Kielbasa is a type of sausage that originated in Central Europe.
The Polish word ‘kielbasa’ means “sausage” or “one who works with sausages” (i.e., butcher), both in the modern meaning of sausage, but also to describe any similar tube-like meat products.
The original kielbasa is a long sausage, usually formed from pork and beef, and the varieties differ depending on the region in which they are made.
When served, kielbasa can be fully cooked or smoked and is usually complemented with sauerkraut or potatoes.
Kielbasa is ready to eat without additional preparation. The phrase “zakwas na kiełbasę” literally means ‘to have the sour for sausage’.
Curing meats in Poland is almost exclusively done with salt, garlic, and pepper.
The meat being cured is similar to some types of bacon which are cured in various techniques, including brining or dry packing.
Kielbasa can be served by itself or as a part of some other dish.
The sausages are usually accompanied by side dishes, such as mashed potatoes, fried beans, rice, French fries, or potato salad.
In this article, we will list the 7 best side dishes you can serve with kielbasa.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Kielbasa?
Meat on a stick is always a good idea.
The flavors of kielbasa and its traditional side dishes complement one another, so why not serve the two together?
There are traditional side dishes that can be served with kielbasa, but there is no strict rule on what they should be.
Perhaps the most popular pairing is potato and sauerkraut.
The saltiness of the meat, paired with the starchy potato and tangy kraut, makes a perfect combination for people who crave savory flavors.
Another typical side dish is a creamy slaw or a cucumber salad.
The coolness of these dishes provides a nice break from the saltiness of the kielbasa, but they also contain ingredients that can be found in some kielbasa recipes.
Slather your favorite barbecue sauce on the sausage before cooking for even more flavors.
Experiment with other ingredients to find out what your family likes best.
What to Serve with Kielbasa – 7 BEST Side Dishes
Here are 7 of the most common and popular side dishes that can be served with kielbasa:
1 – Sauerkraut
Perhaps one of the simplest side dishes to serve with kielbasa is sauerkraut.
Sauerkraut consists of shredded cabbage that is fermented in its juices or salt brine.
The tanginess of this dish works well with the flavors found in kielbasa.
This side dish is trendy in Europe, where sauerkraut dishes are served with many different meat types.
To prepare sauerkraut:
- Place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl.
- Cover with boiling water and let it sit for about five minutes.
- Drain the cabbage, put it in a jar or other sealable container, and add salt to taste.
- Seal the jar tightly and allow it to ferment for several days before serving.
2 – Rice
Another typical side dish that works well when served with kielbasa is rice.
There are various ways to cook rice for specific meals, making it an extremely versatile side dish that can be enjoyed at almost any time.
To serve kielbasa with rice:
- Cook the rice by boiling or simmering until most of the water has been absorbed into the grains.
- Once cooked, add a few tablespoons of butter and blend gently with a fork to ensure that each grain is coated.
- Place it in a serving dish and top it off with some shredded cheddar cheese.
3 – Scalloped Potatoes
One of the most traditional side dishes often served with kielbasa, potatoes can vary significantly in preparation.
Scalloped potatoes may be prepared by slicing and layering them with cheese and milk or cooking them whole and then adding salt and pepper for taste at the end.
For best results, bake scalloped potatoes by placing them in a casserole dish with chunks of kielbasa.
Cover the entire dish with shredded cheese and milk, then bake it until hot and bubbly.
Once finished, top it with a sprinkling of chives or parsley.
4 – Onion Rings
An excellent accompaniment for kielbasa is onion rings.
This dish can be prepared from scratch by slicing onions into thin pieces and soaking them in batter before frying them in oil over medium heat.
Alternatively, ready-made onion rings can be used by heating them in the oven and serving them with kielbasa.
These rings work well when dipped into various sauces, such as barbecue sauce or ranch dressing.
Once ready, garnish the onion rings with salt and pepper to taste before serving them alongside kielbasa.
5 – Green Bean Casserole
Green beans are yet another typical side dish that needs slight improvement to accompany kielbasa.
In addition to being a simple dish to prepare, green bean casserole is also a delicious meal that has been enjoyed for years.
To create this dish, cook crisp green beans in boiling water or steam them until they have just lost their crunch.
Once they are ready, place them in a casserole dish and mix them with other ingredients.
These ingredients can include cream of mushroom soup, salt, pepper, sliced onions, and ketchup.
Top the casserole off by sprinkling it with French fried onions or bread crumbs before baking it until hot.
6 – Hash Browns
Hash browns are another typical side dish that works well when served with kielbasa.
To create hash browns, start by soaking the potatoes in hot water for about five minutes to soften them.
Remove the peels before shredding or grating the potato.
If desired, add other ingredients to the potatoes when sliced, such as onions or spices.
Then once the potatoes have been prepared, place them into a large frying pan and heat them over medium heat.
Cook for about five minutes, then flip the potatoes and cook on the other side for another five minutes.
Once they are finished, place the hash browns onto a plate and top them off with shredded cheese before serving alongside kielbasa.
7 – Green Salad
A simple and healthy side dish that works well alongside kielbasa is a green salad.
Green salads are generally made using fresh leafy greens such as arugula, spinach, or romaine lettuce.
They can also be made with mixed greens, which contain various vegetables such as carrots and broccoli.
To prepare this type of green salad:
- Rinse the leafy greens before adding them to a bowl.
- Top it off with croutons, cherry tomatoes, and sliced cucumbers to provide extra texture and flavor.
- When ready, serve alongside kielbasa to create a delicious meal that provides taste without excess fat or calories.
In conclusion, kielbasa is often served with side dishes that can be relatively simple to prepare.
These include french fries, onion rings, or green beans.
Some more complicated side dishes include scalloped potatoes, casseroles made from scratch, or sliced garden-fresh vegetables.
No matter which dish you choose to serve alongside kielbasa, it is bound to be a succulent meal.