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Braised Pork and Sauerkraut

Pork ribs braised in a low, slow oven with sauerkraut and brown sugar, so easy with just three ingredients!  Perfect with mashed potatoes and applesauce for Sunday dinner on a cold winter night.

Pork and sauerkraut on plate with fork and mashed potatoes

Meathead had a rough week.  I knew just the dinner to cheer him up, braised pork and sauerkraut with mashed potatoes.  Say comfort food, big time.  Pork ribs layered with sauerkraut and brown sugar and slowly braised in the oven for 3 hours.  It's just unbelievably good.  Meathead also likes baked beans with this, and crushed potato chips on those beans.  We'll just ignore that really weird assortment on his plate.

Finished braised pork on plate with mashed potatoes, serving bowl in background.

Back in our Minnesota days, my neighbor brought over a casserole dish of pork ribs and sauerkraut.  Absolutely delicious on a bitter cold night in Saint Paul.  When I asked her how she made it, she said just layer pork ribs with sauerkraut and brown sugar, put in a slow oven for a few hours until the pork is tender and falls off the bones.  That's it, so easy and so good.

In dutch oven layered with brown sugar before going in oven

In Dutch oven after cooking, surface browned

Any pork rib will work, I have used spareribs and country style ribs.  Yesterday, I used country style ribs from the pork shoulder.  I prefer those over the ones from the loin, which can dry out if cooked too long, and I like the taste better.  I also prefer them on the bone.  For some reason, not many bones in my ribs this time.  If you use spareribs, cut them into 2 to 3-rib sections and trim any major excess fat that you can.

Braised Pork and Sauerkraut, on plate with serving bowl in background

It seems kind of strange not to brown the pork ribs first, but it really isn't needed.  The ribs and kraut will get nice and brown in the oven, even with the lid on.  And your house will smell amazing while it cooks.

Braised pork and sauerkraut in serving bowl

I think of this dish for dinner on a cold Sunday night, but I had the time yesterday and man, we were happy campers on a weeknight.  Leftovers tonight and, oh yeah, Meathead is in a much better mood now.  Happy winter ~ Kelly

Braised Pork and Sauerkraut, on blue serving plate with forkful of pork, mashed potatoes

Other dishes to cozy up to:

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Braised Pork and Sauerkraut

Braised Pork and Sauerkraut

Pork ribs braised in a low, slow oven with sauerkraut and brown sugar. Serve with mashed potatoes for Sunday dinner on a cold winter night.
4.80 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 479kcal


  • 3 - 4 pounds pork ribs, preferably on the bone, country style or spareribs (if needed, cut into 2 to 3-piece rib sections)
  • 3 - 4   cans Bavarian style sauerkraut (it's sweeter and has caraway seeds) 14 oz each
  • Brown sugar (about 1 to 2 cups)
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper


  • Preheat oven to 300º.  Trim any excess fat from the ribs.
  • In a large dutch oven, put 1 can of sauerkraut, with juices, into the pot and spread along the bottom.  Place one layer of pork ribs on top of sauerkraut.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add another can of sauerkraut over the ribs.  Sprinkle generously with brown sugar.  Repeat with another layer of pork ribs, salt and pepper, another can of sauerkraut.  Top with brown sugar. (So I did two layers of pork and 3 cans of kraut.  You may want or need another can of sauerkraut.  Just adjust to your amount and size of ribs and pot.)
  • Add water to the side of the ribs, enough so liquid comes ¾ of the way up the pork and kraut, I added about ½ can of water.  Cover pot with lid.
  • Place in middle of oven and braise for 2½ - 3 hours, until pork is very tender when pierced.  You can remove the lid the last 15 - 30 minutes if you want the top more brown.
  • Remove from oven and skim any fat from the top.  Serve with mashed potatoes, and maybe apple sauce (not baked beans!).

Recipe Notes

  • You can use spare ribs, back ribs, country ribs, pork shoulder ~ they all work.  I used meaty pork loin back ribs in these photos.
  • I used over 5 pounds in this recipe, two layers in a large Dutch oven.
  • Sometimes I add a little extra caraway seed, totally optional.  I prefer Frank's Bavarian-style kraut for this recipe, which has caraway in it.
  • The amount of brown sugar is your preference.  I just eyeball it and sprinkle away, maybe a cup or so, total.  You don't want it too sweet!


Calories: 479kcal Carbohydrates: 9g Protein: 26g Fat: 37g Saturated Fat: 12g Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g Monounsaturated Fat: 14g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 127mg Sodium: 1487mg Potassium: 734mg Fiber: 6g Sugar: 4g Vitamin A: 37IU Vitamin C: 30mg Calcium: 85mg Iron: 4mg
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!

4.80 from 5 votes (3 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating

Kim M

Friday 7th of January 2022

Making it now. It smells delish, and so easy!


Wednesday 12th of January 2022

We've had it twice this season so far, it's so good. Hope you liked it.

Mary Domingo

Thursday 4th of March 2021

Do you think I could use some jarred red cabbage that's in my fridge? And use less brown sugar? I'm thinking the color would be kind of cool.


Saturday 9th of October 2021

@Mary Domingo, I love red cabbage and usually make it (sweet & sour) for the holidays. Having said that I think the color would be off-putting. Can't imagine "red pork". However, the taste would probably be lovely.


Thursday 18th of March 2021

I really don't know, I've only ever made it with canned sauerkraut.


Friday 18th of January 2019

I have made this recipe ,but i substituted apple juice for water.nice sweet taste since apples and pork pair well together.


Friday 18th of January 2019

Apple juice sounds perfect!


Monday 8th of January 2018

Did I just hear the ring-a-ding of the dinner bell?


Wednesday 24th of February 2016

I am making a pork roast today with sauerkraut today.. I also like white cannellini beans, or great northern beans with it..l I usually add a small amount of brown sugar to the marinade.