These kielbasa sandwiches are served up topped with sweet caramelized onions, bell peppers and lots of melty cheese. Similar to cheesesteaks, they are a great tailgating food tradition. Simple to clean up and packed with flavor, they may be your next lucky charm.
I’ve got something special for you today because believe it or not Fall is here, which means football time and hearty tailgating foods like Pulled Chicken Nachos, Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip, my favorite Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms, and these Kielbasa Cheesesteak Sandwiches!
Today’s polish sausage sandwich recipe comes from one of our favorite college traditions: tailgating. Even though the touchdown celebrations will be inside, the vibe is definitely carried over to the tailgate fete. Food is by far the most important factor to a tailgating party and it is known to cause some friendly competition.
There are a few rules to tailgating food. First, it must be easy to set up and easy to clean up. Second, it must smell and taste delicious. That is, unless you want to be target of all your rowdy friends trash talking.
These Kielbasa Sandwiches fit the bill perfectly with their sweet, caramelized onions, peppers and mushrooms, and topped with thick, melty cheese! They can be made on an open grill or at home on the stove.
Ingredients and Notes
Below is an overview of what you will need and notes on any substitutions below. Most of the ingredient choices are completely up to your tastes! For example, if you don’t like mushrooms, skip em.
Cheese: Provolone, Swiss, Muenster, or White American cheese are great. Use what you most like. You can also make an amazing cheese sauce by microwaving ½ lb of White American, ¼ cup milk, and 2 tablespoons butter. Stir and spoon over hoagies before it cools.
Buns: Use a long, crusty Italian roll or hoagie style bun in either white or wheat.
Kielbasa: This is sometimes called polish sausage and has a garlicy, marjoram flavor that suits the cheesesteak perfectly. However, you can substitute Smoked Sausage or Bratwurst if needed.
Onions: Cheap ol’ yellow onions are the right choice for making caramelized onions. You can also use White or Vidalia onions if you wish.
Peppers: Green bell peppers provide the right mildly bitter flavor, but you can use any peppers, including hot peppers. Hot pepper relish is a good way to increase the heat too.
Mushrooms: Button mushrooms or Baby Bella Mushrooms are perfect because of their size and how they cook evenly.
Sandwich toppings: All are optional, but I have seen mustard, mayo, ketchup, sauerkraut, horseradish, banana peppers, chow-chow relish, or marinara as examples.
How do I caramelize onions?
Caramelizing onions is a cooking method that involves cooking yellow onions over medium or medium low heat for at least 25 minutes until they are brown and somewhat mushy. This method brings out the sweetness of the onions in a way that just sautéing them does not.
Pictured below are onions that are more on the translucent side. Although the recipe includes a longer time to caramelize the onions, how long you cook them is up to you. You can always remove the sausage to cook the onions longer.
Kielbasa Cheesesteak Recipe Tips
Make-Ahead: You can caramelize the vegetables and kielbasa a few hours ahead and keep them warm in a crockpot. It’s also great if you are cooking large batches.
How to Store Leftovers: Keep the cooked meat and veggies separate from the buns and cheese and cover in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of kielbasa and onions to a small frying pan over low heat and cook until hot. You can also heat in a microwave-safe bowl. Top with the desired cheese and heat until melted.
How to Freeze: Keep the cooked meat and onions separate from the buns and sauce and cover in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw for 1 day in the refrigerator before reheating.
Tools Needed: You can use a flat top pan or a regular large frying pan. You will also need a metal spatula.
Looking for More Delicous Recipes? Here are some of our most popular dishes!
- Teriyaki Chicken Kababs
- Supreme Chicken Nachos
- Chicken Marsala Pasta Bake
- Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
- Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells
Frequently asked questions
Absolutely! I love the charred flavor you can only get from making meat on a grill. Yum! Cook the Kielbasa sausages on an open flame and wrap the onions and peppers in aluminum foil packs to cook up separately. Or you can cook them on cast iron on the grill. You can even throw your hoagie rolls on there for a second to warm them up!
A wide, strong skillet the onions and peppers. This one is great for grilling too, but it does not have to be cast iron to cook on the stove.
My favorite Tongs – because no one wants a pepper party foul.
You might also want to add a few extra toppings to personalize your sandwiches or offer to guests if you’re making these for a gathering. Options include grain or yellow mustard, sauerkraut, banana peppers or pepper relish, ketchup, horseradish, and marinara.
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- 1 link Kielbasa
- 1 tablespoon Oil for sautéing Vegetable oil, Canola, or Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion sliced ¼-1/2 inch thick
- 1 Green Pepper sliced and seeds removed
- 6 oz Sliced Button or Baby Bella Mushrooms Optional
- 6 slices provolone cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 hoagie buns
- Mustard, Mayo, or Ketchup
- Banana Peppers
- Pepper Relish
- Horseradish Mayo
- Heat large, wide bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add oil and onions Cook for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Onions should be very translucent. You may need to turn up the heat if the stovetop burner is weaker.
- In the same skillet, add peppers and mushrooms. Cook about 5 minutes and then add the Kielbasa link. Toss occasionally until onions are caramelized and sausage is heated through, about 10 more minutes. If you would like more caramelization on the onions, remove the sausage link and cook the onions until satisfied.
- Cut kielbasa to appropriate length, and slice in half lengthwise, Add to sandwich. Top with onions, peppers, and mushrooms and provolone cheese slices.
- Serve with mustard and other condiments.