4-Ingredient Kielbasa and Sauerkraut Skillet

published Jan 2, 2024
Kielbasa and Sauerkraut Skillet Recipe

With just 4 ingredients and less than 30 minutes, dinner is served.


Prep5 minutes

Cook20 minutes

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Overhead shot of cooked sauerkraut and sausage in a cast iron pan, with a wooden spoon resting in the bottom right part of the pan.
Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik ; Food Stylist: Rachel Perlmutter

One night when I just needed to get dinner on the table, I came up with this extremely easy and satisfying 4-ingredient, one-pan meal. It’s basically deconstructed hot dogs in skillet form, which is a win for both kids and adults alike. Kielbasa sausage gets deeply browned in butter, then tossed with sauerkraut and brown sugar, which tames the fermented cabbage and rounds out its flavor. Here’s how you can get it on the table in less than 30 minutes.    

Ingredients in Kielbasa and Sauerkraut Skillet

This recipe relies on four key ingredients. I’ve made other ingredients — red onion, mustard, and herbs — optional, but if you have them handy, they make great additions. And if you don’t, no worries, the recipe will still be amazing without them. 

  • Sauerkraut: To remove excess moisture, you’ll need to drain the sauerkraut well before adding to the skillet. 
  • Kielbasa sausage: I like to use pork kielbasa here, but you can use turkey or beef kielbasa if you prefer. In a pinch, hot dogs would also work well. 
  • Butter: The sausage is browned in a pat of butter (along with some oil), which adds a richer flavor to the dish. 
  • Brown sugar: A small amount tames the sauerkraut and adds a mellow sweetness. 
Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik ; Food Stylist: Rachel Perlmutter

How to Make Kielbasa and Sauerkraut Skillet

  • Prep your ingredients. Drain the sauerkraut, and cut the kielbasa into coins. This is where you’ll slice some red onion if you’re using it. 
  • Brown the kielbasa. Heat butter and oil in a skillet and cook the sausage on both sides until well browned. 
  • Add the rest of the ingredients. Dump in the sauerkraut and brown sugar as well as the red onion and mustard if using. Cook until the sauerkraut is warm and the onions are softened. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves or parsley if you like. 

What to Serve with Kielbasa and Sauerkraut Skillet

Although it’s great on its own, this 4-ingredient skillet is a solid dish to build a meal on. Here are a list of delicious sides to round it out:

This is part of How to Be a Lazier Cook, highlighting the super-easy recipes, cooking tricks, and grocery items you need to start off the year a little lazier and a lot more delicious.

Kielbasa and Sauerkraut Skillet Recipe

With just 4 ingredients and less than 30 minutes, dinner is served.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1/2

    large red onion (optional)

  • 1 pound

    store-bought or homemade sauerkraut

  • About 14 ounces kielbasa sausage

  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon

    vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon

    spicy brown, whole-grain, or Dijon mustard (optional)

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Fresh thyme leaves or finely chopped parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)


  1. Thinly slice 1/2 large red onion if using. Drain 1 pound sauerkraut. Cut about 14 ounces kielbasa sausage crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat until the butter is melted and the oil is shimmering. Add the kielbasa in an even layer. Cook until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the second side, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl or plate using tongs or a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the skillet.

  3. Add the sauerkraut, red onion if using, 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon spicy brown, whole-grain, or Dijon mustard if using to the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauerkraut is heated through and onion is softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Taste and season with freshly ground black pepper as needed.

  4. Return the kielbasa to the skillet and toss to combine. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves or finely chopped parsley leaves if using.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.