My dad was the family cook so I learned to make Polish cabbage rolls (golabki) growing up. We always used Uncle Ben's converted rice in the stuffing but the mushrooms are optional. Serve them plain or browned in a little olive oil with a dollop of sour cream on the side. - Jenny Jones
- 1 large head of cabbage (about 3 lbs.) – or use 2 smaller heads
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large mushrooms, finely diced - 1 1/2 cups (optional)
- 1 pound ground sirloin
- 3/4 cup uncooked long grain rice (brown or white)
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup Pomi strained tomatoes or canned tomato puree
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup liquid (beef stock, cabbage water, or combine with some leftover tomato for 3/4 cup)
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cut center core out of cabbage and place, core side down, in boiling water. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- While cabbage simmers, heat oil in pan over med-high heat and sauté onion and garlic 3-5 minutes until browned. Add mushrooms and cook another 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl to cool.
- Remove cabbage to a rimmed baking sheet, keeping water in the pot. Gently remove leaves from cabbage, cutting away from the core with a small knife. Set aside the best 16 unbroken leaves and cut off the thick spine in the center for easier rolling. Set all remaining broken or small cabbage leaves aside. (If the core is too firm, return it to boiling water for a few minutes to soften)
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- To cooled onion mixture, add meat, uncooked rice, parsley, tomato, salt & pepper. Combine well.
- Place about 1/4 cup of filling in each leaf, roll, and place seam side down in a 13 by 9-inch pan. Pour liquid over rolls and lay some leftover leaves on top. Cover pan tightly with foil, and bake for 1 1/2 hours. (Place pan on a cookie sheet in case it drips)
- Remove from oven and let rest 30 minutes or better still, let cool and refrigerate overnight. (They freeze well.)
How to Serve: The next day they are really good when browned in a little oil or butter and served with a side of sour cream. Click here..
To Cook on Stove Top - Use a heavy Dutch oven or your heaviest pan. If you have leftover cabbage leaves, place them on the bottom of the pan first to prevent burning. Use the same recipe, cover the pan and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for about an hour. It takes less time because you bring it to a boil much faster on the stove top. Uncover occasionally to make sure they are cooking and to see if more liquid is needed.
My wife is allergic to rice. I substituted riced cauliflower and Barley for the rice as I do in other recipes for us. It turned out great!!
I put in 1cup of the riced cauliflower and 1/4 cup of barley. Thank you for this great recipe
When making the cabbage rolls, what would you serve with it? Like a complete dinner?
Thank you for your kind response.
I would serve with pierogi, kielbasa, mashed potatoes, green beans, and a good rye bread
These are amazing and taste like my grandmother made them..
How can I freeze these
Portion the amount you want for each meal & just put them in a freezer safe container.
Hi jenny. I watched your show back in the day and recently found your YouTube channel and now your site. Your recipes are great and easy to follow. But how come you dont post to YouTube anymore? Just wondering?
These cabbage rolls turned out to be the best thing I ever cooked in my entire life (I’m 90). The flavors somehow blend miraculously into the final delicious product. Thank you for your wonderful recipes and for generating the happiness and confidence to try new stuff.
I’m trying this for the first time. I’m using ground elk meat, Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 stalk diced celery with our home canned tomato sauce. The recipe was easy to follow and I stayed fairly try to the recipe. My daughter has been wanting this for a couple of months because she remembered a friend making this for us.
Do you freeze the rolls prior to baking or bake and freeze. I tried after cooking and the cabbage was mush when I thawed them out.
My husband is from Ukraine and my family East Europe but I had no idea how to cook this kind of food. Your recipes have helped me learn to cook, enjoy cooking, feed my family and help me draw closer..make connections to my roots. Thank You so much for all You have done. You are amazing!
Can I make this in a slow cooker?
I love this recipe! I have made it a few times now. You gave me the confidence to make cabbage rolls. Thank you 🙂
I just discovered your site. I’m a fan. I used to watch your show on TV. Really enjoyed watching you then. And now i can enjoy your site! Thank you for all the wonderful recipes and doing this for us all.. My mother-n-law made cabbage rolls. But sadly we didnt get the recipe before she passed on. Haven’t had them since.The recipe sounds like how she made hers, so I’m going to try them. Once again THANK YOU JENNY!
I like the recipe! However you’re being very presumptuous when you say your way is more healthy than your father’s.
