Polish Sausages You Will Love

The Infinite Varieties of Polish Kiełbasa

Polish sausage
Tobias Svens_n / EyeEm / Getty Images

Poles take much pride in the variety of their sausages which number in the hundreds, if not thousands.

Recipes vary by region and family. Juniper, so abundant in Poland, is the most popular smoking wood for sausages, hams, and meats, giving them their characteristic taste.

Contrary to popular belief, the word kiełbasa (kiełbasy pl.) does not refer only to the large smoked links commonly seen vacuum-packed in grocery stores. Kiełbasa is the generic word for sausage, so whether it's smoked,...MORE fresh or cured, a kielbasa will always have a modifier to describe just what kind of sausage it is, as you will see below.

  • 01 of 15

    Biała Kiełbasa - White Sausage

    Biała Kiełbasa - White Polish Sausage
    Biała Kiełbasa - White Polish Sausage. © 2011 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Biała kiełbasa (BEEYAH-wah keeyehw-BAH-sah) is fresh, uncooked and unsmoked sausage, usually made from pork shoulder and sometimes a little beef and veal, and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and marjoram, although this varies from family to family.

    It is boiled and browned or baked or even sautéed with onions. It is served hot or cold often with chrzan or ćwikła, with sauerkraut or noodles, and as a sandwich on rye bread. While eaten year-round, it is indispensable for Easter and Christmas,...MORE and in żurek soup on Easter morning.​

    Here is how to make Polish white sausage if you'd like to give it a try. It's not that difficult.

  • 02 of 15

    Kabanosy - Hunter's Sausage

    Polish Kabanosy Sausage
    Polish Kabanosy Sausage. © Sweet Poland, used with permission.

    Kabanosy (kah-bah-NOH-sih) is the generic term for any thin stick sausages. They are usually made of pork, salt, pepper, garlic, allspice and sometimes caraway or crushed pepper for a spicy note (kabanosy pikantne). But they are also made with chicken (kabanosy z kury) or other meats according to the village's custom.

    They are smoked and dried for a firm texture and eaten at room temperature as a snack or appetizer. Kabanosy is often taken on hiking or camping trips because they require no...MORE refrigeration, like many other dried sausages.

  • 03 of 15

    Kiełbaski Myśliwska - Hunter's Sausage

    Polish Kiełbasa Myśliwska or Hunter's Sausage
    Polish Kiełbasa Myśliwska or Hunter's Sausage. © Sweet Poland, used with permission.

    Kiełbaski myśliwska (keeyehw-BAH-skee mish-LEEF-skah) is a smoked and dried sausage made of pork with a touch of crushed juniper berries.

    Hunter's sausage gets its name because its lack of moisture makes it resistant to spoilage and the perfect food for hunters in the field.

  • 04 of 15

    Krupniok, Kiszka, Kaszanka - Blood Sausage

    Polish Kiszka or Blood Sausage
    Polish Kiszka or Blood Sausage. © 2011 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Krupniok (KRROOP-nyee-ohk) is a Silesian blood sausage that is dark and has more blood than barley (or variously, buckwheat groats -- kasza). Its cousin, kiszka (KEESH-kah), also known as kaszanka (kah-SHAHN-kah), is lighter in color and has more barley or buckwheat than blood.

    It was originally made to use up the scraps -- ears, snouts, organ meats -- after slaughtering a pig and was fleshed out with spices and barley or kasza. Today better cuts of meat are used.

    The mixture is cooked and then...MORE stuffed into the sterilized large intestine of a pig. It can be served at room temperature without further cooking or either grilled or ​pan-fried with onions.

    Here is a recipe for homemade kiszka.

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15

    Parówki - Frankfurters

    Polish Parówki or Frankfurters
    Polish Parówki or Frankfurters. © Sweet Poland, used with permission.

    Parówki (pah-RROOF-kee) are Polish frankfurters made of finely puréed seasoned meats that are lightly smoked. They can be boiled, grilled, panfried, or served as a cold cut.

    When made with veal, they are known as parówki cielęce and when made with pork, they are known as parówki wieprzowe. Mini frankfurters are known as paróweczki and are often seen on breakfast buffets at Polish hotels.

  • 06 of 15

    Serdelki - Jumbo Frankfurters

    Polish sausage
    Tobias Svens_n / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Serdelki (sehrr-DEL-kee) are classic Polish hot dogs made with, usually, natural casings stuffed with seasoned pork and veal that has been lightly smoked.

    They can be grilled, panfried, warmed in hot water and served on a bun or with sauerkraut and potatoes. 

  • 07 of 15

    Kiełbasa Weselna - Wedding Sausage

    Polish Wedding Sausage
    Polish Wedding Sausage. © Piast Meats & Provisions, used with permission.

    Kiełbasa weselna (keeyehw-BAH-sah veh-SEL-nah) or wedding sausage is a double-smoked pork sausage (hence its dark color) with a hint of garlic.

    It was typically served at weddings and other important events and to sober guests up before going home. Wedding sausage is meant to be served at room temperature as a snack or appetizer.

  • 08 of 15

    Kiełbasa Jałowcowa - Juniper Sausage

    Juniper-Berry Polish Sausage
    Juniper-Berry Polish Sausage. © Sweet Poland, used with permission.

    Kiełbasa jałowcowa (keeyehw-BAH-sah yah-vohv-TSOH-vah) is a semi-dry sausage made with pork and crushed juniper berries smoked heavily over juniper wood.

    It doesn't require refrigeration and is best when served at room temperature, making it ideal for picnics, hiking, and other outdoor events.

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    Kiełbasa Czosnkowa - Garlic Sausage

    Polish Garlic Sausage
    Polish Garlic Sausage. © Sweet Poland, used with permission.

    Kiełbasa czosnkowa (keeyehw-BAH-sah choh-sin-KOH-vah) is literally "garlic sausage" and is made from cured pork, salt, black pepper, marjoram, and sometimes coriander and paprika, and liberal amounts of fresh garlic.

    It is simmered in hot water and then lightly smoked and is ideal for grilling, as a cold cut, with scrambled eggs or in stews like bigos.

  • 10 of 15

    Kiełbasa Krajana - Country Sausage

    Polish Kiełbasa Krajana or Country Sausage
    Polish Kiełbasa Krajana or Country Sausage. © Sweet Poland, used with permission.

    Kiełbasa krajana (keeyehw-BAH-sah krrai-AH-nah) or country sausage is a double-smoked sausage made with chunks of pork instead of ground pork in a thicker casing. It's great as a cold cut but also ideal for the grill.

  • 11 of 15

    Kiełbasa Grillowa - Barbecue Sausage

    Polish Kiełbasa Grillowa or Barbecue Sausage
    Polish Kiełbasa Grillowa or Barbecue Sausage. © Piast Meats and Provisions, used with permission.

    Kiełbasa grillowa ( keeyehw-BAH-sah grree-LOH-vah) or barbecue sausage is a juicy and lightly spiced pork sausage that is already hardsmoked and doesn't require long grilling time. It's also great when pan-fried or heated in hot water.

  • 12 of 15

    Kiełbasa Zwyczajna - Ordinary Sausage

    Polish Kiełbasa Zwyczajna
    Polish Kiełbasa Zwyczajna. © Sweet Poland, used with permission.

    Kiełbasa zwyczajna (keeyehw-BAH-sah zvih-CHAI-nah) gets its moniker because it's a typical or ordinary sausage made with cured pork, salt, pepper, marjoram and fresh garlic. It's simmered in water and then lightly smoked. It's a good grilling sausage, cold cut and ideal with scrambled eggs, with sauerkraut and in stews like bigos.

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    Kiełbasa Żywiecka - Beer Sausage

    Polish Beer Sausage
    Polish Beer Sausage. © Piast Meats & Provisions, used with permission.

    Kiełbasa żywiecka (keeyehw-BAH-sah zhih-VEEYETS-kah) gets its name from the Żwiec region of southern Poland where Żywiec beer comes from. It's made with diced pork and sometimes a little beef, and seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic.

    It's hardwood-smoked and is perfect as a cold cut on sandwiches, with scrambled eggs, even on pizza!

  • 14 of 15

    Kiełbasa Cygańska - Gypsy Sausage

    Polish Gypsy Sausage
    Polish Gypsy Sausage. © Piast Meats & Provisions, used with permission.

    Kiełbasa cygańska (keeyehw-BAH-sah tsih-GAIHN-skah) or gypsy sausage is a dark, deeply smoked sausage made with seasoned pork, salt, pepper and garlic that is best eaten at room temperature as an appetizer.

  • 15 of 15

    Kiełbasa Krakowska - Cracow Sausage

    Polish Kiełbasa Krakowska
    Polish Kiełbasa Krakowska. © Sweet Poland, used with permission.

    Kiełbasa Krakowska (keeyehw-BAH-sah krrah-KOHV-skah), made in the style of Cracow, comes in three varieties -- dry (sucha), semi-dry (obsuszana) and steamed (parzona). All three are made with seasoned lean pork.

    Krakowska is ideal for eating as an appetizer or on a sandwich. Its garlicky aroma permeates the room!