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Slow Cooker Cabbage and Sausage (Crockpot)

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This delicious slow cooker cabbage and sausage recipe makes a simple and satisfying meal, perfect for the cold winter months; it is comfort food at its best.

overhead view of cabbage with sausages in a white bowl with bread and thyme around it.

We love any kind of cabbage stew, for instance, vegetarian Stewed Cabbage, Ribs and Cabbage, Romanian Cabbage Rolls, or Indian-style Turmeric Cabbage.

This easy recipe for slow cooker cabbage and sausage makes no exception; it’s everything a cabbage dish should be: comforting and satisfying, great flavor, one of our favorite slow cooker recipes. Cabbage is perfect for slow cooking; it turns tender and sweet, with occasional crispy edges; you will love it!

Why will you love this recipe?

  • Hardly any work involved: do a bit of chopping, cook the bacon and onions shortly in the pan, dump everything in the crockpot or slow cooker and leave. 3 to 6 hours later, dinner is ready.
  • Budget meal: the recipe uses just a few relatively cheap ingredients.
  • Crowd pleaser: even if you think the kids are not into cabbage yet, they will love this dish; it’s a great recipe for the whole family.
  • Versatile: use any kind of sausages you like.
  • Great low carb dish: very filling; you will probably not need any starchy side dishes.
bowl of cabbage and kilebasa served with bread.

Expert tips

  • A crockpot is a slow cooker brand, but not every slow cooker is a crockpot, as many other brands manufacture slow cookers today. You can use either one for cooking this dish.
  • If using bought chicken stock, make sure it’s low sodium. Otherwise, the slow cooker cabbage and sausages might be too salty in the end. It’s preferable to use low-sodium and adjust the taste at the end.

Recipe ingredients

listed ingredients for cooking cabbage with kabanos on the table.

White cabbage:

  • You will need about 2 lbs (1 kg); a bit more or less is OK. That would be about one small head of cabbage or 1/2 a large one.

Sausages:

  • I use cabanossi or kielbasa most of the time; both Polish smoked sausage types readily available where I live. Kielbasa is the general term for Polish sausage, but around here, we can buy the cabanossi (thin long cured sausages) or different types of cured/smoked sausages, all sold under the name of kielbasa with another Polish word added after.
  • However, you can cook this dish with andouille sausage, Spanish chorizo, other cured pork sausage, or whatever it’s common where you live.

Bacon:

  • Or pancetta. I prefer pancetta because I can cut it into pieces myself (or buy it chopped into larger pieces), while bacon comes in thin slices most of the time.
  • When it comes to taste, they are both delicious.

Stock:

  • I use homemade chicken stock most of the time.
  • Bought chicken stock is excellent if you ensure it is not too salty.

Other vegetables: onions, garlic, carrots. You can add one teaspoon of caraway seeds if you like them. I usually do, but I run out of them and didn’t notice it on time.

Spices: fine sea salt, black pepper, dried thyme, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes.

Other ingredients: tomato paste and brown sugar.

Recipe steps

  • Prepare cabbage: Half the cabbage and remove the core. Chop the cabbage into bite-size pieces (roughly 1 inch/ 2.5 cm pieces) and place it in the slow cooker bowl.
  • Chop bacon and onions.
  • Pan fry bacon on medium heat for 1-2 minutes until the fat is rendered.
  • Add chopped onion and cook, often stirring, for another 2-3 minutes until the onion is softer.
  • In the meantime, whisk the tomato paste into the stock. Pour chicken broth into the crockpot or slow cooker.
  • Slice the sausages and carrots, grate the garlic.
  • Add sausage pieces, sliced carrots, and garlic to the pot, add bacon and onions (1).
  • Sprinkle the spices on top of the vegetables (2).
collage of two pictures of uncooked cabbage in a crockpot.
  • Mix well (3).
  • Cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours. Check that the cabbage is done to your liking, and increase the cooking time slightly if you feel it needs more time (4).
  • Adjust the seasoning and sprinkle with fresh thyme or parsley before serving.
collage of two pictures of uncooked and then cooked cabbage and sausages in slow cooker.

Recipe FAQ

Can you cook this dish on the stovetop?

Of course, the original recipe is cooked without a slow cooker.
Chop everything. Cook bacon and onions as instructed in a large pot with a lid. Add cabbage and saute it, often stirring, for about 5 minutes; it should be wilted by now. Add sliced sausage and vegetables and all the remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes until the cabbage is soft. If there is too much stock left in the pot, remove the lid during the last 5-10 minutes of the cooking time so that most of the liquid can cook off.

How to store and reheat?

Store crockpot cabbage and sausages in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days. Like any good cabbage dish, it will improve each time you reheat it.
Reheat on the stovetop in a saucepan, add a splash of stock or water, and stir often.
Freeze in airtight containers; it will be ok for at least 2-3 months. Defrost and reheat well before serving.

What to serve with it?

My first choice for slow-cooked cabbage dishes is crusty bread, French-baguette or ciabatta style, or hearty sourdough bread.

Otherwise, you can serve this crockpot cabbage and sausages with boiled potatoes.

Rice and noodles should be OK, but not typical, not something I would choose unless I didn’t have any bread or potatoes in the house.

I almost always serve slow cooker cabbage and sausage in a typical Eastern European way (grandma’s way) with homemade pickles.

close up cooked cabbage and sausages decorated with thyme in a bowl.

More slow cooker or crockpot recipes

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overhead view of cabbage with sausages in a white bowl with bread and thyme around it.

Slow Cooker Cabbage and Sausage (Crockpot)

This delicious slow cooker cabbage and sausage recipe makes a simple and satisfying meal, perfect for the cold winter months; it is comfort food at its best.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Beef, Pork and Lamb
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Servings: 4
Calories: 732kcal
Author: Adina

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker/ Crockpot

Ingredients 

  • 2 lbs white cabbage 1 kg
  • 4.5 oz bacon or pancetta 125 g, Note 1
  • 1 onion 5.5 oz/ 150 g
  • 2 cups chicken stock 500 ml, Note 2
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 14 oz sausages smoked/cured, 350 g, (Note 3)
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt or Kosher
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • fresh thyme or parsley optional

Instructions

  • Cabbage: Half it and remove the core. Chop the cabbage roughly (1 inch/ 2.5 cm pieces) and place it in the slow cooker.
  • Chop bacon and onions.
  • Cook bacon for 1-2 minutes in a pan until the fat is rendered. Add the onions and cook, often stirring, for another 2-3 minutes until the onion is softer.
  • Slice carrots and grate garlic cloves.
  • In the meantime, whisk the tomato paste into the stock. Pour everything into the slow cooker.
  • Combine: Slice the sausages, place them on the cabbage, add bacon and onions, carrots, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, brown sugar, sweet and smoked paprika, chili flakes. Mix well.
  • Cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours. Check that the cabbage is done to your liking and increase the cooking time slightly if you feel it needs more time.
  • Adjust the seasoning and sprinkle with fresh thyme or parsley before serving.

Notes

  1. I prefer pancetta because I can chop in cubes myself or buy it chopped into larger pieces. However, bacon slices are fine. They should be roughly chopped.
  2. It is preferable to use low sodium stock. Adjust the salt you need accordingly.
  3. Most of the time, I use kielbasa/cabannosi; they are smoked/cured Polish sausages. However, you can use other kinds of links like chorizo, andouille, and so on.

Nutrition

Calories: 732kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 60g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 27g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 1271mg | Potassium: 970mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 3337IU | Vitamin C: 90mg | Calcium: 146mg | Iron: 4mg
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