Throw together this quick, easy, tasty & hearty Kielbasa Chili! Minimal prep with kielbasa, jarred salsa & canned goods make it an effortless meal!
Like most families, I have a never ending need for simple dinners.
I’d love to say that I have time & energy for an intricate, gourmet meal on a nightly basis – but let’s be real here – some nights I’m scrambling eggs for dinner.
I try my hardest to stay away from fast food & prepackaged type meals for my family. Those things are fine on occasions, but nothing we’re eating on a weekly basis.
I’ve learned to lean on pantry staples that deliver flavor and function to quick meals. Salsa is my number one. Open my pantry closet (or not, it’s a cluster in there) and you’ll find quite the stock of salsas. Jarred salsa adds tons of fresh flavor to meals with zero prep work.
Another ingredient I love is kielbasa. It’s already cooked, so all I have to do is chop it up and toss it in whatever I’m cooking. Soups, rice, chili or served with veggies or sauerkraut. I usually buy family sized packs and freeze the extra kielbasa ropes.
Let’s get to cooking
I prefer my dutch oven, but you can use any large soup/stock pot you have. Saute your onion, add kielbasa, salsa, broth, veggies. Bring to a bubbly boil, reduce heat and cover – stirring occasionally.
I like to very much consider chili of this style a freestyle chili. It’s about impossible to mess up and you can season it how you prefer. Love garlic, add more. Want it spicy – use hot salsa, add hot peppers.
I add a half teaspoon of chipotle powder to give this chili some smokey heat. I highly recommend using it, but if you don’t want the heat, skip it.
Rice or grains in chili – for sure!
I know this is a controversial subject. Some people get fired up when you add rice to chili. Besides my traditional chili, I add grains to most of my other recipes. Chicken Barley Chili (with barley, clearly) and Buffalo Chicken Chili (with pearled couscous). I prefer chili, as my family, does that way. I feel it adds more substance and eliminates the need for excess proteins to feel hearty.
Serve It Up
Top this Kielbasa Chili with shredded cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, corn bread on the side – whatever makes you happy! Enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by!
- 1 – 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound kielbasa halved, cut in 1" pieces
- 2 cups salsa 16 oz – 20 oz
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes undrained
- 15 oz can corn drained
- 15 oz can black beans OR kidney beans rinsed & drained
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder optional, but recommended
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup white rice
- 2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Heat olive oil over medium/medium-high heat in large pot or dutch oven.
- Add diced onion. Saute until translucent, about 8-10 minutes.
- After I get the onions started, I cook a pot of rice. (Using a pot with a tight fitting lid, add rice, 2 cups water & salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, cover & reduce heat to low. After 20 minutes, remove pot from heat (do not remove lid yet) and let sit, with lid on, for an additional 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove lid and fluff rice with fork.) Set rice aside to cool.
- Add minced garlic, saute for a minute.
- Add chicken broth. Stir, scraping bottom of pan.
- Add kielbasa, salsa, diced tomatoes, corn, beans, chili powder, cumin, salt, chipotle powder & black pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and let cook for at least half an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in cooked rice. Serve chili – top with shredded cheese or sour cream if desired. Enjoy!
Ever make your own kielbasa? Me neither! Want to try? Taste of Artisan has a recipe and super informative post to get you started. Check it out here!