sauerkraut and kielbasa recipes

Sauerkraut and kielbasa

If you are exploring fermented foods, you’ve probably heard of sauerkraut. In German that means sour cabbage, a cabbage that is fermented for months and eaten like other pickled food. You can find sauerkraut in many stores, but homemade sauerkraut is even a better option because it doesn’t contain preservatives. Sauerkraut is very healthy for your digestive system and plus it is very easy to make it at home. It is often served and used as a salad, but combined with other foods it gives very delicious meals. The most popular is sauerkraut and kielbasa combination, and if you like sausages you should definitely try it!

Sauerkraut and kielbasa origin

There are many legends where the sauerkraut first was used. Some say that it was first used in China, workers who were building the Chinese wall shredded cabbage and kept it fermented in rice wine. Other say that Tartar people introduced the sauerkraut to Eastern Europeans and then to Germany and France. Allegedly, it were Dutch sailors who brought sauerkraut to America.

The origin of kielbasa is also a mystery. Most theories claim that kielbasa originates from Poland, whereas other say it were Rusyns, Slavic people or maybe even Ukrainians who first introduced kielbasa. It is also interesting to point out that kielbasa is Polish word for sausage and it is still served as traditional food at Polish weddings.

Anyway, it is safe to say that both sauerkraut and kielbasa are mostly used in Eastern Europe and with higher of awareness of health benefits of sauerkraut, these two foods found their way in American homes as well.

How is kielbasa different from a sausage?

Many people who hear of kielbasa wonder is it different from a regular sausage you can find in a market. Truth be told, kielbasa is a type of sausage, and there are many varieties of kielbasa:

  • kabanosy, a thin pork sausage seasoned with caraway seed
  • kielbasa odesskie, beef sausage
  • kiełbasa wędzona, Polish smoked sausage, mostly for soups.
  • krakowska, a thick and straight sausage flavoured with pepper and garlic
  • wiejska farmhouse sausage; it is a pork and veal sausage seasoned with marjoram and garlic
  • weselna, “wedding” sausage, not very thick, u-shaped smoked sausage
  • myśliwska is a smoked, pork sausage.
  • kiełbasa biała, a white sausage sold uncooked

The main differences between kielbasa and most sausages you can regularly find in a market are the following:

  • It has garlic flavor
  • It is not smoked
  • Usually doesn’t have artificial flavors
  • Flavoured with pimentos, cloves, marjoram
  • No need to be cooked but can be heated
  • The most popular sausage type that goes with sauerkraut

How to cook sauerkraut and kielbasa

There are many ways to prepare sauerkraut and kielbasa. Depending on your time, skills and how much servings you need, you can quickly cook it on the stove, in a deep pan, but you can also bake in the oven in a crock pot or casserole. In most recipes, sauerkraut and kielbasa are lightly seasoned, but not too much. Some common spice added to sauerkraut and kielbasa are onion, pepper, garlic, ground sage, thyme leaves, parsley. In the end, it’s up to you what seasons to choose.

Don’t forget that sauerkraut is already salty and maybe even seasoned with caraway seeds. Likewise, kielbasa is very spicy and together with sauerkraut it gives a unique flavour. So, no need to add too much seasoning to it.

You can cook kielbasa first and then add it to sauerkraut, but you can also cook them at the same time, in the same pan. If your kielbasa is white you should definitely cook it, roast it or fry it before eating. If kielbasa is slightly smoked you don’t need to cook it too long, just add it to your sauerkraut at the end.

When you are out of time, you should just cook kielbasa on a pan and in a separate pan cook sauerkraut with onions and seasoning you prefer, just for a few minutes. Then mix everything together and cook one more minute.

If you have more time, fry onions, sauerkraut and add kielbasa. Bring to simmer and cook it in the oven for about 3 hours. If you don’t like to overcook kielbasa, you can add it later in the oven, and bake it together with sauerkraut.

What goes with sauerkraut and kielbasa

Sauerkraut and kielbasa are usually served as main meal for lunch or dinner. As a side dish, you can have a simple salad and any type of bread, especially cornbread. Instead of bread, you can serve it with potatoes (baked, boiled, mashed), noodles or any type of pasta. Sauerkraut and kielbasa also go well with applesauce or sauteed apples.

sauerkraut and kielbasa

Sauerkraut and kielbasa- a recipe from my Polish friend’s granny

Since one of my closest friend is actually Polish, I asked her to find me a traditional Polish recipe for sauerkraut and Polish sausages. She asked her granny for the recipe and I am very happy to share this recipe with you:

Ingredients:

  • 2 kg of sauerkraut
  • 250 g of pork neck
  • 250 g pork shoulder
  • 100 g of smoked bacon
  • 2 Polish sausages
  • 3 dried mushrooms
  • 3 bay leaves
  • allspice and a few grains of pepper
  • about 100g of lard
  • salt, pepper

