Kielbasa is a Polish sausage that usually has a salty flavor. However, it’s one of the most popular dishes in Poland, and it makes for an easy meal when you’re short on time.
What to serve with Kielbasa? It is traditionally served with sauerkraut, stews, casseroles, or applesauce. However, it that can also be served in many different ways.
What is precisely Kielbasa? How do you eat it and what to serve with it? Try these favorite recipes if you are looking for some Kielbasa recipes to serve your family this winter!
What is a Kielbasa?
Kielbasa is a Polish sausage that is usually made from pork. It’s a mainstay of Polish cuisine and comes from Central Europe, particularly Poland. In American English, the term generally refers to a coarse, U-shaped smoked sausage of any meat, which resembles the Wiejska sausage (usually only pork) in British English.
The origin of the word “kielbasa” comes from the Polish language. It means “sausage” or “one who works with sausages,” both in the modern meaning of the type of sausage, but also to refer to any other tube-shaped meat products.
The original Kielbasa is a long, savory sausage composed of pork and beef, which varies by region.
The difference between kielbasa and smoked sausage.
Kielbasa is frequently made from pork, while smoked sausage may be prepared from pork, turkey, and/or beef.
Smoked sausage is fully cooked before being smoked to give it a delicious smoky flavor.
Kielbasa is most often offered pre-cooked and ready to eat, much like a hot dog. It, too, should be heated and cooked.
Kielbasa is seasoned heavily with garlic and has a coarse texture.
Varieties and regional variations
The most popular kiełbasa is also called “Kiełbasa Polska” (“Polish Kielbasa”) or “Kiełbasa Starowiejska” (“Old Countryside Sausage”).
There are also other popular varieties include:
- kabanos (a thin, air-dried sausage flavoured with caraway seeds, originally made of pork)
- kielbasa odesskie (made with beef)
- kiełbasa wędzona (Polish smoked sausage, used often in soups)
- krakowska (a thick, straight sausage hot-smoked with pepper and garlic; its name comes from Kraków)
- wiejska (farmhouse sausage; it is a large U-shaped pork and veal sausage with marjoram and garlic)
- weselna, “wedding” sausage (medium thick, u-shaped smoked sausage; often eaten during parties, but not exclusively)
- kaszanka or kiszka (a traditional blood sausage or black pudding)
- myśliwska (a smoked, dried pork sausage)
- kiełbasa biała (a white sausage sold uncooked and often used in soups).
In Ukraine, “kovbasa” is a term for “kielbasa.” It’s a catch-all term that includes “domashnia” (homemade kovbasa), “pechinky” (liver kovbasa), and “vudzhena” (smoked kovbasa).
The Hungarian term for sausage is kolbász. Hungarian food offers a variety of sausages.
The most common smoked Hungarian sausages are Gyulai Kolbász, Csabai Kolbász, Csemege Kolbász, Házi Kolbász, Cserkész Kolbász. The lightly smoked, one is like Debreceni Kolbász (or Debreciner). And Lecsókolbász is a spicy sausage made specifically for serving as part of the dish Lecsó, a vegetable stew with peppers and tomatoes.
Kielbasa, also known as Polish sausage in some regions, is readily accessible in supermarkets and specialty import stores in the United States.
The uncured variety is typically available, especially in places with a large Polish population, while the smoked sort is more popular.
Sausages from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, western Ukraine, and other countries are available in supermarkets in Canada. In specialty shops, you’ll find more specialized kinds.
What to Serve with Kielbasa?
Traditionally, the smoky Kielbasa is served with traditional side dishes such as sauerkraut, bean dishes, stews, casseroles, or applesauce.
However, Kielbasa is also often served with side dishes that can be relatively simple to prepare. These include french fries, onion rings, or green beans.
To make a complete meal, some more complicated side dishes include scalloped potatoes, casseroles made from scratch, or sliced garden-fresh vegetables.
Here are several popular side dishes and delicious meals that are perfect to accompany Kielbasa.
Sauerkraut is a form of fermented cabbage. As such, it has excellent health benefits as well as a flavourful taste.
Combined with Kielbasa, sauerkraut creates an exciting and unusual combination that’s not often served together in other countries outside Poland. This pairing offers umami flavors and exciting textures.
Kielbasa is a great addition to this traditional favorite side dish of boiled potatoes.
