Do you know one of the many things that set us apart from other beings on this earth is the ability to make associations? Whenever we are doing something, such as enjoying a meal, our brain is busy making associations. We end up remembering the flavor of the dish while associating its aroma with how it satiated us. Eventually, the next time we come across the same dish, our association radar shoots into action, and all the memories of that meal and its aroma come stumbling by.
What we grow up eating as a child becomes engraved in our memory forever, and it becomes our favorite comfort foods. Every home has one go-to recipe that is the ultimate comfort recipe for the household. This recipe might be linked to our childhood or something that we tried later on in our lives and could not forget. One such popular comfort food that is the easiest and can be cooked in one pan or pot is called Haluski—intrigued to know more? Let us dive in!
What is Haluski?
Haluski is the prime example of the easiest one-pot recipe. It is made of soft noodles, bacon, cabbage, and butter. Even the ingredients themselves make it sound like the yummiest noodle recipe. Butter and noodles are a match made in heaven – throwing in some sautéed bacon and cabbage add an element of taste and health.
What is the Origin of Haluski?
Though the origin of Haluski is debatable, the historical ties of this one-pot comfort food link back to the Czech Republic and Poland. Moreover, several different versions or variants of this dish have been popular in Eastern European regions. Some of the versions of Haluski exist with dumplings or potatoes used in place of noodles. Some say that the Polish Haluski recipe calls for cabbage instead of potatoes, which are the main ingredients in the Czech Republic’s version of Haluski.
Despite being native to Europe, Haluski is also considered to be widely popular in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You can find Haluski being the favorite go-to dish of people in Pittsburgh. The delicious aroma of melted butter cooked with bacon and spread over the hot pot of boiled noodles is what no one can resist.
How to Make Haluski?
Things You Need
- One onion (cut into round slices)
- One cabbage head (sliced into 1-inch pieces)
- 8 ounces of butter
- Salt (to taste)
- Ground black pepper
- Water (1-2 tablespoons if needed)
- Cooked egg noodles (8 ounces approximately)
- Sauté onion slices in about 4 ounces of butter (half of what you have taken for the recipe). Keep stirring while the onions are gradually caramelized. Be patient as this is the only step that takes up most of the preparation time.
- Now, toss in the cabbage slices and the remaining butter. Drizzle with salt and pepper to taste and add water only if necessary.
- Slowly keep stirring everything and sauté the onions and cabbage in butter. Let the cabbage get tender but not to the stage where it turns brown. This could take a while but be patient as a result is going to be worth the wait!
- Now pour in the cooked egg noodles in the prepared mixture of onions and cabbage. Add seasoning as you desire, such as crispy fried bacon, and serve hot!
Tip: you can also sauté onions in bacon for a heartier (read: meatier) version of the dish.
How to Reheat Haluski?
If you have some Haluski saved from the last meal, you can easily reheat it on the stovetop. This requires adding a little water to the dish while keeping it on the stovetop. Wait for the water to boil and heat the dish all over. You can also reheat Haluski in the oven. Add water to the dish and let it warm up to about 325°F.
Side note:reheating Haluski or any other pasta dish might render it softer than how it was earlier.
Is it Possible to Freeze Haluski?
If you want to make Haluski ahead of time, it is better to prepare everything and freeze. Leave the pasta slightly undercooked and mix up everything. Let it cool, and then you can tightly wrap everything in a plastic wrap or an air-tight Ziploc, cover with tinfoil and then freeze. This is one of the easiest ways to cook Haluski beforehand and make your hectic routine much easier.
To cook frozen Haluski, you need to defrost it overnight in the fridge and then transfer it to the baking dish. Add water as required so that everything is heated well, and the pasta is fully cooked.
Making Haluski in the Slow Cooker
As if making Haluski was not convenient enough, you can make this one-pot dish in the slow cooker too. Just fry the bacon till it is crispy in a skillet and then add everything except noodles. Let it all cook slowly for about 4-5 hours and only add noodles in the last cooking hour. Adding noodles at the beginning with everything will result in a mushy pile of egg noodles.
Making Haluski in an Instant Pot
Precook your noodles as you would do regularly for any other dish. Turn on the sauté function of your instant pot and cook the bacon till it is a tad bit less crispy than it would usually be. Now add cabbage, butter, and onions and let this mixture cook for 3 minutes by turning on the manual setting. Once your 3 minutes are completed, remove the lid and let the pressure release naturally. Add noodles and cook for about a minute so that they do not turn out mushy. Add seasoning and voila! You have the perfect pasta dish ready to be served!
Tips for Making Haluski
- Butter is an integral part of the recipe, so do not skip it. If you are conscious about your health, then get the organic butter, or Haluski would not taste the same without it.
- Adding half a teaspoon of garlic takes the flavor to a new level.
- You can get your hands on pre-packed sliced cabbage available in many grocery stores. Otherwise, you can cut the cabbage a day before and refrigerate it to use later on.
- Though egg noodles are a part of the traditional recipe, you can use any other type of pasta you like.
- If you prefer spicy food, then add a pinch of cayenne pepper to suit your taste.
- Adding cream or cheese to Haluski makes it yummier and creamier.
- You can also use any type of protein in Haluski to make it more nutrient-dense and delectable.
- Pees, spinach, or mushrooms make a great addition to this traditional dish.
Haluski – A Traditional European Dish
Traditional foods have the most associations attached to them. Haluski is also one of the traditional European dishes that is now popular in the US as it is yummy and so easy to cook. It is a type of dish that is a hit with almost everybody – be it kids or elders. So, take all the notes you can from this article and enjoy this hearty dish with your family and loved ones this weekend.