Cabbage And Noodles With Smoked Sausage


Keep cabbage, noodles, and sausage on hand to make this dish any night of the week.

Cabbage and noodles with smoked sausage in a serving bowl with a serving spoon on a table with napkins, water glass, and carafe of water.

Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist Lydia Pursell

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
55 mins

Cabbage is an unsung dinner hero. Because it keeps nicely for weeks, as do the noodles and fully cooked sausage in this recipe, it’s easy to have the ingredients you need for this dish on hand for a las- minute dinner.

Although fairly easy to make, it’s important to pay attention to the order of the steps in this recipe. For example, preheating the water for the pasta prevents the lightly cooked vegetable mixture from getting too soft while the noodles boil.

While you can certainly tone down the heat to your tastes, the red pepper flakes really wake up this dish. The basil added at the end of the cooking process is also much more than just a pretty garnish; it offers a fresh pop of herbal sweetness and some bright color to contrast with the warm-hued peppers. For added veggies and color, you can stir in baby spinach with the basil at the end, too.

Although hearty on its own, this dish is delicious served with a crisp, green side salad, especially when dressed with a bright lemon vinaigrette to provide complimentary acidity. This recipe reheats well too, so you can make extras for round two later in the week. 

A Cabbage Cheat Sheet

Before you start cooking, learn more about the star of the dish. 

Know your cabbage varieties

Cabbage can be divided into two main categories: European and Asian. The former includes green (also known as white), red or purple, and savoy—the ones we use most often in Southern recipes. The latter includes Napa and bok choy.

The differences have more to do with texture than flavor, though the Asian cabbages are less sweet. In this recipe, we call for savoy cabbage because of its color and texture. 

How to pick a cabbage

To select a great head of cabbage, start by picking it up. It should feel heavy and dense with no wilted or yellowed leaves.

A generous covering of loose, floppy outer leaves is good because they are Mother Nature’s way of protecting the head. (Many recipes tell us to discard all of the outer layer, but unless it is wilted or ripped, there’s no reason to.) In fact, we suggest using as many of the outer leaves as you can in this recipe.

The last thing to look for is that the cut end of the stalk should be smooth with no cracks or fissures. 

How to store cabbage 

One of the best things about whole cabbages is that they stay fresh for several weeks when kept cool and dry. If one has lots of outer leaves, just place it in the crisper drawer of the fridge. If it’s already peeled down to the firm inner head, store it loosely wrapped in a vegetable bag.

Once it’s been cut, cover the exposed side to avoid moisture loss and, trim away any slightly darkened areas before the next use.

Editorial contributions by Alana Al-Hatlani.


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

  • 12 oz. fully cooked smoked sausage (such as kielbasa [Polish sausage], andouille sausage, or linguiça), cut into 1/2-in. rounds

  • 2 medium-size red, yellow, and/or orange bell peppers, cut into thin strips (about 3 cups)

  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, cut into thin strips (about 2 cups)

  • 1 (1-lb.) head savoy cabbage, very thinly sliced (about 8 cups)

  • 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced (about 2 Tbsp.)

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, plus more to taste

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper or to taste

  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. wide egg noodles

  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced


  1. Place a large pot of salted water over low heat. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add sausage, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer sausage to a plate, reserving drippings in Dutch oven. Set sausage aside.

  2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil with reserved sausage drippings in Dutch oven over medium-high. Add bell peppers and onion; stir with a wooden spoon, scraping bottom of Dutch oven to loosen any browned bits, adding a splash of water, if needed.

  3. Stir in cabbage, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Cover and cook until vegetables are just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in cream and crushed red pepper. Add reserved sausage and any accumulated juices on plate, and stir to combine. Cover and keep warm over very low heat.

  4. Bring pot of salted water to a boil over high. Add the noodles; cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain noodles, and stir into sausage mixture. Stir in basil, and add more salt and black pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Additional reporting by
Alana Al-Hatlani
Alana Al-Hatlani
Alana Al-Hatlani is an Assistant Food Editor at Southern Living.
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