Slow Cooker Pork And Sauerkraut With Apples Recipe

It's been said that the key to making any pork dish shine is starting with the right cut. For example, you wouldn't want to use pork chops for this recipe for slow cooker pork and sauerkraut with apples because its low fat content would never stand up to long, slow cooking. That's one reason why registered dietitian and recipe developer Kristen Carli turns to pork shoulder for slow cooker dishes such as this one. 

Carli also told Mashed she finds pork shoulder particularly "easy to work with." Using a mere five ingredients, Carli has managed to turn a simple pork shoulder into a complete and nutritious meal that serves six people. 

"I love easy slow cooker meals. They are a lifesaver!" Carli said to Mashed of this recipe. In addition, she's a big fan of using apples for savory dishes, and that's what this dish does, as you'll see. It also makes brilliant use of sauerkraut, which has a reputation for being a superfood for a very good reason: because it is (P.S. Here's why you should eat more sauerkraut)!

Gather your ingredients for slow cooker pork and sauerkraut with apples

For this recipe for slow cooker pork with sauerkraut and apples, gathering your ingredients should be as simple as one, two, three.

1. Reach into your pantry or fridge and take out a 15-ounce can or jar of sauerkraut

2. Reach into your refrigerator and take out two Granny Smith apples (which you will slice into medium-sized wedges, as we'll discuss below), a bottle of apple cider (which you will need just one cup of to keep things moist in the slow cooker), and a two-and-a-half pound pork shoulder (in terms of prep, all you will have to do is remove it from its packaging). 

3. Reach into wherever you keep your onions (here is how to store onions properly, by the way!), and take out one. You'll only need half, which you'll be slicing into pretty little half-moons in our next step.

Slice your apples and onions like a boss

To cut the Granny Smith apples into medium-sized wedges, Carli simply slices up the apples as if she were going to eat them for a snack, making sure to slice off the core as she goes. If you have an apple corer, you can use that to remove the core first, then slice the cored apple into quarters, and then the quarters into eighths.

To transform your onion into the gorgeous half-moons you see here, first you'll need to slice the onion in half and peel the skin off one half. Then slice that half into thin discs. Finally, stack those discs, and cut them crosswise (i.e., in half so that they look like half moons). 

Fire up your trusty slow cooker (or Instant Pot with a slow cooker setting)

Get our your trusty slow cooker (or your Instant Pot, as long as it's slow-cooker capable, because who doesn't love sweet Instant Pot hacks?) In either case, the point is to set and forget, and that's what you're about to do. 

In the cooking vessel of your slow cooker or Instant Pot, place the pork shoulder (taking out it out of its packaging first, of course), the sliced apples, and the sliced onions. Then pour one cup of apple cider over it to moisten. No need to stir. Just cover the cooking vessel with its lid, and set it to high for three hours.

Three hours later, add the sauerkraut

Hi! You're back! So, apparently three hours has passed, and doesn't time fly? Right about now, your kitchen should be rich with the heady aroma of slowly simmered pork, onions, and apple slices. Your next job is to remove the lid — carefully, because it's going to be steamy in there. Now, open your can of sauerkraut, and empty the entire can onto the pork in your cooking vessel. 

Cook for another hour, then slice your pork

Cover the slow cooker with its lid again and continue to cook on high for one hour. 

Once it's done, remove the lid, and turn off the slow cooker (unplug it just to be safe). Using tongs, remove the pork from the cooking vessel, and slice it. Return it to the cooker, and serve your five ingredient, one-pot meal of pork, sauerkraut, and apples directly from the appliance, either on its own or with rice, garlic bread, or mashed potatoes (which happen to be Carli's favorite).

Recipe for Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut with Apples
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This slow cooker pork and sauerkraut with apples recipe turns simple pork shoulder into a complete and nutritious meal that serves six people.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Slow Cooker Pork And Sauerkraut With Apples
Total time: 4 hours, 5 minutes
  • 2 ½ pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 (15-ounce) can sauerkraut
  1. In a large slow cooker, add the pork shoulder, sliced apples, sliced onions, and apple cider.
  2. Cover the cooker with a lid and cook on high for 3 hours.
  3. Remove the lid and pour the sauerkraut over the pork.
  4. Cover with the lid again and continue to cook on high for 1 hour.
  5. Remove the lid and turn off the slow cooker.
  6. Using tongs, remove the pork from the slow cooker, and slice it.
  7. Return the pork to the slow cooker, and serve.
Calories per Serving 394
Total Fat 21.3 g
Saturated Fat 7.4 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 117.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 17.9 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Total Sugars 11.7 g
Sodium 764.5 mg
Protein 33.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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