Did you know that kielbasa and smoked sausage are traditional parts of many Polish, Czech, Slovak and Ukrainian Easter dinners.
I found this out 20+ years ago when I went to my first Easter dinner with my husband’s family. I was used to ham, lasagna, lots of meatballs and wedding soup but, there in front of me was sausage, pirogies, paska bread, hrutka and (thank goodness) ham. In my family we ate kielbasa and sausage but not for Easter dinner, we ate pirogies, but the were out of a box and they had potato filling, not homemade ones filled with lekvar, sauerkraut or cottage cheese. And what the heck was that hrutka stuff? I have to admit I didn’t eat much more than the ham that first Easter. Grandma kept asking me if I wanted something else and I respectfully declined and couldn’t wait to get to my aunts house and have pasta.
It was so interesting to me at age 16 how ethnicity could so drastically change a holiday meal. I can’t remember how long it took her to catch on, but after awhile God bless her soul she started making potato pirogies just for me. Over the years I grew accustomed to (and even learned how to make some parts of) that Slovak Easter dinner (as well as Christmas dinner) and miss it now that Grandma is gone. I always teased that someday I would show his family a real holiday dinner (Italian style) and I never did
I love that my children experienced different food traditions and will hopefully continue those traditions with their families some day. What does your traditional Easter dinner consist of? I’d love to hear about it. I think it would be fun to celebrate a different ethnic tradition each year to teach the kids (and learn myself) about other cultures and their food traditions.
Whether you traditionally have kielbasa and sausage at Easter or are thinking of trying something new and different, I have a few recipes from Hillshire Farm that will help get you started.
- 1 pkg. Hillshire Farm® Smoked Sausage (or any other Hillshire Farm sausage of your choice)
- 8 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1½ teaspoons dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut sausage into ½“ cubes; set aside. Place eggs, cream, dry mustard, salt and black pepper in a large bowl; whisk until smooth.
- Stir in sausage, 1 cup of cheese and green pepper. Pour egg mixture into a greased 13×9-inch baking dish.
- Bake 40-45 minutes or until eggs are set. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Baked Penne with Sausage
- 1 pkg. Hillshire Farm® Smoked Sausage
- 8 ounces (about 2½ cups) uncooked penne pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 small jar (14 ounces) prepared pasta sauce
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut sausage into ½” slices; set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and keep warm.
- Cook sausage in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove sausage from pan; keep warm.
- Add butter to drippings in pan. When butter melts, add flour; cook and stir 1 minute. Add milk; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Add sausage, pasta, and both cheeses; toss gently to combine.
- Pour mixture into lightly greased 2-quart baking dish. Carefully spread sauce over pasta. Cover and bake 25-30 minutes or until edges are bubbling and center is hot.
Cheesy Potatoes and Sausage
- 1 pkg. Hillshire Farm® Smoked Sausage (or other Hillshire Farm sausage of your choice)
- 1 bag (20 ounces) refrigerated shredded hash brown potatoes
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- ¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Cut sausage into ½” cubes. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
- Spread mixture evenly in prepared pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Enjoy and have a blessed Easter.
Disclosure ~ Hillshire Farm sent me sausage to test out and try these recipes.