Kielbasa Vs Bratwurst : Differences, Calories & Recipes

Classic chicken, pork, and turkey sausages always are the talk of the town, but we can’t leave it at that. There are thousands of other permutations and combinations of sausages that you wouldn’t have ever even heard of.

Bratwurst is a classic German sausage made out of pork with finely chopped meat and an array of different seasonings. Kielbasa is somewhat different which can be made with several meats such as chicken, pork, veal, beef, turkey, or even lamb.

Two very interesting facts about this particular sausage is its flavour and shape. Other sausages are straight or slightly bent, but this one literally looked like the alphabet ‘U’.

Kielbasa also has a natural smoky texture, so you really don’t need to put in any extra effort with charcoal to bring out that flavour.

Let’s explore the key differences between Bratwurst vs Kielbasa and how you can make the best dishes out of both.

Differences between Bratwurst and Kielbasa

Key Differences between Bratwurst And Kielbasa

Below are a few differences between Bratwurst and Kielbasa: 

1. Flavor

Your typical Bratwurst is normally seasoned with ginger, sage, nutmeg, and caraway seeds. However, Kielbasa has a very pungent garlic flavour. At times, they also add cloves, kosher salt, black pepper, and pimento to the sausage. 

2. Smokiness

Kielbasa naturally has a smoky ring to it. However, Bratwurst doesn’t. You can add the smoky flavour by directly exposing the sausage to a flame. Use charcoal/your stove to do the same. 

3. Ready to Eat

One lesser known fact about both these sausages is that one needs to barbecue, grill, or cook Bratwurst to consume it, but Kielbasa can be had as it is. It barely needs any cooking. 

4. Sides

Brats are best when soaked in beer and flavoured with sauerkraut whereas Kielbasa are awesome with grilled peppers and onions. 

5. Meat

Brats are generally a mixture of pork and veal, whereas Kielbasa can be made out of any meat. The highlight is the seasoning. Kiels also come in different types as per spice and flavour levels. 

The burning question still remains. I don’t mean, “Which sausage is better?” because that really is subjective. The Polish admire their own creation, and so do the German. These sausages have also spread to other countries like The States, but like our grandmothers would say, once a classic, always a classic. They’ll be best served in their native countries. 

Calorie Counts Of Bratwurst and Kielbasa

The question is, “How many calories do each of the sausages have?” 

Bratwurst: 297 calories and Kielbasa: 226 calories 

Does this shock you? Even though they can afford to take up at least one meal of the day, know that the calorie count doesn’t stop there. A bunch of ingredients like oil, stock, onion, garlic, beer, bread, cabbage is paired with them. It can take up around 500-800 calories safely.

Tips to Cook Kielbasa

Kielbasa Dishes

There are different ways of cooking this sausage. They include: 

1. Ready to Eat

As mentioned earlier, some types of Kielbasa can be eaten once bought from the butcher/store. Dice it into small pieces and have it as it is. You could add a sauce on the side! 

2. Boiling

Take a large pot, add water or stock as per your liking, and throw in the Kielbasa sausages for 30 minutes. The internal temperature should touch 175 degrees for it to cook to perfection. Check the temperature using a thermometer!

3. Grill

Use a skillet or wired grill. Throw in your charcoal, or place it on the gas. Grill the sausages for 8-12 minutes on either side to get a golden-brown colour! 

4. Frying

Heat up a pan on your stove. Chop your sausage. Drizzle some oil or butter and simply add your Kielbasa to it. Cook for a lower period- 6-9 minutes since the pieces will be much smaller and easier to cook! 

Dishes we can make using both Bratwurst and Kielbasa Sausages

Let’s discuss some easy and yet famous dishes that you can make out of bratwurst and kielbasa sausages.

Bratwurst Dishes

1. A classic bratwurst and sauerkraut hotdog/sandwich:

The most typical yet popular combination. All you need to do is cook the bratwurst with some onions and sauerkraut pieces and serve it with bread in almost a hotdog shape. 

2. Beer bratwurst

This follows the same process as the above mentioned dish. The only addition is the beer instead of adding chicken stock or water. 

3. Bratwurst and Potato Salad

Cook the sausage as you’d cook it with your veggies. Add a warm potato salad lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. 

Kielbasa Dishes

1. Pasta with Kielbasa

All you need to do is cook a batch of white-sauce pasta. Add your cream, cheese, and pepper first. Then, fry the sausage separately and add it to the mix towards the end. This one is a delight! 

2. Broccoli and Peppers with Kielbasa

Chop up the sausage along with the veggies. Drizzle some oil, toss it in your pan, and you’ll have your delicious meal ready in no time! 

3. Roasted Kielbasa + Veggies

Save some calories on this one by lightly seasoning your veggies with oil, herbs, and spices. Dice your sausage into pieces. Put all the ingredients on a tray and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes! 

These were a few of the best dishes you could make with two of the most popular sausages worldwide. They’re delightful to consume!

Here is my favorite dish using Kielbasa.

Recipe for Kielbasa with Pepper and Potatoes

You’ll get to learn how a Kielbasa sausage is cooked, along with other ingredients that work well with it.

Ingredients: (Serves 6-7)

  1. Vegetable Oil/Butter 
  2. 6-7 diced potatoes 
  3. 2-3 diced Kielbasa Sausages (Depends on how much meat you’d like to consume)
  4. 1-2 yellow and red bell peppers each 
  5. Seasoning: Herbs, Paprika, Salt, Pepper 


  1. Start by heating your pan on medium flame. Drizzle some oil.
  2. Once that is heated, add your diced potatoes and sausages to the pan. Stir it around for a few minutes. Cover the lid and let it cook for at least 20 minutes. 
  3. Your potatoes should be tender and meat cooked as per your liking. Add the yellow and red bell peppers at the 15-16th minute. Cook your peppers till they are soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside! 
  4. Season with herbs and spices. Char some baguette and cut it into smaller pieces. 
  5. Enjoy your meal! 

Remember to cook your sausage over medium heat for a total of 20 minutes. Once the time’s up, your Kielbasa should have an internal temperature of 175 degrees fahrenheit.

We hope this article- Bratwurst vs Kielbasa, helped you out to collect the useful information that you needed. Happy Cooking!

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