Sweet and Spicy Kielbasa Sausage Bites

Hot and sticky kielbasa bites on a white plate.

Kielbasa sausage is a great thing to have on hand. I always keep some in my freezer for making this fast and easy appetizer – Sweet and Spicy Kielbasa Sausage Bites.

Because Kielbasa sausage is fully cooked at the time of purchase, it can be added to lots of different dishes, such as pastas, sauerkraut, rice, and noodle recipes.

Sweet and Spicy Kielbasa Sausage Bites Recipe

BBQ sausage bites on a white plate with a fork, ready to eat.

Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’…. Shall We?? 🙂

What to love about this easy kielbasa recipe –

  1. It’s so fast!
  2. This makes a perfect and hearty appetizer for any group.
  3. You can prepare this recipe ahead of time and bake it when you’re ready.

What you’ll learn from this recipe

  • What kielbasa sausage is….exactly.
  • Why kielbasa sausage is great to keep on hand in your freezer at all times.
  • Why browning meat (like kielbasa sausage) is so important.
  • How you can add kielbasa to lots of side dishes to turn them into a main meal.

Ingredients for making Sweet and Spicy Sausage Bites.

Here are the 5 ingredients you need to make smoky sweet kielbasa sausage bites –

  • Kielbasa sausage (or any type of smoked sausage that is fully cooked)
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Apricot jelly
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Chipotle sauce, completely optional
  • Chili seasoning

How to make sweet and spicy barbecue sausage bites

**Full, printable recipe card below – just scroll on down within this post to find it! 

Slice the kielbasa sausage into 1 1/2-inch chunks.

Place the kielbasa sausage onto a cutting board, slicing it into 1 or 1 1/2-inch chunks.

Meanwhile preheat a large skillet over medium high heat; when the pan is hot add a small drizzle of oil.

Kielbasa sausage chunks browning a bit in hot oil.

When the oil is sizzling in the skillet, add a few chunks of kielbasa to the pan, working in batches, so the sausages aren’t crowded.

Making sure there is ample room allows the heat to circulate better so the sausage chunks brown much more quickly.

After you brown the sausages on both sides, push them to the side of the pan and continue with the remaining sausages.

Place the browned sausages into a casserole dish and reserve.

Browned sausage bites with sauce, ready for the oven.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the remaining ingredients into the same skillet (so you can use all the browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan), whisking to combine.

Pour the sauce over the sausages in the casserole dish.

Hot from the oven, Sizzling hot bbq sausage bites.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake the sausages, uncovered, for 18-22 minutes until hot throughout and the sauce is bubbly and caramelized. Serve at once!

Answers to Common Questions Asked About This Recipe

Which tools are helpful for making sweet and spicy kielbasa sausage bites?

  • Heavy-duty skillet – great for browning any and all ingredients….especially meat, poultry, and game. I love my Lodge 12-inch cast iron skillet – it’s inexpensive and cooks so evenly.
  • Flat whisk – just what we need for making smooth (lump-free) sauces and gravies

What is kielbasa sausage?

Kielbasa is a type of smoked (fully cooked) sausage that is made from pork (usually) and seasonings. You will typically find Kielbasa sausage in the hotdog, bacon, and deli meat section at your grocer.

Some kielbasa (and other types of smoked sausage) are sold packaged in a horseshoe shape so it’s easy to identify at a glance.

Kielbasa (the Polish word for sausage) is super versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. You will often see recipes for red beans and rice, sauerkraut, jambalaya, and gumbo that include sliced kielbasa.

Are brats and kielbasa sausage the same thing?

Not quite. They are both made from sausage; brats are often sold as fresh (uncooked) sausage, whereas kielbasa sausage is nearly always sold as a pre-cooked sausage, but this can vary. To be sure of whether the sausage your are purchasing is cooked or uncooked, always check the packaging to see how it is labeled.

If the sausage label says “smoked” sausage does that mean it’s fully cooked?

Yes, almost always, but for peace of mind (and safety!) check the package labeling to be certain it states that the sausage is fully cooked.

Ready to eat sweet and spicy kielbasa sausage.

