    Reply

  10. Carrots & Cream on October 14, 2011 at 9:27 am

    OMGeeee that looks amazing. You really can’t go wrong with a great sausage. I was never a big fan of Kielbasa…but I think I will agree with you and say that I would probably love it like this.

    Reply

  11. CathyN on October 14, 2011 at 9:35 am

    I can’t wait to try this! Question though, if I can’t find bagged sauerkraut, could I substitute well drained canned? We love the Bavarian style sauerkraut.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 15th, 2011 at 12:03 pm

      Hi Cathy, Yes, you can use drained, canned (jarred would be even better).

      Reply

      • margot on October 15th, 2011 at 4:19 pm

        How big is a bag of sauerkraut in case we do have to substitute caneed or jarred sauerkraut?

        Reply

        • Michelle on October 16th, 2011 at 12:48 pm

          Sorry, I forgot to include the size, I will edit it that now. It was 32 ounces.

          Reply

  12. Lori on October 14, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I can’t wait to give this a try. I might do this over the weekend while I’m cleaning up around the house. If this works out I might make it for the crew races. Thanks for posting.

    Reply

  13. Tracy on October 14, 2011 at 10:13 am

    The Polish girl in me is swooning over this recipe. I can’t wait to try it!!

    Reply

  14. Michelle on October 14, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Really??? Brown sugar & sauerkraut?? Sounds interesting . . . sweet sauerkraut . . . but it looks delicious and I am willing to give it a try. My family likes sauerkraut, well, “sour”, so I hope this will be a winner with them as well.

    As to your dog, Michelle, I find it so funny that our dog has the same food fettishes ;) bread, peanut butter, bananas – all among her most favorite! She’s a known carbaholic, and will steal bread left on the counter to get a fix :) I’m so glad to know she’s normal! hahaha!!

    Reply

  15. amanda @ fake ginger on October 14, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Ooooh, I cannot wait for an excuse to make this! I love kielbasa and sauerkraut so I can only imagine how tasty it becomes with beer and brown sugar!

    Reply

  16. Chantal on October 14, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Oh… this looks yummy and PERFECT for fall! :)

    QUESTION: I’m not sure that we have sauerkraut in a bag here, so I may need to substitute with jarred. How many grams are in the bag that you use?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 16th, 2011 at 12:49 pm

      Hi Chantal, The bag was 32 ounces.

      Reply

  17. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on October 14, 2011 at 11:24 am

    This is a very interesting recipe… I will have to give it a try! I do happen to like sauerkraut already, so I’m sure I’ll love it. In fact, my mom and I are planning on making some homemade sauerkraut tomorrow, so I will bookmark this one for when it’s finally ready to eat!!

    Reply

    • zack on November 1st, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      Do you use fresh or smoked??

      Reply

  18. Amber Martin on October 14, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Wow, that sounds awesome! I just tried sauerkraut for the first time a few weeks ago and was surprised that I actually liked it. Adding brown sugar and beer I am sure would take it to the next level of deliciousness. I think it would be excellent for a cold football weekend when I just can’t force myself to get out of the house! Thanks!

    Reply

  19. Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) on October 14, 2011 at 11:41 am

    That looks SO delicious! I love sauerkraut and kielbasa so I’d love this.

    Reply

  20. Charlie on October 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Michelle:

    These sound so good but I can’t have beer.

    Any suggestions for substitutes?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 15th, 2011 at 12:07 pm

      Hi Charlie, What about a non-alcoholic beer? If not then I might try something like ginger ale, although the flavor will be very different.

      Reply

      • Charlie on October 15th, 2011 at 12:50 pm

        Hi Michelle: Thanks for the suggestion.

        Reply

  21. Amanda on October 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I’m wondering if it matters if I use a dark or light beer. I’m not sure which would be better!
    I’m also without a slow-cooker at the moment…pondering if I could make this work in my dutch oven by either simmering on low or sticking it in the oven…Thoughts?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 15th, 2011 at 12:08 pm

      Hi Amanda, I would recommend an ale or pilsner for maximum flavor. You could certainly use a light beer if that’s all you have, but one of the other two will give you more flavor. And yes, would totally work in your Dutch oven!

