Can You Eat Kielbasa When Pregnant?


Following a healthy, nutritious diet is an inseparable part of a healthy lifestyle; the same goes for pregnant women. Expecting mothers should consume nutritious foods to support the healthy growth and development of the baby. Otherwise, having a risky pregnancy will be not far.

To be safe during pregnancy, you should check the safety of any food before including it in your diet. One of the popular foods you might crave while pregnant is Kielbasa. You might wonder whether it is safe for you and the growing fetus. Here we want to discuss eating kielbasa when pregnant.

Since kielbasa is processed meat, having it in large quantities can higher the risk of various forms of cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases. As a result, all aspects of consuming kielbasa pregnant should be considered before trying it during pregnancy.

This article on Hipregnancy provides you with all about eating kielbasa while pregnant to help you have a better experience of your pregnancy period, which is a unique time in every women’s life. Read on for more information.

Before starting the first part of this article about kielbasa and pregnancy, Hipregnancy team appreciates you for taking the time to read this post and staying with us. Let’s start!

What is kielbasa?

What is kielbasa

If you are pregnant and want to know whether it is safe to have kielbasa when pregnant, first you should know what kielbasa refers to. Kielbasa is a Polish word, used to refer to all sausages. To put it another way, kielbasa is not a single type of sausage and refers to all types of sausage in the Polish language.

Kielbasa is available in different forms, including fresh, smoked, and cured and people can have it in any way they want; cooked, baked, grilled, or boiled form.

Poland is famous for kielbasa and its different regions has their signature sausage. Here are popular varieties of kielbasa, including;

  • Biala Kielbasa (white kielbasa); a fresh, unsmoked, uncooked sausage, seasoned with garlic, pepper, salt, and marjoram, and made from pork shoulder.
  • Kielbasa Myśliwska; a thick, smoked, and dried hunter’s sausage made from pork with a touch of crushed juniper berry.
  • Kielbasa Cygańska (gypsy kielbasa); a deeply smoked sausage with a dark shade, made from seasoned pork, garlic, pepper, and salt.
  • Kabanosy; dried, smoked hunter’s sausage made with pork meat, garlic, salt, pepper, allspice, and sometimes caraway.
  • Kielbasa Czosnkowa; a simmered in hot water and lightly smoked, garlic sausage made with cured pork, black pepper, salt, garlic, marjoram, and sometimes coriander and paprika.
  • Kielbasa Krajina; a double-smoked country sausage made from chunks of pork instead of ground pork, ideal for cold cuts or grilling.
  • Kielbasa Żywiecka; a hardwood-smoked, beer sausage made with diced pork and sometimes beef, seasoned with garlic, pepper, and salt.

If you want to learn more about other types of sausage like chorizo and hot dog in pregnancy time, there is a complete guide on our two articles titled can pregnant women eat hot dogs and Chorizo while pregnant. If you are a fan of these sausage, don’t miss our post regarding their safety during pregnancy.

Now is the time to determine the answer to this question: “Is kielbasa okay when pregnant?” Keep reading to find the answer to the mentioned question in the following section.

[1: thespruceeats]

Is kielbasa safe for pregnancy?

Is kielbasa safe for pregnancy

Pregnancy has many ups and downs when it comes to diet due to the direct effect of what the mother eats on the health and growth of the unborn baby. Asking about consuming processed meat like kielbasa when pregnant is at the top of the frequently asked questions from pregnant women to their healthcare professionals.

In this part, Hipregnancy aims to help you learn what experts’ ideas are about having kielbasa pregnant, whether it is safe for you and the fetus.

Kielbasa is processed meat and about 80% of its calories come from unhealthy saturated fat. Consuming kielbasa is not forbidden during pregnancy, but it should be limited. Hipregnancy warns you about eating large quantities of kielbasa and foods like bacon when pregnant since they are high in nitrites and nitrates.

Polish sausage or kielbasa, which is high in unhealthy fats and sodium, can increase the chance of heart issues and colon cancer in pregnant women. Therefore, if you are craving kielbasa when pregnant, only have it in limited amounts once in a while.

Cooked kielbasa or a cold one? Which one is better for you while pregnant? Let’s find the answer in the following part.

Also Read: Truffle While Pregnant

Can you eat cooked kielbasa when pregnant?

Can you eat cooked kielbasa when pregnant

As a rule, pregnant women should eat thoroughly cooked foods; kielbasa is not an exception. But, is kielbasa cooked? No, kielbasa is not cooked itself; however, you should cook it before serving. Consuming completely cooked kielbasa when pregnant is considered safe, but you should limit your intake.

Kielbasa is not a healthy and nutritious food for pregnancy and it is recommended to have healthier options instead. But if you crave it, never try cold kielbasa pregnant. Cold kielbasa might be contaminated with harmful bacteria and increase the risk of foodborne illnesses during pregnancy.

If you are pregnant and want to consume kielbasa, cook it thoroughly beforehand. Don’t panic if you don’t know how to cook this Polish sausage. We will provide some instructions on how to cook kielbasa properly in the following parts.

Also Read: Ravioli While Pregnant

Can you eat sausage while pregnant?

Generally speaking, consuming sausage is considered safe for pregnant women, if it is fully cooked. But it doesn’t mean that you can have it anytime you want or as a part of your regular meal. You should limit your intake to minimize the risk of heart issues and cancers as it is high in unhealthy fats and sodium.

