Instant Pot Pork Chops with Sauerkraut

Flavorful pork and sauerkraut becomes fork tender and is a fast, easy meal to make in the Instant Pot.

Adding ingredients like apples, potatoes, onions, bacon and onions is stress free when pressure cooking.

Fork full of tender pork and sauerkraut cooked in the instant pot on a white plate on a red napkin.

Instant Pot Pork and Sauerkraut Recipe

Pork chops and sauerkraut are a classic recipe and the only ingredients needed to make this traditional recipe. This Instant Pot Pork and Sauerkraut with apples and bacon is an easy way to take this recipe up a notch with great added flavors!

My husband has a strong German heritage and he LOVES sauerkraut!  He likes sauerkraut warmed straight out of the jar with pork loin or sausage on top just like I shared in this simple pork and sauerkraut recipes, Pork & Sauerkraut Roll-Ups and cooked in Instant Pot Sauerkraut, Sausage & Potatoes.

Keep it simple with traditional pork and sauerkraut cooked in the Instant Pot alone or add apples, your favorite veggies and bacon for more color and flavor.

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Pork chop on sauerkraut with carrot and bacon pieces on a red plate.

We like to use pork chops because they cook so quickly. Instant Pot Country Style Ribs are another great option that cooks in a similar amount of time. 

Pork shoulder has more dark meat and intramuscular fat making it the most tender option, but being a large piece of meat it will take much longer to tenderize.

Pork Chops And Sauerkraut

This pork chop and sauerkraut recipe is sweeter and has a much more mild sauerkraut flavor that those of us who didn’t grow up eating fermented foods regularly can enjoy! Using the Instant Pot means everything can easily be made in a one-pot meal to save time and energy!

The bacon, apples, onions and carrots really add more flavor dimensions to the traditional pork and sauerkraut recipes.  This is a great first recipe to try for people who are on the fence about whether to eat sauerkraut.

Serving spoon lifting pork and sauerkraut out of an Instant Pot.

I love that my friend Chef Alli shared this recipe with me and she adapted it to be prepared in the Instant Pot.

Ingredients Needed

  • Pork Chops – We typically use boneless, but bone-in works fine too. Choose a thick pork chop for better results.
  • Sauerkraut – We like a jar of Frank’s Polish style sauerkraut as jars are typically the highest quality.
  • Oil – Vegetable or canola to help brown the chops and prevent sticking.
  • Chicken Broth – A neutral liquid to help the electric pressure cooker work, sauerkraut juice or beer work as a substitute.
  • Onion – Any type of onion is fine, cut in coarse pieces.
  • Carrots – We like the orange color added to this otherwise monochromatic meal.
  • Bacon – Because it adds flavor to most meals!
  • Apples – A classic and optional addition to this meal.
Ingredients to make pork and sauerkraut are pork chops, drained sauerkraut, onions, chicken broth, apples, bacon, garlic and carrots on a wooden counter.

How to Make Instant Pot Pork Chops & Sauerkraut

  1. Use saute setting on electric pressure cooker to brown pork chops
  2. Add onions, bacon, carrots and garlic to pressure cooker and saute for 2-3 minutes
  3. Add the drained sauerkraut and apples to the pot, along with the chicken broth; top with the reserved pork chops
  4. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes then use a natural release for 10 minutes
  5. Serve on warm mashed potatoes and enjoy
Tender pork chop on tangy sauerkraut with pieces of onion, carrots, apples and bacon for extra flavor on a white plate on a red and whtie plaid napkin.

Why Do Pork Chops Get Tough in the Instant Pot

Using a thick pork chop will typically be more tender because it takes longer to dry out. A thick bone-in pork chop will also typically stay more tender because the bone increases cooking time, thus keeping the chop tender longer.

The Instant Pot is one of the most challenging ways to cook pork chops and keep them tender because you can’t just peek in and check the temperature.

