Traditional sausage from poland. Made in dozens of varieties, sometimes smoked and usually with pork. Other versions include beef, turkey, or lamb. Kielbasa is typically firm with the meat being finely ground before stuffing into casings of about 1.5 inches diameter.


Other names: Kovbasa, Kubasa, Polish Sausage, Kolbasa, Ukranian Sausage
Translations: キルバサ, Dešra, Druh klobásy, Druh klobásy, קילבסה, Кобасица, Кіелбаза, Киэлбаза

Physical Description

Kielbasa is literally the Polish word for sausage but there are so many varieties of kielbasa available. It is a precooked smoked sausage made with pork, garlic, marjoram, salt and pepper.

Tasting Notes

Flavors: smokey, spicy
Food complements: Hearty vegetables such as onions, Cabbage, Red potatoes
Substitutes: Kolbasz

Selecting and Buying

Buying: Any grocery store
Procuring: Many varieties of sausage sold in grocery stores are of the uncooked German variety, but a true kielbasa is sold precooked in a large hog casing. It is the smoking process that separates Polish kielbasa from other pork sausages. Kielbasa is also seasoned with spices such as garlic and marjoram, not the sage or Italian spices often found in uncooked sausages.

Preparation and Use

Traditionally served with hearty vegetables such as oinions, cabbage and red potatoes. It can also be usedi n conjunction with the smoked andouille sausage often featured in Cajun cooking. Kielbasa also makes a good addition to the traditional Cajun side dish of red beans and rice.

Some use kielbasa in place of meatballs or ground beef in spaghetti sauce.

since kielbasa is precooked, it can be boiled, pan-fried, broiled or grilled without concern about raw or undercooked pork.


History: The terms entered English simultaneously from different sources, which accounts for the different spellings. Usage varies between cultural groups, but overall there is a distinction between American and Canadian usage.

In the United States, the form kielbasa is more often used and comes from the Polish kielbasa "sausage".

Candians also use the word kubasa, a corruption of the Ukranian kovbasa and Albertans even abbreviate it as kubie to refer to the sausage eaten on a hotdog bun.



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