Say hello to a fabulous, family-style, down-home, comfort food you may never have heard of…let me introduce you to haluski! When you think of pasta recipes, you probably think of Italian, and likely not, Eastern European recipes.
This simple recipe is a one-dish complete meal that’s hearty, full of noodles, meat, cabbage, and tons of flavor. Make room in your dinner rotation cuz your gonna want to add this gem.
Like many traditional dishes, every family has their own recipe for haluski. Some include dumplings, many different kinds of noodles, or no starch at all. I’ve gone with a more Americanized version which includes egg noodles.
Their convenience and ease of cooking make this recipe easy to put together during the week. They’re a perfect match for the cabbage and meat. This recipe has so much flavor your kids won’t even realize they’re eating their veggies.
We have lots of easy mid-week noodle recipes like this one. Our beef stroganoff and beef and noodles are always huge family hits! For cozier chicken noodle recipes, chicken noodle soup and Instant Pot chicken noodle soup are great options!
Let’s do this!
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 recipe preparation is very straight forward, but here are a few tips to make it even easier.
- Bacon makes it better– the traditional haluski recipe 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.
- Browning the Kielbasa- why bother with this step, you may ask. Well, when you brown the kielbasa, you leave a lot of brown bits (fond) in the skillet which creates a huge amount of flavor in the overall dish. Trust me and don’t skip this step.
- Deglazing- Generally speaking, in order to get the fond incorporated into your dish, you deglaze the skillet with a liquid. Not so in this recipe! Instead, all the work is done when you saute the onion and garlic. They have plenty of natural liquid in them that is released when you saute them and it does the job for you. Just make sure you stir all of the bits in as you saute.
- 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.
Now let’s move to ingredient notes:
- 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 – The slovak haluski recipe uses potatoes, but we’ll make this with noodles. You can switch the noodles up if you’d like. You can use farfalle (always popular with kids because they look like butterflies) or thicker flat noodle, like pappardelle, though I’d definitely suggest breaking the pappardelle 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.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
Leftovers will keep for about 3 -5 days in the fridge.
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.
- Use other types of egg noodles. There are a lot of egg noodles you can use. Like beef chow mein, you can use Chinese egg noodles or use lo mein noodles just like what I use in my shrimp lo mein.
- Add a spicy kick. Add sriracha to make it as spicy as my dragon noodles.
- Add ham. Pancetta or ham could be alternatives for haluski with bacon but won’t give you quite the same taste. Add ham by cutting it into cubes just like in my ham casserole and chicken cordon bleu casserole.
- 8 ounces egg noodles
- 4 slices thick bacon diced
- 12-16 ounces Kielbasa sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter divided
- 1 large yellow onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 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
- Cooked the egg noodles in well-salted water according to package instructions; drained. Place noodles back in the pot you cooked them in and toss with 1 tablespoon butter; set aside.
- 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. Remove and discard all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings.
- Add the onions, garlic, caraway seed, and brown sugar to the skillet and saute over medium-low heat until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add cabbage, salt, and pepper and saute, stirring often, until cabbage tender but still slightly firm when you bite it, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add the cabbage mixture, the bacon and the Kielbasa to the pasta pot, and toss to combine. Adjust seasoning as need and serve!