Polish Pasta Casserole

A pasta bake with a Polish twist.

The nice thing about casserole is you could have it every day of the year and never have to repeat the same one twice. There are endless combinations of ingredients to try out, and while some of those combinations might seem a little unusual, it’s not uncommon to find one that surprises you with its deliciousness. Take this Polish Casserole, for example. While tucking sauerkraut into a casserole might seem a little strange, you’ll actually find that its tang actually goes perfectly with a creamy sour cream-based sauce, smoky kielbasa, and nutty Swiss.

To make this sauce, you’re starting with a roux and building a bechamel, but then dressing it up with some Dijon mustard and sour cream. These both bring in a bit of acidity to balance the richness, and they echo the tang in the sauerkraut. The sauerkraut isn’t too sour though – it gets rinsed off and drained before everything gets mixed together to keep it from overwhelming the dish.

Any short pasta will work fine here, but penne has a nice way of catching that delicious sauce. You can think of it like mac and cheese with a Polish twist, but thanks to the kielbasa, it’s plenty hearty. It’s a flavor combo that’s a little unique, but it’s a seriously yummy one.

Polish Casserole

Prep 5m  Cook 45m

Ingredients
  • 4 cups uncooked short pasta, such as penne or fusilli
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (16 oz) jar sauerkraut, rinsed and well-drained
  • 1 1/2 lbs smoked Polish sausage or kielbasa, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 3 cups Swiss cheese, grated and divided
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter or nonstick spray.
  2. In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and let cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Gradually whisk in milk, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in garlic powder, Dijon mustard, and sour cream, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour sauce over pasta, and add the sauerkraut, sausage, green onions, and 2 cups of the cheese. Pour into prepared baking dish and top with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 30-40 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!