This Sausage and Cabbage Skillet with Fennel recipe is an easy, healthy meal that's perfect for weeknights. It is also a one-pot wonder, making clean-up a breeze.
Inspiration for Sausage and Cabbage Skillet with Fennel
Phil and I have have many midweek dinner goals.
Dinners must be fast, healthy, and easy clean-up. Oh yeah...and tasty!
Let's face it: we're all busy, and the last thing we want is a major dinner production.
This sausage and cabbage skillet recipe ticks all of these boxes.
The recipe allows for meal-prepping ahead of time. Even if you plan to make it right away, it is a simple matter of chopping up some veggies and sausage.
Cooking is done in under 30 minutes. Most of that time is hands-off, when you're letting the dish simmer to soften the cabbage, fennel, and onion.
I get it: we are talking about sausage. Isn't that full of fat? Well yes, BUT...
You have options. For example, I prefer to use turkey kielbasa.
With all the seasonings in turkey kielbasa (not to mention the dish overall!), it's hard to know the difference.
Also, with so much cabbage, fennel, and onion, you can just about hit your vegetable and fiber intake for the day. How many recipes can say that?
It cleans up quick and easy
This is one of my many one-pot meal recipes. (Links to my one-pot recipe collection are available at the end of the post.)
Clean-up involves one pot, a cutting board, and a knife. (And whatever you use to eat it, of course.) Easy-Peasy.
Oh, and it's tasty...
I add garlic, mustard, and a variety of seasonings to chicken broth to make the sauce.
After everything simmers together with the cabbage mixture, it perfectly complements the flavorful turkey kielbasa.
Check out the section at the end of the post: Recommended Optional Ingredients: I detail some other easy additions you might be interested in.
How to make Sausage and Cabbage Skillet with Fennel
Since there's slicing and dicing involved, this is a meal that lends itself well to meal-prep.
Prepping the vegetables and sausage
Note some of these ingredients cook at different amounts of time. So make sure to keep each ingredient separated on your cutting board or in bowls.
Cut the sausage or kielbasa on the bias, creating ½ inch thick pieces. Set aside.
Next, slice up the cabbage and set aside.
Finally, slice up the onion and fennel. Combine (because you add them at the same time) and set aside.
Or put everything in airtight containers and refrigerate until you're ready to start cooking!
Cook the Turkey Kielbasa
In your pot or skillet, add the olive oil and fry the sausage medallions about 2-3 minutes per side. I like to get some caramelization for extra flavor.
Then, remove to a plate until later (preferably a plate you'll be eating from so that you don't dirty an extra dish!).
DO NOT WIPE OUT THE PAN!
We want to keep the residual oil and juices from the sausage, along with any lingering crispy bits of meat that stuck to the bottom.
Can you say flavor?
Saute the cabbage, fennel, and onion mix
Add a bit more olive oil to the skillet, then add the sliced fennel and onions. Saute for 5–7 minutes.
Next, mix in the garlic, mustard, salt and pepper, and spice mix, and sauté mixture for an additional minute.
Then, I add in the cabbage and a quarter cup of chicken broth and lid the skillet.
I let the cabbage steam, stirring every couple of minutes.
Add in the cooked kielbasa
Once the cabbage, fennel, and onion mixture is close to the texture you want, add in your cooked sausage.
After a minute or two when the sausage has warmed up, dinner is served.
Here's a photo collage of what that looks like:
Optional ingredients for Sausage and Cabbage skillet
While I tried to make my recipe as healthy as possible, there are other ingredients that can easily be added to further amp up the flavor.
- Use "full-figured" sausage like andouille, ring bologna, or smoked polish sausage
- Add bacon
- Add potatoes and/or carrots
- Serve it over rice or mashed potatoes (note that the dish is low-carb without these)
Other One-Pot recipes
As mentioned earlier, I have a number of one-pot/one-skillet/one-pan meals on Flipped-Out Food, including Meyer Lemon Chicken and Rice, Arroz con Pollo, Taco Pasta, Ground Beef Stroganoff, and Vegetable-Turkey Lo Mein with Zoodles, to name a few.
The one-pot approach is my favorite because it's fast, and cleanup is simple (see my how-to article, Mastering Easy One-Pot Meal Recipes!).
That's it! I hope you enjoy this lightning-fast, healthy weeknight dinner!
