This recipe for Slow Cooker Kielbasa with Cabbage and Potatoes is an easy and delicious way to get supper on the table. Cabbage, kielbasa, and chunks of potatoes are cooked low and slow in chicken broth along with onions, garlic, and a few seasonings until everything is tender and flavorful. It makes for a hearty supper for any day of the week. (And if you like easy recipes for kielbasa, check out my recipe for Kielbasa and 15 Bean Soup, too!)
Cabbage, sausage, and potatoes are some of my favorite comfort foods. And in this recipe, I’ve combined them all to make for a hearty slow cooker meal. I love the convenience of throwing everything into a slow cooker and letting it do all the work. It’s just so lovely to have a homemade meal ready and waiting at the end of the day.
And let me tell you that although this dish is made with humble ingredients, the end result is something very delicious. The cabbage becomes tender and everything soaks up the flavor of the savory chicken broth becoming a bit stew-like. I like to sop up the extra broth on my plate with a chunk of crusty bread.
And while this recipe couldn’t be easier, let’s just talk about a few things before getting started…
First, let’s talk about ingredients:
Kielbasa – You will want to use a fully-cooked sausage. I used beef kielbasa in the photos, but sometimes I use turkey kielbasa or another fully-cooked smoked sausage. Use what you like for this recipe.
Cabbage – I typically use a regular head of green cabbage for the recipe, but other types of cabbage will work, too. Savoy cabbage works nicely. Or for a slightly different flavor, use a head of red cabbage.
Potatoes – This recipe is so flexible, you really can use whatever potato you like. But if you prefer a potato that holds its shape during cooking, then use a waxy potato with less starch like a red potato. If you like a soft potato that falls apart a bit during cooking, then use a starchy potato like a russet or Idaho potato. An all-purpose potato like Yukon gold is a good bet because they are somewhere in between waxy and starchy and work very well in this recipe. But like I always say, just use what you already have on hand.
Onions – Whatever you have on hand will work here. I tend to favor a red onion, but a sweet onion like a Vidalia is just as delicious. And if you aren’t a fan of onions, simply leave them out.
Chicken Broth – Use your favorite store-bought or homemade chicken broth or stock. I often use my homemade chicken stock if I happen to have a batch in the freezer. If I don’t have any, I typically just make up the amount I need using my favorite chicken base. Just be sure to use something flavorful because you want your final dish to be flavorful!
Paprika – Use what you like. I prefer to use smoked paprika when I have it, but sweet paprika will work, too. And if you want a spicier dish, add some hot paprika.
And here are a few tips for making Slow Cooker Kielbasa with Cabbage and Potatoes:
Raw cabbage is bulky, although it will shrink as it cooks. Even so, plan on using your biggest slow cooker for this recipe. You’ll want to use a minimum of a 6 or 7-quart slow cooker. An 8-quart is even better. If necessary, you may need to reduce the amount of cabbage in the recipe or add it in stages as it reduces down.
For a little extra flavor, brown the kielbasa slices in a little bit of butter or oil before adding them to the slow cooker. I typically skip this step because I’m often in a rush in the mornings. It honestly doesn’t make a big difference in the finished dish, but if you have the time, it will give an extra depth of flavor.
As always, if you try this recipe, I hope you love it! Please let me know in the comments below.
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Slow Cooker Kielbasa with Cabbage and Potatoes
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 6 hours
- Total Time: 0 hours
- Yield: Serves 4
- 1 medium head of cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 apple, peeled and diced
- 3–4 cloves minced garlic
- 12 ounces kielbasa or other smoked sausage, sliced into thick slices (1-2 inches)
- 2 large or 3–4 medium potatoes, chopped into large chunks
- Sweet or smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth or stock
- Add the shredded cabbage, onion, apple, and garlic to your slow cooker. Toss to combine.
- Layer the sausage slices and potato chunks on top of cabbage mixture. Sprinkle paprika, thyme, and a generous pinch each of salt and ground black pepper over top.
- Pour chicken broth over everything. Cover with lid and cook low for 6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours (or until the cabbage and potatoes are tender to your liking.)
- Before serving, taste and add more salt, pepper, or seasonings if needed.
Although it’s not necessary, I will sometimes stir everything together about halfway through the cooking time, just to make sure the potatoes get to absorb all of the tasty broth. If I’m not home (or if I forget) I just skip this step.