Rustic and delicious, this Polish Haluski combines pasta, buttery onions, and tangy sauerkraut in a soul-satisfying Eastern European comfort food.
This Polish Haluski doesn’t look like much, does it?
It almost looks like a poor man’s dinner. Some pasta, something resembling onions, and a bit of green to liven up an otherwise boring looking dish.
Trust me…it’s so much more than that. These pan-fried noodles and sauerkraut were one of Nana’s favorite (and signature) side dishes.
To be honest, I don’t really have a clear memory of how she used to make this. I remember ingredients, and how good this stuff tastes fried up in butter the second day.
Oh, it’s pure heaven when it’s all crispy.
This page includes step by step instructions, as well as tips and notes. If you’d like to skip all that, feel free to scroll down to the full, printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Of all the things my Nana used to cook when I was a child, this haluski recipe was the one that I requested the most.
It wasn’t until I reached adulthood that I truly appreciated this wonderfully simple comfort food. Maybe I love it more now because she’s been gone nearly two decades. I feel like she’s still around with every bite.
What does haluski mean?
Haluski is a traditional Eastern European dish that has roots in the cuisine of Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine. It’s a simple and hearty ‘peasant dish’ that consists of just a few cheap ingredients.
The name haluski is derived from the Slovak word halušky, which means small noodles or dumplings. The Polish sometimes also call this kluski: their word for noodles and potato dumplings.
While the name refers to dumplings in many languages, this version is more like a type of fried noodles and cabbage.
Or, in this case, noodles and kraut.
Just read the comments from years’ past if you want to be schooled by my readers. Nana emigrated to the States from Poland when she was a child in the early 1900s. Maybe that’s why she was a pasta user, not a dumpling maker!
This haluski recipe takes very few ingredients to make, most of which you likely have in your house.
- Pasta – Traditionally, egg noodles or homemade potato dumplings are used in this recipe. But Nana used bowties, and so do I! Do you!
- Onions – thinly sliced. White, yellow, or Vidalia onions are fine.
- Sauerkraut – so this is a point of contention among internet users. I have always had this meal with sauerkraut, but most haluski recipes call for plain old green cabbage. Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage, so I don’t see the problem? We’re all using the same thing, in the end! That said, if you’d rather use plain old cabbage, I won’t stop ya! You
- Butter – go crazy, use the good salted stuff. Just back off on adding salt later. Also, feel free to adjust the amount you use based on your tastes.
- Sea salt, black pepper, and chopped fresh chives are the only garnishes you need. You can add a cooked protein as well
Want to add protein? Haluski is a great vegetarian side dish for any meal, and is eaten frequently during Lent. If you’re looking to turn it into a meal with protein, may I suggest lots and lots of fresh kielbasa? Or maybe bacon. Yeah, bacon. Or even some Ikea meatballs? Might be a bit of a fusion dish at that point, but I bet that sauce would taste really good in this!
For exact ingredient measurements and recipe instructions, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post!
How to make Haluski
- Melt A LOT of salted butter in a big pot or dutch oven set over low-ish heat. The more the better, really. I guess you don’t have to use a whole stick if you’re thinking healthier, but more butter means lots of flavor in the case of this recipe.
- Once you’ve got your butter melted, sauté a crapton of onions. I like to use white onions or Vidalias – slightly sweet, and they don’t make me cry. Always a plus.
- While the onions are caramelizing, boil some bowtie pasta. You could also boil egg noodles for this, which is a very traditional pasta choice. Personally, I save those for stroganoff, but I digress. Nana always used the bowties, I had to keep this traditional for myself.
- After what feels like forever, but is only 30 minutes or so, you’ll have some perfectly caramelized buttered onions. Toss in your equally perfectly cooked pasta and watch that butter cling to it. Bliss.
- Lastly, add in your sauerkraut – don’t drain it all, though! Use that juice! Let it all warm up, sprinkle in a few dashes of salt and pepper, and you’re ready to feast!
If you want to use cabbage instead of sauerkraut…
You’re going to need a bigger pot, probably. A Dutch oven or even larger skillet will do. Chop or shred 12- to 16-ounces of fresh cabbage and saute it with the onions. This will help soften the cabbage up nicely, but it will still retain a little bit of crunch.
Can haluski be made in advance?
Yes! If you making a big batch for a party or family dinner, whip it up and store it in the fridge. Just reheat it in a bit more butter before serving – make sure you get a few crispy bits for yourself!
Storing and reheating haluski
To store leftover haluski, place it in an airtight container with a cover. Refrigerate for 3-4 days. I don’t recommend freezing it, as reheated frozen pasta tends to take on a mushy texture.
The best way to reheat haluski is by melting a bit of butter in a skillet and frying it up! You can also microwave it in a pinch.
More of Nana’s delicious dinners!
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Polish Haluski (Noodles & Kraut)
- 2 small onions white, yellow, or Vidalia; thinly sliced into rounds
- 8 ounces butter salted or unsalted
- 12 ounces farfalle bowtie pasta
- 16 ounces sauerkraut or chopped fresh cabbage (see notes for cooking)
- Fine sea salt
- Black pepper
- Chives optional
- Melt butter in a dutch oven set over low heat. Add sliced onions; saute for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning while the onions caramelize.
- While onions are cooking, follow box directions and boil farfalle pasta. Drain, rinse and set aside.
- When butter is nearly gone, add pasta and toss. Cook for 4-5 minutes, then stir in sauerkraut, allowing everything to come to a uniform temperature. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
- Transfer haluski to a serving dish. Sprinkle additional black pepper on top and garnish with chopped chives if desired. Serve and enjoy!