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Cabbage With Pork- Romanian Recipe

Cabbage with pork- Romanian recipe is a dish you can make all year round. Cooked on the stove and finished in the oven, this dish is a delicious one that everyone in the family will enjoy.

Cabbage with pork in a colorful plate with bread on the side and hot peppers

Cabbage With Pork cooked on the stove and finished in the oven

Growing up in Eastern Europe, cabbage with pork was a recipe we often ate. Cabbage is a very popular vegetable in Romania, consumed all year round.

We preserve the cabbage in brine in the winter and use it for stuffed cabbage rolls, but we make salads or cook it with meats in the summer.

We also make stuffed cabbage rolls using the blanched cabbage leaves. As you probably know, cabbage pairs well with pork, and the flavors are excellent if you use smoked meat.

What ingredients go into this recipe:

This dish is considered an economical one, as it doesn’t require a lot of ingredients.

  • Cabbage

Cabbage is a versatile vegetable that you can use in many recipes. You can eat it raw, but you can also boil, steam, pickle, ferment, roast, braise, or saute.

There are so many recipes you can make, like these stuffed cabbage rolls or these awesome triangles made with cabbage and puff pastry. If you like red cabbage, try this red cabbage with pork and red currant jelly.

  • Pork

Pork and cabbage are excellent friends. For this recipe, you can use any cut that is good for a stew. I like to use pork shoulder or pork sirloin. Shoulder and sirloin tend to be tougher but flavorful and well-marbled with fat, making the cabbage delicious. Also, some leftover ham is always a good option.

  • Thyme

Thyme is a classic herb that is used in many recipes with pork. I always have dried thyme in my pantry, and this is what I always use. If you have fresh from your garden, don’t be shy to use it. Your cabbage and pork will be delicious.

  • Tomato sauce

This is also a versatile ingredient. Use what you have in your pantry, sauce, crushed tomatoes, fresh tomatoes that you cut, or pure tomato paste.

  • Onion

I use regular white onion. It is sweet and delicious and perfect for this dish.

  • Other ingredients

Bay leaves are also great in stews and work really well with pork and beef. Salt, pepper, and some water are all you need to finish this dish in a glorious way.

How To Make The Cabbage With Pork:

Step 1. Start by preheating the oven to 350F.

After starting it on the stovetop, we will finish the dish in the oven.

Make sure you use an oven-safe pot/pan since you will use it on both surfaces. My grandmother used lard for this dish, so if you are brave enough and lard doesn’t scare you, feel free to use it. It is delicious.

Step 2. Brown meat and onions.

Heat the oil or lard in a large pan on medium heat. Add the bite-size chopped meat and brown it on all sides. Chop the onion and add it to the meat. Sauté the onion until it becomes translucent.

Pork ham and onions cooking together in a pan with wooden spoon

Step 3. Cook the cabbage.

Add the shredded cabbage and stir well. Cabbage contains lots of water and takes up a lot of space at the beginning of the cooking process. Therefore you need a big pan.

Shredded cabbage in the pan cooking

After the cabbage loses some volume, add a little water and tomato sauce or paste. 

Cabbage cooking in the pan with tomato sauce

Also, add thyme and bay leaves. Then, add salt and pepper to taste.

cabbage cooking with pork, tomato sauce, and spices

Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes until the ingredients get friendly with each other.

Cabbage With Pork cooking with tomato sauce

Step 4. Place the pan in the oven.

Place the pan in the oven and forget about it for about 45 minutes to an hour. The goal is to reduce the liquid in the pan and also caramelize the cabbage a little bit.

Cabbage With Pork out of the oven

It will make your house smell so good, and if your family is anything like mine, you will see them emerge from their respective rooms, wandering around the oven, trying to see what you are cooking.

Step 5. Serve.

Serve it with crusty bread, hot peppers if you like, and some sour cream. My family LOVES putting sour cream on top of the cooked cabbage and eating it with my famous pickled hot peppers.

Sweet Cabbage With Pork on plate with hot peppers and bread on the side

It does feed a crowd. We always make more because we love to pack the leftovers for work the next day. It is perfect for a Sunday meal in the family!

Nothing better than cabbage with pork, and if you use some smoked meat, like ham, you will really fall in love with it!


Cabbage With Pork served on a colorful plate- close up

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Cabbage With Pork

Cabbage with Pork- Romanian Recipe is a dish that you can make year-round. Cooked on the stove and finished in the oven, this dish is a delicious one that everyone in the family will enjoy.
4.89 from 9 votes
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Course: Meat and Poultry
Cuisine: Romanian
Keyword: best cabbage with pork, cabbage dish, cabbage stew, cabbage with pork, pork and cabbage
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 309kcal


  • 1 pound cubed pork meat
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 medium cabbage shredded
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil or lard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-5 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water

To serve- Optional:


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Heat the oil or the lard in an oven-safe pan, on the stovetop, medium heat.
  • Add the cubed pork meat and brown it on all sides.
  • Chop the onion and add it to the pan. Saute it until translucent, stirring frequently.
  • Add the shredded cabbage and stir well. Add a pinch of salt.
  • After the cabbage loses some of its volume, add a little water, tomato sauce, thyme, and bay leaves.
  • Add salt and pepper to your taste.
  • Allow it to simmer on medium heat on the stove for about 10 minutes until the ingredients get friendly with each other.
  • Place the pan inside the oven and bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes. Do not cover it.
  • Remove when the sauce is reduced to half, and the cabbage is caramelized on top.
  • Serve it with sour cream on top, your favorite bread, and hot peppers, if you like them.


Pork meat: Use pork shoulder, sirloin, or any cut you like to make a stew.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 532mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 207IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 2mg
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Recipe Rating

Musial Rocks

Wednesday 30th of March 2022

Why wouldn't you use some kind of broth/stock (chicken, pork, veggie) instead of just plain water?


Monday 26th of December 2022

@The Bossy Kitchen, Whenever we make a dish with cabbage, we always use the water used to boil the cabbage because it picks up the flavor from the cabbage.

The Bossy Kitchen

Wednesday 30th of March 2022

You can, if you want. However, this is how the recipe was always done, with water. Believe it or not, cooking with broth/stock is not very popular in Eastern Europe, as it is here in the US. We never had broth/stock in the grocery stores and even today, this item is not available much. People use spices and herbs to flavor the food. Also, fresh cabbage releases a lot of water during the cooking process, therefore you do not need to add anything else to it.