      Reply

  22. CouponClippingCook on October 14, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Sounds and looks so delish. Great choice on the bun you used too…it’s perfect. When I was little and had to eat sauerkraut I used to pile on ketchup so it would cover up the sour taste. Now I just love to eat sauerkraut with ketchup…only this time I like the sour taste. Kind of gross I know.

    Reply

  23. Christin M on October 14, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    The pictures look delicious. I too have been looking for more slow cooker recipes. I’m curious to know how sweet the kraut ends up being with 1 cup of brown suger added. Thinking I may try it with a little less sugar.
    Wonderful blog by the way!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 15th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      Hi Christin, Hard to really say how sweet since people have varying palates and what is really sweet to one person may not be the same for someone else. I personally think it has just the perfect balance of flavor – it doesn’t taste like sugar or candied yams or anything like that.

      Reply

  24. Kim on October 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Just re-located from the “other” side of the state :) Actually, lived in a very nice area – Lancaster, PA but all hearts come home and we are now back in Pittsburgh. LOVE your site! This is a keeper for my Pittsburgh board on Pinterest : )

    Reply

  25. Aneta on October 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Ohhhhh,I love kiełbasa:D and this recepie as well:)Thank you:)

    Reply

  26. Nicole on October 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Sounds amazing however I have never cooked w/ beer before. What kind of beer is recommended. I live in CO where there are tons of options and want to make sure I take full advantage of those options and choose the right type. :0 )

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 15th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      Hi Nicole, I would use an ale or pilsner – I think you will get a lot more flavor than if you use a light-style beer.

      Reply

  27. Chip on October 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    This recipe is similar to one that my wife taught me. She grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country and for dinner on New Year’s Day, the cook this except they substitute pork steaks for the sausage. I use a dutch oven, put the steaks in the bottom, cover with sauerkraut and juice, and sprinkle brown sugar on top. Cook with the lid on for the first 2 hours. Remove the meat to cool, returning the kraut to the oven. Once cooled, separate the meat into small-ish chunks and return to kraut with the lid off. At some point during the process you will have to add more liquid to keep it from burning, we use water. At the end, the kraut and pork is served over mashed potatoes. This meal is said to bring you luck in the new year.

    Reply

    • Lynne on September 1st, 2014 at 11:53 am

      I use a similar recipe (with pork – no beer), and it also references the tradition of making this on New Years Day. I don’t know if it actually comes from an ethnic tradition, or if it’s just because it’s easy on a holiday (and has the comfort food factor). Here is the recipe I use: http://www.food.com/recipe/crock-pot-pork-roast-and-sauerkraut-106555

      I’m going to try this one, though, as the kielbasa and the beer sounds great.

      Reply

  28. The Doll Baker on October 14, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Oh my, I have never used brown sugar to make this. I can’t wait to try it… I’m drooling…

    Reply

  29. Sophie @ LoveLiveAndLearn on October 14, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I’ve never had either but this recipe and your gorgeous photos make me want to try it! :-)

    Reply

  30. jean on October 14, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I’m from German decent. Beer is used in many dishes. I’ve cooked kraut and/or sausage in beer for years, adding a little caraway seeds for extra flavor. SO GOOD! Will try it with brown sugar and beer… a great combination.

    Reply

  31. Leanne on October 14, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Sounds great! One question – did you use fresh or smoked keilbasa?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 16th, 2011 at 12:47 pm

      Hi Leanne, I use the kielbasa found in the refrigerated section, but it is fully cooked. It’s not smoked sausage, which is usually found near it, but the polish (or polska) kielbasa. So I’m not sure if that means it’s fresh or not, since it’s already cooked ;-)

      Reply

    • Pat on March 28th, 2013 at 8:38 am

      What about fresh kielbasa? I bought kielbasa from a local church that sells it as a fundraiser for Easter. It looks like fresh kielbasa to me. Should I boil it first? I will be slicing it, so will the 6 hours in the crock pot cook it thoroughly enough? Thanks

      Reply

      • Michelle on March 28th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

        Hi Pat, I have never used fresh, so I would check any package directions about how long it needs to be cooked.

