Instant Pot Pork and Sauerkraut

Looking for a lucky year ahead? Try out this Instant Pot Pork and Sauerkraut, a traditional dish that is believed to bring luck and joy to the year ahead.


Looking for a lucky year ahead? Try out this Instant Pot Pork and Sauerkraut, a traditional dish that is believed to bring luck and joy to the year ahead.

Pork and Sauerkraut is a traditional New Year’s dish in the American Northeast. It’s usually made on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day and is thought to bring luck for the year ahead.

I usually cook my pork and sauerkraut in the oven like this. However, now that I’m Instant-Pot-OBSESSED, I’ve given it at try in there. It’s definitely quicker and tastes nearly as good. I think the pork roast is slightly tougher in the Instant Pot but it’s not super-noticeable. The sauerkraut mixture has a similar taste and texture.

Along with the sauerkraut, there are sliced apples for a hint of sweet, and caraway seeds are tossed in if you love them like I do. The roast is cooked in the Instant pot on its own with some stock first. Then the sauerkraut and apple mixture is added and then it’s all pressure cooked again all together. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see any apples when you are done! The apples break down and become a background flavor mixed with the sauerkraut.

Note that when it’s done, the sauerkraut will be quite watery. This is from the stock needed at the beginning to cook the loin, the liquid that came out of the loin, and the liquid in the sauerkraut itself. Don’t worry! Take the pork loin out and let it rest. Then pour the sauerkraut mixture into a strainer set over a large bowl to let it drain. Then slice the pork and serve with the drained sauerkraut mixture.

I wish you a joyous and lucky year ahead. Happy New Year!



Instant Pot Pork and Sauerkraut

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


Looking for a lucky year ahead? Try out this Instant Pot Pork and Sauerkraut, a traditional dish that is believed to bring luck and joy to the year ahead.


  • 3 lb. boneless pork loin*
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 16 oz. sauerkraut, not drained or rinsed
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds (optional)


  1. Take the pork loin out of the refrigerator. Set the Instant Pot to saute.
  2. Sprinkle the pork all over with 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic powder, the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper.
  3. Measure the olive oil into the Instant Pot. Add the pork loin fat-side-down. Cook until browned, about 2-3 minutes. Flip it over and cook until other side is also brown, another 2-3 minutes. Remove roast to a plate.
  4. Add the chicken stock to the instant pot. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any and all brown bits from the bottom.
  5. Put the loin in the Instant Pot, fat-side up. With the valve set to sealing, set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 20 minutes. The Instant Pot will then build up pressure and once pressure is reached, it will cook for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes, carefully turn the valve to venting and allow all the pressure to release. Once the pressure is fully released and the pressure button has dropped down, remove the lid.
  6. While the loin cooks, combine the sauerkraut, apples, onion, caraway seeds (if using), 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper in a large bowl.
  7. Remove the pork from the Instant Pot. Add the sauerkraut mixture, but leave behind any accumulated juices in the bottom of the bowl. Stir. Add the pork on top of it.
  8. With the valve set to sealing, set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes, allow the pressure to do a natural release (that is, keep the valve at sealing) for 5 minutes. Then turn the valve to venting. Once all pressure has released and the button has dropped, take off the lid.
  9. Use an instant read thermometer and make sure that the pork is at least 145F.** If it is not, set the instant pot to pressure cook for another 5-10 minutes, depending on how far from 145F it is.
  10. Transfer the pork to  a cutting board to rest.
  11. Set a strainer over a large bowl. Pour the sauerkraut mixture into the strainer to drain off the liquid. Push down on the sauerkraut a bit to get more moisture out.
  12. Slice the pork and serve it with the sauerkraut.



*If using a bone-in 3 pound bone-in pork loin, the initial pressure-cooking time should be set to 40 minutes instead of 20 minutes.

**145F is the minimum temperature for pork loin recommended by the National Pork Board. If you like your pork more well done, cook it for longer in the initial phase, 22 minutes instead of 17 minutes.

Instant Pot Pork and Sauerkraut

8 responses to “Instant Pot Pork and Sauerkraut”

  1. Heather says:

    FYI: I learned from my hubby’s great grandma that caraway seeds reduce gas and bloat, normal after-effects of cabbage/kraut dishes. When our daughter was an infant she was colicky, and GGMa’s “caraway tea” was our best friend (boil caraway seeds in water, sift, add sugar to taste, drink when cooled), and saved our sanity (while making our sensitive tummy baby girl comfortable). Just thought your followers would appreciate this wisdom.

  2. Billy says:

    I haven’t made pork and sauerkraut in ages. This definitely inspired me to do so! Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Lars says:

    17 minutes is nowhere long enough. Using my meat thermometer the pork loin was only at 75F. 45 min is what worked for me.

  4. Karen C says:

    Followed this recipe and the 17 minute time wasn’t enough to do a pork butt of 3 to 4 lbs. 
    In fact,  it took a total of 45 minutes in the instant pot. Plus the additional time for Sauerkraut  and apple mixture of 5 minutes.  I followed your recipe but did use pork butt instead of loin. 
    Heads up anyone. 
    Great tasting recipe after that. 

  5. Rob says:

    We would like to make the pork as tender as possible and we normally cook our pork and saurcrout with wine. Any suggestions?
    Happy New Year!

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Rob, I actually suggest using a pork butt or pork shoulder instead of a loin for the tenderest pork. And my method using the reverse sear over here is pretty great If you were doing this, I would add the sauerkraut and apple mixture for the final 1.5 hours when it’s at 300F. I’ve never tried it but some wine in the mix would be great. For that pork butt recipe, maybe add the wine instead of the broth right at the beginning of cooking. It will simmer down nicely. THen add the sauerkraut and apples for that final 1.5 hours. Good luck and Happy New Year!

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