My polish great-grandparents drink grease for breakfast lunch and dinner. They lived to be over 100. My grandparents ate healthy and avoided butter! They died in their 80s! My parents stopped eating eggs as instructed by physicians. They used margarine and all the other stuff they died in their sixties and seventies!
Not sure Polish food as your father made it is bad for people…
You have to realize that back in the days of our grandparents , food , either meat or vegetables was not filled with antibiotics and growth hormones or chemical fertilizers . What they ate was naturally raised . Chickens were free range and laid an egg a day …. Not production chickens that burn out in a matter of weeks producing multiple eggs a day . Times are different and as much as we want to eat and keep healthy , there certainly are concerns as to the quality of what is available and affordable on the supermarket shelves .
you are so right. i am 88 yrs. young.
Can you tell me why my pork & beef stuffed cabbage come out pink inside, my all beef don’t.
So glad I found this! All the other recipes I saw used cooked rice- not how I remember it. This recipe is the real deal- always use uncooked rice so much easier! I make the tomato sauce sweet and sour by omitting the parsley and adding a little vinegar and brown sugar. Serve w some sour cream on the side. Delicious!
Just tried your awesome recipe! Growing up my parents made cabbage rolls using tomato soup (were Italian) however, these were so incredibly tasty… my new go to recipe for cabbage rolls! 😊
Amazing recipe! Just made it!
Rinse & Core cabbage. Put cored Side down in large plastic/microwave proof bowl with 1/2 Cup of water and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave for 10 minutes on high. I use meat fork to remove cabbage from bowl to counter and tongs to gently pull outer leaves off. If leaves are not coming off easily, microwave a few minutes longer.
What a great idea, thanks for the tip.
My Mom and your Dad must have gone to school together… This is exactly her recipe and it has been a great meal all of my life. Thanks for all of your recipes that we all enjoy!!!!!!
Hey Jenny, Loved your show. Made your cabbage rolls tonight. Thank you! YOU ARE STILL ROCKING IT GIRL!!
Love cabbage rolls your are the best Thank.you for all your tips.
When I was growing up my grandmother grandfather when they get cook a lot of the dishes I read that you have published here you talk about using rice or brown rice they never use much rice the grain a used at that time was barley. Maybe it was the part of Poland they came from or what but I just found it interesting your thoughts on it thank you
Ohhhh, I loved golabki (sorry I can’t get the proper accent marks). I don’t remember my mom (Polish, possibly half Ukrainian) using tomato sauce or soup, just water when she made them. As she got older though, she felt making the actual golabki was too labor-intensive and just made a hot dish (“casserole” for non-Minnesotans) with chopped-up cabbage; then she used tomato soup and 50/50 ground beef & Jimmy Dean sausage. Whatever, the cabbage was always the waxy pale green winter variety, never savoy
Jenny, Can freeze these “uncooked” to cook for company ?
I love this video. Jenny…you are so easy to follow. I can’t wait to make this 😍 I’ll let you know how I did .
I seem to remember my Grandmother using sour salt?
Made this. Loved them! I really can’t compliment you enough on your clear instructions. They were thorough but not too much, and it all came together perfectly. Thank you!
I use a rice blend and it soaks up the juices nicely. I tend to use too much liquid. Always turns out great.
I’ve made this recipe a half dozen times – it’s delicious! I grew up eating these made with ground pork so I use that instead. A premium ground pork is so tender and delicious in these rolls. Yes to sour cream! If you’re Polish you put sour cream on everything 😉 Thank you, Jenny!
The rolls were excellent except the rice seemed undercooked and hard. Any suggestions?
The rice was Bens converted rice. Converted rice is par boiled & dried. It will cook a little faster & is fluffier than regular rice. Less calories & carbs.
I always use regular rice but parboil it first.
I thought the same thing but after reheating the next day (300 for 40 min.) everything was fine.
I did the 1/2 beef & pork mixture as my Polish MIL showed me. I use tomato soup as well.
For the rice she had me par-boil the rice so it will have time to cook. Try that next time and see of it works. Do NOT fully cook the rice before adding to the meat mixture or your rolls will be mushy from overcooked rice.
Just made this tonight. I really enjoyed them much more paned till brown with sour cream. Very delicious detail that really set this dish off.
Hi Jenny! I want to make your cabbage rolls but I am unable to eat tomatoes.
Is there any substitution I could make in your recipe?
Thank you! Love your videos and recipes!