        Reply

  32. Valerie on October 15, 2011 at 7:48 am

    When I came over here this morning, I was looking for a cupcake recipe I had seen here. Then I saw this picture. OMG, this looks sooooooooooo, good. I don’t like sauerkraut either but I may try this. The picture alone is a winner.

    Reply

  33. Curt on October 15, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Wow, now that’s a flavor packed dish. I love kielbasa. I’ll bet it’s really good with the brown sugar.

    Reply

  34. Lisa Freeman on October 15, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I’ve never eaten suaerkraut – what does it tastes like, and which part of the grocery store do you find it?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 15th, 2011 at 12:12 pm

      Hi Lisa, It’s sort of sour and like wilted cabbage. You can find it bagged in the refrigerator section near the hot dogs, or jarred/canned where the canned vegetables or condiments are.

      Reply

  35. Sandi on October 15, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Sometimes foods we think we don’t like, just have to be prepared in the right way :)
    Here’s to trying new recipes!

    Reply

  36. Kath on October 15, 2011 at 11:31 am

    # I love kielbasa!

    #2 I love sauerkraut!

    #3 This recipe looks fantastic!! :)

    Reply

  37. News Junkie on October 15, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I adore the idea of Not watching the stove & i love the wonderful smell of the crock pot simmering
    TY for this great idea

    Reply

  38. Susan @ Seafield Farm on October 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    That looks so unbelievably yummy! I wish I had a big pile of them in front of me now! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  39. Rosemary on October 15, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    This is oh-so-familar! And oh-so-loved around here! I’ve always wondered if this was a Pittsburgh thing. You know?

    Reply

  40. Jen on October 15, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I have to say, I have also never been a huge kielbasa fan, but these look delicious!

    Reply

  41. sivyaleah on October 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Count me as another “don’t like either of those” people but…beer and brown sugar?
    My boyfriend is going to fall down and kiss my feet on this one (he likes all of it!).
    Yea – I’m all over this recipe!

    I’ll be trying it for sure.

    Reply

  42. Gail Hebert on October 16, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    This is about the same way I have been making mine, but I have never tried the beer and brown sugar simmered and than poured over it. Next time I am going to use ale or pilsner beer as I could not get my syrup to get a little thick. This recipe is a winner(we loved it) now for the sausage, I used the right sausage but it got kind of mushy, can you tell me why. I cooked it 2 hrs on high than switched to low for 3 hrs.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 16th, 2011 at 9:13 pm

      Hi Gail, You know we just made this again today and our kielbasa didn’t get mushy, but it did break open. Last week we used Silver Star brand, and this week Giant Eagle brand. We cooked it the same way, so I’m chalking it up to maybe the casings being different, and perhaps the later breaks down more easily.

      Reply

      • Gail Hebert on January 9th, 2012 at 9:37 am

        Hi Michelle,

        We just love this sauerkraut. Where do you find Silver Brand and or Eagel Brand Kielbasa? Also do you leave your sausage whole or cut it small pieces? Thank you.

        Reply

        • Michelle on January 9th, 2012 at 8:56 pm

          Hi Gail, I bought Silver Star at Sam’s Club, and Giant Eagle is a grocery chain here in the greater Pittsburgh area; that is their store brand.

          Reply

  43. Lindsey@Lindselicious on October 16, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Im drooling this sounds so good. Oooh I wonder if it would be yummy to add in a tbsp of some mustard in there too?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 16th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

      I’m sure that would be great if you’re a mustard fan!

      Reply

  44. Crystal W. (@EatDrinkClev) on October 17, 2011 at 9:40 am

    This is how I make mine all the time and it’s SO good! I serve mine w/ gnocchi – deelish!

    Reply

  45. nettie Moore on October 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Looks like the perfect combo for me, love Kielbasa and kraut. Making this!!

    Moore or Less Cooking Blog

    Nettie

    Reply

  46. Brooks at Cakewalker on October 17, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Michelle, I’m not much of a sauerkraut fan myself, but I must say you’ve presented a delicious looking dish! I’d sit down for this kielbasa sandwich in a heartbeat… especially with a nice pint of beer!

