Stuffed cabbage rolls might not be everyone’s favorite. But this is likely because the only experience they have with cabbage rolls is reminiscent of overcooked, limp cabbage leaves and bland meat. Not this recipe! Gołąbki (gaw-WOHMP-kee) is an easy Polish recipe consisting of cabbage rolls, stuffed with ground meat and rice, and covered with tomato sauce. Also known as golumpki or gwumpki, they have great flavor coming from the beef, cabbage and tomato sauce, while the cooked rice adds texture.
Not only is it an inexpensive dish to make, but it’s also super satisfying and great comfort food to serve for the whole family for a weeknight dinner. Serve Gołąbki with a potato side dish and you’re ready to feed a hungry crowd!
Make it vegetarian by substituting ground beef for ground mushrooms.
Add sauerkraut to the tomato sauce—it will add extra flavor! Beef can be substituted with ground pork, turkey, or chicken. You can also swap the rice for barley or buckwheat.
The Gołąbki can be made in the slow cooker too!
Don’t like tomatoes? Use red pepper paste!
Uncooked Gołąbki can be stored covered in the fridge one day in advance. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days, and reheat in the microwave, on the stove, or in the oven.
The cooked Gołąbki can be frozen too. Allow to cool first, then transfer to a resealable Ziploc bag, together with a bit of tomato sauce, and freeze for up to 4 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge before heating in the oven for about 30 minutes.
Prepare the cabbage by slicing it into the core, but not removing it completely.
Boil cabbage for 15 minutes until leaves start to depart from the core.
In the meanwhile, cook the rice in a small pan.
Sauté the onion in a bit of oil until cooked.
Add the beef to a large mixing bowl and mix with the rice, onion, and remaining ingredients.
Wrap the meat mixture into the cabbage leaves.
Place the cabbage rolls in the pot.
Prepare the sauce by mixing the tomato paste and boiling water. Pour the tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls.
Bake at 170°C (350°F) for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Add more tomato sauce and fresh parsley and serve.
Interesting fact: Golumpki comes from the word Golab, meaning “pigeon”. It’s said that it’s so named because the cabbage roles resemble a pigeon’s chest.