Monday, July 22, 2024

Super easy autumn casserole


Super easy autumn casserole

With the time change upon us, the holidays are nearly here. I want to share with you one of my very favorite recipes. I started making it over 25 years ago and have never seen this particular combination of flavors in any cookbook.

It’s super easy to make, with only 5 ingredients for the casserole part plus mashed potatoes to serve it with. I often prepare it in the morning before we leave for the day. When I return, my home is filled with an aroma that says to me, “Autumn is here!”.

Autumn Casserole is a sauerkraut/onion/apple/sausage combo that you simmer in a crock-pot and serve with mashed potatoes. My husband likes to eat his with mashed potatoes on the side of his plate. I prefer putting a big scoop of mashed potatoes on my plate, making a “well” in it, and pouring this into the well like it was gravy. Mmmmm...

For variety, I vary the ingredients in several ways, using different types of onions, apples, and sausage. The only disappointment I’ve ever had was when using a heavily smoked sausage. My family was vocal in asking me not to repeat that particular combination. However, you may prefer using a smoky sausage. Go ahead, be creative.

Serves: 6-8 depending on the size of your cooker

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 6-8 hours in a slow cooker

Best with: Mashed potatoes

The key to this recipe is the endless possible variations of the ingredients, particularly the sausage and apples. We enjoy trying new combinations,

The amount of each ingredient should be about the same, with the total amount needed depending on how big your slow cooker is. Mine is tall and round, holding 3 layers each of sauerkraut, onion, apple, and sausage.

You can vary the proportions of sauerkraut to the rest of the ingredients by how thick you make your layers. This is my favorite combination, but I encourage you to use your own preferences to guide you.


64 ounces Sauerkraut, drained      

2 medium onions, sliced into 1/3-1/2- inch slices (like onion rings)

2 medium apples, sliced into eighths

4 individual bratwurst/knockwurst/kielbasa, cut into ½ inch medallions

Layer ½ inch of drained sauerkraut on the bottom of a slow cooker. Make sure that you cover the bottom evenly. Follow that initial layer with a layer of sliced onion, then a layer of apples, then a layer of sausage. Repeat this 1-2 more times, depending on the depth of your slow cooker, finishing with a thin layer of sauerkraut on top. Cook for 4-6 hours on low or 2-3 hours on high. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Dr. Louise Achey, Doctor of Pharmacy, is a 43-year veteran of pharmacology and author of Why Dogs Can’t Eat Chocolate: How Medicines Work and How YOU Can Take Them Safely. Get clear answers to your medication questions at her website and blog,  ©2022 Louise Achey


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