Kielbasa is a delicious Polish sausage staple of Central and Eastern European cuisine.
It’s incredibly versatile and easy to cook with. But if you’re unfamiliar with it, you may be wondering – what can I make with Kielbasa?
There are many options such as potatoes, sauerkraut, and cabbage. Read on to find out what else you can make with kielbasa.
How to Eat Kielbasa
Here are two of the best ways to eat kielbasa:
Kielbasa Hot Dogs
Try eating them like a hot dog for a fast and simple way to enjoy kielbasa. To make Polish sausage dogs:
- Lightly fry the whole kielbasa until it is browned and crispy on the outside, or cook them on a grill until they have nice char marks.
- While the kielbasa is cooking, sauté sliced onion in a separate pan. Cook the onions until they are golden brown and tender.
- Serve the kielbasa on toasted hot dog buns with caramelized onions and ketchup. Mustard is optional.
Traditional Kielbasa Dinner
In Poland, kielbasa is traditionally served with cabbage and/or sauerkraut. To make a traditional Polish kielbasa dinner:
- In a large skillet, sauté the chopped onion until it is translucent.
- Add a shredded head of cabbage and minced onion when the onion is cooked.
- Cover the vegetables with broth, and add a bay leaf and ½ teaspoon of caraway seeds.
- Simmer the broth until the cabbage is tender.
- While the cabbage is cooking, slice kielbasa and sauté in a separate pan until golden brown.
- Add the kielbasa to the cabbage and serve topped with minced dill or other green herbs.
You can make almost anything with kielbasa, using it like any other sausage or grilled meat.
Consider adding it to your favorite mac and cheese recipe, serving it over mashed potatoes, or serving it with roasted vegetables.
The hearty flavor enhances a wide range of recipes, so don’t be afraid to experiment with kielbasa and find the dishes you like best.
What to Eat With Kielbasa
Because it’s a rich and hearty sausage, kielbasa goes naturally with almost any starches and vegetables.
If you’re wondering how to serve kielbasa, here are some of the most popular foods to eat with kielbasa (these go together great regardless of the brand):
Potatoes are an excellent food to eat with kielbasa.
Depending on your preferences, you might serve kielbasa with roasted potatoes and vegetables or serve kielbasa over mashed potatoes.
Many people also add sliced kielbasa to a German potato salad. In a dish like this, kielbasa is often compared to bratwurst – click here to learn more about the difference between the two.
Sauerkraut is a dish of fermented cabbage and is often enjoyed with kielbasa.
The tart, salty flavor of sauerkraut complements the richness of kielbasa, and sauerkraut is often added as a topping on kielbasa dogs or served beside kielbasa dishes.
In Poland and Eastern Europe, applesauce is often served with kielbasa.
Sweet fruits like apples are often paired with pork in various cuisines because the sweetness augments the smoky, meaty flavor.
Applesauce kielbasa is a very popular appetizer in the United States.
Cabbage is another food that is commonly eaten with kielbasa all over Europe.
Typically, the cabbage is shredded and cooked in butter until it is tender, then combined with browned kielbasa slices and seasoned with caraway.
The buttery cabbage is a wonderful complement to the smoky kielbasa, and the whole dish is a simple and healthy skillet meal.
What better compliment to a Polish sausage than traditional Polish dumplings?
Even better, pierogies can be filled with other foods often paired with kielbasa, like potatoes or sauerkraut.
This dish may take a little more time to prepare, but you can make it faster and easier using store-bought pierogies.
To pair with kielbasa, boil pierogies until cooked, then sauté with caramelized onion and slices of kielbasa until everything is golden brown.
Soups and Stews
Kielbasa can be added to a vast range of soups and stews to add richness and flavor.
For example, it tastes terrific in potato or cabbage soups or slow-cooked in bean soups and stews.
Kielbasa with pasta is not a traditional pairing, and yet more and more Americans are discovering how delicious kielbasa can be in almost any pasta dish.
Kielbasa is incredibly delicious in cheesy pasta dishes like mac and cheese.
Another nontraditional kielbasa recipe combines kielbasa with fried rice or southern-style dirty rice.
In other words, the smoky, savory meatiness of kielbasa can be combined with almost any dish to add more flavor and texture.
You can make nearly anything with kielbasa. If your favorite side dishes and recipes aren’t on this list, experiment and try your own combinations.
As you can tell, you can make almost anything with kielbasa.
From traditional dishes that originated in Europe to newer American favorites, kielbasa complements a wide range of foods and flavors and can be appreciated in hundreds of ways.
So, if you’ve been wondering how to eat kielbasa or what to eat with kielbasa, the best way to find out is to get some kielbasa and try it in your favorite recipes.