Lemon Chicken Baked on a Bed of Sauerkraut – A Slow Cooker Recipe


Crockpot Lemon Chicken baked on a bed of Sauerkraut


Please don’t let the sauerkraut deter you from trying this recipe.  It is so good!

The chicken turns out moist and flavorful.  And the sauerkraut is quite as kraut-y or sour as it can be in other dishes.

I used chicken thighs with bones.  Bone-in chicken isn’t as convenient as boneless, but it pays off with much better flavor.

This recipe is adapted from an old cookbook I have called Country Gourmet.  In that version, the chicken bakes in an oven.  I like using the slow cooker though, so I can do all the prep early in the day and have it ready to eat later.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this:  



I did not use that entire package of chicken.  It was 5 pounds total, so I used about half and froze the rest for later.

Lemon Chicken Baked on a Bed of Sauerkraut – A Slow Cooker Recipe

Serves: 6-8 servings

  • 32 oz jar sauerkraut
  • ½ tsp. ground red pepper
  • ½ tsp. dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 2.5 - 3 lbs. chicken thighs or other cut
  • 3 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Rinse the sauerkraut and drain. Give it a squeeze with your hands to remove extra water.
  2. Place kraut in the crockpot that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. Add red pepper and rosemary and stir into the kraut.
  4. Place chicken over kraut.
  5. Mix lemon juice and olive oil. Brush on chicken, using all of the lemon juice/olive oil.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  7. Cook on high 5-6 hours or low 7-8 hours.
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  1. I love this idea, bookmarked!

  2. This was delicious!My crockpot cooked it more quickly and I should have stopped it after 4 1/2 hours on low, but a keeper for sure. 🙂

  3. Wow so simple, but looks so good! I will be trying this for sure. I need this kind of recipe for my busy busy family. Thanks!

  4. Delicious low-carb meal tonight!!! I was hesitant about an overwhelming lemon flavor, but could not taste it at all. I was unsure what “red pepper” was, so assumed it was cayenne. I would do an 1/8 tsp of it next time eventhough I usually enjoy spicy foods. I would also drain the water in the canned kraut, but not rinse it. I love all the krautness flavor I can get! The meat is so tender, and I was amazed how effortless this recipe is. Thanks for sharing! Cannot wait for tomorrow’s leftovers!!

    • Cayenne is the ground form of red pepper, that’s correct! I have this recipe cooking in my Crock Pot as I type this and I can’t wait to taste it. I actually used cracked red pepper instead of cayenne, as I don’t love spice too-too much. I too wondered about totally rinsing the sauerkraut, but I did it anyway. I wanted to just follow the recipe exactly this time and see how it comes out. If it doesn’t come out with quite the right amount of “tartness” I’m going to only drain the kraut next time. I have a feeling, though, that the recipe maybe calls for rinsing so that the lemon can be the primary zesty flavor.

      • Katie, I plan on making this recipe this afternoon!! Since you followed this recipe exactly, would you make any changes, especially when it comes the sauerkraut?

  5. Hi. I found your recipe when I was looking for a slow cooker idea for sauerkraut and chicken. I was actually looking for a different recipe I’d used a while back but forgot to bookmark. I found yours instead and I LOVE IT. I cooked this a couple days ago and I am astounded at what a truly perfect dish it is. The meat was amazing and it just fell right off the bone. The kraut was nice and tender and tangy. I actually added 2 small golden potatoes cut into small chunks and sprinkled with a bit of turmeric (I love turmeric for its healthful properties and try to add it to cooking any way I can — the extremely mild flavor of turmeric never conflicts with the stronger flavors in a recipe). I have a good size Crock Pot, so the 4 thighs fit nice and snug on top of the kraut and I was able to add the chunks of potato right into the spaces between the thighs. It all came out perfectly and I’m so happy. I cooked it on low and right about 5 hours/5.25 hours it was ready. I now have 4 cans of sauerkraut in my cupboard so I’m ready to make this meal again any time. Thank you SO much for this.

    • EDIT: I was just re-thinking the time in my head and I have to agree with the other comments above. It really was perfect at just about 4.5 hours. I remember putting it in at 7 am and checking on it at 11:00 and felt it was just right but decided to give it 30 more minutes to be sure the meat was cooked through. So it was 4.5 … MAYBE 4.75 that was just right.

