Russian Braised Cabbage

This braised cabbage is a classic comfort food made in nearly every Russian or Ukrainian home and our 3 year old loves it. I received several requests for this braised cabbage recipe in the past week and Vadim just thought it needed to get done. He combined two recipes – one from his Mama and one from my sister, Tanya.

Then he set off to make it (without my help, mind you). He took the pictures and even wrote up the recipe. We just finished up the leftovers which he sautéed up while I studied for pharmacology. Great job Vadim, it was delicious!!

Ingredients for Braised cabbage:

1 Cabbage head
1/2 lb or up to 1 lb of pork
1 medium onion
2 large carrots
2 Tbsp of sour cream
4 Tbsp of ketchup
1 Tbsp of brown sugar
2 bay leaves
2 tsp of salt, divided
1/2 tsp of pepper
6 Tbsp of olive oil

How to Make Braised Cabbage:

1. Shred the cabbage into thin slices using a mandolin or by cutting it in half or into quarters  then finely shredding each piece with the flat end of the cabbage against the counter. Place sliced cabbage into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle 1 tsp of salt on the cabbage and scrunch the cabbage using both hands for 30 sec to soften it.

Russian Braised Cabbage-4

2. Dice the onion and grate both carrots. Preheat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Saute onions and carrots for 5 min, mixing frequently. When almost done, mix in 2 Tbsp of sour cream. Empty contents of the skillet into mixing bowl with the cabbage.

Russian Braised Cabbage-5

4. Cut pork into small cubes. Using the same skillet, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and cook pork for 5 min over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. When cooked through, add it to the mixing bowl with cabbage, carrots and onion.

Russian Braised Cabbage-6

6. Add 1 Tbsp of brown sugar, 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, 4 Tbsp of ketchup and mix all contents of the bowl together.

Russian Braised Cabbage-7

7. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to large skillet or dutch oven. And cabbage mixture  and set the heat to medium. Add 2 bay leaves.

Russian Braised Cabbage-2

8. Cover and cook cabbage for 35-40 min, stirring every 15 min. Reduce temperature to medium-low after 20 min. Add more ketchup or salt to taste, if desired. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Russian Braised Cabbage-3

Notes:

Cooking time may vary – if not using a dutch oven, you may need to add an extra 5 minutes if cabbage is not soft enough.

Braised Cabbage-13

Russian Braised Cabbage Тушеная капуста

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost to Make: $8
Servings: 10

Ingredients

  • 1 med - large Cabbage head
  • 1/2 lb or up to 1 lb of pork
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 Tbsp of sour cream
  • 4 Tbsp of ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp of brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 6 Tbsp of olive oil

Instructions

  1. Shred the cabbage into thin slices using mandolin or by cutting it in half or into quarters, then finely shredding each piece with the flat end of the cabbage against the counter. Place sliced cabbage into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle 1 tsp of salt on the cabbage and scrunch the cabbage using both hands for 30 sec to soften it.
  2. Dice the onion and grate both carrots.
  3. Preheat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Saute onions and carrots for 5 min, mixing frequently. When almost done, mix in 2 Tbsp of sour cream. Empty contents of the skillet into mixing bowl with the cabbage.
  4. Cut pork into small cubes.
  5. Using the same skillet, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and cook pork for 5 min over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. When cooked through, add it to the mixing bowl with cabbage, carrots and onion.
  6. Add 1 Tbsp of brown sugar, 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, 4 Tbsp of ketchup and mix all contents of the bowl together.
  7. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to large skillet or dutch oven. And cabbage mixture and set the heat to medium. Add 2 bay leaves.
  8. Cover and cook cabbage for 35-40 min, stirring every 15 min. Reduce temperature to medium-low after 20 min. Add more ketchup or salt to taste, if desired. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Recipe Notes

Cooking time may vary - if not using a dutch oven, you may need to add an extra 5 minutes if cabbage is not soft enough.

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natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • malou
    June 4, 2018

    Beaut recipe – right down my alley…
    thanks. My other half couldn’t stop eating the meat filled pies so he ate them all!
    I had to fight to get one. Now I’m off to make some more. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 4, 2018

      That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite, Malou! Reply

  • Megan
    February 24, 2018

    I made this for my family last night, to go with some pierogies I had in the freezer. Major win–I used chicken breast instead of pork–but everybody loved it. Such flavor! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 24, 2018

      I’m glad the recipe was such a success! Thanks for sharing your great review with other readers! Reply

  • Katya
    January 25, 2018

    I love how it’s so easy and simple to make! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 25, 2018

      I’m happy you enjoy the recipe Katya! Thanks for sharing! Reply

  • Amy
    August 4, 2017

    I LOVE this recipe because it sort of reminds me of cabbage rolls (which I love) but less work. Even my boyfriend with American taste buds likes it so it’s a win! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 5, 2017