Boiled potatoes are simple dishes that are easy-to-make and ideal for serving with Kielbasa due to their texture, softness, and mild flavor profile that complement the sausage’s solid and rich flavor without masking it entirely.
If you’re looking for something more of a snack or appetizer, then onion rings are what you need.
These fried accompaniments are crunchy and crispy on the outside while still maintaining their softness inside. Combined with Kielbasa, they make an easy-to-prepare perfect dish to enjoy with your meal.
Green beans are a great vegetable that makes for an excellent side dish together with Kielbasa.
These string beans offer umami flavors while complementing the strong taste of beef or pork sausages. This delicious recipe can also be easily prepared in several ways to make them even more delicious.
Cabbage Rolls (golabki)
Golabki, cabbage rolls filled with kielbasa sausage, are a delicious accompaniment to Kielbasa.
Rice Dish (sausage and rice skillet)
Sausage and rice skillet is another dish that can be served with Kielbasa. It doesn’t matter what type of rice you use, either.
This easy-to-prepare meal offers a taste of comfort food made from ingredients you probably already have at home. Cabbage, carrots, onions are combined together in this tasty treat which makes for an excellent pairing to serve alongside the sausage.
Green Bean Casserole Dish
Green bean casserole is ideal to serve with Kielbasa.
This dish makes for great comfort food that’s easy-to-prepare and perfect for the whole family. The ingredients used in this side dish, like onions, celery, mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, make it an umami-rich meal that goes well with Kielbasa.
Another easy-to-prepare side dish that can be combined with Kielbasa is hash browns. These crispy, crunchy potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to serve alongside your sausage meal.
A simple recipe for a light and fresh side dish is a green salad. It offers an excellent contrast to the strong taste of Kielbasa while providing vitamins, minerals, nutrients that come from vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, or leafy greens, which will benefit your meal’s nutritional value.
Maple squash is a dish from the United States and combines Kielbasa with winter squashes such as acorn or butternut squash to create a tasty treat.
This side dish is prepared by roasting diced squash in maple syrup which makes it sweet, savory, and umami-rich all at once!
Another side dish that makes a great pairing to serve with Kielbasa is scalloped potatoes. This easy-to-make casserole offers creamy and delicious potatoes as the perfect accompaniment to sausages. The cream sauce used in this recipe can be made from scratch or using milk, butter, and flour – making it a delicious treat everyone in the family will enjoy.
Sauteed Peppers and Onions
Another umami-rich side dish is sauteed peppers and onions. This simple-to-prepare treat offers a perfect mixture of sweet, savory, and sour flavors, which make for an excellent accompaniment to kielbasa sausage. These vegetables can also be served as a garnish or part of the main course.
Sautéed Collard Greens and Garlic
Sautéed collard greens and garlic make for a delicious combination of flavors when served with Kielbasa.
This side dish offers the perfect mix of sour, sweet, umami tastes, which will enhance your sausage’s flavor while providing that extra bit of nutrients from vegetables to deliver a healthy meal.
Kielbasa Stew is a hearty meal that makes for the perfect pairing to sausages.
This dish offers an exciting combination of tasty ingredients such as potatoes, carrots, and kielbasa sausage, making it easy to prepare while offering unique flavors! It’s also perfect if you want to use up any leftover veggies from the fridge.
Farro and Brussels Sprouts Salad
This farro and Brussels sprout salad makes for a great accompaniment to Kielbasa. The ingredients used in this recipe, including the farro grain, are healthy while offering different textures that come together beautifully!
Baked beans are an easy-to-prepare side dish that can be served with Kielbasa. This traditional American recipe offers a mix of sweet, savory, and sour flavors which pair perfectly together!
Another great combination is creamy potato salad and sausages. Potatoes offer the perfect texture to combine with Kielbasa and offer a mixture of flavors that partner well together.
Serve this refreshing polenta dish with your sausage meal to enjoy a mix of textures and tastes! Grits can replace the cornmeal used in the recipe, so it’s ideal if you happen to have either one on hand as they both offer that creamy texture to this meal.
Coleslaw is another easy-to-prepare side dish that goes well with Kielbasa. This classic recipe offers a crunchy texture and sweet, savory flavors which pair perfectly together!
Baked Garlic Potato Wedges
Baked garlic potato wedges are an easy-to-prepare side dish that offers a crispy texture and umami taste which pairs well with the sausage.