  6. Wow, whoever runs this blog really isn’t interested in what his/her readers have to say.

  7. trishaz says:

    This looks great for dinner tonight!
    (& no, I’m not expecting you to have to comment back!!!!)

  8. Sounds yummy! But, my hubby isn’t a fan of crockpot anything (I know, weird!) so I’m wondering how long to bake it in an oven?

  9. trishaz says:

    This recipe was a super big hit!!! We cut the recipe in half because we have a family of three & there were NO leftovers. Super easy recipe to follow. I think I might try this with pork chops some time.

  10. Melanie says:

    We do this with those thick-cut, bone-in pork chops and LOVE it. I only drain most of the kraut water, not all of it. We like it saucy to mix with the mashed potatoes we serve on the side.

  11. Michelle says:

    I can’t wait to try this on Thursday!! Has anyone used frozen chicken? Think it would be okay? Thanks in advance!

    • Michelle, this should work fine with partially frozen chicken. Thaw it a little bit and then start it on high.

      • Michelle says:

        Thank you so much!

        • Anonymous says:

          It was AMAZING!!! Huge hit! The chicken was still a little frozen when I put it in, set it on high & at the 4 – 4 1/2 hour point the chicken was falling apart nicely & turned it off! Oh & I didn’t rinse the sauerkraut, just drained it, I liked the flavor. It was so yummy!! Thank you!

  12. Hi I used bacon sauerkraut it turned out great people couldn’t get enough.

  13. I’m thinking I will make this for supper! I will probably make the chicken on a bed of rice instead of sauerkraut. Anyone tried this yet?

    • I haven’t tried it using rice. I think it would work to do the chicken just like the recipe, but leave out the sauerkraut. Then serve finished chicken over rice.

  14. Hi. I was looking forward to trying this recipe especially since I love sauerkraut so much, but I did not like it. The red pepper made it to spicy for me and I think I prefer chicken breast meat. Not sure what I did wrong, but I thought I followed the recipe as directed.

  15. Do you take the skin off your chicken before putting it in the crockpot, or before serving?

  16. Nancy Szakats says:

    I have this cooking in my crockpot right now. Since I’m at work, it will be cooking on low for closer to 9 hours and I’m nervous that it will be dried out. There’s very little liquid. Guess I should have read the comments beforehand!

  17. GroundhogGirl says:

    My husband LOVES sauerkraut. I barely tolerate the smell of it. I have been looking for some new crock pot recipes to add during our busy week and wanted to make him happy so I made this yesterday. I actually liked it.

    I substituted fresh sauerkraut from the refrigerated section because is has less preservatives and is sweeter than jarred or canned, but otherwise followed the recipe. I cooked it on low and it was ready earlier than the recipe specifies. I was home to keep an eye on it, but if you’re out of the house at work, maybe put it on low for 5 hours.

    I would give this recipe 5 stars for ease of preparation and the fact that it has such a short list of ingredients. I have several cookbooks devoted entirely to crock pot recipes and the majority of them have ten times more steps, ingredients and dirty dishes.

  18. Rebecca P. says:

    Chicken turned out good. Nice and tender. The red pepper made the kraut too spicy for my taste. But I don’t typically like super spicy foods.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Mind blowing delicious and soooooo easy to make. I found some canned kraut and was left trying to figure out,
    1.) Why did I buy canned kraut? Where did it come from?
    2.) How will I use this?
    I followed the recipe exactly the first time and as I have continued to make it, (3 times now) I have found my own shortcuts and or personal preferences. To make it a complete meal, I cook potatoes along side it and make a brown gravy. I hope you make this, it will wow whoever you serve.

  20. Linda Vacca says:

    Thank you for this recipe, I am trying low carb and liked all the ingredients! Mine is in the crock pot right now..smelling delicious!

    • That’s great to hear, Linda! Let us know what you thought of the recipe!

    • Linda Vacca says:

      So I cooked it and I was surprised how lemony it was…maybe s little to tart for our taste. Maybe apples cut up in it would sweeten it?!

  21. Can you use boneless chicken breasts?


  1. […] A totally different approach to chicken: Lemon Chicken Baked on a Bed of Sauerkraut. Despite the name, it’s actually a crockpot recipe. The only recipe I’ve seen that […]

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