Are there other types of smoked sausage besides kielbasa available at the grocery store?

Yep…. polish sausage, andouille sausage, chorizo sausage, salami sausae….to name a few that are common here in the Midwest. You can also purchase smoked (cooked) sausages that are made from ground turkey making them lower in fat.

If kielbasa sausage is already cooked, why does the recipe instruct to brown the sausages on both sides?

Browning the sausages on both sides in the hot oil adds an entire new layer of flavor to the sausages. Because you are using the same skillet from browning the sausages, you are using the pan drippings (all the good stuff stuck to the bottom of the skillet from cooking the sausages) to add tons more flavor to the sauce. Win, win!

Why is it a good idea to keep kielbasa sausage on hand?

Because kielbasa sausage is super versatile and fully cooked already, it’s easy to add to a variety of side dishes, turning them into a quick and easy MAIN dish.

If your family members are carnivores like mine, and always want meat in every thing or they think it’s not a complete meal, I find keeping kielbasa sausage on hand to be very handy.

Kielbasa thaws quickly, and since it is fully cooked at the time of purchase, I can slice it, brown it and then add it to lots of dishes.

For instance, kielbasa is delicious when added to macaroni and cheese, sautéed vegetables, rice dishes, creamy pasta and noodle dishes (like with an alfredo sauce), soups, cabbage skillet meals, and sauerkraut dishes.

Can all types of smoked sausages be frozen? Do they thaw quickly?

Absolutely! Because sausages made with pork and/or beef have a fairly high fat content, they freeze well and thaw very quickly. Be sure to thaw sausages of all kinds in refrigeration, never on the counter.

If I assemble this recipe ahead of time to bake later, will I have to add additional cooking time since it will be chilled from refrigeration when I put it into the oven?

Yes, I’d add 5-10 minutes to the cooking time….bake until the sausages are hot and the sauce is bubbly throughout.

Would this recipe work well if I used turkey kielbasa to make these sausage bites?

Yes!! Using turkey kielbasa will reduce both the fat and calories, and it’s very tasty.

Sizzling and ready bbq kielbasa.

More favorite recipes to enjoy –

Printable Sweet and Spicy Kielbasa Sausage Bites Recipe

Hot and sticky kielbasa bites on a white plate.

Sweet and Spicy Kielbasa Sausage Bites

Kielbasa sausage is a great thing to have on hand. I always keep some in my freezer for making this delicious appetizer – Sweet and Spicy Kielbasa Sausage Bites. Because Kielbasa sausage is fully cooked at the time of purchase, it's quick and easy to add to lots of different meals, such as pastas, sauerkraut, and noodle recipes.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 334kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 14 oz. packages kielbasa sausage, fully cooked (or any smoked sausage that is fully cooked)
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. chipotle sauce, optional
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1.25 oz. pkg. of your favorite chili seasoning

Instructions

  • Slice kielbasa sausages into 1 or 1 1/2-inch slices. Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat; when the pan is nicely hot, add a small drizzle of oil to the pan.
  • When the oil is sizzling, add the slices of kielbasa to the pan, working in batches, as needed, so that the sausages aren't crowded in the pan; brown on each side, then push them to one side of the skillet while you brown the remaining sausages.
  • Place the browned sausages into a casserole dish and reserve.
    Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by placing the remaining ingredients into the same skillet used for browning the sausages, whisking until the sauce is combined and smooth; pour the sauce over the reserved sausages in the casserole dish.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the sausages, uncovered, for 18-22 minutes until hot throughout and the sauce is bubbly. Serve at once.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: appetizer, easy, kielbasa bites, kielbasa sausage, sausage bites, smoked sausage

Nutrition

Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 932mg | Potassium: 375mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 2372IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg

We love hearing from our readers and followers, so leave us a comment if you’d like.  If you don’t hear back from us shortly, know that we may not have seen your comment.  Feel free to reach out to us by email:  [email protected]

Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

Please Note: We do use referral and affiliate links here for products and services that Chef Alli loves and recommends. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, please read my disclaimer here.

Tags:

Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

Leave a Comment
Recipe Rating