This simple Kielbasa and Cabbage Skillet recipe is a classic Polish sausage dish that happens to be keto friendly. A quick and easy comfort food recipe featuring fried kielbasa sausage, onions and seasoned cabbage.
This is one of my favorite kielbasa recipes and for a perfect low carb easy weeknight meal. You can also serve the cooked cabbage and sausages with a side dish of buttered egg noodles as a hearty family dinner. If you love kielbasa, this simple skillet meal is a must try.
Fried Kielbasa and Cabbage: Polish Comfort Food
Polish kielbasa smoked sausage and cabbage are a traditional combination (as is the sausage with sauerkraut). The kielbasa and cabbage skillet dinner is classic Polish comfort food. Unlike most old school comfort foods, this is not a heavy meal.
I used regular pork kielbasa to make the skillet. Use turkey kielbasa to lighten the meal even more and reduce saturated fat. I personally have not seen a chicken sausage version, but I suppose something like a chicken andouille sausage would work out.
Cabbage and Kielbasa a Great Keto Combo!
It is actually low carb (7 net grams of carb). There's no potatoes or pasta, cabbage makes up the bulk of the plate, with a normal sized serving of kielbasa nestled in the chopped sautéed seasoned cabbage with onion and garlic.
If you are being super strict on Keto, you may wish to swap 1 tablespoon onion powder and a ½ teaspoon of garlic powder for the fresh versions. Doing this will save you about 10 grams in the overall dish and roughly 2 per serving. Making the low carb dinner approximately 5 net carbs per serving.
Quick Budget Comfort Food
This is a 20 minute dinner from start to finish, if you are relatively fast at chopping.
Plan on another 5 minutes, if you are slower with your knife skills. Either way, the speed of preparation makes this a great recipe to prepare for a weeknight dinner.
Another benefit of this pan fried kielbasa and cabbage skillet recipe is it's low cost. Kielbasa is nor particularly expensive and cabbage is cheap.
How to Make Kielbasa and Cabbage
This one pan meal is not complicated at all. I'll walk you through it here and there is a video included if anything is unclear. The printable recipe card can be found below.
The recipe makes 6 servings.
Prep Time: 5 mins | Cooking Time: 15 mins | Total Time: 20 mins
Ingredients You Need
Here is everything you need to make this simple and delicious kielbasa cabbage skillet.
- 14 oz kielbasa rope, sliced
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (or any sautéing oil such a avocado or vegetable)
- 1 medium onion, chopped (I used a sweet onion)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard (use Dijon mustard if you prefer)
- ¼ teaspoon sea or Kosher salt or season with salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- medium head green cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)*
- ½ teaspoon caraway seeds ***optional I personally loathe caraway seeds, perhaps because my mom used too much caraway seed in her cooking. Dill seeds are another option.
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes ***optional
*Chicken broth or bone broth can be swapped for the vinegar if you prefer.
Now let's get to cooking this delicious dinner!
If you haven't already, slice the sausage, core and chop the cabbage, chop the onion and mince the garlic cloves. I like to cut the sausage on a slight diagonal.
Removing the core of the head of cabbage before chopping, helps with even cooking. The core is quite tough, if only fried.
Place a Dutch oven or deep very large skillet or over medium high heat. Pour in half the oil and add kielbasa. Sauté for about 5-6 minutes stirring occasionally to render fat and lightly brown the edges of kielbasa slices. Remove the sausage to a bowl, leaving the fat in the pan.
Add onion and garlic in the pan along with the whole grain mustard, salt and black pepper. Sauté for about 2 minutes. This is also when you would add the red pepper flakes if you are using them.
Once lightly browned, add cabbage a bit at a time, mixing to coat as you do. Once it is all in the pan, reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook cabbage for about 6-7 minutes, stirring a couple times to evenly cook.
Remove the lid and pour in the apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar). Toss, then dump the kielbasa back in the pot. Mix and cook another minute, uncovered. The cabbage is tender, yet still has a slight crispness.
Season the kielbasa and cabbage skillet with more salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately. I advise you actually taste, as there is already salty kielbasa in the dish.
