I’m sure you’ve indulged in sausage, peppers and onions at some point in your life, right? Well, while recently shopping at Costco, we picked up some Polish sausage, figuring we could do a similar rendition of the Italian classic with an ethnic twist and it would make for an easy weeknight dinner.
Sausage and peppers is a dish in Italian-American cuisine prepared using Italian sausage and bell peppers as primary ingredients. It is served as a dish on its own, sometimes with the use of additional ingredients such as tomato sauce, onions and potatoes or pasta. You will often find it served at Italian street festivals.
As I gathered our ingredients, I was momentarily taken aback when I realized what we bought was Kiolbassa Smoked Beef Sausage, a product out of San Antonio, Texas. It’s an organic, 100% grass-fed family recipe hailing from, you guessed it, Mike Kiolbassa. Come to find out, it’s just another way of spelling what I knew as Kielbasa. You say “toe-may-toe” I say “ta-mah-toh”…
Not to be deterred, I went ahead with the plans, because to be honest, this one-skillet dish is as easy (and delicious) as a weeknight dinner gets. Having stayed all afternoon at the country-club pool chatting it up with the gal pals, I didn’t have much time to fuss over making dinner once I got home. (Yes, I know, retirement’s tough.)
A staple of Polish cuisine, Kielbasa comes in dozens of varieties, be it smoked or fresh, made with beef, turkey, lamb, chicken, pork or veal—with every region having its own speciality. My mom’s Polish family made their own, so growing up, even though I was an extremely picky eater, I always remember liking Kielbasa.
All ingredients are chopped to bite-sized pieces so the prep takes mere minutes, while the actual cooking takes a bit longer because you have to sauté in steps, starting with the sausage, then the potatoes, next is peppers and onions, and finally everything together. The finale of a generous splash of vinegar brightens the entire dish, while if you’re so inclined, a pinch of red pepper flakes provides a bit of heat. And of course, the chopped chives for a pop of green.
…It’s great as leftovers too…
Polish Sausage, Peppers and Onions
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 4 Polish sausage links, such as Kiolbassa, cut diagonally into 1″” slices
- 1 lb. small baby potatoes, any color(s), halved
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 2 bell peppers, preferably 2 different colors, roughly 1″ chop
- 1 large red onion, roughly 1″ chop
- 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped, as garnish
- Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/3 cup water
- Set a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. After it gets good and hot, add the olive oil, then the sausage pieces. Brown all over—about 2 minutes per side—then remove to a waiting plate.
- Add another tablespoon olive oil to the skillet, followed by the potatoes, cut side facing down. Season with a big pinch of salt. Cook these for 5 minutes until browned, then flip and cook another 5 minutes. Transfer these to the plate with the sausage.
- Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil, then the peppers and onion. Season with a big pinch of salt and red pepper flakes. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender—about 10 minutes.
- Add the sausage slices and potatoes back to the skillet. Pour 1/3 cup water evenly over the top and cover the pan with a lid.
- Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the sausage is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, lifting the lid for the last few minutes. remove from heat and add a splash of red wine vinegar and a the chopped chives.