Kielbasa Sausage and Sauerkraut
I had Sausage and Sauerkraut for the first time years ago at a pool party my husband’s aunt was throwing. It was in a Crock-Pot and simply prepared. It was DELICIOUS. I remember being amazed at how a dish with so few ingredients carried such deep and complex flavor.
It wasn’t until years later that I attempted the dish myself, modifying it for stove top preparation and adding some sweet onions and herbs. YUM! My kids and husband love this recipe and it has become a fixture in our meal rotation. As an added bonus, it is an easy meal to fall back on because it uses a short list of ingredients that keep a long time in the freezer or pantry.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using my link. But rest assured, my friend. I only recommend products and services that I love and have used myself.
What are Kielbasa Sausage and Sauerkraut?
- Kielbasa is a traditional Polish sausage, seasoned with caraway seeds and made with coarsely ground pork. It Polish families, it is a staples. In the United States, we commonly refer to many different types of U-shaped sausages as Kielbasa, but true Kielbasa will be labeled as such. It is widely available in grocery stores and butcher shops, especially in areas with large populations of Eastern European descendants.
- Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage dish, also widely used in Eastern European cuisine. It is thinly sliced cabbage that, when fermented, possesses a lovely sour and tangy flavor, as well as a long shelf life.
What Do You Need For Sausage and Sauerkraut?
Part of what I love about this recipe is how LITTLE you need to make it! I try to keep a few Kielbasa sausages in my freezer. The other ingredients, potatoes, onions, garlic, and butter, are items I always have on hand.
Like I said, few ingredients, and TONS of flavor!
Other than that, the recipe really requires minimal equipment. Because this recipe begins on the stove and moves to the oven, you will need a pan that can handle both. Usually, I use my cast iron pan for stove to oven recipes. However, since this recipe starts will SLOWLY caramelizing the onions, I find that a steel pan works a bit better.
As always, I use my Rada Chef’s knife and my Acacia cutting board. And some foil! That’s it!
You probably already have what you need, but if you don’t, I highly recommend the above listed products!
Tips for Amazing Sausage and Sauerkraut
- Don’t mess with the oven temperature. I did the research and experimented for you on this one. I figured, if we cook at on low for 2 hours, we can crank up the heat and cook it for a shorter amount of time, right? Wrong! If you turn up the heat in the oven, the potatoes and Kielbasa will start to caramelize and the flavor will be much sweeter. For this recipe, I like the only sweetness to come from the onions. Any more is just too much.
- Watch your cut sizes. Try to keep the potatoes and Kielbasa pieces similar sizes so that they cook at roughly the same time.
- Use sauerkraut from the deli if you can. it will come in a bag, rather than a can. The flavor seems to be fresher.
- Don’t use russet potatoes. This recipe really requires a waxy potato, like a Yukon gold or a red potato. They can take the slow cooking much better, where a starchy potato like a russet potato will start to fall apart.
Common Questions Sausage and Sauerkraut
What side dish should I serve with sausage and sauerkraut?
- This meal is filling on its own. As such, I usually don’t serve a side dish with it, if I’m making it just for my husband and kiddos. However, if you hosting a dinner, you may want to add some variety to your table. A light side dish made with fresh vegetables is your best bet, preferably a vinegary salad to cut the richness of the Sausage and Sauerkraut. Cucumber or tomato salad, coleslaw, and a fresh garden salad are all great options.
Is sausage and sauerkraut good for you?
- Yes, butter and sausage are high in fat. But sauerkraut is SO good for you. I try to incorporate it whenever I can. Sauerkraut is a fermented food. That means is is PACKED with bacteria that is so healthy for your gut. In addition, it’s a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin c, magnesium, and iron.
Can I make this in a slow cooker?
- You can absolutely make this dish in a slow cooker, just dump all the ingredients in, give a quick stir, and set it to low for 6 hours. However, I really do think you’ll missing the depth of flavor that comes from caramelizing the onions and sausage.
Can I substitute another type of sausage?
- It’s your kitchen! Of course you can substitute another type of sausage! However, if you choose something like an Andouille sausage, or Italian sausage, expect the flavor profile of your dish to change significantly. You may want to add some Cajun seasoning along with Andouille sausage, or Italian seasoning with the Italian sausage. (You can make your own Cajun and Italian seasoning with my DIY Spice Blend Cheat Sheet)
Sausage and Sauerkraut
- 24-32 ounces Polska Kielbasa Sausage
- 16 ounces sauerkraut (from the deli if you can find it)
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 tsp minced or crushed garlic
- 4 medium Yukon gold potatoes,
- 1 Tbsp coarse Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp carraway seed
- 1/2 tsp ground sage
- 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- Preheat the oven to 300°F
- Add diced onion and half of the butter to a cold, oven-safe pan. Bring it to medium heat, stirring occasionally. Sweat the onions til they are lightly caramelized. Add the garlic and stir another minute, until the raw garlic scent is gone.
- Cut the sausage into bite size pieces. (I cut mine into half moon shapes,) Add the sausage to the pan. Cook for five minutes, until the sausage is browned.
- Add seasoning at this point and stir to combine. Cook for an additional minute.
- Add potatoes. Add sauerkraut, including liquid. Stir everything to combine.
- Cut the remaining butter into four pieces and place on top. Cover the pan loosely with foil and place in the oven.
- Cook for 2 ½ hours or until the potatoes are fork tender. At the 1 hour mark, take the pan out of the oven to stir.
- Serve with your favorite mustard and enjoy!
I want your feedback!
If you made this recipe, please share with me how it went! You can fill out the form below or shoot me an email. I would love to hear from you. And as always, don’t hesitate to ask questions. I hope you love this recipe!