Smoky kielbasa sausage and healthy cabbage come together in this delicious and healthy Stir Fried Cabbage and Kielbasa recipe. Make this as a light dinner or a side dish. Keto-friendly option included, too!
Cabbage and kielbasa
This cabbage and kielbasa recipe is one of my go-to's for a healthy light dinner or side dish because it's such a simple recipe that requires only a few ingredients.
This recipe is inspired by my grandma's cooking - she often makes a similar dish but using chopped hot dogs instead of kielbasa.
Why does she use hot dogs? Well, for 2 reasons:
1) Kielbasa and sausages were not always easy to come by in Ukraine where we used to live, hot dogs were much more available and affordable
2) We loved hot dogs as kids so she would make this with hot dogs, just to get lots of nutritious cabbage into us.
But kielbasa is definitely the more widely used meat for sauteed cabbage!
Related recipe: Golubtsi - Stuffed Cabbage
Is this recipe healthy?
I think so! Cabbage is very nutritious and is packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber while being very low in calories.
I love cooking with cabbage because it cooks down so much and reduces in size. So it's a great way to eat a huge portion of vegetables without munching on a salad for days on end. When you make this recipe, you'll see how much chopped cabbage you start out with, and how it is only about half the size when cooked.
I admit kielbasa is probably not the healthiest protein option. But if you're going to enjoy some kielbasa, might as well pair it with a generous serving of cabbage, right?
And yes, this can be a keto-friendly cabbage recipe. Just keep reading!
Related recipe: Sauteed Cabbage with Bacon
Ingredients to make fried cabbage and kielbasa:
- Small cabbage, about 2 lbs
- 1 lb kielbasa sausage
- 1 medium or large yellow onion
- Salt, pepper, sugar (yes! a tiny bit of sugar - unless you're keeping it keto), and some olive oil
Cabbage, onions, and packaged kielbasa generally last for weeks when they are refrigerated, so this is a good recipe to keep in mind when planning out your meals for the week. I typically use up other perishable groceries within a few days of food shopping, but then keep the ingredients for this recipe on hand to make a quick healthy meal later in the week.
Why the sugar??
Adding a little sugar as the cabbage is cooking makes the recipe taste a little less "cabbage-y." Don't worry, the sugar won't make this cabbage recipe taste sweet. It's a personal preference whether to add sugar or not - I sometimes add it and sometimes skip it.
Keto cabbage and kielbasa:
If you're following a keto or a low carb diet, you can still make this recipe! Just skip the sugar and follow the rest of the recipe to make keto cabbage and kielbasa.
How to cook cabbage and kielbasa:
This whole dish is cooked in one pan! So easy. Just get a large pan that has high sides so that it can fit all the cabbage. If you don't have a large pan, you can always add the cabbage in two batches - add half and cook until it cooks down, then add the rest of it. Here's how to cook cabbage and kielbasa:
1. Start by frying the kielbasa in a large skillet with high sides.
For a more hands-off recipe, you can air fry the kielbasa slices, then add those to the pan. It's a time saver—you'll have 7 minutes to dice onions and cabbage while the kielbasa cooks in the air fryer.
2. Set the fried kielbasa aside and add the chopped onion.
3. Add the chopped cabbage to the onion, season, and cook for 10-25 minutes, depending on your preference. Just stir it once in a while.
4. Add in the cooked kielbasa and stir. Done!
Looking for more cabbage recipes or kielbasa recipes?
I got you covered. Try these reader favorites:
- Easy kielbasa bites - a 3 ingredient appetizer!
- Shrimp and sausage skillet - another easy one-pan low carb dinner with bell peppers
- Sauteed cabbage with bacon
- Sweet and sour cabbage and pork stir fry
- Savory cabbage pancakes
Looking for more easy healthier dinner recipes?
- Skinny chicken Alfredo spaghetti squash
- Shrimp Alfredo spaghetti squash
- Mozzarella and spinach stuffed chicken breast with roasted tomato
- Sweet potato and black bean chicken soup
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a star rating and a comment below. And don't forget to save it on Pinterest for later!
Fried Cabbage and Kielbasa Recipe
- 1 lb pre-cooked kielbasa sausage - , sliced into ½ inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion - , roughly chopped
- 1 small green cabbage - , thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon sugar - (optional, skip for keto recipe)
- ½ - 1 teaspoon salt - , to taste
- freshly ground black pepper - , to taste
- Preheat a large skillet. Add a splash of olive oil to the pan to the preheated pan and add the sliced kielbasa. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, or until it is nicely browned and heated through. Remove the kielbasa to a plate.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the same pan, and add the chopped onion. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until it softens.
- Add the sliced cabbage and stir. (See notes.) Add the sugar, salt, and pepper, and stir well. Cook over low-medium heat for 10-25 minutes (see notes), stirring every few minutes.
- Once the cabbage is cooked to your liking, add in the cooked kielbasa, stir, and cook 2 minutes to heat everything through. Season with more salt, if desired, and freshly ground black pepper. Serve hot.
- You might need to add the cabbage in 2 steps if it doesn't fit all at once: add half, let it cook down for 3-5 minutes, then add the rest.
- Cook the cabbage to your liking - I typically cook it between 10-25 minutes, depending on how crispy or cooked I want it to be.
The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.
This recipe was first published in 2015 with really awful pictures: