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Polish Golumpki (Golabki): Stuffed Cabbage Roll Recipe

I love making tasty dishes, and I enjoy sharing recipes with others.

Polish golumpki (golabki): stuffed cabbage rolls.

Polish golumpki (golabki): stuffed cabbage rolls.

My maternal family line goes back to the areas of Austria, Hungary, and Poland. In the years that I've been doing my family research, some of the recipes that I was brought up with began to make more sense and be much more appreciated! As an adult, I now enjoy making these recipes and sharing them with my family in the hopes that they continue passing them to their children.

As kids, we called this dish "pigs in a blanket," and it was a favorite that my Grandmom often made. In our Polish heritage, they're actually called Gołąbki (also known as Golumpki, Gwumpki, and Golabki), but the Slovak areas made the name Halupki a more recognizable name than Golumpki. Some people just call them "stuffed cabbage leaves" or even "cabbage casserole." We call them delicious!

Golumpkis are often served during the Christmas season among those of Polish heritage. Whether you make them during Christmas or throughout the year, you are sure to love these delicious stuffed cabbage rolls from the kitchen of my grandmother.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

45 min

1 hour

1 hour 45 min

Serves 6–8

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  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 onion, small, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups rice, uncooked
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, black
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, divided into 2 equal portions
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 head cabbage, cored as much as possible
  • chives (optional, for garnish)
  • sour cream (optional, for garnish)


  1. Core the head of the cabbage. Place the cored head of cabbage in a steamer basket large enough to fit the head. Place the basket into a stock pot with about an inch of water. Steam the cabbage head until the outer leaves are easy to remove. Continue until all leaves are soft and can be removed easily. Set the leaves aside. (Alternately, you can bring salted water to a boil and boil the cabbage head until the leaves are softened.)
  2. In a large bowl, place the ground beef, pork, chopped onions, uncooked rice, salt, paprika, garlic, pepper, and 1/2 of the petite diced tomatoes. Mix together with your hands.
  3. In the bottom of a large pot, place any broken cabbage leaves that you may have.
  4. Holding one of the full leaves in one hand and using a large spoon, place a spoonful of the mixture near the stem end of the leaf. Fold in the sides of the leaf and roll from the stem end to the outer edge. Gently place the edge side down on top of the broken cabbage leaves. Continue until all leaves are rolled and placed in the pot. You will probably have to stack them; just fit them in on top of another with the edge side down.
  5. Take the two cans of tomato sauce and gently pour over all the wrapped cabbage rolls. (If you prefer, reserve about 1/2 cup to add over golumpkis when they're served.) Add in the other half of the petite diced tomatoes. Add in 1 cup of water or reserved water from steaming the cabbage.
  6. Sprinkle a little paprika on top of the sauce.
  7. Place a heat-safe plate upside-down on top of the cabbage rolls. This will prevent the cabbage rolls from falling apart when they are being cooked.
  8. Cover and boil slowly for about an hour or until cooked through and tender.
  9. Remove from heat and carefully remove the plate. Use a large spoon to serve.

Paleo Modification

If you're following a Paleo lifestyle of eating, this recipe is for you with one little modification!

Omit the rice and take several large florets of cauliflower and pulse in a food processor until the cauliflower resembles rice. Use this faux rice in the recipe instead of the rice!

© 2012 Keely Deuschle

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