Tomatoes are not really necessary for stuffed cabbage. The juice in my mother’s sweet and sour version of nearly 100 years ago contained sugar, citric acid, a bit of flour, and water. There are no written recipes in my family but Jenny’s cabbage rolls look beautiful and very do-able.
Thank you Nancey for the suggestion. I will try it!
We covered cabbage rolls with mix of vinegar and water. Layered with bacon, garlic, bay leaves. Anyone else do that?
Yes! My mother always cooked them on the stove top with vinegar and a little water poured over the top. That is how I prefer them.
We used the same PLUS brown sugar to sweeten the sauce yet still give it a kick.
Beef broth will do nicely. Try cream of mushroom soup thinned with a little water and a little milk.
100%polish here…half my aunts made cabbage rolls with tomatoes, the other half ( including my mom) made them covered with sauerkraut.
Being 100% polish and having options when cooking is da best!😂
Love love sauerkraut on top!
I’ve made these several times. My partner hates cabbage but LOVES this dish. Always turns out great.
Oops I forgot to add the rice , we will see what happens.
Like others, I’ve made this recipe countless times…even in the heat of summer. I personally love mushrooms, but others don’t, so I’ve added finely minced carrots and celery and have substituted leeks for onions when available. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!
I never used mushrooms in this way but I noticed a difference since using them. I just make sure they are finely chopped and no one will even notice them.
I’ve made this recipe several times – it’s always amazing. Recently, I made some for my neighbors – she is an excellent cook but I thought “it’s the thought that counts” right? Her husband absolutely raved over these cabbage rolls even though she makes them often. This is the first recipe that my neighbor AKA “Betty Crocker” has asked ME for! Thanks Jenny! Now we need one for stuffed peppers.
I add tomato sauce, & chopped bell peppers to (basically) this recipe, to stuff into my bell peppers. HTH!!! Blessings!
My husband dislikes cabbage so I use the golomkis mixture to stuff some peppers for him…I cut my peppers in half lengthwise! He LOVES these! I also use diluted cream of tomato soup as my tomato topping! My mother was Polish.
I also use diluted condensed tomato soup.
Delicious recipe and I am serving this to a friend and her husband that are originally from Ukraine.
I thought I would make my “World Famous” (just bragging) root vegetable mash and I could also do roast small sweet carrots in the oven. Any other suggestions or what type of dessert should I add to this? Thank you!
I think I messed up. I cooked the meat along with the onions. Will it ruin them?
YUP, You’re screwed!!!😂😂😂 Just KITTEN! I’m sure they were delish!!!
Jenny these tasted fantastic! You have given me the confidence to branch out and try new things! Thank you so much, and you are so funny!
I too am a cabbage roll connoisseur and have been making them for fifty years using my Mothers recipe. My secret is to pressure cook them. Mouth melters! Everyone loves them. I just use cooked rice, uncooked minced pork and beef, fine diced onion and salt & pepper. Mix with a beaten egg. Load in pressure cooker with 2 cups liquid. I use bovril mixed in water with a splash of tomato juice or V8. If no tomato juice no problem. I really love the sour cabbage from our Mennonite Market but I can only get them in the winter months in Canada. You don’t have to boil the heads, the leaves just fall off. Otherwise I use Savoy cabbage. Much more tender than regular green cabbage. Whatever your recipe is try the pressure cooker. So tender and juicy. Cut with a fork. Sour cream is optional. Enjoy!
I find it inappropriate to post your personal recipe on the website of someone else who is teaching theirs. So much competition and disregard for professional ethics on the internet!!!
As someone new to Polish cooking I enjoy all variations on the same dish, as it gives me better insight and personal development. Please, by all means, share your recipes for the rest of us watching.
I totally agree and God bless you for your openness. I say the more the merrier!! It doesn’t take away from the original poster for me it adds fun and creativeness. I would be so open to trying both. I never had a mother who taught me nice things like this. I appreciate all you lovely ladies for sharing your treasures and tips! Thank you so much!! ❤
I agree! Get your own website if you want to give out your recipes…This is Jenny’s site and she has put a lot of time and love in it:)
Thank you for sharing your recipe. What is the time setting for your pressure cooker for cabbage rolls? I want to try it!
I use the Instant Pot pressure cooker all the time, for instance to cook the eggs which never crack, or to make the dough for bread using the yogurt program…
I just put 21 cabbage rolls in the oven following Jenny’s receipt. But the hot oven will make my house warmer.. I do not have the AC since it was never needed. Now we need it!
