This cheesy kielbasa pasta is a quick 15-minute recipe, perfect for busy weeknights. Kielbasa sausage is paired with onion, spinach, pasta and a creamy sauce to make a dinner that the kids and adults will both love.
This delicious skillet meal with smoked kielbasa sausage is perfect comfort food that you can prepare in a matter of minutes. My family loved it, and this has quickly become a highly requested dinner at home.
It is super easy to make, and requires no cooking skills. There are plenty of swaps and substitutions available, so you're guaranteed to find a version that you will love.
Why you'll love it
- Easy to make
- Only takes 15 minutes
- Easy to customize
- Kid friendly
- Using creme fraiche lightens up the dish
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Kielbasa: Polish sausage, typically smoked. You can substitute this with any smoked sausage.
Pasta: Any short type pasta works fine, like fusilli, rotini, penne or macaroni.
Seasoning: Dried thyme, dried parsley and black pepper add flavor to the dish.
Mustard: Use Dijon mustard, yellow mustard or whole grain mustard. This is only added for flavor, and can be omitted.
Olive oil: You can also use vegetable oil, butter or any unflavored oil or spray that you like to use for cooking.
Onion: Red, white or yellow onion will all work great.
Garlic: Garlic cloves can be substituted with garlic paste or garlic powder.
Creme fraiche: Adds a creamy sauce. You can also use cream cheese instead.
Parmesan cheese: Adds a fantastic texture and flavor. Cheese and pasta is a winning combination!
Spinach: Or any leafy green, like kale. You will need more than you think, as spinach has a tendency to wilt down and shrink.
You can find full instructions + ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this page
One: Slice kielbasa, and sautee in a skillet with some olive oil on medium to high heat. Meanwhile, boil pasta in a pot of water according to the package instructions.
Two: Add sliced onions and minced garlic to the sausage, and cook for a few more minutes until the onion is soft.
Three: Drain the excess water from the pasta, and add it to the skillet.
Four: Add creme fraiche, Parmesan cheese, spinach, mustard and seasoning.
Five: Stir to combine the ingredients. Season with pepper and optionally salt to taste.
💡 TIP! Make it a one pot kielbasa pasta by using leftover cooked pasta from a previous meal, or by boiling the pasta in your skillet before you start the sausages.
- Sear the sausages until they start to char. This gives them a delicious flavor.
- If your ingredients are sticking to your pan, you might have to add extra olive oil. You can avoid this by using a non-stick pan.
- Use a cast iron pan to achieve the best color and texture on the kielbasa.
- You can also use precooked pasta, or leftover cooked pasta in this recipe.
- Make sure to use a large skillet that can fit the ingredients. If you don't own a large frying pan, you can use a pot instead, or a pan with high edges.
Kielbasa pasta is best served as a main course for lunch or dinner. It can be served alone, or paired with a side dish if you prefer. As this dish is made in less than 15 minutes, it's perfect for quick and easy lunches or dinners.
Here are some of my favorite recipes to serve it with:
- Lemon Kale Salad
- Air Fryer Garlic Bread
- Avocado Chickpea Salad
- Olive Salad
- Air Fryer Broccoli
- Oven Roasted Green Beans
With vegetables: Feel free to add any vegetables that you like to your kielbasa pasta. Keep in mind that the vegetables should be soft enough that they can cook in a matter of minutes, unless you want to cook them separately. Fresh herbs, zucchini, mushroom, sliced bell pepper, sliced scallions, cherry tomatoes or kale are all excellent options.
Other sausages: You can make this recipe with any smoked sausage, such as chicken sausage or pork sausage. You can also try to make kielbasa pasta with sliced vegetarian sausages, although I have not tested this.
Healthier swaps: Use low fat creme fraiche, or swap the creamy sauce for a tomato based one by using canned diced tomatoes instead. You can reduce or omit the Parmesan cheese. Use chicken sausage, and whole wheat pasta or black bean pasta. You can also add additional vegetables as suggested above.
Gluten free: Use gluten free pasta. This can be found in the allergy free section of most supermarkets.
To make this recipe, you will need a pot to boil the pasta in, as well as a large skillet or frying pan to cook the sausages in. I like to use a cast iron pan, but any frying pan will work well.
If your frying pan isn't large enough to fit all the ingredients, you can cook the sausages and pasta separately, and combine them in a larger bowl or pot.
Store any leftover pasta with kielbasa in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it in a microwave or skillet, and serve it warm.
You can also freeze the dish for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat it. The pasta tends to be a little dry after being frozen, so I recommend adding extra creme fraiche, water, or any other sauce to improve the texture of the dish before you reheat it.
This dish is perfect as a quick meal prep, as you can make a big batch and enjoy the pasta through the week.
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Frequently asked questions
Kielbasa is made like most sausages, by combining ground meat with fat and spices. This mixture is then added to sausage casings, and smoked.
Most American versions of kielbasa is completely cooked and smoked before it is packaged. It is therefore safe to eat straight from the package, but tastes much better warm. Polish kielbasa is sometimes uncooked, and not safe to eat before cooking.
Most kielbasa sausage is either made by natural casings, or artificial edible casings. These can both be eaten. Some people don't like the texture of the casings, and prefer to peel them before cooking them.
Yes, kielbasa is safe to freeze. Make sure that the sausages have cooled down completely before you freeze them. You can freeze sausages whole, sliced or diced, and use them in a variety of meals later.
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- Boil pasta in a pot of water according to the package instructions.1 onion
- Meanwhile, slice kielbasa, and sauté in a skillet with some olive oil on medium to high heat.1 pound kielbasa sausage
- Add sliced onions and minced garlic to the sausage, and cook for a few more minutes until the onion is soft.
- Drain the excess water from the pasta, and add it to the skillet.
- Add creme fraiche, Parmesan cheese, spinach, mustard and seasoning.1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 3 garlic cloves
- Stir to combine the ingredients. Season with pepper and optionally salt to taste.
- Store any leftover pasta with kielbasa in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it in a microwave or skillet, and serve it warm. You can also freeze the dish for up to 3 months.
- Use any short type of pasta that you like, such as macaroni, fusilli or rotini. You can use gluten free, high protein or whole wheat pasta if you prefer.
- Add leek, bell pepper, tomatoes, or zucchini if you prefer to make the dish with more vegetables.
- If you can't find kielbasa sausage, any smoked sausage will work well.
- If you don't have access to creme fraiche, you can try to use cream or sour cream instead.
Food safety tips
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove