When you think pasta recipes, you probably think Italian, not Haluski. What a shame that is! You’ve been missing out on this simple Eastern European dish full of noodles, meat, cabbage, and tons of flavor. Like many traditional dishes, there are several variations of haluski that include dumplings, many different kinds of noodles, or no starch at all.
I’ve gone with the Americanized version which includes egg noodles. They’re a perfect match for the cabbage and meat. I know you’re going to love this hearty, flavorful dish!
Let’s get started!
This Haluski recipe has so many fantastic things about it! I love how you get a rustic, traditional feel with this dish without hours of labor like it would have once taken. Here are some other great things about Haluski:
- Powerful, bold flavors
- Hearty enough for a meal in itself
- Preps in less than 30 minutes
Haluski preparation is very straight forward, but here are a few tips to make it even easier.
Bacon makes it better– the traditional preparation begins with rendering down pork, like bacon, and then sauteeing everything in the drippings. Don’t be tempted to skip this! You’ll lose tons of flavor. The same goes for the butter.
Use real butter- no margarine! You’re not eating this every day, so don’t skimp on the flavor!
Veggie Prep- Remember this is a rustic, homey dish. Give your veggies a rough chop, particularly the cabbage. Cut the cabbage in bite-sized chunks, so you don’t have long strips of cabbage leaves to juggle. You want to be able to get a bit of everything in each bite.
Cooking time- You don’t want to overcook the cabbage. You just want it to cook until it becomes slightly soft. If you cook it too long, it gets a little soggy and slimy- definitely not what you’re going for!
Crockpot – 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.
Cabbage- You’ll want to use green cabbage. Red cabbage will turn your Haluski pink! Green holds up well to pan-frying, and it’s by far the most economical.
Caraway seeds- These little seeds pack a huge flavor punch. They pair beautifully with the cabbage and are very common in Eastern European cooking. With a milder, but similar, flavor to fennel, caraway seeds bring an earthy flavor that balances the dish.
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.
Sausage – 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.
Make sure you allow it to cool before you transfer the Haluski to its storage container. I like glass better than plastic, but whatever dish you use, make sure it is well-sealed.
Can You Freeze This?
The texture of the cabbage and pasta won’t be the same after a trip through the deep freeze. I wouldn’t suggest freezing this as a rule.
Make Ahead Tips
The best way to make Haluski ahead of time is to complete all the prep. Chop the meats and veggies and store them separately. You can even cook the pasta ahead of time. It’s best to cook it just before serving for best taste and texture.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
Leftovers will keep for about 3 -5 days in the fridge.
Meat and noodle dishes abound in different culinary cultures! Here are some variations on the Haluski theme!
What Other Hearty Noodle Recipe Can I Try?
Noodles make a great foundation for so many recipes. They’re the star of the show comfort food recipes like beef noodle soup and crockpot chicken and noodles. These recipes are like being wrapped in a warm hug and take me back to my Grandma’s kitchen!
Can I Use Beef Instead Of Kielbasa?
Kielbasa means ‘sausage’ in Polish and is usually made from a mixture of pork and beef. You could certainly use a beef sausage as a substitute. As far as straight beef, like chuck roast, you’re going to miss out on a lot of flavors.
Beef chunks do better in recipes like instant pot beef and noodles or crock pot beef and noodles. The beefy flavor compliments those dishes beautifully while sausage and bacon build the flavor foundation for Haluski.
Can I Use Chicken Instead?
There are some really great chicken sausages on the market. If you want to use chicken, I think some variation of chicken sausage would be your best bet. Plain chicken breasts or cooked chicken isn’t going to build the flavor profile like the one-two punch of sausage and bacon.
Can I Use Shrimp Instead?
While shrimp and cabbage are a classic Asian combo, the other flavors in this dish probably won’t complement seafood very well. As an alternative, I suggest something like shrimp chow mein.
In my shrimp lo mein, shrimp, noodles, and veggies come together in a quick and easy one-pan wonder!
What Other Proteins Can I Use For This Recipe?
Gourmet sausages are very popular and can really offer some different flavor profiles. Pancetta or ham could be alternatives for bacon but won’t give you quite the same taste.
The great thing about meat and noodle dishes like haluski or pork chow mein is that you can always try whatever you have on hand. It might not be traditional, but it’s still going to be delish! Look at turkey noodle soup. Not traditional, but every bit as heart-warmingly yummy!
Don’t be afraid to experiment and make the dish your own!
- 8 ounces egg noodles cooked per package instructions and drained
- 4 slices bacon diced
- 1 pound Kielbasa sliced
- 4-6 tablespoons butter divided
- 1 large yellow onions chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 8 cups cabbage cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving drippings in skillet. Set aside.
- Brown the Kielbasa in dippings and remove to plate. Set aside.
- Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in skillet. Add the onions, garlic, caraway seed then sprinkle with brown sugar and saute over medium-low heat until they soften about 8-10 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, cabbage, salt, and pepper and saute until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add cooked pasta to skillet and combine. Heat through. Adjust seasoning and served.
Simple, filling, economical- noodles have oodles of good things going for them. They transport all sort of delicious sauces and fill in the nooks and crannies of a hungry tummy like nothing else. I’ve got several noodle recipes that pack in loads of flavor with fast and easy prep!
- Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
- Lo Mein
- Chow Mein
- Garlic Noodles
- Stir Fry Noodles
You may never have heard of Haluski before, but I promise after one bite, you’ll never forget it! You’re going to fall head over heels for this hearty, homespun recipe. The cabbage, pasta, bacon, and sausage all play their parts and are perfectly seasoned with just a hint of sweetness.
This classic recipe will be one your family will request time and time again. Be sure to comment below and let me know how it goes!