Slow Cooker Candied Kielbasa


  • 2 lbs of kielbasa sausage, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Prepare the Kielbasa:
    • Lay your sliced kielbasa into the bottom of a slow cooker, ensuring an even layer.
  2. Mix the Sauce:
    • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground black pepper until well combined.
  3. Combine Kielbasa and Sauce:
    • Pour this sweet and savory mixture over the kielbasa in the slow cooker.
    • Toss gently to make sure each piece is coated in the sauce.
  4. Slow Cook:
    • Cover the slow cooker and set it on low for 4-6 hours, allowing the kielbasa to become tender and the flavors to meld beautifully.
    • Alternatively, cook on high for about 2-3 hours if you’re short on time.
  5. Finish and Serve:
    • Once done, give the kielbasa a gentle stir to coat with the sauce once more.
    • Serve warm, straight from the slow cooker, ensuring everyone gets plenty of that scrumptious sauce.

Secrets to Achieve the Perfect Slow Cooker, Candied Kielbasa

  1. Choose Quality Kielbasa:
    • Opt for high-quality kielbasa sausage for the best flavor. You can choose between beef, pork, or turkey kielbasa depending on your preference.
  2. Proper Slicing:
    • Slice the kielbasa into even 1/2-inch pieces to ensure consistent cooking and flavor absorption.
  3. Browning the Kielbasa (Optional):
    • For an added layer of flavor, you can brown the kielbasa slices in a skillet before adding them to the slow cooker. This step is optional but can enhance the overall taste.
  4. Balancing Sweetness and Savory:
    • Ensure the balance of sweetness and savory in the sauce. Adjust the brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce according to your taste preference.
  5. Use Fresh Ingredients:
    • Use fresh garlic and onion powder instead of old spices to ensure a vibrant flavor.
  6. Stirring Occasionally:
    • Stir the kielbasa occasionally during the cooking process to ensure even coating and prevent sticking.
  7. Low and Slow Cooking:
    • Cooking on low heat for a longer period (4-6 hours) allows the flavors to meld better than cooking on high heat.
  8. Adjusting Consistency:
    • If the sauce is too runny, remove the lid during the last 30 minutes of cooking to allow some of the liquid to evaporate and thicken the sauce.
  9. Layering Ingredients:
    • Layer the kielbasa slices evenly in the slow cooker to ensure even cooking and coating of the sauce.
  10. Avoid Overcrowding:
    • Do not overcrowd the slow cooker. If you are doubling the recipe, make sure your slow cooker is large enough to handle the increased volume.
  11. Adding Extra Flavor:
    • For extra depth of flavor, add a splash of apple cider vinegar or a tablespoon of Dijon mustard to the sauce mixture.
  12. Fresh Herbs:
    • Add fresh herbs like parsley or thyme at the end of cooking for a burst of freshness and added flavor.
  13. Cooking Time Adjustment:
    • If you prefer a firmer texture for the kielbasa, reduce the cooking time slightly.
  14. Serving Suggestions:
    • Serve the candied kielbasa with a side of rice, mashed potatoes, or steamed vegetables to complement the flavors.
  15. Perfect for Parties:
    • Keep the kielbasa warm in the slow cooker on the “warm” setting during parties for easy serving.
  16. Using a Liner:
    • Consider using a slow cooker liner for easy cleanup after cooking.
  17. Tasting and Adjusting:
    • Taste the sauce halfway through cooking and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  18. Storing Leftovers:
    • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  19. Freezing:
    • You can freeze the cooked kielbasa in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  20. Presentation:
    • Garnish with fresh parsley or chives before serving to add a pop of color and freshness.

By following these secrets and tips, you can ensure your Slow Cooker Candied Kielbasa turns out perfectly every time, with a delicious balance of sweet and savory flavors and a beautiful presentation.

Most Popular Questions and Their Answers Related to Slow Cooker Candied Kielbasa:

  1. Can I use a different type of sausage?
    • Yes, you can use other types of sausage like smoked sausage or even hot dogs.
  2. Can I make this dish spicier?
    • Yes, add some red pepper flakes or hot sauce to the sauce mixture for extra heat.
  3. Can I prepare this dish in advance?
    • Yes, you can prepare it a day ahead and reheat it in the slow cooker or on the stove.
  4. What should I serve with candied kielbasa?
    • It pairs well with rice, mashed potatoes, or as an appetizer on its own.
  5. Can I use turkey or chicken sausage instead?
    • Yes, turkey or chicken sausage can be used as a healthier alternative.
  6. How can I thicken the sauce if it’s too runny?
    • You can add a cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water) towards the end of cooking.
  7. Can I add vegetables to this recipe?
    • Yes, bell peppers, onions, and pineapples are great additions.
  8. What’s the best way to slice the kielbasa?
    • Slice the kielbasa into 1/2-inch thick rounds for even cooking and maximum sauce coverage.
  9. Can I cook this on the stovetop?
    • Yes, you can simmer it on the stovetop for about 30-45 minutes until the kielbasa is tender and the sauce has thickened.
  10. Can I use honey instead of brown sugar?
    • Yes, honey can be used, but it will alter the flavor slightly.
  11. How do I store leftovers?
    • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  12. Can I freeze candied kielbasa?
    • Yes, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
  13. What kind of ketchup should I use?
    • Any type of ketchup works, but using one with no high-fructose corn syrup is a healthier option.
  14. Do I need to stir the kielbasa while it’s cooking?
    • No need to stir often, but you can stir once or twice during the cooking process if desired.
  15. Can I double the recipe?
    • Yes, just make sure your slow cooker is large enough to accommodate the increased quantity.
  16. Is it necessary to grease the slow cooker?
    • It’s not necessary, but you can spray it with non-stick spray to make cleanup easier.
  17. Can I add pineapple to this recipe?
    • Yes, pineapple chunks add a nice sweetness and complement the flavors well.
  18. Can I use homemade ketchup?
    • Yes, homemade ketchup can be used for a more personalized taste.
  19. Can this recipe be made vegan?
    • Substitute kielbasa with vegan sausage and ensure the Worcestershire sauce is vegan-friendly.
  20. How do I reheat leftovers?
    • Reheat in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the slow cooker until warmed through.

By following these secrets and tips, you can achieve the perfect Slow Cooker Candied Kielbasa and address common questions related to the recipe. Enjoy your delicious and savory dish!