Kielbasa potato soup is a hearty soup filled with sausage, potatoes, and shredded cheddar cheese. Pair this creamy, comforting soup with some crusty bread or a side salad for a quick and filling weeknight meal.
I'm all about creamy, comforting, and hearty meals during the fall and winter months. This one-pot kielbasa potato soup really hits the spot when it's cold outside!
Sliced kielbasa, onion, and garlic are sautéed before making a simple creamy soup base with chicken broth, milk, and shredded cheddar cheese. Frozen cubed hash browns are the secret, time-saving ingredient in this recipe. This soup comes together in 30 minutes or less in a single pot!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Kielbasa - Kielbasa is a Polish sausage usually made with pork and beef, seasoned with garlic and a few other spices. This recipe can be made with any sliced sausage you have on hand.
- Olive oil - Any cooking oil, or butter, will work here.
- Onion and garlic - Adds flavor to your soup. I recommend using fresh garlic cloves rather than pre-minced garlic from a jar, which often has a sharp, unpleasant flavor.
- Flour - Needed to make a roux to thicken your soup.
- Broth - I used chicken broth, but any broth you have on hand will work in this recipe. Beef or pork broth would pair well with the flavor of your kielbasa, or vegetable broth can work in a pinch. If using a low sodium broth, you may want to add a bit of extra salt to taste before serving.
- Milk - The type of milk used will determine how thick and creamy your soup turns out. I recommend whole milk, or half & half for an even creamier soup. Skim milk or 1% will work, but will make your soup thinner.
- Hash browns - Diced, frozen hash browns work well in this recipe. You're welcome to substitute with fresh diced potatoes.
- Spices - Salt (optional), paprika, and red pepper flakes add flavor to your soup. The salt is optional because depending on the broth and sausage used (which usually contain a lot of salt), you may not need to add extra. I highly suggest doing a taste test and adding salt and pepper to taste before serving.
- Shredded cheddar cheese - I highly recommend shredding your cheese fresh from a block. I do not recommend using bagged, pre-shredded cheese.
Tips and tricks
Frozen hash browns - I use frozen cubed hash brown potatoes to save time. They're easy to keep on hand in the freezer and toss into a soup - I also use frozen hash browns in my hash brown potato broccoli soup recipe.
Fresh potatoes - If you'd like to dice up your own potatoes, I recommend yukon gold, red, or russet potatoes. Any of these will do well in a creamy potato soup. Keep in mind that the larger you dice your potatoes, the longer they'll take to cook.
Test for doneness - Try piercing a potato through with a fork - if it pierces through easily, your potatoes are done. If you're met with a bit of resistance, your potatoes need more time.
Use freshly shredded cheese - I highly recommend using freshly shredded cheese from a block instead of bagged, pre-shredded cheese. These cheeses are coated in anti-clumping powder which makes it difficult to melt smoothly and adds a grainy texture to your soup.
Frequently asked questions
If using fresh potatoes, I prefer yukon gold. They've got a good balance between waxy and starchy and tend to hold their shape well after cooking. Red potatoes are another good option.
This soup is thickened by making a roux with the oil/grease in the pan and flour. Flour is whisked into the grease to make a paste, cooked for a minute, then whisked with the broth and milk. Omitting the roux will result in a thin soup.
The type of milk used in your soup will also determine how thick your soup turns out. I recommend using whole milk or half & half for a creamy, thick soup. Using thinner milks, like 1% or skim milk, will result in a thinner soup.
If you've accidentally added too much liquid, this will also result in a thin soup. To thicken soup, try making a slurry of cornstarch and water, then whisking into your soup.
Kielbasa makes a hearty meal on its own, topped with your favorite soup toppings, or alongside a small side dish.
Optional soup toppings include shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, parmesan crisps, sliced green onions, croutons, fresh chopped chives, or fresh chopped parsley.
Side dishes to serve with soup include biscuits, kale cranberry salad, crusty bread, garlic bread, or your favorite steamed veggies.
Leftovers can be refrigerated for 2-3 days. This soup reheats well in a saucepan over medium heat, or in the microwave.
Kielbasa Potato Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or butter
- 12 ounces kielbasa, sliced into bite size pieces
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 16 ounces chicken broth
- 16 ounces whole milk
- 2 cups frozen cubed hash brown potatoes
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cups freshly shredded cheddar cheese
- ¼ teaspoon salt, optional
- In a stock pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Add sliced kielbasa to pan and brown on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove sausage from pan, cover, and set aside. (leaving excess grease in the pan). Add onions and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they begin to lightly brown around the edges. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
- Add flour and stir to coat onions. Cook for 1 minute, then slowly add chicken broth, whisking to incorporate. While whisking, scrape up any browned bits coating the bottom of the pan.
- Add milk, potatoes, cooked kielbasa, paprika, and red pepper flakes, stirring to incorporate. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until potatoes can be pierced through easily with a fork.
- Remove pot from heat and stir in shredded cheese until melted. Do a taste test and add additional salt as needed. Portion into bowls and serve.
- Additional salt has been excluded from this recipe due to the sodium in the chicken broth and kielbasa. If using a low sodium broth, you may want to add additional salt to taste.
- Milk can be substituted with half & half for a creamier, richer soup.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated for 2-3 days. This soup reheats well in a saucepan over medium heat, or in the microwave.
- Cheese can be omitted if desired.