Stewed cabbage and sausage – tender sauteed cabbage in sweet tomato sauce flavored with sausages and lots of fresh dill for complete deliciousness.
This easy summer recipe is another Romanian staple traditional dish (varza calita) cooked all summer long.
I grew up with this, my grandma used to cook this recipe for us throughout summer holidays.
It can be made with any kind of sausages.
I absolutely love it, well I usually love anything with tomatoes (we use tomatoes a lot in Romanian cooking).
Cabbage is good for your health and should be consumed often. This stewed cabbage and sausage recipe is an easy to make meal for lunch or can be a light dinner.
🥬 Ingredients For Stewed Cabbage & Sausage
We don’t need much for this recipe. But you should prepare to have the following:
- Cabbage – a couple of fresh green cabbage heads
- Tomatoes – fully ripe, sweet tomatoes
- Sausages – any type will do, but smoked are better
- Onion – a couple of yellow onions
- Fresh dill – a good handful of freshly chopped dill
- Bay leaves – always pair well with cabbage
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cooking oil
Let’s do this. Ready?… 🙂
🍲 How To Make Stewed Cabbage And Sausage
This recipe is easy to make, we just have to prepare the main ingredients.
If you’re not savvy with shredding cabbage with your knife, use a mandoline slicer or another kitchen device.
We need to obtain thin shreds of cabbage. But first, we need to prepare those tomatoes.
1. Prepare cabbage & tomatoes
- Rinse and peel the tomatoes, then cut them in small cubes. You can use canned tomatoes but the recipe will taste better with sweet, ripe, fresh tomatoes and their juice. It’ s summer! (That will take you some time, but if in you’re in a hurry you can also grate them)
- Prepare and make room on your working space, because you’ll need it. Finely shred the cabbage heads with a sharp knife as you see in the photo below.
- I first cut them in halves, take a piece and start finely chopping / shredding from bottom up, turning it on all sides. If you have another method, use it. That’s how we do it here.
- When all the cabbage is finely chopped, sprinkle it with a teaspoon of salt and rub it with your hands so all the shredded cabbage can absorb the salt and start releasing water.
- Rub it well for about 1-2 minutes all over and leave it to rest for another 10-15 minutes, right there on the working space or in a colander if you like. Meantime, prepare the sausages.
2. Make the sauce
- Slice the sausages. Pour 6-7 tbsp of cooking oil in a large pot and place it on medium heat.
- Next, brown the sausages, cooking and stirring for about 3-4 minutes until they color beautifully and render some of their fat out. Take them out and set aside.
- Finely chop the onions and saute them, stirring continuously until golden brown. Add the tomatoes and give it a stir. Let the sauce cook for about 10 minutes, partially covered so the tomatoes release the acidity.
3. Cook the cabbage
- Next, we will add the cabbage little by little to fill the pot. Grab the shredded cabbage with your hands, squeeze it well to release the excess water and add it over the tomato sauce.
- First about half of it will enter the pot, continue stirring and cooking and the cabbage will gradually wilt so the rest of the shredded cabbage will fit into the pot.
- Stir and mix well until the cabbage is covered with the sauce. Let it wilt for about 5 minutes then add some bay leaves and a pinch of peppercorns.
- Taste if more saltiness is needed. Let it cook on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, partially covered.
- Stir occasionally. If needed, add some hot water. Next, add the sausages and stir. Let them cook together another 15 minutes.
- Throw in a handful of freshly chopped dill, stir and cook for another 5 minutes. By this time the cabbage must be done.
Turn off the heat and serve. Our stewed cabbage and sausage is ready!
🍽️ Serving Romanian Stewed Cabbage
Serve this stewed cabbage with hot polenta or your favorite bread, pitta or baguette. It’s a quick and easy idea meal to put together for lunch or a light dinner.
It will also preserve well in the fridge for about 3-4 days. Jut reheat and serve. Sprinkle with more fresh dill.
We like it very much and cook it often, I hope you’ll try it and like it, too. Bon appetit!
*Note! If you like cabbage, you’ll surely LOVE these Romanian Cabbage Rolls (Sarmale) recipe, enjoyed at every major event or celebration. Check them out!
Next: Don’t lose this stewed cabbage recipe. If in a hurry, pin it now and save for later.
Other delicious recipes to try:
- Romanian Smoky Eggplant Dip / Spread (just yummy!)
- Sour Cream Garlic Chicken Soup (a must try soul food recipe)
- Romanian Stuffed Peppers (try it once, become addicted)
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Stewed Cabbage And Sausage (Romanian Varza Calita)
- 2 green cabbages
- 4,4 lbs (2kg) sweet, ripe tomatoes
- 2.2 lbs (1kg) sausages (preferably smoked)
- 2 large onions
- 5-6 bay leaves
- 2-3 tbsp fresh dill (chopped)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 6-7 tbsp cooking oil
- Shred the cabbage and sprinkle it with salt. Rub it well with your hands to absorb the salt and start releasing water. Leave it to rest. Rinse and peel the tomatoes. Cut them in small cubes.
- Slice the sausages and finely chop the onions. Brown the sausages for about 3-4 minutes and take them out. Sautee the onion until golden. Add tomatoes and let them release acidity 10 minutes on medium heat.
- Start adding the shredded cabbage, squeezing well all the excess water. Add first about halve, stir and let it wilt for a few minutes, then add the other half. Stir well so all the cabbage is covered with sauce. If needed add some hot water.
- Add the bay leaves and the black pepper, taste for saltiness. Let it cook on medium-low heat, partially covered about 20 minutes. Stir form time to time. Add the sausages and stir again. Let them cook together another 15 minutes.
- Throw in the freshly chopped dill, stir again and let the flavors blend together another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and serve with polenta or favorite bread.