Peppery cabbage is the star of Haluski – a hearty, one-pot meal full of that tender crucifer, sweet onions, and a double whammy of crispy bacon and tender kielbasa ll mingling with chewy egg noodles.
I love a good kitchen gadget, but I generally steer clear of one-show ponies with very specific, limited uses (except for that countertop cupcake maker because, hello, cupcakes!).
I’d rather invest my money and counter space in versatile appliances that can do double- or even triple-duty around my kitchen. This search for versatility extends to cooking ingredients too.
We’ve all brought home some specialized ingredient, something we purchased for one specific recipe, and been scratching our heads wondering what to do with the leftovers.
I like ingredients that can do double- or triple-duty on my dinner table during the week, and a head or two of crisp, green cabbage definitely fits the bill. Cabbage is one of my favorite multi-taskers from the produce aisle both because of its general size (I can usually get at least two recipes out of one head) and its amazing flavors. Using it raw adds peppery crunch to fish tacos or a sweet and tangy slaw complement to a fat, pulled-pork sandwich.
The pickled Korean version, kimchi, adds a wonderful spiciness to Asian-inspired soups, and baked cabbage rolls (or even my Cabbage Roll Casserole) is one of my family’s favorite hearty winter meals.
Of course, the soft, buttery, braised version always makes an appearance when I serve corned beef or brisket too.
In slaw or other crunchy sides and garnishes, cabbage has a pungency and subtle heat, similar to a radish, which is why it works so well with fried and other rich, savory foods. If you haven’t ventured outside of the slaw zone, though (possibly because you’re not actually a fan of this crunchy crucifer), you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how mellow and sweet it becomes once it’s cooked. The transformation is pretty dramatic, honestly, and this Haluski recipe may just be your gateway dish to becoming a cabbage lover.
Haluski Recipe
Haluski (also called haluska in Hungarian), is the Slovakian name for an eastern European peasant dish that uses cabbage, aromatics likes onions and garlic, and plenty of rich, crispy bacon, to make a satisfying supper.

Most recipes will also include potato-based dumplings (Slovak haluski) or eggy noodles that blend in with the translucent chunks of cabbage and provide a lovely texture.

A more casual name for this dish is actually strapaty which means “shaggy” and refers to the texture of the traditional hand-cut noodles and cabbage resembling strands of hair.
The name “haluski” may sound familiar if you’re a Food Network fan (and comfort food aficionado) since they showcased a Polish haluski recipe from Diner Drive In and Dives in a Pittsburgh show. This recipe is a Haluski Pittsburgh-style (or Polish haluski) that uses egg noodles rather than the homemade spaetzle-like haluski dumpling).
A dear friend shared this recipe with me – a traditional haluski recipe from her grandmother. In her grandmother’s haluski recipe bacon wasn’t enough to make it a whole meal, though, so my friend altered the ingredient list to include plump pieces of garlicky kielbasa.
Haluski recipes begin with rendering some type of pork, usually bacon, and using the drippings to saute the rest of the dish. Bacon fat is definitely an indulgent flavor addition that shouldn’t be used on a daily basis, but there’s really nothing that builds the same salty, smoky, savory base like it does. I even like to use the bacon drippings to brown the slices of kielbasa, a quintessential Polish smoked sausage.
Haluski Recipe
Kielbasa” is actually a generic name in Poland for any sausage, but the product we typically find in the U.S. is a combination of ground pork and beef, with garlic and marjoram or other spices.
Don’t substitute a bulk sausage in this dish; just look for a flavorful, but mild smoked beef and pork combo if kielbasa isn’t available. Next you’ll melt some butter in the pan with all the drippings. Yes, butter. The milk fat lends a creamy quality to this dish that just can’t be duplicated with the pork and beef fat, plus it complements the natural buttery qualities of the pan-fried cabbage.
You’ll use all that goodness to heat up the aromatics, then incorporate just a pinch of brown sugar. The onions, cabbage, and even the kielbasa and bacon have their own subtle sweetness, and this little addition will make a big difference in highlighting all the nuances of flavor in these ingredients.
The sweetness is also a wonderful contrast to the warm, aromatic qualities of the main seasoning for this Haluski with kielbasa: caraway seeds. Similar in size and flavor to its cousin fennel, caraway seeds are the tiny ones you’ll find in the rye bread that bookends your favorite pastrami and sauerkraut sandwich. Caraway seeds have a more subtle licorice flavor than fennel and are a common complement to sauerkraut (yet another wonderful use for cabbage!) both on and off that Reuben. They’re a popular seasoning throughout Eastern Europe, and they
add a distinctive, earthy flavor to this dish.
I highly recommend bringing a little more cabbage into your life, and you won’t find a more filling, flavorful one-pot meal than this Haluski.
Haluski Recipe

Recipe Notes:

Cabbage – There are several varieties of cabbage: green or red, which is what we typically find in the grocery store, plus bok choy, savoy, and napa. You’ll want to use green in this recipe (and definitely avoid red unless you want pink Haluski). Rather than slicing or shredding the cabbage, you’ll want to chop it into bite size pieces. This will ensure the bites of cabbage are similar in size to the kielbasa and noodles so you can enjoy bites with bits of everything instead of wrestling long strands of cabbage.
 
Noodles – Egg noodles are usually readily available, and there are even “no-yolk” versions for anyone with an egg allergy. I’ve seen some recipes that use a thicker flat noodle, like pappardelle, though I’d definitely suggest breaking the noodles up before boiling. Since the original homemade noodles were rolled out and cut into pieces by hand, another trick is to break up lasagna noodles to create a more rustic look and feel.
Low and slow – Some home chefs like to let the slow cooker do the work on this recipe. While you’ll miss out on some of the brown crispy bits you can only create in a skillet, it’s a great alternative to enjoy this dish without stovetop slavery.
To make crockpot Haluski, brown the bacon and sausage, then transfer everything except the pre-cooked noodles to the crockpot and cook on high for 4-6 hours. Add the noodles during the last hour of cooking.

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