Preparation

  1. Cut sauerkraut into smaller pieces. Put the cabbage in a pot, add water to cover the cabbage. When it starts boiling, cook for 30 minutes than pour out the water (leave the broth somewhere for later).
  2. Cook meat (pork neck and shoulder) until it’s soft . Cut cooked meat, bacon and sausages into small pieces (cubes or slices) and fry it on heated lard.
  3. Add fried meat, sausages and bacon to the pot with sauerkraut. Add allspice, pepper, bay leaves and mushrooms.  You can add water (broth) from the first sauerkraut cooking for more intense taste.
  4. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Add salt and more pepper to taste.
  5. Cook for another 1 hour (until the cabbage is soft). After cooling, put in the fridge.
  6. The next day, cook again 1 more hour.
sauerkraut and kielbasa
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5 from 8 votes

Sauerkraut and kielbasa- a recipe from my Polish friend’s granny

Since one of my closest friend is actually Polish, I asked her to find me a traditional Polish recipe for sauerkraut and Polish sausages. She asked her granny for the recipe and I am very happy to share this recipe with you:
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Balkan, Polish
Keyword: kielbasa, sauerkraut, sauerkraut recipe, sausage
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 400kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 kg of sauerkraut
  • 250 gr pork neck
  • 250 gr pork shoulder
  • 100 gr smoked bacon
  • 2 Polish sausages (kielbasa)
  • 3 dried mushrooms
  • 3 bay leaves
  • allspice to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 100 gr lard
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Cut sauerkraut into smaller pieces. Put the cabbage in a pot, add water to cover the cabbage. When it starts boiling, cook for 30 minutes than pour out the water (leave the broth somewhere for later).
  • Cook meat (pork neck and shoulder) until it’s soft . Cut cooked meat, bacon and sausages into small pieces (cubes or slices) and fry it on heated lard.
  • Add fried meat, sausages and bacon to the pot with sauerkraut. Add allspice, pepper, bay leaves and mushrooms.  You can add water (broth) from the first sauerkraut cooking for more intense taste.
  • Simmer for about 30 minutes. Add salt and more pepper to taste. Cook for another 1 hour (until the cabbage is soft). After cooling, put in the fridge.
  • The next day, cook again 1 more hour and serve it hot.

Sauerkraut and kielbasa keto

If you are on a keto diet, you may wonder if sauerkraut and kielbasa dishes are a good choice for you. Fist of all, it depends on sauerkraut. You should better make your own homemade sauerkraut than buy it in a store, because canned sauerkraut may contain sugar.

In a nutshell, both sauerkraut and kielbasa are keto friendly and you can eat them together or separately. If you want to make a keto friendly combination of sauerkraut and kielbasa, chop the kielbasa and put it in the pan together with some bacon.  When bacon and kielbasa are fried, remove them from the pan and stir in the sauerkraut. Before adding sauerkraut into that pan and stewing it in the bacon’s grease, make sure you squeezed it well. When the sauerkraut is golden, add fried bacon and kielbasa again and stir for another minute.

Note: not all sausages including kielbasa, are keto friendly. Find those on the market and don’t buy them in big food chains. Cheaper sausages are usually full with preservatives. Unlike other sausages, kielbasa is less processed, but still be cautious and buy organically made sausages.

Sauerkraut and kielbasa in the oven

If you like to prepare sauerkraut and kielbasa in the oven, you should know that it will take around three hours to bake this dish. You can put kielbasa immediately or add it later, in the last hour of baking. As I mentioned earlier, no need to add much seasoning because both ingredients are already spicy and salty.

You can cook sauerkraut and kielbasa in a crockpot, by stirring all ingredients together or in a casserole. If you prefer casserole style dishes, you can prepare sauerkraut and kielbasa as lasagna, adding one layer of sauerkraut then one layer of kielbasa and repeat until everything is used.

Tips: if the heat is too high and the sauerkraut is already golden, put a foil on the pot. Add some water or chicken broth if you want to slow cook, and if you don’t like the sauerkraut to be too crispy. Add some apples to play with the flavours, you won’t regret it.

Sauerkraut and kielbasa crockpot

These are different recipe varions of cooking sauerkraut and kielbasa in a crockpot, slow cooker. All these require about 6 hours of slow cooking on a medium heat.

Option one– put 20 ounce of drained sauerkraut, 2 pounds of kielbasa (cut it first), one bottle of beer into a crockpot and cook it for five to six hours on a medium heat.

Option two– Rinse and drain one pound of sauerkraut and put one half of it in a slow cooker. Add kielbasa pieces, one pound of it. Put 3 sliced apples, then add half of cup of brown sugar, a bit of salt and pepper, and finally add the rest of sauerkraut. Put one cup of apple juice in it.

Option three– fry one onion, rinse and drain 32 ounce of sauerkraut, cut 2 lbs of kielbasa, and stir everything in a crockpot. Add one cup of water, third cup of brown sugar and one cup of apple cider.

Option four– stir 120 ounce of beer and one cup of brown sugar for a few minutes, until thickened. In a slow cooker, put three pounds of kielbasa, add 320 ounce of drained sauerkraut and pour the beer and sugar sauce.

Sauerkraut and kielbasa casserole

French-style sauerkraut and kielbasa casserole

Ingredients:

  • One onion
  • One sweet apple
  • One cup of white dry wine
  • 10 ounces of kielbasa (or any other sausage, ham, bacon)
  • 2 and a half cups of sauerkraut
  • One tablespoon of spicy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
  • 2 large potatoes
  • Some pepper
  • Salt
  • One tablespoon of melted butter
  1. Fry one large and sliced onion in a frying pan, put some olive oil.
  2. When the onion is fried, add one sweet apple, chopped, and one cup of white dry wine.
  3. Once wine has evaporated, add 2 and a half cups of rinsed and drained sauerkraut, sliced kielbasa (around 10 ounces), three tablespoons of cider vinegar, one tablespoon of spicy brown mustard and some pepper.
  4. Toss everything in a deep casserole pan and put potato slices on top. Add one cup of chicken broth. Sprinkle potatoes with some butter and salt and bake for 50 minutes or so at 200 degrees.
  5. Additional tips: you can precook potatoes a bit and then bake them with sauerkraut. In that way, sauerkraut won’t be overcooked. If you don’t have kielbasa, you can use any other sausage, bacon, ham.

Additional tips: you can precook potatoes a bit and then bake them with sauerkraut. In that way, you won’t overcook sauerkraut. If you don’t have kielbasa, you can use any other sausage, bacon, ham.

sauerkraut and kielbasa recipes
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5 from 8 votes

Sauerkraut and kielbasa casserole – (French-style)

French-style sauerkraut and kielbasa casserole
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Balkan, French, Polish
Keyword: kielbasa, sauerkraut, sauerkraut recipe
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 350kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 1 sweet apple
  • 1 cup of white dry wine
  • 10 ounces of kielbasa (or any other sausage, ham, bacon)
  • 2 and a half cups of sauerkraut
  • 1 tbsp spicy mustard
  • 2 tbsps cider vinegar
  • 2 large potatoes
  • some pepper
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted

Instructions

  • Fry one large and sliced onion in a frying pan, put some olive oil.
  • When the onion is fried, add one sweet apple, chopped, and one cup of white dry wine.
  • Once wine has evaporated, add 2 and a half cups of rinsed and drained sauerkraut, sliced kielbasa (around 10 ounces), three tablespoons of cider vinegar, one tablespoon of spicy brown mustard and some pepper.
  • Toss everything in a deep casserole pan and put potato slices on top. Add one cup of chicken broth. Sprinkle potatoes with some butter and salt and bake for 50 minutes or so at 200 degrees.

German-style sauerkraut and kielbasa casserole

Ingredients:

  • 250 gr of noodles
  • 400 gr of chopped kielbasa or smoked sausage
  • ⅓ cup of melted butter
  • Some oil
  • ⅓ cup of flour
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ½ of small onion
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of mustard
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cups of sauerkraut, drained
  • 4 tablespoon of dried bread crumbs
  1. Cook egg noodles or any type of pasta according to the instructions on the package.
  2. While noodles are cooking, rinse and drain sauerkraut and cut kielbasa into small pieces.
  3. Melt butter in a microwave or on a saucepan at low heat.
  4. Chop onion and garlic and stir them a few minutes in a deep frying pan at a medium heat.
  5. Add cold milk, pepper, mustard and flour and stir well.
  6. After a few minutes, when the flour is mixed well with milk, add cheddar cheese and stir. Lower the heat if necessary.
  7. When the cheese is melted, add kielbasa and sauerkraut and stir well for a few minutes on a low heat.
  8. Toss everything in a baking pan and top the casserole with bread crumbs and butter. You can first mix bread crumbs with butter. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or until golden.
sauerkraut and kielbasa
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5 from 8 votes

German-style sauerkraut and kielbasa casserole

Another way to cook sauerkraut and kielbasa.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Balkan, German, Polish
Keyword: kielbasa, sauerkraut, sauerkraut recipe, sausage
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 450kcal

Ingredients

  • 250 gr noodles
  • 400 gr chopped kielbasa or smoked sausage
  • cup melted butter
  • cup flour
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ½ of small onion
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp mustard
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cups of sauerkraut, drained
  • 4 tbsps dried breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • Cook egg noodles or any type of pasta according to the instructions on the package.
  • While noodles are cooking, rinse and drain sauerkraut and cut kielbasa into small pieces.
  • Melt butter in a microwave or on a saucepan at low heat.
  • Chop onion and garlic and stir them a few minutes in a deep frying pan at a medium heat.
  • Add cold milk, pepper, mustard and flour and stir well.
  • After a few minutes, when the flour is mixed well with milk, add cheddar cheese and stir. Lower the heat if necessary.
  • When the cheese is melted, add kielbasa and sauerkraut and stir well for a few minutes on a low heat.
  • Toss everything in a baking pan and top the casserole with bread crumbs and butter. You can first mix bread crumbs with butter. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or until golden.


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