Candied Kielbasa Bites

16 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes

Candied Kielbasa Bites are the ultimate go-to party appetizer with a savory and sweet marmalade glaze. Try them at your next game-day party!

Appetizer Recipes like these sausage bites are the perfect dish to enjoy with family and friends at a party. For more favorite recipes to serve your guests, try Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts and Meatball Pineapple Smokies.

Sabrina’s Candied Kielbasa Bites Recipe

My Kielbasa Bites recipe is an easy recipe to make. Though it does take some time to fully cook, the prep work is just a few minutes and couldn’t be easier. You just have to come back to the stove every once in a while to stir while it all cooks into sweet, savory perfection. I’ve also included a slow cooker version below if you prefer to make the Candied Kielbasa Bites that way.

Candied Kielbasa Bites portioned ingredients in separate prep bowls.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Kielbasa Sausage: Of course, the base of this recipe is the kielbasa itself. I’m using about 22 ounces kielbasa sausage. The meat is usually smoked, perfectly flavored, and an excellent starting point for this recipe. You can substitute with any smoked sausage if kielbasa is unavailable.
  • 2 cups Orange Marmalade: Orange marmalade makes up the tangy, sweet part of the sauce. They give the dish an amazing flavor, and the sugar in the marmalade covers the kielbasa for its candied coating.
  • ¼ cup Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best to add the zesty lift to the smokey and sweetness of the kielbasa, but bottled can be used in a pinch.
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard: The mustard gives the dish a bold and complex flavor you’re going to love! If you don’t have Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard or yellow mustard can be used instead.
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder: Garlic adds incredible flavor that gets infused during cooking but doesn’t overpower the overall flavor. You can also mince 2 fresh cloves of garlic if preferred.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Large Pot: You’ll need a large pot for cooking the kielbasa. I love using my cast iron Dutch oven. If you plan to follow the slow cooker recipe below, you’ll need one of those as well.
  • Sharp Knife: A sharp knife is needed for slicing the kielbasa. You’ll want to make sure it’s not dull which can actually be less safe to use.
  • Whisk or Spoon: You’ll need something to mix all the ingredients together and stir the kielbasa throughout the cooking process.

How to Make

Time needed: 1 hour and 35 minutes.

  1. Prepare the Kielbasa

    Cut the kielbasa into ½ inch pieces.

  2. Make the Sauce

    Whisk the orange marmalade, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and garlic powder together. Candied Kielbasa Bites adding broth, mustard, garlic and lemon juice to Dutch oven

  3. Combine and Cook

    Add the sliced kielbasa to the pot, place the pot on medium heat, and cook until the mixture starts to bubble.adding sliced kielbasa to the Dutch oven.

  4. Simmer and Stir

    Once bubbling, reduce the heat to low and stir the mixture every 15 minutes to make sure it doesn’t stick. Let it simmer for 90 minutes. Candied Kielbasa Bites cooked kielbasa in the Dutch oven.

  5. Serve and Enjoy

    When the recipe is ready, enjoy delicious bites hot. You can serve them with a slotted spoon in a bowl or baking sheet with a side of Pork Fried Rice or Crusty Garlic Herb Bread to soak up the delicious sauce.Candied Kielbasa Bites in a bowl surrounded by cucumbers and carrots an charcuterie snacks

Recipe Card

Candied Kielbasa Bites

Candied Kielbasa Bites are the ultimate go-to party appetizer with a savory and sweet marmalade glaze. Try them at your next game-day party!
Yield 16 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 2 pounds kielbasa
  • 2 cups orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  • Cut the kielbasa into ½ inch thick slices.
  • To a large pot add the marmalade, lemon juice, dijon mustard and garlic powder and whisk well.
  • Add in the kielbasa and stir to coat.
  • Cook on medium heat until mixture starts bubbling, then reduce to low heat, stir and let cook for 90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

Notes

  • Change Serving Size: Click on the yield amount to slide and change the number of servings and the recipe will automatically update! 
  • Conversion: To convert measurements to grams, click on the Metric option next to Ingredients in the recipe card.      
  • Kitchen Timer: Click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking. 

Nutrition

Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 530mg | Potassium: 156mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 26IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

Can This Be Made Ahead?

Yes! This is the perfect make-ahead dish. Simply make it a day or two in advance and store it in the fridge until ready to heat and serve. You can also store in the freezer for up to 2 months, thaw in the fridge overnight, and then heat when ready.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Candied Kielbasa Bites
Amount Per Serving
Calories 285 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 40mg13%
Sodium 530mg23%
Potassium 156mg4%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 26IU1%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 23mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Alternative Cooking Methods

Slow Cooker Candied Kielbasa Bites

  • To make glazed kielbasa in the slow cooker, start by whisking together the sauce.
  • Add the sauce and the sliced kielbasa to a small slow cooker.
  • Mix until the kielbasa is coated.
  • Cook on low for 3 hours.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

Check out some of these tips for making the perfect party snack. Have any tricks of your own? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Using fresh lemon juice and fresh garlic can really make the flavors of the dish. Your guests will be impressed!
  • Stir Frequently: Making sure you’re stirring every 15 minutes will help prevent it from sticking and then burning on the bottom.
  • Adjust the Sweetness: If the sauce is too sweet, you can add a little extra lemon juice to help the sweetness level. If you’d like it sweeter, add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and let it cook for at least an hour. Be sure to taste as you go!
  • Low and Slow: The key to perfection in this recipe is patience. Be sure to cook it on low heat for 90 minutes and let the flavors fully develop. A slow cooker works great for this!

How to Store

  • Store: Don’t leave Glazed Kielbasa at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If you want to keep them out longer for a party, you can keep them in a slow cooker at low heat. Store the Kielbasa Bites in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Reheating Tips: You can easily reheat leftovers by putting them on low heat on the stovetop. Add a splash of water or broth to help it stay juicy. You can also use the microwave string halfway through to make sure it heats all the way through.
  • Freeze: You could also keep this recipe frozen for up to 2 months.

Frequent Questions

Can I use a different type of sausage?

Absolutely! While the flavor of kielbasa is perfect, you can use any other sausage that you have available.

What if I don’t have orange marmalade?

You can easily use apricot preserves or peach jam as a substitute that will have a similar and delicious flavor.

What is kielbasa?

Kielbasa is a type of traditional Polish sausage made from pork and seasoned with garlic and marjoram. Kielbasa is also known for having a distinct smoky flavor. You’re going to love using it in this recipe!

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Variations

  • Chili Sauce: You can make this kielbasa with a ½ cup of sweet chili sauce mixed into the coating. To give the chili sauce a kick of heat, simply mix in a little bit of hot sauce with the chili sauce. You can also add a teaspoon of black pepper for extra earthy flavor.
  • Pineapple Kielbasa: Fresh, juicy pineapple can give glazed kielbasa the perfect tangy flavor. To do this, use canned pineapple chunks. Start by draining the liquid and mix the pineapple juice with the sauce ingredients. Then cook the recipe as normal. You can also add pineapple chunks into the mixture right before serving if you want whole pieces of pineapple to go with the kielbasa.
  • Brown Sugar: To make sweeter kielbasa bites mix a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar in with the glaze.

More Party-Time Favorites

Candied Kielbasa Bites Collage of bites in bowl surrounded by cucumber slices and kielbasa in pan. recipe name in yellow and orange banner across middle.

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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