Unfortunately due to the recent heat wave we have experienced around 500 people died in Vancouver area. The pressure cooker cooking is the best way to keep a house cool if you can eliminate the oven from the cooking process.
I pressure cook them for at least 25-35 minutes gentle setting. You can’t ruin them. Trick is to let them stand down and wait until the pressure valve comes down. I don’t open lid for at least 25 minutes. ( that way the flavour is absorbed by the rolls and does not escape with the steam)
I thought it was nice for Judi to add her ideas. It’s like having a conversation in the kitchen.
I agree with you I think it is nice for everyone to share their own recipes
Great tip using pressure cooker. I have that Instapot that I have not used. How long do you cook it for?
Thank you for your input. I am just learning how to make these even tho i grew up on them being a German Russian from ND. I love getting many variations then taking out of them, what would work for me. My mother would have loved your pressure cooker idea. Blessings!
How long did you pressure cook them for
I’m a 74 year old NC country southern cook who grew up helping my mama in the kitchen cooking vegetables from our garden(summer fresh&home canned in winter), making preserves(pies& cobblers) from fresh fruits & making biscuits & cornbread from scratch. I consider that a gift.
But your cabbage rolls’ recipe & video are Christmas tree lights! I’ve shared your YouTube videos with friends & family.
THANK YOU as I make a double recipe of the best cabbage rolls EVER!
I feel the same way I’ve wanted to make them forever and now you’ve explained it perfectly thank you so very much!
Jenny thank you so much. I have watched my grandpa and dad make golumpki my whole life. I make it often. But you have showed me some new tricks. You bet your Dupa I’m making them this weekend.
I noticed you used two big green scoops to remove the cabbage from the pot of water. Where do you find tools like that?
Please see the FAQs.
My dad’s father came to the US from Russia and his mother from Poland. The cabbage rolls they made are different from any other recipe I’ve seen. Instead of a tomato based sauce they have a sweet sauce made with brown sugar. It’s very good. My dad’s favorite dish. Have you heard of a galumpki recipe like this?
YES!!! My Great-Grandfather made his like this…I’ve been searching for a recipe without tomatoes & I don’t have his recipe 🙁 But I do know that there was ground beef, ground sausage, rice, vinegar, and brown sugar…and probably some other things but I don’t remember. He spoke German but they were Germans that spent time in Russia. Do you have your recipe that you would be willing to share?
As a man of Polish descent myself, I can say that these cabbage rolls are THE BOMB!!!!
You are an amazing lady. So beautiful, amazing presenter, with a beautiful voice. It was a pleasure watching your video. This video was so well done. I am in awe of you. Thank you so much.
I just have a question. My friends mom is from the Ucrain. (Sorry if I spelled it wrong) Anyway I don’t think she uses tomato in hers. Is that something I can change on the recipe?
I use some tomato sauce in preparing the meat. Also, I use a little lemon juice in the mixture and some more lemon juice in the water I pour over the cabbage rolls when baking them in the oven. I make a few other changes but they are my Armenian touch to the cabbage rolls that we call “cabbage sarma.” The Polish version is very nice as well. I have made them several times and I do serve the cabbage rolls with yogurt on top of the roll(s) on my dinner plate if desired.
I’m just say’n . . .
Thank you!! Now I have the Armenian way and the Polish way…
so thank you.
My mother who is Russian/Ukrainian alway cooked these on top of the stove with a little vinegar and water at the bottom of the pot. She would have them simmer for a few hours and added water as needed. No tomatoes.
I have been making Holupki/Golubki for 50 years, but before learning my Ukrainian parents, some 70 plus years ago began precooking the inexpensive ground beef to reduce fat; we also prefer pre-cooked meat texture. I often found those I treid made with raw ground meat are often steamed, the meat looks rare and texture was mushy. I assume using low-fat raw ground sirloin and baked in one or two slayer, this might not be issue, but have never made them that way. I pre-steam rice in half amount of normal liquid so rice is still firm but not hard. While rice is par-steaming, I saute onions and fine diced celery till soft, add minced garlic for a minute, then off heat add 1/4 cup fresh parsley. At same time I lightly brown 2-3 lbs of 80-85% ground beef till no longer pink and drain (ground dried tofu or veggie burger works too) then mix all of above with 4 whipped eggs, salt/pepper; one can add other seasonings. This mix will hold together fine. Note some canned brands of tomatoes do not taste as good, so taste test in advance. However this consistently works: 5-6 cups of low sodium tomato or vegetable juice or 48 ounces of quality tomato sauce, 1-1.5 cups of ketchup, 1-2 fresh bay leaves, pinch of thyme, Worchestshire sauce, and sugar or other sweetner to taste. If simmered for 15 -20 minutes makes a great sauce and I always make extra sauce for serving on side. I can have these from start to in the oven in about 1.5 hours even working alone, by learning to do multiple things at once. Freezing cabbage to make it more pliable and avoid steaming is interesting and will try, but fear the cell structure will be damaged. Have used the aforementioned microwave method and that works too. Or just use Savoy cabbage which is softer and needs no steaming.
Thanks fir this great recipe and the how to video. I have made these a couple of times. They do freeze well and are yummy,
I follow the recipe except I use ground turkey and chicken stock for the liquid.
I have made them without rice also for low carb, using cauliflower rice.
I ❤️ this recipe & shared it with friends & relatives. Tomorrow will be my first time using 2 days to make the dish – Meat mixture prepared & stored in frig & next day cabbage prepared & rolls made. I plan to bake half & freeze the rest to cook when my NC niece visits in a few weeks. (Safety first! We will have been COVID vaccinated for 2 weeks by then.). Thank you, Jenny. I’m so glad I “stumbled” upon your YouTube demonstrations. Some of the BEST & concise I’ve watched.
I have made these a lot…and each time they came out wonderful…
I love this easy recipe !
Thanks Jenn !
Made em! They goooood! Thanks Jenny.
Buy some help. Come back to work.
Your fans need you. :).
Oh. I served them with your awesome bread recipe.
I’m 92 years old, living by myself and learning how to cook. Enter Jenny…..I’ve chosen a half dozen of your recipes to be my new go to meals for the next short while, then I’ll decide which I like best and make and freeze and store.
Jenny you are a breath of fresh air with your naughty sense of humour and your wonderful recipes, you have made living in the age of the pandemic a little easier for which I thank you. Remember that you are very important to so many people and try to encourage others to take all the virus precautions too. Edmund
Edmund, I want to follow in your footsteps and keep cooking into my 90s too. I’m so glad my recipes are working for you and if you have any questions at all, just ask and I will try to help.
Thanks for your thoughtful comment to Edmund
When I was a child my great grandmother made these but there was never tomato sauce or canned tomatoes. She just used beef or chicken broth. She was born and raised in Poland but immigrated to the US. Is the use of tomato sauce the traditional way to make this or is the tomato sauce a variation?
My mother’s family was Slovak and they always had some tomato in the water.which makes a thin “sauce” but was perfect.
My mother’s family was Slovak too and there was always a hint of tomato in the broth that Grandma made. I made these last night and this recipe worked perfectly. I did not have tomato puree so I drained a can of diced tomatoes, (saved the juice) pureed those and added to the meat mixture. Whenever I had tried to make stuffed cabbage from guessing and memory, the filling was tough and dry. I think that the addition of tomato puree helped tenderize and moisturize the meat, as well as giving the rice needed moisture. I did add the saved juice to the beef broth for braising. You could also sprinkle dollops of any extra puree over the rolls and into the broth. For me, this recipe is perfect and will be my go-to for cabbage rolls. Thanks, Jenny!
My grandmother was Polish and we used to eat them all the time. She never used tomato over them.
My mother would sometimes use tomato juice with the crushed plumb tomatoes. Also she cooked them stove top. Also she put kielbasa on top. My aunts saved the bacon rind ( they sliced their own bacon ) and put that on the bottom of the pot with some cabbage leaves. It kept the cabbage rolls from sticking to the pot and added flavor. Also she used regular long grain rice.
I prefer it made with sauerkraut, so I omit the tomatoes.
Jenny, just curious if you use a “particular” type of cabbage? I know that when my mom and aunts made cabbage rolls, they were very particular on the type of cabbage that they chose. Some like Savoy cabbage, others liked the smaller cabbages with the smaller and perhaps more tender leaves.
Do you have a favorite, or, just pick a cabbage?
savoy cabbage is the best and easier to work with
If your cabbage leaves were hard to roll it’s because they didn’t cook long enough.
They look so good. Being a vegetarian, I will make them with tofu.
When I make vegetarian ones I fill with an array of sautéed mushrooms, grated carrot and wild rice (along with onions/garlic and spices) very hearty.
I like 2/3 rice to 1/3 buckwheat as a lenten variation with a lot of onions fried in butter – the rice is par boiled – serve with a mushroom gravy