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There were just 2 of us, but me and my husband polished off the entire pot!

Slow Cooker Candied Kielbasa Recipe: A Sweet and Savory Delight

Introduction:

When family gathers around the dinner table, there’s nothing quite like a dish that’s both heartwarming and satisfying. Slow Cooker Candied Kielbasa is one of those recipes that, while simple, brings a sweet and savory magic to any meal. Its origins might not be steeped in history, but it represents the best of home-cooked comfort found here in the Midwest, where kielbasa is a meat staple. You may want to make this especially during fall or winter gatherings, game days, or anytime you’re in the mood for a hearty dish that is both a crowd-pleaser and a time-saver.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. Prepare the Slow Cooker: Start by laying your sliced kielbasa into the bottom of a slow cooker, ensuring an even layer.
  2. Prepare the Sauce: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper until well combined.
  3. Coat the Kielbasa: 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. Final Touch: Once done, give the kielbasa a gentle stir to coat with the sauce once more.
  6. Serve: Serve warm, straight from the slow cooker, ensuring everyone gets plenty of that scrumptious sauce.
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Variations & Tips:

  • Spice It Up: For a little extra kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauce mixture.
  • Fruity Twist: If you have apple lovers at home, adding a chopped apple into the mix infuses a lovely fruitiness.
  • Tropical Flare: This dish can also accommodate pineapple chunks for a tropical twist that pairs exceptionally with the kielbasa.
  • Sugar Conscious: If your family includes folks watching their sugar intake, try reducing the brown sugar to 3/4 cup and add a tablespoon of honey for natural sweetness.
  • Leftover Delights: Leftovers hold up well in the fridge for a few days and can be easily reheated, making for delightful sandwiches or a quick protein addition to a salad.
  • Cover and Cook: Always remember to keep that cooker covered to maintain even cooking temperatures and prevent the sauce from drying out. With dishes like this, it’s all about that low and slow process that turns simple ingredients into something special. Enjoy!

FAQs:

Can I use turkey kielbasa instead of pork?

Yes, you can definitely substitute turkey kielbasa for pork if you prefer a lighter option. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly as turkey kielbasa may cook faster.

Can I freeze the leftovers?

Absolutely! You can freeze the leftover candied kielbasa in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Can I make this recipe without a slow cooker?

While the slow cooker method yields the best results, you can certainly make this on the stovetop. Simply simmer the ingredients in a pot over low heat for about 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally until the kielbasa is tender and the sauce has thickened.