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Air Fryer Pork and Sauerkraut Recipe (Easy, Keto, Whole30, Paleo)

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This Air Fryer Pork and Sauerkraut Recipe is sure to bring you good luck all year! This delicious pork recipe is my favorite meal for New Year’s Day. Ready in just an hour, you will be amazed at how truly scrumptious air fryer pork roast is. It’s perfect for healthy family dinners anytime!

Pork and sauerkraut in a white casserole dish.

❤️ Why you will love this recipe

  • Easy: There are two stages to this recipe: air frying the pork roast and then the sauerkraut. I was a little skeptical about sticking a roast in the air fryer as I’ve never cooked such a large piece of meat in there but it was so easy. The sauerkraut is easy too – just stick it in the air fryer and stir it a few times while it’s cooking.
  • Quick: This is a much faster method of cooking pork roast to perfection, compared to the oven. This air fryer pork takes just 40 minutes, whereas roasting it in the oven takes over an hour.
  • Healthy: Sauerkraut is so good for you! It’s fermented cabbage with onion, apple, and caraway seeds. There are so many health benefits of sauerkraut. Fermented foods are great in supporting a healthy gut which is vital to good health. The pork is very simple (with no extra sugar) and packed full of protein to fill you up.
  • Really tasty: For such a simple dish, this tastes amazing. The pork is so tender, with the fat rendered perfectly, and the sauerkraut has an out-of-this-world flavor.
  • Something different: This traditional German dish has some unusual flavors like sauerkraut and caraway seeds. It’s a little sour with hints of a kind of licorice flavor. It is so delicious, you may find (like me) that you end up making the kraut on a regular basis after trying this recipe.
  • Fits many diets: This Air Fryer Pork and Sauerkraut recipe is naturally gluten-free, and easily whole30, paleo, and keto-friendly too.

🗝️ Key Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Pork loin roast: I air-fried a 1.156kg (2.5 lbs) pork roast with the fat cap still on top of the roast. It cooks in a fraction of the time compared to an oven and tastes amazing. The fat on top turns golden brown and crispy. Perfection! Other types of pork cuts to try for this recipe are pork tenderloin, boneless pork chops, regular pork chops, or a small amount of pork shoulder. Cooking time will vary depending on how big the piece of meat is.
  • Seasoning: My pork rub consists of salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Add a little hot paprika for heat if desired. I skipped it this time to keep the recipe kid-friendly.
  • Sauerkraut: This time I bought sauerkraut from the store, but it’s really easy to make at home as well! Follow this homemade sauerkraut recipe for ideas.
  • Onion: I added thinly sliced red onion for a pop of color and sweetness. Yellow onion or white onion would also work well.
  • Apple: I chose a sweet apple to contrast the tangy sauerkraut. If you love the tanginess, feel free to add granny smith apples instead.
  • Caraway seeds: These little seeds have a kind of aniseed/licorice flavor, but it’s not overpowering at all. I’m not a huge fan of licorice but the sauerkraut here has a really great flavor.
  • Sugar: I added just a little brown sugar to curb the tangy flavor of the sauerkraut a little more. You can skip this or add even more if desired. Either regular brown sugar, a brown sugar substitute like erythritol (for a keto option), or coconut sugar are all great in this recipe. I usually use coconut sugar to keep it paleo-friendly.
  • Olive oil: Regular olive oil is my go-to for cooking, however, extra virgin olive oil is great too, or even avocado oil. I avoid vegetable and seed oils to keep this recipe in line with my healthy eating standards.
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🥣 How to make tender pork in the air fryer with sauerkraut

Air Fryer Pork Loin

1. First thing, remove the pork from the fridge, patting it dry with a paper towel, and allowing it to sit at room temperature for an hour.

Patting pork loin dry.

2. After an hour, preheat the air fryer to 200°C/400°F. Set the timer to 65 minutes.

3. If the pork loin has kitchen twine over it, pull it back and score the thick fat on top. I slice the fat right down to the meat. Place the twine back on the meat. If it comes loose, discard it and re-wrap the pork roast 2-3 times with fresh twine.

Slicing the fat on pork loin.

4. Mix the rub spices together with the olive oil and rub it all over the pork loin, beginning with the bottom, then turning it over to get the sides and top of the roast. Make sure to get in between the sliced fat on top.