If you try this recipe and love the flavors but have trouble keeping the pork chop tender try making the pork chops in the oven. Then the sauerkraut and remaining ingredients can be cooked in the electric pressure cooker.

Close up pork chop shredding with a fork next to sauerkraut, piece of apple, onions and carrots.

Does Sauerkraut Need Drained?

Draining sauerkraut is a personal preference. Since liquid is necessary for pressure cooking you will need the liquid from the sauerkraut OR chicken broth. 

My husband loves all of the sauerkraut flavor, so he never drains or rinses!

Beer is another option if you enjoy that flavor, but just choose one source of liquid to avoid making a soup.

Pork chops and sauerkraut with slices of apples cooked in an Instant Pot.

Step By Step Instructions

Add a couple tablespoons of oil to the instant pot and turn on the sauté setting.

Once oil is hot add pork chops with long handled tongs.

Sautéing pork chops in oil in an insta pot.

When the chops are white half way up the side flip and lightly brown the other side. The second side won’t take quite as long to cook since the chops will be warmer.

Browning second side of pork chops in oil.

Once both sides are brown set aside on a plate.

If needed add another tablespoon or two of oil and saute carrots, bacon, onion and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes depending on the size of the veggies.

Pieces of bacon, chopped carrots, diced onions and minced garlic added to an Instant Pot.

Once they begin to tenderize add chicken broth and stir.

Chopped carrots, onions and bacon sautéing in an instant pot insert.

After stirring well add the drained sauerkraut.

Layer of sauerkraut in a silver pot on top of onions and bacon with chicken broth.

Finally put the apples and pork chops in the instant pot.

Browned pork chops added to slices of apples and sauerkraut.

Lock the lid into place and cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. 

Then allow pot to natural release pressure for 10 minutes, follow tip a quick release, remove the lid and serve warm.

Tips for Making Pork and Sauerkraut in the Pressure Cooker

  • The apple peel will come off under pressure in the Instant Pot.  If that bothers you peel the apples.
  • We use thick slices of bacon because more bacon means more flavor.
  • Reduce the number and amount of supplemental ingredients if you really want one flavor to stand out.
  • Browning the pork chops adds a bit of flavor and color.
  • Be sure to use at least a ten-minute natural release when cooking pork chops to allow the protein fibers to relax.  Using the quick release will leave the chops tough.
  • I like to set my instant pot on my stove top and use my oven hood to remove moisture from the kitchen as the appliance does a natural release.
  • 7 minutes of cook time means the chops will be tender but not fall apart.  Pressure cook longer for fall-apart pork chops. Once pork chops reach an internal temperature of 145F they are safe to eat and this happens within a few minutes in an Instant Pot.
Boneless pork chops cooked in a pressure cooker with apples and sauerkraut.

When we have a big jar of sauerkraut we like to add a layer in our Layered Cabbage Roll Casserole!

More Easy Instant Pot Recipes 

We hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do!

Close up fork in a tender piece of pork resting on a bed of sauerkraut.

Instant Pot Pork and Sauerkraut

Servings 4 people
Author: Jennifer
Flavorful pork and sauerkraut becomes fork tender and is a fast, easy meal to make in the Instant Pot.
4.58 from 7 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Pressurizing & natural release time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 4 boneless pork chops 3/4" – 1" thick
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 slices bacon raw and chopped
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3 carrots diced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 32 ounce jar Sauerkraut drained
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 apples cored and quartered, peel if desired

Serve with a batch of your favorite mashed potatoes

Instructions
 

  • Using the sauté setting on your Instant Pot, add 1-2 Tbs. oil; when the oil is hot, add the chops, browning them on both sides, working in batches, if needed, so you don’t overcrowd the pot. Set the browned chops on a clean plate as you work.
  • Add another tablespoon of oil along with the onions, bacon, carrots and garlic to the pot and sauté for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add the drained sauerkraut and apples to the pot, along with the chicken broth; top with the reserved pork chops. 
  • Lock the IP lid into place, then use the manual button to choose 7 minutes on the High-Pressure setting, bringing the IP to full pressure. When the timer sounds, use a 10-minute natural release, followed by a quick release if any pressure remains in the IP.
  • Serve warm and enjoy! 

