Easy kielbasa appetizers are quick to make with just three simple ingredients. These bite-size finger foods are saucy and delicious for cocktail parties, or holiday entertaining. Cook them on the stove top in about 30 minutes or heat them in a crock pot. They’re great as a brunch appetizer too!
Easy cocktail kielbasa
When you want quick and easy recipes for a party it just doesn’t get much better than this. These kielbasa sausage bites are cooked and served in a fantastic sauce. You won’t believe the sauce has only 2 ingredients!
These are versatile enough to be served on a cocktail party food buffet with other elegant hors d’oeuvres, or alongside casual fare for a football game day party. In fact you can add them to breakfast and brunch parties too.
Kielbasa bites are a balance of savory and lightly sweet, similar to bourbon meatballs or smoked sausage appetizers in easy bbq sauce.
But beware; they are slightly addictive! If you like the classic grape jelly and chili sauce then you’ll love this version.
Kielbasa. There’s a wide range of options in this category, from beef to pork to turkey. I prefer to use turkey kielbasa for this recipe because it’s leaner and the flavor combines really well with the sauce. You should avoid using spicy or Cajun flavors as they tend to interfere with the taste of the sauce. You’ll use fully cooked links and slice it into 1/4-inch medallions to make appetizer bites.
Red plum jam. This is sweet and a little tart, and makes a DELICIOUS sauce for meat. You could substitute with apricot jam, or peach preserves.
Dijon mustard. Dijon is creamy and a little spicy, and adds wonderful depth and tanginess to help balance out the sweet jam.
PARTY TIP: For a smaller party just cut the ingredients in half to serve 4 to 6 appetizer portions.
How to make them
Add olive oil to a large skillet and slice sausage while the oil is heating up.
Cook sausage slices just until they caramelize on the outside, then drain on a paper towel.
While the kielbasa is cooking, heat the jam and mustard together in a sauce pan. Stir occasionally until mixture is combined and smooth.
Then add the kielbasa medallions into the sauce and continue to heat through, about 10-15 minutes.
PARTY TIP: Transfer kielbasa and sauce to a chafing dish or slow cooker to keep warm while entertaining.
Crockpot kielbasa appetizers
With this method you don’t get the delicious crust on the outside of the sausage, however you can cook the slices first before adding them to the crockpot if you want.
- To make these in the slow cooker I cut the links slightly larger to about 1/2-inch thick.
- Add them into the slow cooker and top with the jam and mustard. Stir everything together and place the lid on.
- Cook on low for an hour to an hour and a half, and serve.
If you’re serving them as appetizers, you can round out the menu with fresh cut vegetable crudites, hot or cold dips, and a cheese board.
To serve it for dinner, rice is the classic pairing.
You can slice it and cook on the stove top so they can caramelize. You can heat slices in a slow cooker with sauce. You can grill larger pieces.
Kielbasa links are basically smoked sausage that’s fully cooked through. You simply need to heat it before serving. You should avoid “fresh kielbasa” because it is not cooked through.
More easy party appetizers
Here are some more recipes to round out your menu for girls night at, dinner parties, or appetizer parties.
I hope you’ll add these easy kielbasa appetizers to your next gathering. Everyone loves them!
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2 (14 ounces) packages turkey kielbasa + 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 jar (18 ounces) red plum jam
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. While pan is heating up, cut kielbasa into 1/4-inch medallions and add to pan when oil is hot.
- Cook on each side to achieve a caramelized crust. Remove to a paper towel to pat residual oil.
- Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan heat jam and mustard over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally until mixture is combined and smooth.
- Add kielbasa medallions and continue to heat through, about 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer to a chafing dish or slow cooker to keep warm while entertaining.