    Reply

  47. Kita on October 17, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I’ve never had sauerkraut but I am amazed by how amazing you have made it look here. That kielbasa isn’t looking too bad itself. lol, maybe this is a great starting recipe for someone like myself who isn’t sure the sauerkraut is my friend.

    Reply

  48. Becki's Whole Life on October 18, 2011 at 7:34 am

    I love recipes like this and I love both kielbasa and sauerkraut (must be the German in me.) I am making this very soon. These would be really cute as sliders, too. Yeah, I am drooling over this:-).

    Reply

  49. Bree on October 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    I love having things you can throw in the slow cooker for guests and this one looks like the perfect Wisconsin recipe!

    Reply

  50. Kerri on October 20, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Does anyone have any ideas on what to serve this with? Often, I make fries with sandwiches like this, but it would be nice to come up with something new for a change. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Gail Hebert on October 20th, 2011 at 11:22 am

      I serve this with mashed potatoes. It is very good. My Mother-in-law started me on serving mashed potatoes with sauerkraut. She used to make ribs with her sauerkraut. She would brown the ribs and than put the kraut over them and sprinkle brown sugar and salt and pepper on the kraut and bake in the oven. It was very good. I think you could use pork chops also.

      Reply

    • Michelle on October 20th, 2011 at 4:47 pm

      I serve it on buns/rolls, so I just serve whatever you would serve with a sandwich – chips, etc.

      Reply

    • PhillieB on July 20th, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      Kerri, i like to eat perogies with this type of recipe. You can find them in most stores in the frozen section, I get them from Kroger. You can boil,pan fry,bake and my favorite,deep fried! I also use the perogies as a main starch for many meals. Use them instead of mashed potatoes for any meal. They do not have much flavor to them, which allows you to customize the seasonings to the meal you are preparing. Pan frying them is also a fav of mine,as they are finishing frying in they pan, I like to add salt,pepper and a tablespoon of butter. YUM! Also, perogies are like ravioli filled with mashed potatoes. I hope you Hillary them and you like them.

      Reply

  51. Jenn on October 20, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I’m trying some skinless Ekrich kielbasa with the recipe! I am from Pittsburgh and I showed this to my family a couple of days ago and they all want me to make it for them. My dad is especially thrilled of the idea of cooking with beer ;) For those who hate the complete bitterness of sauerkraut like I do – I boil it and drain it a few times before mixing it with anything else (usually I do a pork and sauerkraut dish). So excited to try this :) Thanks for the great idea — go Steelers and Pens!!!

    Reply

  52. Patti on October 22, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    I just tried this recipe tonight for dinner. It is absolutely delicious! The kielbasa was so tender it just melted in my mouth. The combination of the brown sugar and beer made such a wonderful sauce. This is one of the best things I have had in a long time. My husband isn’t a fan of sauerkraut but he loved this dish also. I can’t wait to make it again. Thank you Brown Eyed Baker!

    Reply

  53. Kooky Girl on October 24, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Hi, Can I follow the same guidelines and make this in a conventional fan oven on a low heat setting? All the best, Kg.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 24th, 2011 at 10:36 pm

      I’m not sure what a “conventional fan oven” is. Usually convection ovens have fans that run, and I have never used one. My guess though is that if you cooked this in an oven on a low temperature (equal to 325 or so), that should work as well.

      Reply

  54. Glenda on October 25, 2011 at 8:02 am

    I can’t wait to try this, I have been dying to make kilbasa and kraut. I had a recipe that was similar (and I lost it) but used thinly sliced onions also that turned sweet and just melted into the kraut. I don’t remember using a whole can of beer but the more the better. I had no leftovers that time and I sure this recipe will be the same.

    Reply

  55. Teri on November 3, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    I put this in the crockpot this morning! So yummy! Great dish for an autumn evening!

