Slow Cooker BBQ Kielbasa

A super-easy, made-ahead-of-time, pleases-everyone slow cooker dish that feeds a crowd – perfect for any potluck picnic.

If you’re trying to decide what to make for those up-coming potluck Memorial Day BBQs (or if you’re hosting – yikes! – and are looking for a little something extra to serve beyond the standard burgers and hot dogs), but the biggest problem is that you barely have time to get to the store this week, let alone to put something together, then this is the recipe for you. Easy is an understatement. Better yet, make it a day or two ahead of time, throw it together in the slow cooker one morning, let it cook all day and then put it in the fridge until the day of your celebration. Just plug it back in early enough that day to warm it up, and it’s ready to travel. 

You can serve this with toothpicks as an appetizer, or with bowls and spoons as a hearty main dish, and it’s a mild BBQ flavor that is both kid and adult friendly. 



4-5 kielbasa links, sliced (Hillshire Farms original Polska Kielbasa works great, but I also love their turkey variety if you want to make a healthier version)

1 small onion, chopped

½ - 1 green pepper, chopped

15 oz can of tomato sauce (not paste)

1 Tbsp. dry mustard

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp. vinegar

Garlic powder to taste (I use about 1 Tbsp.)


Mix together the tomato sauce, dry mustard, ketchup, water, brown, sugar, vinegar and garlic powder in a large slow cooker. Add in remaining ingredients and stir together to combine. Cook on low for eight hours, or on high for three-five. The sauce will thicken up as it cooks. 

Allow to cool, and store in the fridge if you have made it ahead of time. Depending on your slow cooker, it may take teo-three hours to come back up to temperature if you are not serving right away, so plan ahead! Or, if you are like me and forget to plan ahead, you can warm it up in a hurry in a large pot on the stovetop and transfer it back into the slow cooker for serving.


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