Golumpki (Gołąbki, Stuffed Cabbage)

4.46 from 195 votes

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Golumpki (Gołąbki, Stuffed Cabbage)A rose by any other name is still a rose. That is very true with today’s post which is a Polish recipe for stuffed cabbage.

This is the number one Golumpki Recipe on Google, and you can read on to learn how we make this classic comfort food.

Close up of cabbage roll on plate
Check out our recipe for authentic Polish Golumpki. It’s the #1 Ranked Golumpki Recipe on Google.

Golumpki (Gołąbki, Stuffed Cabbage)

Some people call it pigs in a blanket, while others call it cabbage rolls and yet still others call it stuffed cabbage.  No matter what anyone else calls it, I call this Polish recipe for stuffed cabbage (P0lish golabki) utterly delicious.

Our whole family agrees that this golumpki recipe is one of our favorite meals.

A close up of sauced cabbage roll on plate
Golumpki goes by many names, including golabki.

Golumpki (Gołąbki, Stuffed Cabbage)

When I was a child growing up in Detroit, we had stuffed cabbage all the time. However we never called it stuffed cabbage, we called it Golumpki, the Polish name for stuffed cabbage.

Golumpki is traditionally made for special occasions like weddings, first communions and during holidays like Easter and Christmas.

Traditionally, a Golumpki recipe is a meat mixture such as ground beef, mixed with rice, onions, and spices that is then rolled in a cooked cabbage leaf.  It is topped with a tomato sauce and then baked.

Every cook has their variation of family recipes, and therefore this golumpki recipe may be a bit different to what you are used to.

A close up of food, with golabki
How to make Polish Golabki. This Golumpki is simply a meat mixture that is rolled in cabbage, covered in a tomato sauce, and then baked to savory perfection.

You may know this recipe as Polish Golabki

My Polish grandmother had her way of making stuffed cabbage, and my mother tweaked her mom’s recipe and made her version, and finally, I have probably tweaked my golabki a bit.

I can barely wait to see how my kids make this when they have kids!

A close diced bacon in pan
Adding a little bacon to the golumpki gives a flavor boost to the lean beef that I use for this recipe.

When it was my turn to learn how to make these, I lived 500 miles away from home.  I was attending college in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, far away from where I grew up and consequently found myself having a powerful craving for some Golumpki.

Unfortunately, my mom was in Detroit, so she wasn’t going to be able to whip up a batch.  And therefore I found myself wondering, what was a boy supposed to do?

 How to Make Polish Stuffed Cabbage

A close up of a person rolling a Gołąbki
This is how my mom and grandmother make their Golumpki (Gołąbki, Stuffed Cabbage) recipe.

It seemed pretty obvious that had to take matters into my own hands and so I took ET’s advice and phoned home.  My mother explained to me her recipe for Polish golumpki and finally gave me all of her tricks and secrets for this savory Polish recipe for stuffed cabbage.

A dutch oven filled with plain Gołąbki before sauced
Place the wrapped cabbage rolls in a baking dish.
A close up of tomato product in dutch oven, someone adding pepper from above
Pour a layer of tomato soup over the cabbage rolls and add a little pepper before baking.

After hanging up the phone, I jumped right into it and finally made my very first batch.

They weren’t as good as my mom’s, but I kept trying. We love family recipes, and our pierogi recipe is another favorite dish that I grew up with.

What are some of your favorite family recipes? Leave us a comment below and let us know.

A close up of plated pierogi on plate with sour cream and scallion garnish
Our kids love the same pierogi recipe that my mom and grandmother made for me when I was growing up. I hope someday my kids make this for their children.
One sauced cabbage roll on plate on table
Golumpki is a meal all by itself!

Well, that was more years ago than what I want to admit, and my version of golumpki is different from my mom’s and my grandmother’s, but my family loves them.  Give them a try, and I think you will too.

Dinner table halved stuffed cabbage on plate with fork, serving dish with utensil behind
This family recipe for golumpki can feed a crowd. As a bonus, this golabki is just as good or even better tasting the next day. It’s great for leftovers!

Scott’s Cooking Tip for this Polish Stuffed Cabbage

This stuffed cabbage can be cooked a day ahead of serving. Just allow it to cool, wrap it up and chill it in the refrigerator until the next day.

Also, you can freeze it up to one month. Just let it thaw, then reheat the cabbage rolls in a hot oven (350°) for 30-40 minutes.

Mini stuffed cabbage with cocktail picks on garnished plate
You can even make smaller versions of this golumpki (think mini-me!) for delicious and beautiful appetizers!

If you love Polish food, be sure to see our post, What to Serve with Pierogies – 15 Easy Recipes.

2 men standing behind a mixer, at a kitchen counter
See us put together some Golumpki on Good Day Wisconsin!

Hungry but perhaps feeling just a tad lazy? Try our Lazy Golumpki (Stuffed Cabbage Casserole).  It has all the flavor without all the effort therefore perfect for the lazy cook within each of us!