5. Place the pork loin in the air fryer basket with the fat facing the top and cook it for 20 minutes.

Pork loin in an air fryer.

6. After 20 minutes, have a quick check. If the pork loin is cooking quicker in one area, turn it around.

7. Cook for a further 20 minutes.

8. Check the internal temperature of the pork loin reaches 62°C/145°F. I used a dial meat thermometer, however, an instant-read thermometer is ideal.

9. Remove the pork loin from the air fryer and allow it to rest for 20 minutes. Turn the temperature on the air fryer down to 177°C/350°F.

10. After the pork has rested, remove the twine, cut it into slices and serve.

Pork loin in an air fryer.

Air Fryer Sauerkraut (option 1)

1. While the pork loin is cooking in the air fryer, begin to prepare the sauerkraut side dish.

2. Slice the onion and apple thinly and mix them well with the sauerkraut, caraway seeds, olive oil, and sugar (if you’re using it). I used tongs to toss it all together. It’ll look a bit like coleslaw without the mayonnaise.

3. Add the sauerkraut to the air fryer, spread it out evenly, and cook for 15 minutes, tossing it with tongs or stirring it with a wooden spoon every 5 minutes. When it’s finished cooking, it will be heated through with some browned bits here and there.

Overhead shot of sauerkraut in an air fryer.

Sauerkraut on the stove (option 2)

Alternatively, you can cook the sauerkraut in a large nonstick skillet on the stove. Some optional ingredients to add in this case are a little chicken broth or apple juice for a little bit of sweetness and moisture.

Sauerkraut in a pan on the stove.

I begin by heating the olive oil and frying the onions for 5 minutes before adding the apple, sauerkraut, and caraway seeds. Add a few splashes of apple juice or chicken stock and cook until the ingredients are softer and heated through. Add a little sugar if desired.

Overhead shot of air fryer pork and sauerkraut.

🫙 Storage Instructions

  • Fridge: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. The sauerkraut will last for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Freeze any leftovers in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw completely before reheating.
  • Reheat: Reheat the leftover pork in the air fryer for 10 minutes, until it is piping hot. Check it after 5 minutes so it doesn’t become overcooked. The sauerkraut can be reheated in the air fryer, on the stove, or in the microwave until it’s heated through.

🪄 Recipe Notes & Tips

  • Short on time: If you don’t have time to bring the pork to room temperature before cooking it, it can still be cooked straight from the fridge. Follow the instructions as they are, and add another 10 minutes to the cooking time to start. Cook the pork loin in bursts of extra 10 minutes until it reaches 62°C/145°F, and then take it out to rest.
  • Leftovers: I like to double the sauerkraut dish for easy leftovers throughout the week. It’s delightful hot or cold and great with hot dogs, or another delicious sausage like Polish sausage, Italian sausage, Air Fryer Sausage Links, or bratwurst. I sometimes just eat it on its own as a snack, it’s just so good.
  • Other cuts: Pork and sauerkraut can be made with other cuts of pork like juicy pork chops (either bone-in pork loin chops, boneless or pork chops with bread crumbs), a small pork shoulder, or pork tenderloin.

🍽️ What Can I Serve With Pork and Sauerkraut?

Traditionally, Pork and Sauerkraut is served with mashed potatoes which in my opinion is the best accompaniment to this easy weeknight meal. Here are some other options that would also be delicious:

  • Mashed sweet potatoes
  • Sweet potato fries
  • French fries
  • Mashed rutabaga (low carb option)
  • Parsnip puree
Side shot of air fryer pork and sauerkraut in a white casserole dish.

😋 More air fryer recipes you will love

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Pork and sauerkraut in a white casserole dish.

📖 Air Fryer Pork and Sauerkraut

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Rest Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This Air Fryer Pork and Sauerkraut Recipe is sure to bring you good luck all year! This delicious pork recipe is my favorite meal for New Year's Day. Ready in just an hour, you will be amazed at how truly scrumptious air fryer pork roast is. It's perfect for healthy family dinners anytime!