    Reply

  56. sivyaleah on November 6, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I finally made this tonight for dinner. Wow! It made my boyfriend and I both into kielbasa fans. Only problem is how filling it is, and the recipe sure is too much for 2 people. I think we’ll be eating this for days to come. Not. A. Hardship. :D

    Reply

  57. Sheena on November 23, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe! It was so yummy and I will be making it again!

    Reply

  58. Kasia on December 13, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Wow our polish kiełbasa is famous ;) How nice!

    Reply

  59. Tammy on December 24, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Its Christmas Eve morning and I just loaded my crock pot up with 6 pounds of Kielbasa, one bag of sauerkraut. What I am wondering is should I double up on beer and brown sugar? My pot is oh so full right now, I am sure I could add more, do you think it would be too much?

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 26th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

      Hi Tammy, I have almost doubled the kielbasa and left the sauerkraut the same, and used the same amount of beer and brown sugar and it has turned out fine. I think you’re okay!

      Reply

  60. Aimee Carter on December 29, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    I had to share this one on my blog today. I can not wait to try to make this one. OMG it looks so good.

    Reply

  61. Michelle on January 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    No Beer am a Celiac,so I eat gluten free. what can I sub. for the Beer?

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 4th, 2012 at 8:37 pm

      Hi Michelle, I know they have gluten-free beers out on the market now, I would look for one of those. Otherwise, maybe ginger ale or root beer? (I’m not sure how either of those would taste or if they are gluten free, but they are the first suggestions that come to mind.)

      Reply

  62. JeniJ on January 9, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Let me also preface by saying, sauerkraut is NOT something you would ever find in my house, or on my plate, so I’m not even sure what made me want to try this dish (except the brown sugar….i will eat anything that contains brown sugar!), but with some hesitation (and alot of incense burning in the kitchen to combat the overpowering sauerkrat aroma) I figured why not, it’s a simple recipe with few ingredients thrown in a crock pot that I don’t have to pay any attention to for hours…that’s my kind of dish! And….it was amazing!! Even my 80-something, totally OCD mother (who will rarely touch anything that hasn’t been consistently on her table for the past 60 years) thought it was delicious and asked for seconds! No typical sauerkraut taste, the kielbasa was fall apart tender and sweet…I added some Maine Maple Mustard on the rolls which was the perfect compliment (for those who like their food on the sweet side). This will definitely become a regular on the menu rotation! The only thing I would change next time is the amount of sauerkraut…I bought two 16oz bags and had at least an entire bag-worth leftover since most of us weren’t huge sauerkraut fans and only added a small amount to our sandwiches; I believe one would be more than sufficient unless you’re eating it as a side dish to the meal. Excellent!!

    Reply

  63. Michelle on January 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    O.K…….. Made this, and used Ginger Ale in place of the beer. It was excellent. We loved it :-)

    Reply

  64. Erika on January 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    I’ve made this a couple of times, but have shared the recipe MANY times. I love it and my little boys loved the sweetness of the sauce with the kielbasa. Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply

  65. Erin on February 4, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Are we using raw kielbasa?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 6th, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      Hi Erin, By definition I think most kielbasa is like hot dogs – not “raw” meat, but cold and just needs to be heated. It’s the kielbasa you purchase in the case where the hot dogs and bacon are.

      Reply

  66. Patty on February 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Made this for the superbowl and it was a HUGE HIT!!!!! My husband who is not a fan of kraut loved it. Everyone at the party raved and said it was a keeper!

    Reply

  67. Sue Ames on March 3, 2012 at 8:10 am

    This was fantastic! I made this the other night for my Daughter and family because her husband and my 2 grandsons love Polish sausage. I added 2 # of country style spareribs and used the bagged sauerkraut with light beer and light brown sugar. They loved it and only enough left for a small lunch. This is a keeper and I will make it again but now will try it with chicken and possibly beef. Love your recipes

    Reply

  68. Kerri on July 6, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Love this!!!! I also chopped about 1/2 sweet onion and mixed it into the Kraut… It is so simple… and soooo good…

    Reply

  69. Gail Hebert on July 9, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    I made this many times and it turned out so good! It is to bad that it did not work out for some people.

