feasting with friends

Feasting with Friends on the Road…Kielbasa Relish

Feasting with Friends went on the road… with friends… and food… to feast… with more friends. Such fun!

Six friends in all… feasting and feasting and feasting. So much feasting in fact, that fasting was required post road trip!


Good friends of ours recently moved cross country. A visit that previously involved a 4 hour plane trip is now a 4 hour car ride. Let the fun begin!

Before the recipe, I’ll offer a bit of background…

This group of six really likes to eat. Really, really likes to eat. We enjoy it so much, we once took a road-trip from Detroit to Louisville to Nashville to Memphis and back to eat. Eat BBQ. Eat fried chicken. Eat Southern delicacies. Have you ever spent 26+ hours in a car with friends over a 5 day period as an adult? No? Let me tell you, plan a trip now! We had just as much fun traveling as we did exploring new cities and dining. The kind of fun that your face hurts from smiling and laughing so much!

This recent trip was no exception. Eating, smiling, eating, laughing, eating and sharing. Repeat.


I have a difficult time visiting someone and not bring food. It’s just who I am. I have to share food. Once the weekend was put on the calendar, I knew what I wanted to bring. Just a couple of simple things to share. The first one, a sweet, I had made many times. In fact, the couple we were visiting had it at our home and I already knew they would enjoy a bite or two… No-Bake Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares, a recipe from Julie @ Hostess at Heart. Be smart, visit Julie… get the recipe… and make them today! Yum!!

The second recipe was new to me. It had been featured in a local paper via the Associated Press and I knew it was perfect for this group. A delectable (and extremely versatile) kielbasa relish.


The original recipe stated it was the perfect accompaniment to a cheese platter. It is indeed… but it’s also somewhat of a disservice. It is the perfect accompaniment to so much more than that!

It’s a superb bagel topper. Start with a toasted bagel, apply a schmear of cream cheese and top with a spoonful or two of slightly warmed kielbasa relish… Mmm. This combo happened to be our pre-departure feast along with lox and all the fixin’s. (Disclosure: This photo represents a re-enactment once home…lol.)


Or how about a pizza topper? Our lovely hostess, upon our departure, used leftover relish to top her homemade margherita pizza. How good does this look?

kielbasarelish1The hostess with the most-ess struck again with this offering… Scrambled eggs, relish and a smidgen of cheese. Be still my heart…


It was upon our return home that I made a second batch. With the above inspiration, I decided to pair the relish with potato pierogis. It was a pair made in heaven. Pierogis are a typical side dish in our home when serving kielbasa, so it just made perfect sense to top the pierogis with the relish. Let’s just say it was a “good call”!


I have one last idea to use this relish… My recent lunch! Yummy x2… my thanks go out to Jayne for this suggestion! … An absolutely brilliant idea! And many thanks to Hostess Joy for her contributions! ❤

sweetpotato2And now… the recipe! Don’t wait … whip up your own batch of this versatile relish today… what will you pair it with??

Kielbasa Relish

  • Servings: approximately 3 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


24 ounces smoked kielbasa, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
14 1/2-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
Salt and ground black pepper


In a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, cook the kielbasa and onion. Stir often, until caramelized, about 20 minutes.

Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring well.

Add the tomatoes, brown sugar, vinegar and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook, maintaining a simmer until thick and reaching jam consistency, 20-25  minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool slightly. Serve warm.

Note: This relish stores well in the refrigerator (I utilize a mason jar) and heats perfectly in the microwave.

Recipe adapted from the Associated Press, here.





  1. My husband would absolutely go crazy for this! He loves kielbasa. So many ideas for using it that I never would have thought of, but sound great, like on pizza. Mmmm. Your road trip sounds like so much fun! That’s my kind of traveling.

    • If your hub’s loves kielbasa, this relish will make him soooo happy! Traveling with this group of friends is a guaranteed good time… we’re thinking northern east coast for the next road trip… lobster, clam chowder, crabs. I drool just thinking about it! Thanks so much, Shari!

  2. First, how wonderful to travel with friends having so much in common… and food being the center of it all! Kielbasa relish sounds pretty interesting. I like that you presented many ways of yummy use. 🙂

  3. A road trip? If you’re going to attempt one, knowing that good food awaits along the way makes it so much more bearable, Sounds like you guys ate very well. This kielbasa relish is a new one on me, Nancy, but does it ever sound good. As I was reading the post, I couldn’t help but think of using it on pizza. Then up popped the pizza pic. Great minds do think alike, eh?

    • The relish was a “new to me” recipe as well, John. I’m so glad I found it though! Half the fun of a road trip with friends is the journey itself, though the food waiting at the next stop is the grand reward. 🙂 I’ll be making that pizza myself this weekend, as I was only able to enjoy the one pictured virtually. I’m positive it will be worth the wait…thanks so much, John!

  4. I have never heard about the kielbasa relish, shame on me!!! Looking at your pictures I am sure I would love it… besides food, I have to admit… you post talking about car journeys with friends made me a little homesick… those are moments that we have to take to heart.

    • Yes, Margy, they are moments I never take for granted! Thank you for your kind comment… For the record I had never heard of this relish before making it and now I will not forget it!

  5. Never in a million would I have ever thought of making kielbasa relish, I love kielbasa as a matter of fact had it for dinner tonight in soup. It’s probably my favorite sausage. Lovely recipe and I love all the different ways to use it. I know I would love to eat my way through a jar of this relish.

    • I’ll admit, I questioned whether this recipe would “work”… One taste and I was sold! I hope you get a chance to make your own batch soon! I’d love to hear how you use it as well…thank you, Suzanne!

  6. Oh my, let me count the ways you’ve used that yummy looking relish. Splendid Nancy, I can only imagine what it might have tasted like. Car journeys are such fun aren’t they? My husband always says “the journey itself is more important than the destination”. Throw in a group of friends, and you’re on a mission. Fun!

    • I cannot stress how good this was, Judi. We loved it with the pierogi…it made a perfect lunch! I hope you get a chance to sautee up your own batch soon! Thank you. 🙂

  7. Thank you so much for sharing and the shout out! I love the idea of your road trip. We are always trying to come up with places to visit together but I just love the idea of going willy nilly down the road to sample amazing food and spend time with friends. I love contributing when we are invited to friends houses too.

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