Variations on the Recipe
As with all classic recipes, there are many common variations. Here are some you may like to adjust this comforting dish:
- For speed and convenience, use pre-shredded cabbage, coleslaw mix or even shredded brussels sprouts to make the dish. The results will be more in an "egg roll in a bowl" style, and while I prefer the larger slices, it does save time, both in cutting and cooking. You can also use red cabbage, napa cabbage or savoy cabbage if you prefer.
- Add bacon or turkey bacon pieces when frying the kielbasa for even more meaty flavor!
- Some readers like to add green pepper or or sweet red bell pepper and even thinly sliced carrots in stir fries like this and they are a nice compliment to the dish.
- As turkey sausage tends to be lower in fat, swapping in a turkey kielbasa is also a popular choice.
What to Serve with Kielbasa and Cabbage
There are so many yummy options to complete this satisfying cabbage and sausage meal! Here are a few:
- Noodles - As mentioned above cooked egg noodles are a popular choice to serve with this recipe. The cooked noodles can even be tossed into the mixture.
- Potato sides - Baked potato, roasted baby potatoes, mashed potatoes and potato salad are all good choices. I am particularly found of yellow or red potatoes with the smoked sausages. Try my crockpot mashed potato recipe or crispy oven fried potato wedges.
- Pierogies are a great traditional side with Polish sausage and cabbage. Serve them either fried, steamed, boiled or try air frying pierogies.
- Brown or white rice with a little butter is a simple side dish solution that works. The cooked rice can also be stir fried with the sausages and cabbage, if you have a large enough skillet.
- Crusty bread is a quick and easy carb to serv along with this cabbage and sausage skillet. Rye bread in particular would pair well with the Polish sausage and fried cabbage.
- For those looking for low carb sides, team the dish with cauliflower rice pilaf, roasted turnips, cauliflower tots, Konjac noodles or keto bread.
- Grainy mustard and horseradish are traditional condiments served with the sausage. Of course, a nice big dollop of sour cream is a delicious topping for this kielbasa dish too. Try my seasoned sour cream with it.
Store any leftover kielbasa and cabbage skillet dinner in an airtight container promptly after cooling. It will last in the fridge for 3-4 days. [ref]
No I don't recommend freezing the sausage and cabbage recipe. Cooked cabbage tends to get mushy and unappetizing when frozen.
The high fat content of Kielbasa actually makes it a good choice for the ketogenic diet. It is also high in sodium, which many keto dieters find beneficial.
Be sure to check labels though as carb counts will vary based on brand, and some may not be good choices.
Cabbage is a great vegetable choice for anyone watching their carbs and eating keto due to it's low net carb content. Cruciferous veggies have a good deal of health benefits and cabbage when lightly sauteed, as in this recipe maintains a nice crunchy texture.
More Recipes you May Like
- Mustard Dill Oven Fries
- Chicken Cabbage Stir Fry Keto Recipe
- Sheet Pan Sausage and Vegetables
- Sausage and Pepper Soup
Kielbasa and Cabbage
- large deep nonstick or cast iron skillet or Dutch oven
- 14 oz kielbasa rope sliced
- 2 tablespoon olive oil or any sauteing oil such a avocado or vegetable
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard use Dijon mustard if you prefer
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Ground pepper to taste
- 1 head cabbage medium sized, cored and chopped (green cabbage, not purple)
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes optional
- ½ teaspoon caraway seeds optional
- If you haven't already, slice the sausage, core and chop the cabbage, chop the onion and mince the garlic.
- Place a deep large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Pour in half the oil and add sausage. Sauté for about 5-6 minutes to render fat and lightly brown the edges of kielbasa slices. Remove the sausage to a bowl, leaving the fat in the pan.
- Dump the onions and garlic in the pan along with the whole grain mustard, salt and pepper. Saute for about 2 minutes. This is also when you would add the red pepper flakes or caraway seeds if you are using them.
- Add the cabbage a bit at a time, mixing to coat as you do. Once it is all in the pan, reduce heat to medium and cover to cook cabbage. Cook for about 6-7 minutes, stirring a couple times to evenly cook.
- Remove the lid and pour in the vinegar. Toss, then dump the kielbasa back in the pot.
Mix and cook another minute, uncovered.
- Season with more salt and pepper to taste if you like before serving.