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Skillet Kielbasa and Sauerkraut Recipe: A Cozy Comfort Food Classic

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Skillet Kielbasa and Sauerkraut

Ready for an easy and tasty meal? Look no further than this skillet kielbasa and sauerkraut recipe. It’s quick to prepare and packs a lot of flavors, making it perfect for a weeknight dinner.

In this recipe, you’ll brown the kielbasa to get that delicious caramelized taste, and then mix it with sauerkraut and some veggies. This combination creates a savory and slightly tangy dish that’s sure to satisfy. With simple ingredients and minimal prep, you can get a hearty meal on the table in no time.

Give it a try! You might find that this becomes one of your go-to meals when you need something easy and delicious. Happy cooking!

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

When making skillet kielbasa and sauerkraut, you’ll need some key ingredients.

Main Ingredients:

  • Kielbasa: Use either pork, beef, or turkey kielbasa.
  • Sauerkraut: Rinsed and drained to reduce sourness.
  • Onion: Red or yellow onions work well.
  • Garlic: Freshly minced adds great flavor.
  • Butter or oil: For cooking the sausage and veggies.

Possible Substitutes:

  • Kielbasa: You can use bratwurst or another smoked sausage.
  • Sauerkraut: Fresh cabbage with a bit of vinegar and salt can work.
  • Onion: Shallots or leeks can be used if you prefer.
  • Garlic: Garlic powder works in a pinch.
  • Butter or oil: Olive oil or ghee are good substitutes.

Adding these ingredients can enhance the flavor:

  • Red pepper flakes: For a bit of heat.
  • Caraway seeds: Adds a unique taste to the sauerkraut.
  • Bacon: Cook and crumble for extra richness.

Keep it simple, or customize with what you have on hand.


  1. Prep the Ingredients:
    Slice the smoked kielbasa into ½-inch pieces. Slice the onions and mince the garlic.

  2. Heat the Skillet:
    Melt some butter and oil over medium heat in a large skillet.

  3. Brown the Kielbasa:
    Add the kielbasa slices to the skillet. Cook them for about 7-9 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove them from the skillet and set aside.

  4. Cook the Onions and Garlic:
    Add the sliced onions to the skillet and cook for about 8 minutes until they are softened and browned. Then, add the minced garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

  5. Combine Ingredients:
    Add the sauerkraut to the skillet and stir to combine. Toss the cooked kielbasa back into the skillet.

  6. Warm Everything:
    Cook for an additional 5 minutes until everything is heated through.

  7. Season and Serve:
    Remove the pan from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy your meal!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Tips for Cooking:

  • Brown the Kielbasa: Make sure to brown the kielbasa slices on both sides for extra flavor.
  • Don’t Burn the Garlic: Add minced garlic towards the end and cook for only 30 seconds to avoid burning.
  • Use Butter and Oil: Combining butter with oil ensures the sausage and veggies brown nicely.


  • Rinse the Sauerkraut: Draining and rinsing sauerkraut can reduce its sourness if it’s too strong for your taste.
  • Slice Consistently: Cut kielbasa and vegetables into uniform pieces for even cooking.
  • Add Onions First: Start with onions in the skillet as they take longer to soften compared to peppers or garlic.


  • In the Refrigerator: Store leftovers in an airtight container. They’ll keep for 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
  • Reheating: Warm leftovers in a skillet over medium heat until they’re heated through. You can also use a microwave.

Quick Tip:

  • Try Variations: Consider adding bell peppers or other veggies to mix up flavors and add extra nutrients.

Using these tips and tricks can help you make a delicious skillet kielbasa and sauerkraut meal that’s easy to store and enjoy later.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

One way to change up this recipe is by using different types of sausages. Smoked sausage or bratwurst can add a new flavor to your dish.

You might also consider adding extra veggies. Bell peppers, carrots, or even cabbage can be tossed in for more color and nutrition.

For those who enjoy spice, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes or a few slices of jalapeño can bring heat.

If you prefer a creamier texture, stir in some sour cream at the end. This makes the dish rich and smooth.

Here are some serving suggestions:

  • Serve with crusty bread: Perfect for soaking up the juices.
  • Pair with mashed potatoes: Complements the tang of the sauerkraut.
  • Enjoy with a side salad: Adds a fresh, light contrast to the hearty skillet.
  • Top with mustard: A dollop of spicy or Dijon mustard adds a zesty kick.

You can also make the dish more filling by serving it over rice or noodles. These bases absorb the savory flavors well.

Using fresh herbs like parsley or dill can also brighten up the taste.

Don’t forget garnishes! Simple touches like grated cheese or a drizzle of olive oil can provide a finishing touch.