This recipe uses potatoes, garlic, olive oil or canola oil, salt, pepper to create the perfect accompaniment for your meal! They’re also delicious when served alongside sour cream and cheese.
Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Soup
Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Soup is another excellent option for a side dish to serve with Kielbasa. These ingredients offer sweet, savory flavors which pair well together in this simple-to-prepare soup! Seasonings such as thyme, rosemary, bay leaf are also added to enhance the taste of the soup.
Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup
Another option is creamy roasted tomato soup and Kielbasa. This easy-to-prepare meal offers the perfect combination of flavors that pair well together! The cream sauce used in this recipe can be made from scratch or using milk, butter, and flour – making it a delicious treat everyone in the family will enjoy.
This mashed sweet potatoes side dish makes for a great pairing to kielbasa sausage! The ingredients used are simple – sweet potatoes, butter or olive oil, nutmeg, and salt & pepper – so it’s easy-to-prepare while offering unique flavors with a creamy texture.
Classic French Onion Soup
This classic French onion soup is another great option for a side dish to serve with Kielbasa. The flavors of this meal are savory and offer an exciting combination that pairs well together! This recipe also provides two options – one being the traditional method or making it in a slow cooker.
Potato and Leek Soup
Another option is potato and leek soup which makes for a great pairing with kielbasa sausage. This easy-to-prepare meal offers the perfect combination of flavors as well as textures! It’s also versatile, and it can be served either hot or cold, depending on your preference.
Serve these chips with your sausage meal to enjoy a crispy texture and savory taste that pairs well together! The other ingredients used in this recipe, such as salt, pepper, or paprika, add unique flavors which make it stand out amongst other side dishes.
Serve applesauce with your meal to enjoy a crunchy texture and sweet taste that goes well together. The contrast flavors between sweet and tangy sauce of the applesauce, plus savory and smoky of the sausage, is just downright delightful.
Roasted Potatoes and Kielbasa (One-Pan Kielbasa Recipe)
Another option is roasted potatoes and Kielbasa, which offer a crunchy texture to enjoy with your sausage meal. The other ingredients, such as garlic, green onion, or thyme, add unique flavors that make it stand out amongst the side dishes! Roast these potatoes along with some veggies for an easy-to-prepare complete dish.
Cauliflower and Sausage Roast
Another option is cauliflower and sausage roast, which offers a crunchy texture to enjoy with your meal. The other ingredients, such as water, salt, or pepper, add unique flavors that stand out amongst the side dishes.
Slow Cooker Polish Sausage and Cabbage Soup
This slow cooker Polish sausage and cabbage soup offer savory flavors to enjoy with your meal. The other ingredients, such as onion, garlic, or pepper, add unique flavors, making it stand out amongst the side dishes!
Kielbasa Rice Pilaf
Another option is kielbasa rice pilaf which makes for a great pairing to your meal. This easy-to-prepare recipe offers the perfect combination of flavors that pair well together! The other ingredients, such as onion, pepper, or celery, add unique flavors that stand out amongst side dishes.
Easy Sausage Bake with Sauerkraut and Apples
Supper in a saucepan is a favorite style of Polish cuisine, and this hearty dish highlights the seasonings in Kielbasa with just a few easy additions. Apples and sauerkraut balance the meat nicely, adding a sweet and sour flavor to it.
Kielbasa and Rice Casserole
Kielbasa and rice casserole is a meal that features kielbasa sausage, tomato sauce, and long-grain white rice. This dish offers an exciting combination of flavors that pair well together!
Polish American Breakfast Skillet
This Polish American breakfast skillet is a hearty meal that features scrambled eggs, kielbasa sausage or other beef sausage types, and hash browns. This dish offers an exciting combination of flavors that pair well together.
Grilled Pierogies and Kielbasa
Pick up store-bought pierogies and attempt to cook them on the barbecue. Topped with grilled pork or turkey kielbasa and grilled onions, they’re fantastic!
Quick Skillet Kielbasa Pork and Beans
Replace the Kielbasa with ground pork and beans, garnish it with hot dog bun croutons and pickle relish, and serve.
Kielbasa Grilled Cheese
Add Kielbasa to your favorite grilled cheese sandwich for a tasty twist.
Grilled Kielbasa with Cabbage and Bean Slaw
A tangy bean slaw accompanies this smoky take and rich barbecue flavor on corned beef and cabbage.