I'm sharing my Kielbasa-Cabbage-Fennel Skillet with:
- #CookBlogShare, a great food blogger recipe-share at Hijacked by Twins.
- #CookOnceEatTwice (coming soon!), for recipes that are just as good left-over as they are when you made them, hosted by Searching for Spice.
- #RecipeOfTheWeek hosted by A Mummy Too.
- #BrillBlogPosts, a link party with a variety of lifestyle reads hosted by Honest Mum.
Sausage and Cabbage Skillet with Fennel
My Sausage and Cabbage Skillet with Fennel is an easy, healthy meal that's perfect for weeknights. This skillet is so loaded up with healthy vegetables that you don't need to serve it with rice—you won't miss the carbs!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, extra virgin; divided (more if necessary)
- 13 oz turkey kielbasa sausage sliced on the bias into ~½-inch-thick coins, (1 package; see Recipe Note #1)
- 1 sweet Vidalia onion sliced into thin half or quarter rings
- 1 fennel bulb thinly sliced, (see Recipe Note #2)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoon herb or spice mix (see Recipe Note #3)
- 6 cups shredded cabbage
- ¼ cup chicken broth (you can also use vegetable broth)
- 2 tablespoon yellow mustard
- Heat half of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or wok (see Recipe Note #4). Add the kielbasa coins in a single layer across the bottom. Brown well on both sides (~2–3 minutes per side). Remove to a bowl or plate (preferably one you'll be eating out of so you don't dirty an extra dish!).
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan (do not wipe it out). Add the onions and fennel. Sauté until the vegetables are translucent and soft (5–7 minutes), scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and spice mix. Sauté for an additional minute.
- Mix in the cabbage, mustard, and chicken broth. Lid the skillet and let the cabbage steam, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5–8 minutes.
- Add the kielbasa back to the skillet and stir to combine. Taste the cabbage to check the seasoning, adjusting as necessary. Serve and enjoy.
- You can also use beef kielbasa, just be aware that it has higher fat and calories than turkey.
- Use the white part of the fennel only: cut off the bottom and remove the tough outer layer. I like to cut the fennel into quarters and then slice thinly across the layers of the bulb.
- I like a Bavarian spice mix from Penzey's: since it's a denser mix, I only use 1 heaping tablespoon. If you have a looser spice or herb mix, like Herbs de Provence, for example, use the full 2 tbsp. Also, check to see whether your mix includes salt: if it does, make sure to reduce the salt you add to the dish.
- Because we use so little oil, it helps to have a non-stick skillet or a well-treated cast-iron skillet or wok. If you don't have one, you might need to double the amount of oil you use.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 cups of the mixture
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 436Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 1449mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 6gSugar: 14gProtein: 16g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate: if you are tracking this information for medical purposes, please consult a trusted external source. Thanks!
Honest Mum says
You are such a great cook lady! x
Aw, thank you so much, Vicki! xoxo
Great Recipe. Made half a recipe but didn't have fennel so used 1 t. seed.
A bit salty so will cut that back a little. Loved the spice and ease of the recipe.
Thanks so much for your feedback! I never thought of using fennel seed in this recipe, but I think that it would be a great compliment to the sausage. I'd advise crushing it first, though. I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed it!
Monika Dabrowski says
I really like the addition of fennel in this dish! Tasty and nutritious! I've had my fair share of polska kielbasa in my life and no longer eat it (I've stopped eating red meat some months ago) but I never thought to look for a turkey variation! I'll have to try to find it in a Polish deli shop.
Thanks, Monika! I love turkey sausage and bacon because it's so much lighter. I've considered eliminating red meat as well, but haven't quite brought myself to do it—yet!
Looks nice and easy, and I'm a big fan of fennel too.
Thanks, Caroline! 🙂
Eileen Kelly says
I love how easy this is to prepare and adding in fennel is a perfect addition to make a great flavor addition
Thanks, Eileen! I do love the flavor that the fennel brings to the table. 🙂
My favourite ingredients- cabbage and sausage - love the fennel addition- I have tried with fennel seeds but I will try with the real fennel-,somehow I know it’s going to be insanely delicious. Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe Michelle.
Thanks so much, Ramona! I sometimes put ground fennel seeds into my sauces: I love that flavor!