    Reply

  70. Gail Hebert on July 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

    I have heard nothing but good compliments on this. Not everybody likes the same things. I have had flops before in my cooking but this was delicious.

    Reply

  71. AC on July 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Seriously, man, what is your problem? Give it a rest!

    Reply

  72. Jennifer on September 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Oh my goodness, thank you for posting this! It was delicious! And now I have another blog to follow. =)

    http://allthingsjennifer.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/beer-and-brown-sugar-kielbasa-sauerkraut/

    Reply

  73. Joan on September 9, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Has anyone tried freezing leftovers? Does it work?

    Reply

  74. Angela on October 6, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I really don’t care for kielbasa but can’t help but buy it when it’s BOGO. I’ve tried many different recipes trying to find something, anything I could do with it and make it worth my while. Never would I have thought a recipe that had two other ingredients I don’t care for, being beer and sauerkraut, would come together and end up being a meal that I really enjoyed. The husband was impressed with how tender the kielbasa was from the slow cooker. Very easy to make is an added plus!

    Reply

  75. Dee on November 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I tried this recipe over the weekend for a little get together. Everyone LOVED it. It’s a keeper for sure. Wow – the keilbasa just melts in your mouth and everyone loved the flavor. Thanks for an easy great-tasting recipe!

    Reply

  76. Brandi on November 15, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I just made this today and it was amazingly delicious! I used jalapeno kielbasa to add a little extra kick and decided to use Blue Moon Wheat Ale. I cut my pieces in half so the meat wouldn’t be so think and it would soak up more of the flavor. It cooked for about 4 hours on high and was perfect. I will certainly be making this a lot in the future. The only problem I’ve encountered is I can’t stop going back for leftovers!

    Reply

  77. RondaRDH on November 16, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Thank you very much for the recipe! We found it to be waaaaay to sweet for our tastes, but it a great recipe that we are willing to “tweak” to suit us. We’re going to decrease the sugar by more than half, keep in some of the sauerkraut juice or add some apple cider vinegar, plus some caraway seed and maybe use a dark beer. The kielbasa does get super tender, this was a nice weeknight dinner, can’t wait to try again w/the revisions! :-)

    Reply

  78. Shauna Fischer on November 19, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Hi there, had been looking for something like this and came across your recipe. I used Eckrich Polish Sausage , had the bagged kraut and used a Sam Adams Boston Lager. Anyway, I am a poor planner and have an electric pressure cooker. I boiled the sugar and beer as stated above then tossed in the kraut and frozen cut pieces of sausage. Brought to pressure and cooked for 20 minutes and it was amazing!!! Served it with some sweet potato fries. My picky 13 year old devoured it, my husband inhaled 2 servings and said he could definitely “polish” off the rest. Thank you for giving me a super easy meal that was a home run in flavor, am thinking the next time to try a little caraway and a dab of mustard to give a little more depth?

    Reply

  79. Ken on November 30, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I am going to try this recipe on Dec. 8, 2012 for my sons birthday along with his friends, a bunch of drunken volunteer firemen. This will be his 30th anniversart of his birth ansd it is a surprise party being thrown by his wife.

    Reply

  80. Ken on November 30, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Forgot to mention, I am going to cut the kielbasa into small pieces instead of links. It will be smoked from the Polish butcher in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY

    Reply

  81. Stephanie on December 18, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Made this for the second time tonight and my husband and I both really enjoyed it (him especially!). The first time I made it as written and it was a little sweet for our tastes, but still good. This time I halved the amount of brown sugar and it was perfect. More of a hint of sweetness to balance out to sauerkraut and beer than a really sweet flavor. I’ll definitely be making this again, so easy to put together and leftovers are good too! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  82. Heather on January 1, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Absolutely fabulous!!! Thank you for sharing! I made this today and it is going to be our New Years tradition!

    Reply

  83. Amy on January 1, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    I just made this for the first time for New Year’s day and it was amazing. I never liked kraut before. But I do now. Even my two year old ate it.

    Reply

    • Amy on January 1st, 2013 at 9:24 pm

      It’s our New Year’s tradition now also!!

