Golumpki or Gołąbki are Polish cabbage rolls stuffed with a mixture of beef, pork, rice, and seasoning.
This recipe serves 12 and costs about $11.32 to make or $0.95 per serving!
Do you ever feel like handwritten family recipes are a lost art? With technology these days, there is no need to write out your recipes when you can print one off quickly.
However, I have a few framed handwritten recipes from my grandmother hanging in my kitchen that I adore. The recipe cards have a few stains on them, which give me warm thoughts of seeing them cooking these recipes with all their love.
I am so grateful they took the time to write some of their recipes to benefit from them and carry on their traditional cooking.
Grandma’s Golumpki – Cabbage Rolls Recipe
This brings me to this recipe I am sharing with you today. I am passing on the tradition of Golumpki from my paternal Grandmother, who was 100% Polish. My dad says, “These are the best thing on the planet Earth!”
Thanks to my Aunt Nancie, who wrote this recipe down one day while watching my Grandma make it, future generations will enjoy my Grandma’s Golumpki recipe!
He remembers going nuts when his mom would make them. He and his brother would say, “Mmmmm Golumpki night,” when she would tell them what was for dinner.
She always served Mashed Potatoes with them. But he was even more excited to eat them the next night as they are always better the second day.
Throughout the world, some might call this stuffed cabbage. But in Poland, this dish is known as Golumpki. This recipe is packed full of fresh flavors and even more special with it being a family recipe.
I would love to hear what your favorite family recipe is in the comments below!
What does Golumpki mean?
It is the plural of Golabek, which derives from Golab, which means “pigeon.” It’s called pigeon because the cabbage rolls resemble the shape of a pigeon’s chest.
How do you pronounce Golumpki?
You pronounce it by saying guh-WOOMP-key.
Can you freeze Golumpki?
Yes, you can freeze them! After baking them, let them cool completely before putting them in an airtight Ziploc bag. Add a little tomato sauce to each bag and then freeze.
When you are ready to use them, place the frozen rolls and sauce in a saucepan and simmer until you have heated them all the way through.
How to make Golumpki:
This recipe has a lot of moving parts, but it’s broken down in simple steps by:
- First, boil the cabbage, let it cool, separate the leaves, and cut out the hard stem.
- Stir together the filling and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
- Then, make the Sauce and spread some on the bottom of the baking dishes.
- Next, stuff and roll the cabbage leaves.
- Cover the cabbage rolls with the remaining sauce. (At this point, you can cover them and place them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours or bake them).
- Then, bake the cabbage rolls for 50-60 minutes.
- Finally, let the Golumpki cool for 10 minutes and then serve with chopped fresh dill (optional).
See the recipe card below for complete instructions and step-by-step photos!
What to serve with Cabbage Rolls:
More Polish Recipes that are Family-Favorites:
- The sauce recipe for this dish is my own. My grandma did something a little different, which is an excellent option if you’re short on time.
- Mix one 10.75-ounce can of Campbell’s condensed tomato soup and one 15-ounce can of Hunt’s tomato sauce. And that’s it, no cooking needed. Use this sauce in place of the sauce in the recipe below.
- You can prepare these ahead of time by making the recipe right until baking the cabbage rolls. Cover the rolls and place them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Then, cook as directed in the recipe below.
- The Golumpki taste even better the second day!
- This recipe makes a ton! You can freeze cooked leftovers. Just place them in air-tight freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to 3-4 months.
- TO REHEAT: Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. Then transfer the cabbage rolls to a baking dish, cover with foil, and heat in a 325-degree Fahrenheit oven until warmed through, about 20-30 minutes.
Ingredients and Cost
RECIPE COST: $11.32
PER SERVING COST: $0.95
NOTE: The recipe prices are used calculating name brand products from grocery store websites.
- 1 large green cabbage – $2.34
- 1 pound lean ground beef – $3.60
- ½ pound ground pork – $1.53
- 1 small yellow onion – $0.48
- 7 large garlic cloves – $0.35
- 1 lemon – $0.48
- 1 large egg – $0.10
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes – $1.64
- 2 cups cooked rice – $0.39
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil – $0.14
- ½ cup water – $0
- 1 teaspoon salt – $0.01
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper – $0.01
- Chopped fresh dill – $0.25
Golumpki - Stuffed Polish Cabbage (Gołąbki)
- 1 large green cabbage
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ pound ground pork
- ½ small yellow onion grated
- 4 large garlic cloves grated
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel from 1 lemon
- 1 large egg beaten
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ small yellow onion grated
- 3 large garlic cloves grated
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Chopped fresh dill optional
- Remove the stalk from the bottom of the cabbage head.
- Place the cabbage in a large pot filled with 12 cups of water. Cover and place over high heat.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Continue to cook until the cabbage leaves become bright green and pliable, about 3-5 minutes. The leaves should not be limp, they should hold their shape.
- Remove cabbage from water and place on a cutting board until it’s cool enough to handle.
- In a large bowl combine ground beef, pork, onion, garlic, grated lemon peel, egg, and rice. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
MAKE TOMATO SAUCE:
- In a medium pot over medium heat add oil. Once simmering, stir in grated onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Then, add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Pour in crushed tomatoes, water, salt, and pepper and increase heat to high. Once bubbling, reduce heat to low and simmer tomatoes for 15 minutes.
PREPARE CABBAGE LEAVES:
- Once the cabbage has cooled, remove the leaves from the cabbage head.
- Using a paring knife, cut the thick stem or membrane from the back of each leaf. Be careful not to cut through the leaf.
PREP OVEN AND BAKING DISHES:
- Move oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- You will need a 9x13-inch baking dish and a smaller, 2-quart baking dish for this recipe. Spread ¾ cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13-inch dish and ½ cup sauce in the bottom of the 2-quart baking dish.
STUFF & ROLL CABBAGE LEAVES:
- Place 2 tablespoons of filling on the bottom half of a cabbage leaf.
- Fold up the bottom part of the cabbage leaf.
- Then, fold in the sides.
- Next, roll forward until the cabbage leaf completely covers the filling. Repeat with remaining cabbage leaves and filling.
- Place the stuffed cabbage leaves into prepared pans in neat rows. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the cabbage rolls.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking.
- Place pans on a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped fresh dill (optional) and serve.