Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Golabki)

January 12, 2023thetipsyhousewife

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Golabki)

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls or Golabki is the Polish name of a dish popular in cuisines of Central Europe, made from boiled cabbage leaves wrapped around a filling of minced pork or beef, chopped onions, and rice or barley. Gołąbki are often served during the Christmas season and on festive occasions such as weddings. We ate these once or twice a year growing up because they are a labor of love but worth the work.

I will post the full and printable recipe card below for your convenience. I have some tips and tricks listed beyond that to give you some help if y

Yield: 24 Rolls

Stuffed Cabbage

Stuffed Cabbage

This classic recipe is the ultimate comfort food. The savory filling has pork and beef along with caramelized onions and rice. Baked inside rolled cabbage leaves and topped with a tangy tomato sauce, this recipe is time consuming, but worth it., The beauty of this recipe is that you can freeze the extras for a delicious dinner another time.


  • 2 heads of cabbage
  • 1.5 cups of uncooked rice (this time I used Basmati rice)
  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 2 pounds of ground pork
  • 1 very large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper (approx.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg (approx.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of marjoram (optional)
  • 4 cans of Campbell's tomato soup
  • 4 cans of water (using the empty soup cans)
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • Garlic Powder, Onion Powder and Parsley (approx.)


  1. Core out the stem of the cabbage heads. Peel off the ugly outer leaves, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and submerge one head of cabbage at a time and boil for 5 to 7 minutes. You just want to loosen the leaves, not necessarily cook the cabbage. The time you boil depends on the size. The leaves will turn bright green. Carefully remove the head of cabbage and drain, when it cools peel the leaves off slowly to keep them intact. I layer them on some paper towels and let them cool. When they are cool, I trim the thicker stem part off of each leaf. You can cut these off completely or shave the hard stem down.
  2. Cook your rice according to the package directions and let cool. I like to cook mine in the Instant Pot.
  3. In a skillet, sauté your onion and garlic in the butter. I season the onions and garlic with salt, black pepper, white pepper and a little garlic and onion powder, nutmeg, if you use marjoram, add this now as well. When the onions are golden brown, remove from heat and let cool.
  4. In a large bowl, add your meat, Season with salt, pepper, white pepper, marjoram, onion powder, garlic powder, add the rice and the sautéed onions.
  5. Combine the meat mixture well, but don't over mix.
  6. In another large bowl, add the soup, the cans of the water, the sour cream, and I lightly season the soup mixture with all the same seasonings. Whisk this mixture until it is smooth.
  7. I baked all of my stuffed cabbage at once and then freeze, you can freeze them uncooked as well.
  8. I used three standard casserole pans, spread a little of the soup mixture in the bottom of each pan.
  9. Create a work station with your meat mixture and cabbage leaves.
  10. The rolling is time consuming but easy. I add about 3 to 4 tablespoons of the meat mixture to the center of each leaf, fold in the sides until they are close to touching as possible, fold in one side of the leaf, then roll it the rest of the way closed, tightly. Add the rolls to the pan. (see video on post)
  11. When all the cabbage leaves are rolled, pour the tomato sauce over each pan, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about one hour.
  12. I serve my rolls with mashed potatoes and the sauce made from the pan.
Boil the cabbage after coring out the stem. You only need to boil this long enough to loosen the leaves. The leaves will turn bright green.
I carefully peel the leaves and let them cool on a towel. I chop up the rest of the cabbage to spread on the bottom of the pans and place my cabbage rolls on top of the chopped up cabbage and some of the sauce.
I trim the harder part of the stem off of each cabbage roll. I prefer it this way, you can also use a paring knife to shave it down.

Stuffed Cabbage Tips

  • Don’t over mix your meat mixture. You want it well combined but if you over mix it, the meat will be tough.
  • Make sure your rice and onions are cooled before adding them to your meat.
  • I bake my Golabki before freezing the extras, you can freeze them uncooked as well.
  • My measurements for the seasoning are a suggestion, I like to season all the steps by eyeballing it. Add as much or as little as you like. Keep in mind that the marjoram and nutmeg is a very strong flavor, so be careful not to use too much.
Make these with my famous Mashed Potatoes.

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes make the best side dish for these delicious stuffed cabbages. I will link my famous mashed potatoes HERE. I add a little sour cream to my mashed potatoes when I am serving them with these stuffed cabbages.

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