      Reply

  84. Meaghan on January 3, 2013 at 8:35 am

    This looks really good…even though it is breakfast time as I type this, I would eat some right now :) I’m adding this to my recipe list to make for the month….

    -m

    Reply

  85. Ida Pletz on January 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    We always love sauerkraut and pork coming from Pittsburgh it is a tradition for us to have on New Years. So we tried this recipie but added our port roast the the kraut and kilbassi in the crockpot and with a steam po of mashed potatoes there is nothing better than this recipie yummmmmm is all we can say

    Reply

  86. Eric on January 10, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    This recipe was very good, just like the poster I wasn’t a fan of kraut or kielbasa but after making this today I am sold….Thank You for sharing the Recipe!

    Reply

  87. Erin on March 1, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Are you sure it takes a whole cup of brown sugar? I made this last night, and it was waaaaaaaay too sweet. It also looked nothing like the picture. I think it would be great if the sugar was about 1/3 c instead of a whole one.

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 1st, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Yes, 1 cup of brown sugar + 1 (12-ounce) bottle of beer. I’ve made this at least 10 times, and it seems to come out the same every single time. I’ve never had an issue with it being sweet – everything just sort of caramelizes.

      Reply

  88. Gayle on March 11, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I made this tonight with a couple of small changes because I didn’t start it until about 2:30, and I didn’t want to stay up until midnight.

    Ingredient adjustments:
    – Sliced kielbasa instead of cutting it in links
    – Replaced beer with hard cider (dry) because (gasp) I only had one Guinness and my hubby wanted it.
    – Added about a 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce (added to cider/brown sugar mix), because I like apples & cabbage, and figured it might be nice with the cider.
    – Drained and rinsed the saurkraut, drained again

    First, I combined the apple sauce, cider and brown sugar until it was a simmering liquid.

    Then, I added the sliced kielbasa and cooked the entire mixture down until the kielbasa was cooked through. After that, I removed only the kielbasa and put it in the bottom of the crock pot.

    Next, I added the sauerkraut to the simmering liquid and let it all get to a strong simmer / low boil. At that point, I added that to the crockpot. as well, covered it up, put it on high, and let it cook for about 3-4 hours.

    Results were very good!

    Reply

  89. Kammie on May 11, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Made this recently and it is wonderful! Made exactly as recipe stated, but I did wash and drain the sauerkraut. I’m not a huge sauerkraut fan, but this is really delicious and so simple to make. A keeper for sure.

    Reply

  90. Lauren on September 5, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    I know this recipe isn’t recent but it sure as hell is timeless. I hope you don’t mind that I’ve included it in my recipe round-up post coming out tomorrow. Stop by and check it out. Lots of Love, LB

    Reply

  91. Sara on September 14, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Can I make this the day before and heat it up the next day to serve for a party?

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 16th, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Hi Sara, I would definitely recommend making this fresh. Since it’s made in a slow cooker, I don’t think you really need to make it in advance. If your party is early in the day (lunchtime), just put these in the crock-pot the night before on low. If it’s later in the day/evening, just put them in in the morning on low.

      Reply

  92. Brandy Yekel on September 22, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I am making this today for my Hubby & his best friend for tonight’s Steeler game. Since the season isn’t going so good thus far, at least we have good food to look forward too. These two are my best critics, so I we shall see….

    Reply

    • Brandy Yekel on September 23rd, 2013 at 10:49 am

      My husband LOVED this. He is not a big fan of sauerkraut. I, on the other hand, didn’t care for it. I thought it was too sweet. I feel sauerkraut should be sour.

      Reply

  93. Alicia on October 1, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Hi- Came across your recipe tonight and I want to make it, but I only have 1lb of kielbasa.. I can cut the recipe, but what about the slow cooker time? I’d be worried I’d ruin the kielbasa if it’s on low for 8 hours. Thoughts?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 3rd, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      Hi Alicia, I think it gets better the longer it cooks, but if you’re worried, just check on it sooner, and take it out when it’s cooked to your liking.