Notes

  • All cooking appliances and conditions are different, so you should test these times and guidelines first in your own appliance to determine what adjustments may be needed!

Nutrition

Calories: 485kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 35gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 1961mgPotassium: 1229mgFiber: 11gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 7748IUVitamin C: 43mgCalcium: 110mgIron: 4mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!

Originally shared on December 22, 2018 with updates made on December 1, 2023.

Collage of Pork chops and sauerkraut in the Instant Pot and Pork Chops served with Sauerkraut, Apples and Bacon on a red plate

20 Comments

  1. Can you make this in a crock pot?

    1. I haven’t tried making this in a crock pot, but I would like to. Please let me know how it works if you try it!

  2. Nathan McClure says:

    5 stars
    I used bone-in chops and set the timer for 25 minutes. It was delicious. A definite make again.

    1. So glad to hear. Thanks for letting us know!

  3. Pork chops were tasty but a bit dry. I will lower the time next time I make it,

  4. Teresa Hill says:

    Could you add potatoes to this recipe? I would rather not have a separate pot. Or Green Beans?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Yes chunks of potatoes could be included as they can hold up to the longer pressure cooking period. I’m afraid green beans would likely become pretty soggy after more than a few minutes in the Instant Pot. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

  5. Cyndi Furseth says:

    4 stars
    I’d probably drain but not rinse the sauerkraut – I like a little more “zip”. Could substitute apple juice for broth, but it’s really good. It’s a keeper!

  6. 5 stars
    This was quick, easy, and insanely delicious!!

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Does anything change if I omit the apples? My mom doesn’t do fruit and meat together. Thanks!

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Great question – the recipe shouldn’t change by omitting the apples. There are still plenty of flavors that I hope you all enjoy!

  8. 5 stars
    This was delicious, so flavorful. The only thing I changed was using apple juice instead of chicken broth ( I only had beef). Will definitely be making this again.

  9. Judith A Pulicicchio says:

    5 stars
    A make again recipe leaving you wanting more……

  10. Made this with some substitutions however. I used a couple tablespoons of homemade apple butter and a couple tbs of dark brown sugar along with about a tsp of caraway seeds. It was delicious! Loin chops were sooo tender and flavorful!

  11. How much less time to cook thinner chops?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Great question, but I will say that I do not recommend making thin chops in the Instant Pot as they tend to dry out pretty quickly. I would try another recipe like cutting into thin strips for fajitas or this one: https://plowingthroughlife.com/basic-oven-baked-pork-chops/ Hope you enjoy!

  12. Instead of potatoes, make it with Spatzel instead. You don’t need any of the fancy equipment. I use the following: 1 egg, 1 cup of flour (do not use self rising), and enough milk to make a wet dough. This is per serving. I use a cutting board and a knife to shave it into the boiling water. When they float to the surface, they are done. I always make extra because the next day you can saute them in brown butter and toasted breadcrumbs. Yum!

  13. 4 stars
    Way too much sauerkraut so next time I’ll half it. Definitely needed to add seasoning to the chops like salt, pepper and garlic powder. Pork chops did come out tender.

  14. 4 stars
    Had some thinner butterfly chops that needed to be cooked & this was the quick & easy recipe I needed.

    I skipped the apples & carrots (didn’t have any in the house) and just rough chopped & sautéed 2 med onions and I don’t know how much garlic powder. Aldi jarred kraut has exactly 1C juice so instead of draining it, I dumped the entire contents and used the juice in place of the chicken broth. Raw chops* on top, kept the same pressure & NPR times.

    4/5 due to changes I made as the base recipe was a good starting place

    *Ive found the thinner chops don’t need to be pre browned as they get overdone

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