Sausage and Zucchini Stew (Zucchini Leczo)

Leczo z Cukinii

A stew may sound like a meal that’s way too heavy for the heat. But this colourful ‘Sausage and Zucchini’ version is different – it’s really bright and light. 

It’s a summery blend of sautéed bell peppers, zucchinis, onions, and seared Polish kiełbasa sausage. All of these lovely ingredients are gently stewed in a velvety tomato sauce.

In just 35 minutes, this veggie-packed gluten-free dinner can be ready for your dinner table.

For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know below.

This stew is a very popular version of the classic Polish Leczo. In some recipes, eggplants and squash are added as well.

Do you need any special ingredients or equipment to make this Zucchini Stew?

No, nearly all of the ingredients should be available at any major food store.

Ingredients for Polish-style Zucchini Stew with Sausage

The only ingredient that may be difficult to source is… the sausage. We need a pound of what’s internationally known as ‘Polish kiełbasa’ (that’s roughly 450-500 g). It’s a mildly spiced pork sausage, known in Poland as kiełbasa ‘zwyczajna’ or ‘wiejska’.

Here’s a guide on Polish kiełbasa, its types (there are dozens!) and how they differ.

In terms of equipment, we’ll need a deep frying pan or a wide cooking pot (with a lid).

What should you serve with this Sausage and Zucchini Stew?

In general, this flavourful Stew is a stand-alone dish, perfect for lunch or dinner. 

It gets paired with a portion of cooked grains (such as buckwheat, rice, barley) or with a slice of fresh bread. To make it even more special, serve it alongside these Polish Potato Pancakes.

When cooked without kiełbasa, Zucchini Stew can be served as a side, to be served with steaks or roast meats. 

Can you make this Zucchini ‘Leczo’ Stew another way?

No, not really. If you’re not a fan of sausage, you can use a different protein instead – such as chicken breast (diced and fried) or shrimp. You can also replace tomato passata with fresh tomatoes, just like in this Polish Leczo recipe.

What diets is this Zucchini Stew suitable for?

This recipe is suitable for those who avoid gluten and/or dairy. It’s also keto and low-carb friendly.

To make this stew suitable for vegetarians, choose for a meat-free sausage and replace the lard with a plant-based oil.

How long can you keep this Zucchini ‘Leczo’ Stew in the fridge?

Once served, don’t keep it out for more than 3 to 4 hours, tops.

Once the leftovers cool down, refrigerate them in a container with a lid for up to 3 days. Aim to reheat only a portion that you’re planning to consume at that time. Bell peppers and zucchinis overcook easily, so it’s not a good idea to reheat this dish repeatedly.

Can I freeze this Sausage and Zucchini Stew?

Yes, this recipe can be frozen. As soon as it’s completely cooled, move the dish into a freezer-friendly container with a lid, and place in the freezer. Label the box with a description and the date. Aim to consume within 3 months.

How do I reheat this Zucchini Stew?

From chilled: Reheat the stew in a saucepan on the stove, stirring frequently. Cook for 10-12 minutes on a medium heat, until hot throughout. If the stew gets too thick and starts to stick to the pan, add some more liquid (water, passata or stock). 

Alternatively, place the stew in a microwave-proof container with a loosely fitting lid. Heat for 4 to 7 minutes until heated thoroughly.

From frozen: Defrost overnight, then as above. Make sure it’s piping hot all the way through.

Smacznego!

Polish Zucchini Stew
Zucchini Stew

Sausage and Zucchini Stew (Zucchini Leczo)

Yield: 5-6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion (roughly 5 oz, 170 g), sweet or yellow
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 bell peppers (colours can very)
  • 3 zucchinis / courgettes (roughly just over 2¼ lb; 1kg)
  • 1 lb (450 g) kiełbasa sausage (in Poland, try ‘wiejska’ or ‘śląska’)
  • 1 tbsp lard, can sub with canola or olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Black pepper, ground
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • ½ tsp spicy paprika powder, or chili powder
  • 1 tbsp dried marjoram
  • 1 bottle (24.5 oz, 700 g) tomato purée passata
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Peel the onion and garlic cloves, dice them finely and set aside.
  2. Wash the vegetables thoroughly. You can peel the zucchinis, but that’s optional. 
  3. Chop off all the stems and ends from all the zucchini, then cut each one in half lengthwise through the center. Dice into pieces.
  4. Dice bell peppers, or slice them into strips. I usually do a “half & half” (half of them diced, other half sliced in strips). 
  5. Slice kiełbasa sausage into rounds.
  6. Drop a tablespoon of lard into a deep skillet/frying pan (or a wide cooking pot), and melt it on a medium heat.
  7. Add chopped onion, kiełbasa and garlic, fry together for 4-5 minutes on a medium heat.
  8. Add in bell peppers and zucchinis, season with salt and black pepper and stir everything together. 
  9. After 3 minutes of cooking, add in the spices and herbs: smoked paprika, spicy paprika and marjoram.
  10. Pour tomato passata in, and partially cover the pan with a lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes, monitoring and stirring from time to time. If you feel the texture gets too dense, pour in some water or stock.
  11. Serve hot, garnishing with parsley leaves before serving.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 327Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 689mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 16g

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Kasia Kronenberger

Kasia is the founder of Polonist, where she celebrates Poland’s very best food.
She’s a self-taught home cook, who – through her own culinary attempts – wants to show you how to recreate Polish flavours at home, wherever that is.
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