      Reply

  94. Ursula on October 2, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    This is has been a staple in our house for a year. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I have used different types of beer and it turns out great every time. Also, I assemble and freeze it so I can just drop it in on any given morning for dinner that night :)

    Reply

  95. Diana Uzzolino on October 4, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    I’m making this now for an Octoberfest party. My friends and family always loved my typical kielbasa and sauerkraut that i make in a stock pot on the stove. I’ve always used brown sugar and butter, and thin slices of one large onion. So I did the same for this recipe, also using the beer and crockpot. I sliced my kielbasa since it’s for a large party. I’m cooking on low so the meat isn’t over-cooked. Do you stir it at any time or just leave it alone..

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 6th, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      Hi Diana, If I’m around the kitchen, sometimes I will move them around, especially if I pack a lot in there, but it’s not necessary.

      Reply

  96. Denise on November 12, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    can you put potato’s in and if so do you think they will be mushy after eight hours?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 13th, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      Hi Denise, You can add potatoes; they will certainly be very soft, I’m not sure about mushy though.

      Reply

  97. Sharon @ Life After Empty Nest on November 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    I LOVE this recipe!! I shared it on my blog with a link back to you!
    I didn’t like kielbasa either…this is the ONLY way I’ll eat it!
    I knew I had to trust another brown eyed curly haired gal!
    Thanks for sharing!
    xoxo

    Reply

  98. Jim on December 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    K& K – Recipe below creates a heap of goodness.
    1) Purchase 4 packages of Eckrich Polish Kielbasa. There are two links per .pkg. I’ve tried smoked, fresh, and other manufacturer’s product but Eckrich has the right fat and flavor combination for me.
    2) 4 bags of kraut. Kroger or Westborn is where I shop.
    3) 3 bay leafs
    4) 4 cloves of garlic
    5) 3 tbls caraway seed. I taste and add more as it cooks.
    6) 1 peeled, cored, and chopped apple of your choice. I use a Granny Smith.
    7) 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Add more to your taste. I do, but the 1/4 cup is a good place to start.
    8) 1 medium onion.
    9) 1/4 cup of olive oil.
    10) 1/2 a stick of butter.
    11) Salt and pepper to taste.

    Turn on the oven to 350 F. Put the kielbasa on a cookie sheet and with a fork poke each link with several holes. Cook for about 20 – 30 minutes. We’re going for some rendering and browning of the links. Once finished put on a clean plate or cutting board.

    Drain and rinse each bag of kraut in a colander. Shake the colander to get rid of as much water as you can.

    On medium heat add the olive oil into your largest soup pot and, once heated, add the onion followed by the garlic and bay leaves once the onion is almost translucent. Add a little salt and pepper.
    We will be adding everything to a crock pot later. I like to start this way to get everything incorporated.

    Add 1/4 of the kraut into the pot and sprinkle with some of the brown sugar, caraway seed, apple, salt, and pepper. Toss to incorporate the oil into the mixture.

    Continue the above process until the remaining kraut is added. Then add the butter and toss.
    Cook covered until the kraut is tender. Usually it takes about an hour. After about a half hour you can start adjusting for sugar and caraway flavor.

    Once the kraut has become somewhat tender, cut the kielbasa into 1.5 – 2 inch slices.

    Bring the pot over to the where the kielbasa is and also plug in your slow cooker (SC) and set on high.

    Add some of the kielbasa (one layer) to the bottom of the SC and then cover with some of the kraut mixture. Continue building this way until all of the ingredients have been added to the SC.
    Put the top on the SC. After about a half hour stir the entire mixture and test for taste and tenderness of the meat. You should leave on high for about two hours, checking every 40 minutes to adjust to yourtaste. Reduce accordingly depending on when you plan to dine.

    This is a good one. Partakers of this recipe always want a copy for their selves. Of course I say no, but if invited, I will bring it. Ha!

    Reply

  99. Katie on January 1, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Made this recipe for New Years today. Too sweet for me and Kielbasa turned out mushy after cooking on high for 4 hrs. :(

    Reply

  100. Jen on January 1, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Made this recipe today. While it was good, it was overcooked. I would not recommend the suggestion to cook on high 3 hours then low 3 hours. I think all low would have been better.

    Reply

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