      Awesome! I’m glad to hear you both like the recipe! Thanks for sharing your excellent review Amy! Reply

  • Sasha
    March 6, 2017

    Great recipie my 3rd time using it and love love love! Thank you Natasha! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 6, 2017

      I’m so happy you love it!! Thank you for sharing your awesome review!! 🙂 Reply

  • Natasha
    November 18, 2016

    How come You didn’t add water ? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 18, 2016

      Hi Natasha, there is enough moisture in the cabbage that it isn’t necessary. If you wanted to add a splash of water, or if you leave it uncovered for too long and the water evaporates out, it wouldn’t hurt to do so 🙂 Reply

  • Masha
    September 30, 2016

    Tried to make it, tasted awesome! My north american boyfriend loved it! Spasibo 😀 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 30, 2016

      You are welcome Masha and thank you for the nice review 😀. Reply

  • valerie
    July 9, 2016

    Can I just incorporate the flavored beef from the beef cabbage recipe into this one? Will it throw the flavors off? Thanks! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 10, 2016

      Hi Valerie, I think that would work and salt to taste since the beef recipe is seasoned with a fairly salty seasoning. Reply

  • March 24, 2015

    Thanks for the recipe Natasha and Vadim! I ran out of sour cream so I used heavy cream. Instead of ketchup I used tomato juice (about 1/2 cup) and tomato paste (2 tbsp.), ground chicken breast instead of pork. Wow, irresistible! Thank you!!!! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 24, 2015

      It’s so great to know that it works with the substitutions as well. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. Reply

  • Nonna
    October 31, 2014

    This looks really good…. Very similar to my moms. Question: do you have a braised cabbage recipe, vegetarian style??? Without the por. Reply

  • Chris
    September 18, 2014

    Delicious! And it’s very good cold straight from the fridge. I used over a pound of ground pork (it was what I had on hand). Thx!! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 18, 2014

      I’ve never tried with ground pork but I imagine it would be yummy and would probably make a yummy sandwich too; kind of like a sloppy joe, but a sloppy braised cabbage Jo? Sorry, I’m pregnant and crave strange foods. lol. Reply

  • Svetlana
    April 29, 2014

    I made this without meat (added two potatoes instead), since my husband is vegetarian and it still turned out great. This dish is also made in Moldova where I come from. The difference is we do not add any sour cream, but I think it’s tastier with it. Thanks for the recipe! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 30, 2014

      You’re so welcome! Thanks for sharing your variations. I love trying new ways of making things 🙂 Reply

  • March 6, 2014

    Hi there! I’ve been looking for authentic Russian “kid food” and comfort food for my blog about childhood food traditions from around the world and this is a great recipe. Would you mind if I reprinted it with slight changes on my blog and linked back here? My blog is http://www.thechildrenstable.com

    Charlotte Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 6, 2014

      Yes, that would be great! Thanks for asking 🙂 Also, if you are going to be using the photos, please keep the current watermarks on there 🙂 Reply

  • Katia
    October 15, 2013

    I made this today, instead of pork I used chicken. It turned out sooooo good. Thanks a bunch! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 15, 2013

      You’re so welcome. Thanks for sharing your variation. I love to change things up and try new versions 🙂 Reply

  • Oksana
    September 13, 2013

    This is some good stuff! My husband loves it when I make it.
    He especially loves for me to also make ‘pustushki’, just using like pelemeni dough and pinching it off in quarter sizes(or rolling it out, then use a pizza cutter to cut small pieces) to boil in salted water, and eat it with the braised cabbage. This is what I’m making him tonight, since I already have leftover dough, and all the ingredients for the cabbage. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 14, 2013

      Do you put the braised cabbage inside or just serve with braised cabbage on the side? Reply

  • Keith
    January 4, 2013

    Hello, Natasha!

    I just finished making this for the first time, and my friend and I are enjoying it as I write this! I made slight changes since neither of us are big ketchup fans. Instead of ketchup, I used tomato paste, added just a splash of chicken broth in order to thin it to ketchup consistency, and used the full tablespoon of white sugar (since the sugar in ketchup is no longer present). Also, we didn’t have any pork to use, so we used chicken!

    5 stars from both of us! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 4, 2013

      Thank you very much Keith, great way to substitute ketchup. Thank you for sharing 🙂 Reply

  • nadia
    November 27, 2012

    is it ok to put white sugar and not brown sugar? what is the difference? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 27, 2012

      Brown adds some nice color to the dish so I prefer it, but I think it would work with white sugar if you don’t have brown. You might try 3/4 tbsp white sugar instead. Reply

  • Larayna
    October 30, 2012

    Thank you! I’m Filipina and my husband is from Ukraine. We just got married so I am always learning new recipes for him! So far this is one of our staples. Cheap and easy to make! Thank you 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 30, 2012

      You are welcome Larayna. This dish is my husband’s specialty, he made it numerous times :). Reply

