Smoked Sausage, Kale and Cider Quinoa Skillet Recipe

Yields: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12-14 ounces smoked sausage (kielbasa, andouille, or your favorite), sliced into ½-inch rounds
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cups chopped kale (stems removed)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried sage)
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (adjust to taste)
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (optional)


1. Prep work: Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine-mesh sieve. Chop the kale, dice the onion, and slice the sausage.

2. Sauté the sausage and vegetables: Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sliced sausage and cook for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Stir in the chopped kale and sage, and cook until the kale wilts (about 2 minutes).

3. Add the liquids and quinoa: Pour in the apple cider and broth. Season with a little salt and pepper (remember the sausage is often salty). Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the rinsed quinoa.

4. Simmer and fluff: Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and has absorbed all the liquid.

5. Finishing touches: Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the dried cranberries (if using). Let the dish rest, covered, for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Fluff the quinoa with a fork before serving.


Customize it: This recipe is very flexible. Add garlic, other herbs, or spices for additional flavor.

Make it vegetarian: Swap out the smoked sausage for a vegetarian sausage alternative.

Adjust the liquid: If the quinoa seems dry before it’s finished cooking, add a little more broth or water.

Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


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