This hearty sausage-and-vegetable stew takes advantage of pantry staples like canned tomatoes, potatoes, and beans.
Spicy Kielbasa Dog with Stout Onions
This favorite hot dog is given a boost with spicy Kielbasa, garlic mayo, and fried onions.
Grilled Sausage with Spicy Sauce
To prepare the dipping barbecue sauce, combine ketchup, spicy mustard, and hot sauce in a blender. Grill or skewer kielbasa and serve with a simple dip of ketchup, spicy mustard, and hot sauce at his tailgate.
Low Country Boil
It’s not a low-country boil without Kielbasa. Kardea combines the smoky sausage with potatoes, crab legs, prawns, and corn, all of which are flavored with plenty of seafood seasoning.
Cheese Curds and Sausage in Puff Pastry
Take advantage of the puff pastry you have on hand and make these cheesy sausage-and-curd appetizers for your next party.
Sausage and Kraut
Meat and potatoes maybe spiced up with this dish’s savory flavors. Finally, it’s completed with juicy sauerkraut and tangy sausage.
Bacon-wrapped Kielbasa bites with Brown Sugar Glaze
These bacon-wrapped kielbasa bites with a brown sugar glaze make the perfect appetizer for your next tailgate or party! The crispy bacon is wrapped around a tasty sausage and then topped with a sweet, sticky glaze.
The secret simple ingredients are a brown sugar glaze made with brown sugar, white wine vinegar, mustard, and black pepper.
Kielbasa Skillet – Easy Polish Sausage Recipe
Here is one of Kielbasa’s favorite recipes that is popular around the world.
This Kielbasa Skillet is one of those quick and easy Kielbasa sausage recipes that your whole family will enjoy.
- 16 ounces turkey kielbasa sliced into 1/2 inch (ish) rounds
- 6-8 medium potatoes unpeeled
- 1 medium to large tomato
- 1 large bell pepper
- 1 large onion or onion powder
- 2-3 tablespoons Season All (a blend of salt and savory spices, including paprika, black pepper, onion and garlic, with a hint of chili powder)
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- Over medium-high heat, warm oil in a large skillet while chopping veggies.
- Cut all of the vegetables into bite-size pieces. Add the potatoes to the hot skillet, and cook, stirring frequently, for about ten minutes. Stir in all remaining ingredients and a generous sprinkling of Season All. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another five minutes.
- Place coins of kielbasa on the empty side of the skillet and push veggies to one side. Stir every now and then for about five minutes, or until heated through.
- Stir the kielbasa and veggies together, then liberally sprinkle with Season All once more. Cover with a lid or a large dinner plate to low-medium heat.
- Cook until the potatoes are completely soft, about 5 to 10 minutes longer.
- Drizzle with more Season All if you like, and enjoy.
How to Store Kielbasa?
To avoid freezer burn, wrap your Kielbasa individually in plastic wrap and put it in a Ziploc freezer bag. Alternatively, if you have the tools, vacuum seal your Kielbasa instead of wrapping it individually.
Some kielbasa is available in an unopened vacuum-sealed bag that may be immediately placed in the freezer.
Freezing your sausage can retain its quality for 3-4 weeks and even 6 months in the freezer.
Whether you’re going to eat your Kielbasa the next day or have any leftovers that need reheating and eating, keeping cooked sausage may be a little tricky.
This sort of meat, like any other food, should be kept in the refrigerator away from other meals to maintain its quality. Instead, please keep them in a clean, separate container.
You should eat your cooked Kielbasa within 2-3 days after refrigerating it, but not longer than that.
What is a good side dish for kielbasa and sauerkraut?
White potatoes are a great side dish for the classic pairing of Kielbasa and sauerkraut. Fry some diced russet potatoes, then top with butter, salt & pepper to taste.
What’s the best way to cook kielbasa?
To grill Kielbasa, make sure the sausages are thawed before grilling. Grill on both sides until golden brown (about 15 minutes). Then place them in a preheated pot with some water or beer and simmer for another 20 minutes to stew them together.
Is kielbasa good or bad for you?
Kielbasa is not a healthy dish. With only 6 ounces of Kielbasa, a sausage known as ‘kielbasa’ can pack in 330 calories, 24 grams of fat, and 1690 milligrams of salt. These sorts of foods should be avoided at all costs. The healthier alternative is chicken sausage or lean meat sausages.