This New Year’s Instant Pot kielbasa and sauerkraut dish with pork is an easy meal that you can make in the slow cooker too. A traditional meal to start your New Year and it’s low carb! Each serving of this kielbasa recipe has only 4.6g net carbs or 2.4g for the low carb version. And you only need 4 ingredients!
You might also like thsi Pork Roast & Sauerkraut recipe in the Instant Pot.
Do you eat pork or kielbasa and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day? We always have since I was little and even my husband was raised this way. As a kid I wasn’t much of a fan of sauerkraut but I really love it with pork and kielbasa as an adult.
We eat this super easy kielbasa and sauerkraut dish many times in the winter as it’s a family favorite on busy weeknights. We keep it really simple with 4 basic ingredients. The savory flavors of tangy sauerkraut go great with garlicky bite of kielbasa. Recently I decided to try this dish in the Instant Pot to save on cooking time.
However you can also make this in the slow cooker so don’t worry if you don’t have a pressure cooker. So here is our super easy New Year’s Instant Pot kielbasa and sauerkraut recipe.
Why is pork and sauerkraut a New Year’s tradition?
I was looking into why we eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day and there are various thoughts. Some say it’s a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition and some say it’s a German tradition.
Some say the cabbage and pork represent wealth because pork is rich in fat. One thought is that pigs root forward and you want to move forward in the new year and not backwards. (source)
Others say it’s all hogwash and just pure comfort food. Regardless we love the flavor combination and eat it once a month.
Recipe ingredients I used.
The simple ingredients I used were: sauerkraut, 1 package of Polish kielbasa sausage, country pork ribs or chops, salt, black pepper and brown sugar for a touch of sweetness. That’s all you need for this simple recipe. Below you can what I normally use.
You can get everything at Aldi except the Swerve brown sugar sweetener. I use that for a lower carb version but even with regular brown sugar it’s still low carb.
Some people like to use yellow onions or sweet onions but since the kielbasa has so much garlic I don’t think it needs the onions.
How to make kielbasa and sauerkraut in the Instant Pot.
For the Instant Pot version I first browned the country ribs because that’s a nice feature this gadget has: the ability to saute and then pressure cook.
I sprinkled a bit of salt and pepper and browned them using the saute setting. Then I added the rest of the ingredients with a little water and pressure cooked for about 15 minutes.
To cook pork and sauerkraut in the Instant Pot:
- Press the saute button on the Instant Pot and adjust heat to high. Add 1 tablespoon of oil.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper over the country ribs and brown both sides in the Instant Pot until golden brown. This will take about 1-2 minutes per side.
- In the meantime slice kielbasa into 1 inch bite size pieces.
- Cancel the sautéing and add sauerkraut on top. Sprinkle brown sugar over sauerkraut.
- Place the kielbasa on top of the sauerkraut mixture and pour ⅓ cup of water in as well. Some people like to use beer or even apple juice but I like just water.
- Seal the lid and pressure cook for 15 minutes.
- Let come to pressure naturally or quick release.
Store leftover kielbasa and sauerkraut in an airtight container or place in a baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. Please scroll down to view and print the recipe card.
How to make pork, kielbasa and sauerkraut in the slow cooker.
You can make this recipe in a crock pot as well. Just add everything to the crock pot and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high until the pork falls apart.
You can brown the country pork ribs in a skillet first if you wish but it’s not necessary.
What to serve with this dish and a low carb version.
We like to eat our pork and sauerkraut with mashed potatoes to make it a complete meal. Also because it goes well with the delicious flavor of tangy sauerkraut and garlicky kielbasa. Just add a fresh salad and you are set!
When I’m watching my carbs, I eat it without the potatoes and use Swerve brown sugar sweetener in place of the brown sugar.
Sometimes I just eliminate the brown sugar or sweetener altogether. It’s a bit more tangy but my husband prefers it this way.
I also eat it without the mashed potatoes and it’s delicious and of course that lowers the carbs.
Recipe Notes and Tips
- I used sweetener brown sugar but even with regular brown sugar the carbs are not that high. Some times I grate a sweet apple and add that instead to a bit of sweetness and balance the tart flavor of sauerkraut. You could even substitute apple cider for the water for added sweetness.
- To make this in the slow cooker kielbasa dish, just add everything to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. You could brown the country ribs first but you really don’t have to.
- Some people add potatoes to this recipe however I have never tried it. I do have a lot of kielbasa recipes on this blog. And this kielbasa and potatoes recipe is one of my most popular recipes. So perhaps I will to try it sometime.
Whether you make this kielbasa and sauerkraut in the Instant Pot or slow cooker, either method will give you this warm, comforting family meal that just might bring you luck in the new year! Can’t hurt right? And the combination of the amazing flavor is sure to be hit with your family. Enjoy!
The nutrition info for 1 serving is: 584 cals / 37g fat / 9.9g carbs / 5.3g fiber / 51.2g protein = 4.6g net carbs
If using sweetener or no brown sugar at all: 576 cals / 37g fat / 7.7g carbs / 5.3g fiber / 51.2g protein = 2.4g net carbs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound country pork ribs
- 14 ounces pork kielbasa, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 cups sauerkraut (or 24oz jar)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or brown sugar sweetener)
- ⅓ cup water
- Push the saute button on your Instant pot and let heat up.
- Add the oil and then place all the ribs in the pot. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper and cook until the ribs are golden brown on both sides. Then press the cancel button.
- Add the sauerkraut and sprinkle the brown sugar on top.
- Put the kielbasa pieces on top and pour in the water.
- Close and lock the lid and switch the vent to the sealing position.
- Push the manual button for 15 minutes.
- When timer is done, either let vent naturally or turn vent with a quick release.
- Open the lid and mix the kraut around a bit.
- Serve as is or with mashed potatoes.
- If using a slow cooker, you can add everything into the crock and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 584Unsaturated Fat: 0g