Kielbasa Stew Recipe

What, exactly, is a kielbasa, and is it any different than a Polish sausage? The answer to the latter question is no, since the word "kielbasa" is actually Polish for "sausage." Therefore, any kielbasa you buy is going to be a Polish-style sausage. That being said, there are different types of kielbasa, but the kind you'll be using to make this stew is the standard supermarket variety that somewhat resembles a super-sized hot dog.

Recipe developer Cecilia Ryu describes this kielbasa stew as "absolutely amazing" with a "wonderful smoky flavor." She adds that "the cabbage and kale are a healthy and hearty addition," while the fact that this dish also contains pasta "makes it a perfect one pot meal." She does say, though, that you can make the stew with Italian sausage if that's what you prefer or happen to have on hand, although it won't have the same smoky taste.

Gather the ingredients for kielbasa stew

To make this stew, you'll need kielbasa, onions, carrots, garlic, cabbage, and kale, although f you're not a fan of this last-named vegetable, Ryu says you can substitute spinach or other leafy greens. You're also going to need canned tomatoes as well as tomato paste, broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable), olive oil, red pepper flakes, and some tiny pasta. Ryu uses orzo, but you could also go with ditalini, acini de pepe, or even elbow macaroni.

One other ingredient Ryu likes to use is Parmesan rinds. If this isn't the type of thing you typically have on hand and it's not something sold in your supermarket, she does say "I have made this stew without the Parmesan rinds before and it tastes wonderful." That said, she goes on to emphasize "the addition of the rinds truly brings it up a notch in flavor." You can also get this flavor boost from using about ¼ cup (or more) grated Parmesan in place of the rinds. You can also try sprinkling Parmesan over the finished dish.

Brown the kielbasa and veggies

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and brown the kielbasa, then remove it from the pot, leaving any fat behind. Sauté the onions and carrots in the kielbasa fat until the former are translucent, a process that might take up to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, then cook the vegetables for I minute more. Lower the heat and stir in the tomato paste, cooking until it deepens in color.

Add a few more ingredients and simmer the stew

Pour the broth into the pot along with 1 cup water, then add the tomatoes, cabbage, crushed red pepper, and parmesan. Turn the heat back up again and bring the stew to a boil, then once more turn the heat back down to low. Put a lid on the pot and simmer the stew for 30-45 minutes.

Finish the stew with the final ingredients

Add the orzo to the stew along with the kale. Cook the stew for 5 more minutes until the orzo is al dente and the kale has wilted. Put the kielbasa in the stew and cook it for 5 minutes. At this point, your stew is done. If you used parmesan rinds, fish those out now, then season the stew with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve the stew right away

Once the stew is done, Ryu tells us she likes to garnish it with chopped fresh parsley, saying "It adds color and a subtle flavor that brings everything together." She also notes that you should plan on serving this dish right away as it doesn't really make good leftovers, explaining "The orzo will absorb any liquid left in pot." She does say, though, that you can always freeze the stew for later use.

Kielbasa Stew Recipe
5 from 46 ratings
Sausage stews offer a satisfying meal especially good in the winter months. This kielbasa stew recipe is both hearty and healthy with kale and cabbage included.
Prep Time
Cook Time
kielbasa stew in white bowl
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 14-ounce kielbasa, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • ½ head green cabbage, shredded
  • 8 cups broth
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 Parmesan rinds or ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup orzo or similar small pasta
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Optional Ingredients
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.
  2. Sauté the kielbasa until browned on all sides.
  3. Move the kielbasa to a plate, leaving the rendered fat in the pot.
  4. Sauté the onions and carrots in the kielbasa fat for approximately 5-7 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not brown.
  5. Add the garlic to the pot and sauté for 1 minute.
  6. Turn the heat down to low and stir in the tomato paste, cooking until it turns a darker red.
  7. Add the broth, chopped tomatoes, cabbage, red pepper, and Parmesan to the pot along with 1 cup of water.
  8. Turn the heat back up to medium-high and bring the stew to a boil.
  9. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer the stew for 30-45 minutes.
  10. Add the orzo and kale to the stew and simmer for approximately 5 minutes, or until the orzo is cooked and the kale wilts.
  11. Add the kielbasa to the stew and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  12. Remove the parmesan rinds, if used.
  13. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  14. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Calories per Serving 312
Total Fat 19.5 g
Saturated Fat 6.4 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 37.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 23.5 g
Dietary Fiber 5.6 g
Total Sugars 8.3 g
Sodium 1,196.1 mg
Protein 12.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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