Czechoslovakian Braised Cabbage (Dusene Zeli) Recipe

Braised Cabbage

Gloria Cabada-Leman / Flickr 

  • Total: 80 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
105 Calories
3g Fat
17g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 105
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Sodium 473mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Protein 4g
Calcium 105mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Czechoslovakian braised cabbage recipe - dusene zeli - is easy to prepare, but it takes about 1 hour to braise properly. Still, the ingredients are few and simple and the dish makes a great accompaniment to many meat offerings. This recipe is a good candidate for a slow cooker.

For a shortcut, use pre-shredded cabbage.


  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat (or butter or olive oil)
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 4 slices bacon (chopped 1/4 inch)
  • 3 pounds cabbage (1 head, white or green, cored and shredded)
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (or more to taste)
  • Black pepper to taste (freshly ground)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat bacon fat and saute onions 8-10 minutes or until lightly colored. Stir in bacon and cook about 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add cabbage and caraway seeds, mixing well.

  2. Cover and cook 5 minutes over medium heat. Add vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover tightly and cook 45 minutes to 1 hour over low heat, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is done to your liking. Add water if necessary.