Slow Cooker Kielbasa & Cabbage Soup
This delicious and easy crock pot recipe for Kielbasa and Cabbage Soup is bursting with traditional Eastern European flavors. This hearty soup is loaded with smokey kielbasa sausage, buttery potatoes, creamy white beans, and earthy white cabbage that is cooked low and slow in a rosemary-anise seed broth to make a meal that the whole family will love!
I originally shared this recipe on January 9th, 2015. I have updated some of the text and added step by step photos to share it with you today.
Why We Love This Recipe for Kielbasa and Cabbage Soup
In the cold winter months here in Vermont, the chill in the air can seep deep down to your core if you let it. And it’s on these bone-chilling winter days that we yearn for dishes that touch your soul and warm you from the inside out.
For us, this means soup. Simple, hearty, comforting soup. And my slow cooker Kielbasa, Cabbage, and Potato Soup is an old-world dish that we crave on these brutally chilly days.
And what we love about this traditional dish is that it can be started in the morning and enjoyed all day long. Just plug in the slow cooker, place all ingredients in the crock, cover, and forget about it. However, this dish won’t be forgotten about for long because the heavenly smell of the smoky kielbasa simmering with the rosemary-anise seed broth will quickly fill the house and slowly begins to thaw everyone inside.
Key Ingredients For This Recipe
Use your favorite traditional pork or beef kielbasa. Or if you’d prefer, a turkey kielbasa would be a wonderful healthier option for this recipe.
White or green cabbage can be used. Keep in mind that green cabbage has a stronger flavor so if you aren’t fond of its flavor profile, opt to use white.
And if you can’t decide which type, you’d prefer to use, check out my Ultimate Cabbage Guide to answer all your dense-leaved head’s needs.
Use your favorite small, or baby, potatoes. I love the buttery flavor of Yukon Golds but feel free to use red or purple in this dish.
While I use cannellini beans in this recipe as they retain their shape extremely well when cooked for long periods of time in soups and stews; Navy or Great Northerns would also be a wonderful addition in this dish.
Used as a garnish, Gruyere adds an additional richness to this already decadent dish. While I prefer the salty nutty notes of this hard-cheese, feel free to substitute Swiss, Fontina, Raclette, Jarlsburg, or Emmental cheese.
Broth or Stock
The base of the soup is made from chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth. While using chicken stock will produce a richer flavor soup base, low-sodium chicken broth is a great option to use if you are running low on time and can’t make your stock.
Helps to thin out the base of the soup.
If you are unable to find fresh Rosemary at your local grocer, feel free to substitute in 1 teaspoon dry rosemary.
Anise seeds have a very distinct licorice flavor that I find complements the flavors of this extremely well. However, you can also use fennel or caraway seeds in place of the anise without affecting the flavor profile.
Salt & Pepper
Note that we recommend table salt for this recipe. You may use kosher salt instead, but you will want to double the amount.
Black pepper has a distinct earthiness to its flavor that pairs extremely well with the smokey flavors of the sausage, the sweet and earthy notes of the cabbage, and the creaminess of the beans.
Topping this comforting soup with croutons adds the perfect crush to offset the creaminess of this dish. And while I prefer to make my own, feel free to buy your favorite brand from your local grocer.
If you are looking to make gluten-free, feel free to use gluten-free croutons or leave off completely.
Step By Step Instructions To Make This Recipe
STEP 1: Make Soup Base
In a large slow cooker, whisk together broth, water, rosemary, anise, salt and pepper.
STEP 2: Assemble Soup
Once base is mixed, add onion, beans, potatoes, kielbasa, and cabbage. Stir to combine.
STEP 3: Cook Soup
Cover and cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 8 hours.
STEP 4: Garnish and Serve
Serve warm, garnish with gruyere and croutons. Enjoy!
FAQ And Expert Tips For This Kielbasa, Cabbage, and Potato Soup Recipe
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Store in a freezer-safe, airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to consume, thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in a saucepan or in the microwave.
Any type of thin-skinned waxy potatoes will work! I love the buttery creaminess of a baby Yukon Gold but baby red or baby purples would be delicious as well. Russet potatoes are too floury and fall apart in soups and stews.
Kielbasa is the Polish word for all sausages so technically they are referring to the same product but the word encompasses so much more. In American, however, we tend to think of kielbasa as the large smoked sausage link that is vacuum sealed at the local grocer. But in Poland that is not the case. In Poland, each region has their own signature kielbasa and it can be raw, dried, or smoked.
You sure can! Feel free to use Italian pork sausage or even ground beef. If utilizing ground beef, you will need to brown the ground beef prior to adding it into the crockpot with the other ingredients.
More Recipes To Try
This healthy Potato and Kale Soup with Andouille Sausage is naturally gluten-free, ready to eat in 45 minutes, and is only 260 calories per serving! This hearty soup is a wonderful wintertime dish that will warm you from the inside out!
Simple Sautéed Napa Cabbage is an easy veggie side dish that is made with only a few basic ingredients. Ready in 15 minutes, this quick side dish is the perfect complement to almost any meal.
If you’re looking to spice up your traditional Caesar Salad recipe, then my Napa Cabbage Caesar Salad recipe is for you! This dish is absolutely irresistible and can be whipped up in just 15 minutes flat. Perfect as a side or hearty enough as a main course, you can’t go wrong with this recipe.
This Asian Coleslaw is the perfect summer go-to side dish. Made in 20 minutes, this slaw takes a super yummy sesame dressing and turns crunchy cabbage and carrots into one irresistible mouth-watering dish.
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This hearty cold weather soup will warm you up from the inside. It is so satisfying because it has kielbasa, potatoes, white beans and cabbage. The flavor of rosemary and anise seed will smell so good as it simmers all day. And there will be some for lunch the next day too.
- 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon anise seed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 14-ounce can cannellini beans or white beans, drained and rinsed
- 12-ounces small potatoes, cut in half
- 7 ounces kielbasa, cut into half moons
- 2 cups chopped cabbage
- 1 cup shredded cheese such as Gruyere, Swiss or Cabot Alpine Cheddar
- 1 cup croutons, optional (gluten-free if desired)
- Whisk broth, water, rosemary, anise, salt and pepper in a large slow cooker. Add onion, beans, potatoes, kielbasa and cabbage and stir to combine. Set slow cooker on high for 4 hours or on low heat for 8 hours. Top with cheese and crotons if using.
- Serving Size: 2 cups
- Calories: 266
- Sugar: 4 g
- Sodium: 350 mg
- Fat: 11 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 25 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 17 g
- Cholesterol: 42 mg