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Sautéed cabbage and sausage is a simple combination of two basic ingredients coming together to bring out each other’s flavors and textures. This easy side dish is great to serve alongside a heavier meal or as a standalone for a lighter meal.
Growing up, my mom would make several vegetable side dishes for dinner. We would have a main protein but then have 2-3 additional vegetable dishes. In the Asian culture, it is very heavily focused on vegetables and various vegetable side dishes. It is not uncommon to have various small plates at the dinner table and eaten communal style.
I remember my mom would sometimes make cabbage and sausage together, which is brilliant because they’re both super easy ingredients. Instead of using smoked sausage like I am here, she would make it with Chinese sausage. My favorite thing about this dish was how tender the cabbage leaves were and the salty-sweet from the Chinese sausage.
I decided to switch it up with smoked sausage in this recipe because it’s easier to find sometimes than Chinese sausage, especially if you don’t live in a large metropolitan area.
Why You’ll Love This
- Budget-friendly. Have you seen how cheap a head of green cabbage is? I’m calling it now, it will be the year of cabbage. It’s an underrated vegetable (seriously why are all cabbage-related vegetables so underrated? Cough, cough brussels sprouts) and we need to use it more!
- Great flavor and texture. I love the smokey flavor that the sausage gives and the cabbage soaks up all its flavor. The cabbage has a tender yet crunchy texture that I adore. You can choose to sauté it until really soft or you can sauté it a bit underdone so you still get that slight crunch.
- One skillet. Of course we love a one skillet dish and this is one of them! Easy peasy.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Doesn’t sautéed cabbage and sausage sound like a dish you want to make? Here is a list of ingredients you will need. Make sure to scroll down to view the full recipe for exact measurements.
- Cabbage – green cabbage, not napa cabbage
- Smoked sausage – beef or turkey or even kielbasa
How To Make
Here is a general overview of the steps involved to sauté cabbage and sausage. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe.
Brown the sausage. This step is a must! The browned sausage leaves behind some good bits at the bottom of the skillet which adds to the flavor of the dish itself. Make sure to brown both sides.
Add the cabbage and garlic. Next up is to add the cabbage and garlic to the sausage mixture and cook until the cabbage is tender and still crisp (depending on your preference for cabbage).
Substitutions and Variations
I’ve heard about some folks adding a splash of red wine vinegar or some sort of acidity to sautéed cabbage and sausage and I think that would be a great addition to this dish to give a subtle tang to the smokiness.
Adding in some sliced bell peppers for additional flavor!
Tips for Success
Even the easiest of dishes can be even better with some pointers. Here are some for this sautéed cabbage and sausage recipe.
- Use sliced garlic instead of minced garlic. In sautéed vegetables, I prefer to use sliced garlic instead of minced garlic because the burn possibility is less. You see in my stir fry cabbage, I do the same because you want to kind of char the cabbage leaves a bit and that requires high heat so if it were minced garlic, it’d end up burning and your dish would be bitter.
- Look for green cabbage not napa cabbage. There’s definitely variations of cabbages out there and what you want to look for at the grocery store is green cabbage. It is tighter wrapped leaves and has kind of an almost waxy-like appearance on the outside. Napa cabbage has frilly ends on it and is more oblong in shape vs. green cabbage is round/circular.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
If you have leftovers, they keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. The leaves of the cabbage will appear slightly wilted, but that’s fine. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
What to Serve with Cabbage and Sausage
Cabbage and sausage is a relatively light dish so serving you could opt to serve it with something heavier such as:
Sautéed Cabbage and Sausage
- 8 ounces smoked sausage, sliced into rounds
- 6 ounces cabbage leaves, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
- In a medium skillet over medium high heat, add a little cooking oil. Once oil is hot, add smoked sausage round and brown on both sides.
- Add the cabbage leaves and garlic slices to the browned sausage rounds and cook until cabbage is tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add a splash of red wine vinegar, if desired.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.