  • valya
    May 16, 2012

    The dish is really yummy, I also put rice and potatoes its really good too . Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 16, 2012

      Is it like braised potatoes then? Hmm, I should try that! 🙂 Thank you Valya! Reply

  • Tatyana V
    May 8, 2012

    Thank you for the great recipe….. My family loves it 🙂 Reply

  • Natalie
    March 20, 2012

    I’m making this for my very homesick Russian husband tonight. I’m american and we met when I was a missionary in Ukraine. So, I’m glad to find your blog since he misses Russian food so much!!! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 20, 2012

      I hope the recipe reminds him of home 🙂 Reply

  • Vikulya
    January 17, 2012

    Even my 10-month old baby liked this cabbage 🙂 Thanks, Natasha!!! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 17, 2012

      That’s awesome!! My son loves it too. Reply

  • Luda
    December 16, 2011

    Made this and its yummy:) Reply

  • Lana
    November 2, 2011

    Did this last week and it was DELICIOUS! My husband ate the whole thing in one day!! Thank You Natasha! Reply

    • Natasha
      November 2, 2011

      I’m so happy to hear you and your husband liked it so much 🙂 Thanks Lana! Reply

  • August 9, 2011

    yummy my favorite dish =) Reply

  • Ella
    March 3, 2011

    Hi. I was born in Ukraine and have relatives who make Russian food all the time. Since I am only 14, I have time to cook and I wanted to try out some Russian recipes. These are the recipes I have been looking for!

    They’re written in English (thank you) and look very yummy. I cooked some Тушеная капуста yesterday and brought some to my Grandma’s house.

    Later I got a call from her saying it was very good and she liked it, so thank you for giving us this delicious recipe! 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      March 4, 2011

      You’re very welcome Ella. I’m so glad you tried it and your Gradma enjoyed it. Hearing that really makes my day 🙂 Reply

  • Inna
    February 9, 2011

    Mmm Mmm Mmm, I love “tyshona kapusta” my mom always makes it, but with “kvashena kapusta” and i always thought that it was so complicated to make, but it really isn’t, Thanks so much for posting this recipe, i love it, i will make it this week, i like it that this recipe calls for just fresh cabbage 🙂
    Natasha may God abundantly bless you and your family. Reply

  • Alla S
    January 22, 2011

    Just wanted to let you know that kutia is actually really simple to make, there really isn’t much of a recipe, just combine all the ingredients in the proportions that suit you taste and voilà. I was born in Ukraine and ever since I can remember it’s been a family tradition to make kutia for Christmas Eve dinner.

    You will need:

    -Cooked barley “psheno” (you can buy it in most grocery stores if not any organic store will have it for sure.)
    -Canned poppy seeds (will find in the canned pie filling section of the store, this will save you a lot of time and its already sweetened.)
    -Cut up walnuts (can toast them before if you want to)
    -Cold water (my mom boils her water and then chills everything in the fridge but I don’t think that’s necessary, I guess old habits die hard)
    -Cut up halve (optional, I actually prefer kutia without it)
    -Sugar (if need more, taste before adding because the canned poppy seeds are really sweet)

    Mix ingredients together. You might need to play around with the proportions of everything until you get it to the consistency you like. We never measure so I can’t really give you exact amounts. The end product should look like a soup. Chill well before serving. I think it tastes better when it’s cold.
    Hope this helps. If you have any questions feel free to email me. And good luck in nursing school, I know exactly how you feel. I’m almost finished with the program myself. God bless you and your family. Reply

    • Natasha
      January 25, 2011

      Thank you Alla, I have most of those ingredients. I would like to try that recipe out when I get a chance. congratulations on almost being finished with a program. I bet that feels good 🙂 God bless you too! Reply

      • Lina D
        February 5, 2013

        My mom always used compote cherry ( or any other fruit or berries) instead of water- Amazing! Reply

        • Lina D
          February 5, 2013

          And honey instead of sugar 😉 Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          February 5, 2013

          Ooh I bet that does taste great. I have canned cherries that I made this summer; I bet the juice from that would be perfect! Thank you Lina! Reply

  • January 20, 2011

    Great dish! I’m Ukrainian also, and I hope you put up a recipie for Kota! I love kota, I look forward to it every Ukrainian Christmas/celebration! Reply

  • Joe in N Calif
    January 20, 2011

    Sounds like good hearty and tasty “peasant food.” Lots of cheap vegetables to stretch out a little bit of expensive meat. In other words, really good eats.

    Ever notice how some of the best food is peasant food? And a lot of the expensive trendy stuff that restaurants charge out of proportion to the cost of ingredients for. Braised shanks, pork belly, risoto, coq au vin, ravioli, and the like. Reply

    • Natasha
      January 20, 2011

      I agree, there’s nothing like peasant food. It’s what most Ukrainian and Russian kids grew up on. Reply

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