This easy skillet dinner is a favorite for busy weeknights all Fall and Winter long.
Table of Contents
🗝️ Key takeaways
Kielbasa and cabbage with brown sugar is hearty, peasant-style comfort food with a sweet, smoky, tangy flavor that you don't want to miss out on.
- This hearty, delicious recipe is done in under a half hour, uses simple ingredients, and cooks in just one pan!
- Kielbasa sausage makes for a super easy weeknight meal and is a great game-day side dish on relaxing weekend afternoons.
- The best part is that you can make the cabbage a little softer or keep it more crisp, depending on how you like it.
Always a family favorite, this kielbasa and cabbage recipe comes together super easily—even beginner cooks can tackle it.
It's one of those hearty dishes that is packed with so much flavor you won't be able to resist going back for a second helping!
This is an overview of the ingredients. You'll find the full measurements and instructions in the green recipe card (printable) at the bottom of the page.
- Kielbasa is Polish sausage—I prefer the smoked kind. However, you could use turkey kielbasa, spicy andouille, or another type you prefer.
- Out of chicken broth? Use white wine, your favorite beer, or apple juice. Warm water works, too, but it's less flavorful than the other swaps.
- Feel free to amp up the spice by adding more red pepper flakes. For even more of a kick, add cayenne pepper or sliced jalapenos.
- Use olive oil in place of butter if you need a dairy-free dish. (Though, I don't feel the final result is quite as rich without it.) Sometimes, I'll use bacon grease instead, and that's really tasty.
This is an overview of the instructions. Full instructions are in the green recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter and saute the onions.
- Add the sausage and cook until it starts to brown.
- Carefully pour in the broth, garlic, vinegar, brown sugar, and seasonings.
- Add the sliced cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened.
🥫 How to store leftovers
This one-pan meal is super easy to prepare, but you know what's even easier? Preparing the leftovers!
Here's how to do it.
Let the kielbasa and cabbage cool down, and then spoon it into an airtight container or cover it with plastic wrap. Store it in the fridge for up to five days.
After the kielbasa and cabbage has cooled to room temperature spoon it into an airtight freezer container or freezer storage bag.
Freeze for up to two months. Just a note: after freezing, cabbage isn't quite as crisp.
I recommend thawing frozen leftovers overnight in the refrigerator. Then, you can heat it up on the stove over medium heat for just a couple of minutes.
For quicker reheating, simply use the microwave. Stir every 30 seconds or so until it's warmed to your liking. Enjoy!
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: Cut the cabbage into square-shaped, thick slices rather than super thin strands. It'll cook better and won't get mushy as quickly.
- I prefer to buy a head of cabbage rather than the pre-cut kind in a bag. It's generally fresher, and you can control the size of the cabbage cuts.
- After adding the broth, scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet with a flat spatula. That's where a ton of flavor hides!
- If you prefer a more tender cabbage, let it simmer for a little longer.
- On the other hand, if you like fried cabbage to taste a little more crisp, reduce the cooking time by a few minutes.
- Don't add too much salt without taste-testing. Smoked sausage tends to have a lot of added salt, so you might not need much more.
Yes, I recommend cooked sausage in this recipe. You can usually buy it smoked (which means it is cooked) at the grocery store. Otherwise, it'll take a little longer to cook the sausage rounds from raw.
Yep, washing fresh vegetables and produce is always a good idea. You can wash the leaves individually or chop them and then rinse it all in a colander. Dry it well.
You can, but green cabbage has a more mild flavor that most people prefer. Plus, red cabbage can give the dish a purple-brownish hue that isn't quite as appealing to the eyes.
Yep! Apple cider vinegar adds a bit of a tang that makes each bite taste more well-rounded. However, it is a sweeter vinegar, so you don't really notice a super sharp flavor once it all comes together.
📚 Related recipes
- Comforting, homestyle Braised Pork and Red Cabbage simmers in the slow cooker for a meal that is as hearty and delicious as it is easy.
- Crockpot Smoked Sausage and Potato Casserole is a go-to in my household! It's easy, cheesy, and the whole family loves it.
- Try this kielbasa and pierogi skillet, too. It's so hearty and comforting.
🍽️ Serve with...
- Buttered egg noodles are a staple for kielbasa and cabbage, but you can take things up a notch with classic, old-fashioned Noodles Romanoff.
- Homemade Potato Rolls are fresh and light, with a bready texture you'll want to dive into. Their sweet flavor is great with a smoky main course.
- After a hearty dinner, finish everything off with these sweet and soft Pumpkin Gooey bars—we love 'em all fall and winter long!
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📞 The last word
One-pot meals like this one make weeknight dinners easy!
If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need.
If you love this recipe please comment below and give it 5 stars!
Kielbasa and Cabbage SkilletPrint Save Saved!
- 2 tablespoons butter, or bacon grease
- 1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 12 ounces kielbasa sausage, sliced into rounds
- 2 garlic clove, minced
- 1 medium green cabbage, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder, optional
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
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- Melt butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet or heavy stockpot.
- Add onion and cook until crisp tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add sausage and cook until it is lightly browned on both sides.
- Add garlic and remaining ingredients. Stir to mix everything well. Cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.