Eating limited amounts of cooked sausage in pregnancy will not harm you and the growing fetus; however, large quantities of it do. So, to be safe and give born to a healthy baby, you should have sausage in limited amounts.

For more, detailed information about sausage, check our article titled can pregnant women eat sausage. You can find a complete guide regarding the consumption of any kind of sausages while pregnant, like summer sausage, turkey sausage, sausage rolls, etc. Don’t miss this article!

How to prepare kielbasa in pregnancy?

How to prepare kielbasa in pregnancy

As we discussed in the previous parts, kielbasa should be cooked to be safe to eat during pregnancy. In another word, kielbasa must reach at least an internal temperature of 160 F to make it a pregnancy option.

If you have a thermometer, you can use it to check the internal temperature of kielbasa to ensure it is well-cooked. if you don’t have thermometer, just wait until kielbasa is steaming hot.

The followings are some safe ways to prepare kielbasa when pregnant;

  • Boil kielbasa for about 2-3 minutes
  • Grill it to an internal temperature of 160 F
  • Bake kielbasa in the oven for about 10 minutes
  • Heat kielbasa in the microwave for about one or two minutes.

Note; microwaving is not the best option for cooking processed meats like kielbasa while pregnant. But whenever you want to use it, make sure the inside temperature of the kielbasa is at least 160 F.

If you are a fan of lunch meat and want to know more about microwaving processed meats during pregnancy, check “can you eat lunch meat while pregnant”.

Risks associated with consuming kielbasa when pregnant

Pregnancy lowers your immune system and because of that, you should be extra careful about eating foods that might be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Uncooked or raw Polish sausage or kielbasa can be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, Toxoplasma Gondii, and Salmonella.

The potential risks of uncooked or raw kielbasa when pregnant are as follows;

  • Listeriosis may put your pregnancy at risk and cause miscarriage, premature labor, low birth weight, and infant death.
  •  In the early stages of pregnancy, Toxoplasmosis may cause your unborn baby to develop brain damage, and liver and eye disorders.
  • Salmonellosis can be passed to the unborn baby and result in giving birth to a baby having diarrhea and fever after birth. The chance of developing meningitis is not far for a baby, who is born with this infection. 

If you have any of the following symptoms after consuming kielbasa when pregnant, you should visit your doctor to prevent possible dangers. Symptoms that you should take them seriously, include;

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever and chills

To conclude, if you don’t want to get infected during pregnancy, you should cook kielbasa properly before trying it. Moreover, it is best to limit your intake and eat more nutritious foods instead to improve your overall health and take care of the growing fetus in the womb.

The following section is the last part of the article “Can you eat kielbasa when pregnant?” and provides you with easy and safe recipes to consume kielbasa.

Keep in mind that all these recipes and provided information are general guidelines for pregnant women and since each pregnancy is unique, you should consult your doctor for extra care.

Easy recipes to eat kielbasa during pregnancy

Here are three healthy, easy recipes to enjoy kielbasa when pregnant, including;

Roasted kielbasa and vegetables


  • 1pound smoked kielbasa
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow summer squash
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Dijon mustard, optional


  • First, all vegetables should be washed thoroughly. Then mentioned ingredients should be cut into 1-inch pieces.
  • Preheat oven to 400°, divide carrots, onions, and sweet potatoes between two greased 15x10x1-in. baking pans. Then drizzle with oil and roast for 25 minutes and stir occasionally.
  • Add squash, kielbasa, and zucchini to the pans. Then sprinkle with pepper and salt to taste. Roast until vegetables are tender for about 15-20 minutes longer.

At the end, transfer cooked kielbasa and vegetables to a serving bowl and toss to combine. If you like, serve with Dijon mustard.

Kielbasa spinach soup


  • ½ pound smoked kielbasa, halved and sliced
  • 1 carton (32 ounces) of chicken broth
  • 1 package (10 ounces) of frozen spinach
  • 2/3 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • A few drops of hot pepper sauce to taste


  • Combine the chicken broth, kielbasa, and spinach in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Then, add macaroni and beans, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for about 7-9 minutes, until macaroni is tender. In the end, add pepper sauce.

Smoked kielbasa with rice


  • 2 pounds smoked kielbasa, halved and cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 3 bacon strips, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup honey barbecue sauce
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 tbsp prepared horseradish (Read more about horseradish while pregnant)
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Hot cooked rice


  • Fry kielbasa, onion, and bacon until kielbasa and bacon are steaming hot and onion is tender.
  • Then, add barbecue sauce, horseradish, brown sugar, pepper flakes, and garlic. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for about 2-3 minutes.
  • When the sauce is thickened, serve the cooked food with rice.

[2: tasteofhome]

The last words

Pregnancy is a time that should take care of two, yourself and the unborn baby. Therefore, you should pay extra attention to what you should eat and not eat during this time.

As we discussed throughout this article on Hipregnancy, it is okay to consume kielbasa when pregnant if it is thoroughly cooked. Eating Polish sausage during pregnancy, even in cooked form, should be limited since it is high in unhealthy fats and sodium.

In sum, to have a free-risk pregnancy, limit the consumption of kielbasa in pregnancy and follow your doctor’s guidelines.

Hope you enjoyed this article. If there are still any unanswered questions or missed points, share them with us via comment.

Hipregnancy team is always here to help you!

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