This classic recipe for Ukrainian Kobasa Kapusta has been enjoyed in my family for years.
If you love sauerkraut and kielbasa, this easy to make recipe is just what you need. Whether you think it is Polish or Ukrainian, this combination is a winner.
When I was a child, I was lucky enough to have access to homemade sauerkraut. We called it kapusta. For this recipe, I use store-bought.
When you combine kobasa with anything, it is going to be delicious.
RECIPE and INSTRUCTIONS for this kielbasa and cabbage recipe are at the bottom of this post.
Is it called kubasa, kielbasa or kobasa? This article in the Winnipeg Free Press is an interesting read. Some even call it Polish sausage.
All the Ukrainians in my family refer to it as kobasa. I was even lucky enough to be a judge in a meat competition to crown the award-winning kobassa champion.
This is basically a braised sauerkraut recipe, with the addition of meat and seasonings. You will need:
- sauerkraut (homemade or store-bought)
- salt and pepper
- fennel seed
For this recipe, I used a *(affiliate) cast-iron skillet. Feel free to use whatever type of frying pan you wish.
Lots of recipes call for bacon, but I prefer to use *(affiliate) bacon flavoured olive oil.
Difference Between Kapusta and Sauerkraut
Kapusta is the Ukrainian and Polish word for cabbage. It can refer to braised cabbage or sauerkraut.
Baba and mom would make this with cabbage from the garden.
They would shred the cabbage with a large mandolin (shredder) into a crock. Layers of salt would be added. Then a wooden lid would be placed on top, weighted down with a large rock or brick.
The cabbage would then ferment for several weeks. The sauerkraut was then preserved in glass jars just like pickles.
Used in lots of great ways like cabbage and noodles, potatoes and sauerkraut or kapusta soup. Have you tried sauerkraut pierogies? They need to be topped with my Pierogi Sauce.
Speaking of meat and braised cabbage, Corned Beef and Potato Skillet is a great recipe. Just replace the brussels sprouts with finely shredded cabbage or coleslaw for a great Irish dinner.
Making Kobasa Kapusta
All it takes is a skillet and a few ingredients. Get everything cut, diced and ready to go. In under 30 minutes dinner will be ready.
- Dice the onion
- Cut the kobasa (I like to cut it into pie-shaped pieces)
- Crush the fennel seed
- Drain and rinse the sauerkraut
Recipe Tip: Be sure to thoroughly rinse and drain the sauerkraut. I like to put it into a bowl, pour boiling water over it, and let it sit for a few minutes.
Then I will pour the contents into a colander and squeeze out all the excess liquid.
Best Kobasa To Use? This is a personal preference. I used turkey kolbasa, but feel free to use ANY kind you wish. All will work. Be sure to REMOVE the skin before slicing.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan
- Add the diced onions, salt, pepper and fennel seed
- Cook until the onions are nicely browned
- Add the cut-up kobasa
- Cook for several minutes to brown
- Add the sauerkraut, and continue to cook until it is nicely warmed thoroughly
Since the majority of the ingredients are already cooked, you are only browning and heating.
- Place in a serving bowl
- This can be eaten as a stand-alone meal, or with a nice side
- Potatoes or noodles are a great additional side to this dish
If your family is anything like mine, this kobasa and sauerkraut recipe can be enjoyed any night of the week. Pair it with some easy homemade soda bread.
It is often seen on the holiday dinner table at Christmas and Easter.
Kapusta and kobasa have been part of my family for generations. I don’t know a Ukrainian that does not enjoy this traditional dish. We do love our cabbage rolls too.
Growing up I thought Pickled Eggs were Ukrainian too. Since mom did so much canning, these were in the cold room along with all the other pickles. Little did I know (until I did the research) they originated in the UK.
Mom’s Pea Soup was also a hit. Hubby quickly informed me that this was a French Canadian dish. He would know, he was born in Quebec.
Baba’s Egg Noodle Casserole for sure is Ukrainian. My favourite after school snack when I was a child.
Family summer gatherings always included Potatoes with Green Onion & Dill. The ingredients were always fresh from the gardens.
Cabbage In Recipes
If you are looking for some creative ways to enjoy either fresh and or fermented cabbage, here are some great suggestions.
- Keto Hamburger Soup
- Traditional Red German Cabbage
- Garlic Cabbage and Carrots
- Instant Pot Buttered Cabbage
- Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake
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Ukrainian Kobasa Kapusta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (Bacon Flavoured)
- 4 ounces onion (Diced)
- ½ teaspoons fennel seeds (Crushed)
- 16 ounces sauerkraut (Drained and rinsed)
- 10 ounces kobasa (Skin removed and cut into pieces)
- salt and pepper (For seasoning)
- Remove the skin from the kobasa, and cut into bite sized pieces. Place in a bowl.
- Dice onion and place in a bowl.
- Crush fennel seed using a mortar and pestle.
- Drain and throughly rinse the sauerkraut using a colander. I like to use some boiling water for this.
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat, and add the oil.
- Add the onions and seasonings, and cook until browned (about 5 minutes).
- Add the cut up kobasa and cook until nicely browned (about 6-8 minutes).
- Add the drained and rinsed sauerkraut and cook until heated through (about 8-10 minutes).
- Remove from heat and place in a serving bowl. This is a great main course, or side dish.