Ingredients

Pork Loin

  • 1.156kg (2.5lbs) Pork loin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Sauerkraut side dish

  • 455g (1lb) sauerkraut
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-3 teaspoons of brown sugar, coconut sugar, or brown sugar substitute (optional)
  • Salt & ground black pepper (to taste)

Instructions

Air Fryer Pork Loin

  1. Remove the pork from the fridge, patting it dry with a paper towel, and allowing it to sit at room temperature for an hour.Patting pork loin dry.
  2. After an hour, preheat the air fryer to 200°C/400°F. Set the timer to 65 minutes.
  3. If the pork loin has kitchen twine over it, pull it back and score the thick fat on top. I slice the fat right down to the meat. Place the twine back on the meat. If it comes loose, discard it and re-wrap the pork roast 2-3 times with fresh twine.Slicing the fat on pork loin.
  4. Mix the rub spices together with the olive oil and rub it all over the pork loin, beginning with the bottom, then turning it over to get the sides and top of the roast. Make sure to get in between the sliced fat on top.Making sure spices are rubbed between fat on the pork loin.
  5. Place the pork loin in the air fryer basket with the fat facing the top and cook it for 20 minutes (skip down to the air fryer sauerkraut instructions to begin those while the pork cooks).Pork loin in an air fryer.
  6. After 20 minutes, have a quick check. If the pork loin is cooking quicker in one area, turn it around.
  7. Cook for a further 20 minutes.
  8. Check the internal temperature of the pork loin reaches 62°C/145°F. I used a dial meat thermometer, however, an instant-read thermometer is ideal.Checking the temperature of the pork loin with a dial thermometer.
  9. Remove the pork loin from the air fryer and allow it to rest for 20 minutes. Turn the temperature down to 177°C/350°F on the air fryer.Tongs placing pork loin on a wooden chopping board to rest.
  10. After the pork has rested, cut it into slices and serve.

Air Fryer Sauerkraut

  1. While the pork loin is cooking in the air fryer, begin to prepare the sauerkraut side dish.
  2. Slice the onion and apple thinly and mix them well with the sauerkraut, caraway seeds, olive oil, sugar (if you're using it), salt, and pepper. I tossed it with tongs.Sauerkraut ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Add the sauerkraut to the air fryer, spread it out evenly, and cook for 15 minutes, tossing it with tongs or stirring it with a wooden spoon every 5 minutes. When it's finished cooking, it will be heated through with some browned bits here and there.Overhead shot of sauerkraut in an air fryer.

Notes

  • Stovetop Sauerkraut: Alternatively, you can cook the sauerkraut dish in a large nonstick skillet on the stove. Some optional ingredients to add in this case are a little chicken broth or apple juice for a little bit of sweetness and moisture. I begin by heating the olive oil and frying the onions for 5 minutes before adding the apple, sauerkraut, and caraway seeds. Add a few splashes of apple juice or chicken stock and cook until the ingredients are softer and heated through. Add a little sugar if desired.
  • Short on time: If you don't have time to bring the pork to room temperature before cooking it, it can still be cooked straight from the fridge. Follow the instructions as they are, and add another 10 minutes to the cooking time to start. Cook the pork loin in bursts of extra 10 minutes until it reaches 62°C/145°F, and then take it out to rest.
  • Leftovers: I like to double the sauerkraut dish for easy leftovers throughout the week. It's delightful hot or cold and great with hot dogs, or another delicious sausage like Polish sausage, Italian sausage, or bratwurst. I sometimes just eat it on its own as a snack, it's just so good.
  • Other cuts: Pork and sauerkraut can be made with other cuts of pork like juicy pork chops (either bone-in pork loin chops, boneless or pork chops with bread crumbs), a small pork shoulder, or pork tenderloin.
  • Storage Instructions

  • Fridge: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. The sauerkraut will last for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Freeze any leftovers in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw completely before reheating.
  • Reheat: Reheat the leftover pork in the air fryer for 10 minutes, until it is piping hot. Check it after 5 minutes so it doesn't become overcooked. The sauerkraut can be reheated in the air fryer, on the stove, or in the microwave until it's heated through.
  • Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 429Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 151mgSodium: 793mgCarbohydrates: 7gNet Carbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 51g

    Nutrition information and calculations will vary with the use of different brands or ingredients. These figures are estimates. Please get in touch if you have questions!

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