Kiełbasa and Cabbage Skillet

Duszona Kapusta z Kiełbasą z Patelni

Think a delicious one-pot dinner (made in just 30 minutes) is impossible? Well, think again! 

The secret to this Kiełbasa and Cabbage dish is starting with flavour-packed ingredients: pre-cooked Polish-style sausage is meaty and smokey, while fresh cabbage brings that pleasant sweetness (and will fill you up!)

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.

While it’s not a traditional Polish recipe by any means, this One-Pot ‘Kiełbasa and Cabbage’ is a spin on a classic Bigos stew.

Quicker and simplified, it’s a decent alternative if you don’t have time for an extended cooking session.

Do you need any special ingredients to make this Polish Sausage and Cabbage?

All of the ingredients should be available at any larger supermarket.

You’ll need around 8 ounces of what’s commonly known as ‘Polish kiełbasa’. This is a mildly spiced sausage, usually made of pork, but can be beef or turkey as well.

In Poland, ‘kiełbasa’ is a very broad term for all sausages, therefore more specifically, look out for kiełbasa ‘wiejska’ or ‘zwyczajna’ (‘podwawelska’ or ‘śląska’ sausages work too).

White cabbage can be substituted. I especially enjoy young spring cabbage; but savoy and napa cabbages are great for this recipe too.

What could you serve with this Kiełbasa and Cabbage?

This dish is very filling, there’s no need to overdo the side dishes. Some potatoes (mashed, baked or simply boiled, topped with butter) or a few slices of bread are more than enough.

In terms of drinks, I would suggest a pairing with a glass of cold Polish beer

Can you make this Kiełbasa and Cabbage another way?

This dish can be made in a slow cooker / crock-pot. I haven’t tried it myself, therefore I cannot recommend a specific method or a recipe.

Feel free to add more ingredients, for example champignons, bell peppers, courgettes/zucchini, peas, lentils, beans…

What diets is this Kiełbasa and Cabbage suitable for?

This recipe is suitable for those following a low-carb / keto diet. It’s also gluten-free.

How long can you keep this Kiełbasa and Cabbage in the fridge?

Once you’ve put it out, ideally you should eat it within 3 hours or so.

To store any leftovers, allow them to cool completely. Then move them into a container and cover with a lid. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze this Kiełbasa and Cabbage?

Yes, this dish can be frozen. 

Make sure to freeze the leftovers as soon as they have cooled. Move them into a freezer-friendly zip bag or a container, and label with a date and a description. Consume within 3 months.

How do I reheat this Kiełbasa and Cabbage dish?

From chilled: Place the dish in a microwave-friendly container (keep lid should be loosely fitted).  Heat until piping hot (4 to 7 minutes). 

From frozen: Allow the dish to thaw, ideally overnight in the fridge.

  • Microwave: Reheat in the microwave (covered) for 3 to 5 minutes. Then stir, but do be careful – it’s hot! Cook for a further 5 to 7 minutes, until the dish becomes piping hot. 
  • On the stove: Move all the contents into a pot or a frying pan. Cover it with a lid and cook for 3 to 5 minutes (on a high heat), stirring occasionally. If the dish starts to stick, pour some water in (stock works even better). Lower the heat to a medium/low and cook further for another 5 minutes until hot throughout. 


Skilled with with cooked cabbage with Polish sausage (kielbasa)
Skillet with with cooked cabbage with Polish sausage (kielbasa)

Kiełbasa and Cabbage Skillet

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 2.2 lb (1 kg) white cabbage, about 1 head
  • 1 large onion (7 oz, 200 g), yellow or white
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 8 oz kiełbasa sausage (Polish ‘zwyczajna’ or ‘wiejska’)
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) smoked bacon (optional)
  • 1 tsp lard, can substitute for any cooking oil (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste / concentrate
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika spice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • A handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped


  1. Wash the cabbage under running water. Even though the inside is usually clean (the outer leaves protect the inside), you might want to clean it anyway. Remove the tough outer leaves and discard them. Separate the inner leaves and wash them under running water.
  2. Shred the cabbage into ½ inch (1-1.25 cm) wide strips, chop it up. Set aside.
  3. Peel an onion and dice it finely. Finely chop the garlic with a knife. Cut kiełbasa sausage into chunks (rounds or cubes). Chop the bacon into pieces.
  4. Add bacon and kiełbasa pieces to the deep frying pan (or a cooking pot with a thick bottom). Cook over a low heat for a few minutes. There should be enough fat rendering, so there is no need to add any more. If you feel that it’s too dry, add a little bit of lard or oil.
  5. Add chopped onion and garlic to the pan, then add the shredded cabbage. Fry for 2-3 minutes, let everything soften a bit.
  6. Pour some water (or even better - some stock if you have it on hand) over the cabbage. I find that just under a cup is enough.  Add a bay leaf, allspice berries and black peppercorns.
  7. Simmer on low heat, covered, until the cabbage is tender (about 20 minutes).
  8. If you would like to fish out allspice berries and peppercorns, that’s a good moment to do so. I keep them in and just avoid them while eating.
  9. Finally, add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. Season the cabbage to taste with salt, pepper, a teaspoon of marjoram and a teaspoon of ground sweet paprika.
  10. Take the pan off the stove. Sprinkle the dish with chopped parsley. Serve with bread or with mashed potatoes for lunch or dinner.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 332Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 732mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 13g

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Kasia Kronenberger Polish food blogger

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