Close up someone removing a cooked cabbage roll from baking vessel
Our Stuffed Cabbage Casserole Lazy Golumpki has all the taste of the original recipe but half the work!

A close up of individual serving bowl of garnished soup on table
Give our Golumpki Stuffed Cabbage Soup a Taste!
My mom always makes her golumpki in an old fashioned roaster.
We usually use a Dutch oven but either one works great.
See the links below for links to these.

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Golumpki (Gołąbki, Stuffed Cabbage)

4.46 from 195 votes
Authentic Polish Golabki recipe. These Polish stuffed cabbage rolls will feed a crowd. Also, you can make this recipe ahead and freeze it up to one month before serving.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total: 2 hours
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • Cabbage head
  • 1 lb Ground Chuck
  • 1 lb Ground Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 lb cooked and crumbled bacon
  • A med to large white onion chopped
  • An egg
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 Family size can Tomato Soup, I prefer Campbells
  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp salt, adjust to taste
  • 1 tbs pepper, adjust to taste
  • 3 cups White Vinegar

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Put cabbage head in a large stock pot, add water to cover and then add white vinegar to the water.
  • Place on stove on high heat and cover, bringing to a boil.
  • Gently boil cabbage until leaves of cabbage soften and become pliable.
  • Remove from stove and drain water from the pot. Set aside and allow cabbage head to cool.
  • Once cabbage is cooled, remove the leafs from the cabbage head. Take a paring knife and cut the lower portion of the "vein" from the leaf. This vein is very tough and needs to be removed. It will make it much easier to roll the meat mixture in the cabbage leaf. Continue to do this until you remove as many leaves from the cabbage as you can.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine ground chuck, sausage, crumbled bacon, chopped onion, egg, rice, bread crumbs and finally add the salt and pepper. Make certain to thoroughly combine the ingredients together. The "meat" mixture will be a similar consistency to meatloaf. It should be nice and moist. If it seems dry, add an additional egg.
  • Lay a cabbage leaf down on a flat surface thus allowing you to roll it easier. Take some of the meat mixture and form into a large meatball. You may make these as large or as small as you prefer therefore choose the size of your preference. Place the meatball in the center of the cabbage leaf. Wrap the cabbage leaf around the meat mixture (see video above).
  • Place the stuffed cabbage in a roaster with the wrapped edges down in the roaster. Repeat this process placing the Golumpki next to each other, until all of the meat mixture is used up.
  • Mix tomato soup, tomato paste and also a pinch of sugar.
  • Pour tomato soup mixture over the top of the stuffed cabbage and reserve a small amount to be used in the next step.
  • If you have cabbage leaves remaining, cover the entire top of the stuffed cabbage in the roaster.
  • Pour remaining tomato soup mixture on top of the cabbage that you lined the tops of the stuffed cabbage. This step will help steam the Golumpki that lies below and therefore will keep them nice and moist.
  • Put a lid on top of the roaster and bake for approximately 1 1/2 hours.

Video

Notes

Try rolling smaller and serve as an appetizer!

Nutrition

Calories: 720kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 54g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Cholesterol: 136mg, Sodium: 1490mg, Potassium: 659mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 250IU, Vitamin C: 4.9mg, Calcium: 67mg, Iron: 3.6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Polish
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!


Originally published on November 7, 2013. This golumpki recipe will live on for generations.


Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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279 Comments

  1. My French-Canadian father made these all the time, while my Polish mother made French-Canadian tourtiere pies. I never liked cabbage so I’d always eat the filling. I tried making a batch about a year ago, and LOVED it. Now I need to make it again.

    1. Thanks for the awesome comments, Michael! I hope you give these a try and for goodness sakes – isn’t time for a batch of your mother’s tourtiers? 🙂

    1. Hi John! We love the added flavor that Italian sausage gives to golumpki; we would love for you to try it sometime!

    1. Yes, we’ve done this many times. You can make them as big or as small as you like.

  2. An old polish trick for the cabbage is to core it, then freeze it for a day or so then bring it out and let it defrost and the leaves will be tender.

    1. The vinegar is optional but we feel that it takes a bit of the bitterness out of the cabbage.

      1. The recipe says 3 cups of vinegar but in the video, it looks like less. Can you please confirm the amount of water and vinegar?

        1. Hi Christina, The amount of water depends on the size pot. Scoot adds enough vinegar until he dips a finger in and can taste it slightly in the water.

  3. 5 stars
    My husband usually makes this dish, however this Easter he is overseas, so…I have decided to give it try. I’ve already made a mistake and I am supposed to be bringing this dish tomorrow to a friends house. I precooked the meat thinking I could do this dish in two steps because besides making this there are other dishes I am bringing. Can I still stuff the cabbage with cooked meat? Do I still add the egg? I know cooking time will be less. Is there a way to salvage this?

    1. Did you try this? Just wondering how it turned out. I’ll have to make this version and a vegan version so I’m hoping to prep as much as possible.