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Messaging below is intended for ages 21+ and is intended to be enjoyed responsibly, in moderation.
Celebrate the season with friends, merry-making and this Oktoberfest Kielbasa Burger. Tangy sauerkraut topped with Hillshire Farm® Polska Kielbasa, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and bacon, all topped on a pretzel bun. Pair with a German beer and you’ve got yourself the best Oktoberfest festival west of the Atlantic! Ein Prosit!
There’s a nip in the air and leaves are falling off the trees scattering every which way! It’s the most beautiful season with all the vibrant colored trees, I just love it! It’s also finally cool enough to thoroughly enjoy the weather outside with friends, food, football and beer. I also enjoy this time of year as the food shifts from salads and light fare to hearty soups, beefy burgers and hot casseroles. It’s something about the warm foods that just soothe your soul this time of year.
It’s also time to break out the crockpot. I know, I know, you can use that thing all year long, but I tend to use it most in the fall and winter, simply because I think I forget about it. And the days seem shorter now, so I’m not in the kitchen trying to whip up a meal when it’s 5 o’clock and already dark outside. I put my stuff in the crockpot when it was still dark outside in the morning, then come home and enjoy dinner that’s been cooked for me. Seems to make much more sense to me. All hail the crockpot!
While we’re only dreaming of celebrating Oktoberfest here in the states, they’re living it up across the pond. Every year in Munich, Germany they have their annual Oktoberfest. It’s full of delicious food, tasty beer, live music and merriment. It’s a huge festival and more than 6 million people attend the 16 day festival each year! The food and beer is in abundance too. According to Oktoberfest.de, 7.7 million liters of beer were served in 2015. That’s A LOT of beer!
Tents upon tents are filled with food ranging anywhere from pretzels, sauerkraut to sausages and dumpings. I’ve always been intrigued by the whole Oktoberfest and hopefully someday I can make it to Germany, and join in on the shenanigans, but in the meantime, I brought Oktoberfest home to my kitchen.
I wanted to incorporate all things Oktoberfest and create a dish the whole family would enjoy. I headed to Walmart and picked up some Hillshire Farm® Polska Kielbasa and started there. It’s located in the refrigerated meats section, close to the bacon.
At first I was going to cook up some sauerkraut, saute some onions, grill the kielbasa and throw it on a plate but that seemed really boring. Maybe I could throw them on a hot dog bun and enjoy them that way. I really had no idea, so I headed to the bun aisle, maybe inspiration would hit me there. How can I creatively pair all things Oktoberfest into one fun dish, I asked myself while surveying all the different types of bread. Then I saw the pretzel hamburger buns and it hit me, I was going to create an Oktoberfest Kielbasa Burger. I ran home to concoct this recipe that was now stewing in my brain.
First, I caramelized up some onions and then added in some smoky bacon.
I wanted to create a sweet counterpart to the sour sauerkraut, so I spiralized an apple to add in alongside.
I threw the apple into the crockpot with the sauerkraut, kielbasa that I cut in half, some brown sugar and apple cider vinegar and let that heat on low for a couple of hours.
When everything was done cooking, I slathered on some sweet and hot mustard to the bottom of the pretzel bun, added a generous amount of the apple sauerkraut mixture and then sliced the Hillshire Farm® Polska Kielbasa in half lengthwise and added that to the bun. I decided to use sharp cheddar but I think Swiss cheese would also be great on these burgers. I placed 2 slices of cheese on top of the kielbasa and placed it under the broiler for a minute or two to melt the cheese. When the cheese was melted, I added the caramelized onions and bacon mixture, placed on the top bun and voila, an Oktoberfest Kielbasa burger was made.
I served the burgers with fries and a frosty German beer, which is intended for ages 21+ and is intended to be enjoyed responsibly, in moderation, for the adults.
This burger was sweet, salty, smoky and SO GOOD! Even my husband who loathes sauerkraut enjoyed this burger. I was a little afraid of the pretzel bun, as sometimes they can be a bit overwhelming, but I think the pretzel bun is what made this burger and it also screams Oktoberfest. And the caramelized onions and bacon, holy moly was that the best decision ever. Keep some of that in the fridge and use it to top of, well just about anything.
The Polska Kielbasa was so flavorful and tender from being simmered in brown sugar and apple cider vinegar. It was my favorite part of the burger right after the bacon mixture, of course. And the sauerkraut, perfection. Sauerkraut can be really sour and unappealing but when paired with a sweet apple and a little bit of brown sugar, it really made all the difference. It was sweet but still had a delicious tang to it.
All I can say is, if you want to celebrate the fall season and Oktoberfest like the Germans do, make this Oktoberfest Kielbasa burger and grab yourself a six pack to serve alongside! Prost!
Oktoberfest Kielbasa Burger
Celebrate the season with friends, merry making and this Oktoberfest Kielbasa Burger. Tangy sauerkraut topped with Hillshire Farm® Polska Kielbasa, cheddar, caramelized onions and bacon, all topped on a pretzel bun. Pair with a German beer and you've got yourself the best Oktoberfest festival west of the Atlantic! Ein Prosit!
- 1 14oz package Hillshire Farm® Polska Kielbasa
- 1 2lb bag of sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
- 1 fuji apple, spiralized or grated
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, I used yellow, sliced thin
- pinch of salt
- pinch of sugar
- 5 slices of bacon, chopped
- 2 pretzel buns, of bun of your choosing
- cheddar or swiss cheese, mustard and any other additional toppings you'd like.
- Add 2 cups each of sauerkraut and apple to a crock pot with brown sugar and apple cider vinegar.
- Cut Kielbasa in half and place in crockpot. Set on low and cook for 2 hours.
- Set a large pan over medium high heat and melt butter and oil together.
- When mixture has melted, add in your onions and stir to combine. Spread the onions out evenly throughout the pan so they all have surface contact.
- Turn down to medium or medium low depending on how fast your onions are cooking.
- Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add in a pinch of salt and sugar, stir to combine and continue to cook for 20 minutes.
- After 20 mins, add in bacon and continue to cook until bacon is cooked through.
- Place mustard on the bottom of your bun and top with apple sauerkraut mixture.
- Remove Polska Kielbasa and cut to the same length as your bun. Then cut in half lengthwise. (You'll most likely have leftover kielbasa, which is never a bad thing)
- Top with cheese and place in the broiler for a minute, keeping a close eye on it. It can burn quickly.
- When the cheese has melted, remove from broiler, top with bacon and onion mixture, top bun and enjoy!
Hillshire Farm has some wonderful products such as the Polska Kielbasa that was used in this recipe. Be sure to check out their Sausage So Simple website which features recipes, tips and videos so you can enjoy their products and dishes in your home.
I used and LOVE this ” target=”_blank”>Paderno Vegetable Slicer. With over 6,100 positive reviews, you really can’t go wrong. I’ve spiralized anything from cucumbers, zucchini, potatoes and now apples. It’s easy to use, simple to clean and should find a place in your kitchen!
Enjoy and if you make this recipe, please share a photo on social media and hashtag it #strawberryblondiekitchen I ♥ to see your versions!
Also, check out my Oktoberfest Pinterest board for all things Oktoberfest with recipes, decor and tips on how you can throw your own Oktoberfest party at home!