Have a delicious, Southern comfort food classic with this easy-to-make Fried Cabbage recipe. Kielbasa sausage is cooked with onions and cabbage to create an extra filling, hearty dish that can be served as either a side or main entree. Ready in about 40 minutes, it’s the perfect comfort food on cozy nights!
Our Southern fried cabbage recipe couldn’t be any easier or more flavorful. We use caramelized kielbasa sausage, sauteed onions and garlic, and thinly sliced green cabbage seasoned with savory spices for the easiest one-pan meal.
Ingredients and Possible Substitutions:
- Green Cabbage: We thinly slice the cabbage similar to coleslaw. You could swap it with coleslaw mix but the mix usually includes ingredients like shredded carrots and purple cabbage.
- Kielbasa: If kielbasa isn’t your favorite, try using smoked, andouille, chicken apple, garlic, or jalapeño sausage. We use pre-cooked sausage and slice it about 1/4-inch thick.
- Butter: We use unsalted butter. Salted butter also works, but you’ll want to adjust or omit the salt from the seasonings. Another option is a high smoke point cooking oil. Something like avocado, canola, or vegetable works well.
- Onions and Garlic: Diced white onion and freshly minced garlic add tons of flavor. Adjust the amounts or omit entirely if needed.
- Seasonings: Smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and thyme. Adjust any of these to your tastes.
How to Make Fried Cabbage with Kielbasa:
This one pan meal couldn’t be easier. The best part? You probably already have many of the ingredients in the pantry!
See the recipe card below for the ingredient amounts and full instructions.
- Heat a large pan over low-medium heat. Melt two tablespoons of butter in the pan and swirl to evenly cover the pan’s surface.
- Place the kielbasa in the pan in an even layer. Cook until one side browns around the edges. Then flip it over and cook the other side. Remove the sausage from the pan and transfer it to a plate.
- Add the onions to the pan, and cook until translucent then add the garlic. Continue cooking for an additional 30 seconds.
- Add the cabbage a little at a time until you’ve added about half the cabbage. Sprinkle with paprika, salt, pepper, and thyme.
- Cook the cabbage until it shrinks slightly then add the rest of the cabbage.
- Stir the cabbage frequently so it mixes with the other ingredients.
- Once the cabbage shrinks significantly, add the kielbasa back to the pan. Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired.
Tips for Success:
- Cut the kielbasa into circular pieces before adding it to the pan, as this will help it cook quickly and evenly.
- Finely slice or shred the cabbage so it cooks faster and absorbs more flavor.
- Add brown sugar for a touch of sweetness.
- Add extra seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, or oregano, for extra flavor.
- Mix cooked brown rice or noodles with fried cabbage for an easy meal option.
- Top your dish with grated cheese like cheddar or parmesan for an added cheesy kick!
- Pour in a bit of apple cider vinegar to give this dish a slight bite and balance the flavors.
Storage and Reheating Options:
Refrigerator: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
Reheat: For the best texture, reheat fried cabbage in a skillet over medium heat. For a faster option, microwave on half power until warmed through.
How do you cut cabbage for frying?
To cut cabbage for frying, begin by removing the outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the head into fourths then carefully remove the core. From there, cut each fourth into thin slices. You can also chop it into small chunks if desired.
For purposes of this recipe, I love to cut the cabbage into manageable pieces and then run it through the food processor with a slicing blade attached. It takes about 30 seconds to slice an entire head of cabbage.
Should you wash cabbage before frying?
Yes, you should always wash cabbage before frying. Cabbage can contain dirt and debris that could make the dish unappetizing or even unhealthy if not washed properly. Once washed, pat dry with paper towels or spin dry in a salad spinner.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 14 ounces kielbasa, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small head of green cabbage, about 2 pounds; sliced into thin strips
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- Heat a large pan over low-medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl to coat the pan.2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Place the kielbasa in the pan in an even layer. Cook until golden brown then flip to the other side. Cook until brown then remove to a waiting plate.14 ounces kielbasa
- Add the onions to the pan, and cook until they begin to soften then add the garlic. Continue cooking for an additional 30 seconds.1 medium white onion3 garlic cloves
- Begin adding the cabbage a little at a time until you’ve added about half the cabbage. Season with paprika, salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook the cabbage until it shrinks slightly then add the remaining cabbage a little at a time.1 small head of green cabbage1 teaspoon smoked paprika1 teaspoon salt¼ teaspoon ground black pepper¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- Stir the cabbage frequently so it has a chance to mix with the seasoning and touch the heat on the bottom of the pan.
- Once the cabbage shrinks significantly, add the kielbasa back to the pan, taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Serve warm! Scroll up and see the post for tips, FAQs, and storage options.