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! 

Finished Grandma\'s Golumpki-Stuffed Polish Cabbage with Text Overlay for Pinterest

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!

Overhead picture of Golumpki on a white plate.

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. 

A cabbage roll cut in half to show the cooked filling.

How to make Golumpki:

This recipe has a lot of moving parts, but it’s broken down in simple steps by:

  1. First, boil the cabbage, let it cool, separate the leaves, and cut out the hard stem. 
  2. Stir together the filling and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. 
  3. Then, make the Sauce and spread some on the bottom of the baking dishes. 
  4. Next, stuff and roll the cabbage leaves. 
  5. 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). 
  6. Then, bake the cabbage rolls for 50-60 minutes. 
  7. 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. 

A close up picture of Golumpki in a baking dish.

Cook’s Note: 

  • 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. 

Cook’s Tools:

  • Cutting board
  • Paring knife
  • Large pot 
  • Medium bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Medium pot
  • Wire cooling racks

Ingredients and Cost



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

More from Food Folks and Fun

Close up picture of golumpki in a pan.
3.86 from 259 votes

Golumpki - Stuffed Polish Cabbage (Gołąbki)

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
12 people
Golumpki or Gołąbki are Polish cabbage rolls that are stuffed with a mixture of beef, pork, rice, and seasoning. This recipe serves 12 and costs just $11.32 to make or $0.95 per serving! 


  • cutting board
  • paring knife
  • large pot
  • Medium bowl
  • wooden spoon
  • Medium pot
  • Wire baking racks



  • 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



  • Chopped fresh dill optional



  • Remove the stalk from the bottom of the cabbage head.
    Th core cut out of a green cabbage.
  • Place the cabbage in a large pot filled with 12 cups of water. Cover and place over high heat.
    Boil the cabbage until it is bright green and pliable.
  • 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.
    Place the cabbage head on a cutting board to cool.


  • In a large bowl combine ground beef, pork, onion, garlic, grated lemon peel, egg, and rice. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
    Mix all of the filling ingredients together.


  • 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.
    Cook the sauce until it has reduced and thickened.


  • Once the cabbage has cooled, remove the leaves from the cabbage head.
    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.
    Discard the stem.


  • 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.


  • Place 2 tablespoons of filling on the bottom half of a cabbage leaf.
    Place 2 Tablespoons of the filling on the bottom half of the cabbage leaf.
  • Fold up the bottom part of the cabbage leaf.
    Fold the bottom of the leaf up over the filling.
  • Then, fold in the sides.
    Process shot of how to make Golumpki Stuffed Polish Cabbage
  • Next, roll forward until the cabbage leaf completely covers the filling. Repeat with remaining cabbage leaves and filling.
    Keep rolling the leaf until ithe filling is completely covered.
  • Place the stuffed cabbage leaves into prepared pans in neat rows. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the cabbage rolls.
    Lay the rolled cabbage leaves neatly in the prepared baking dishes.


  • 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.
    Cover the cabbage rolls with the remaining sauce and bake for 50-60 minutes.



Note from a reader: 
If you throw the head of cabbage in the freezer for a few days until it's frozen solid and then thaw it the leaves are pliable and you can stuff them easily without boiling the leaves. 


Serving: 2cabbage rolls | Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 343mg | Potassium: 587mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 270IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 3mg

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Polish Golumpki on a plate with Text Overlay for Pinterests

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Recipe Rating


  1. This is a stuffed cabbage recipe…glumpkies are made in a deep pot or crockpot and layered with tomato sauce, stuffed cabbage balls and sauerkraut. Both are AWESOME but different.

    1. Depends on where you live, that’s correct for Jersey.

  2. Berniece Cronquist says:

    My mother made these as long as I can remember. I’ve never cut out the thick harder part of the leaf. We make a creamier sauce using condensed tomato soup, water and tomato sauce. You need lots of sauce to put over the mashed potatoes. It’s been a family favorite for a lot of years.

    1. Susie White says:

      Yes add little lemon juice and brown sugar to sauce and handful of raisens if you like and thats how we do it. We love cooked carrios and chunk up a few under the cabbag rolls and my recjpe too!

  3. Thank you thank you. Best tip ever. I froze the cabbage, then I let it sit on the counter for a day. It was so easy to roll them. My mind is blown. You now have a new subscriber.

    1. Dayna Jankowski says:

      I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you!

  4. Delicious and with your directions, very easy to make. My family “inhaled” them and then were singing, “golumpki, golumpki” for a while after eating. Thank you.

  5. I enjoy this recipe. I made a few small changes.
    I used ground chicken.
    I saved cabbage water and cooked rice in it.
    I made the sauce 1st and added some to the meat mixture and excluded egg.
    I layered sauce in large pot and then layered the stuffed rolls with sauce and cooked
    on low heat on stovetop.
    Turned out moist and deliclious!
    thank you for posting the recipe!

  6. Carol Fierro says:

    You are the only one that I read that uses tomato soup and tomato sauce that is how my mother made hers. She never put an egg in but other than that your receipt is the same….Thank you so much for entering this .

  7. Pat Moore says:

    I made the gulwompkies, they were just like my Mom use to make. Your directions wete perfect. I will make it again.

  8. My mother used to make these at Christmas but instead of tomato sauce she baked them with sauerkraut. They were delicious!

  9. My Mum makes tomato sauce with cream and garlic. The filling is minced meat with rice…. Simple but SO delicious

  10. Lisa Sekerchak says:

    Best golumbki recipe I’ve found and made!

  11. I’ve made this dish for many years. Got it from my Polish mother. The only thing different is the addition of lemon. I love that idea to brighten up the dish. I’ll try it the next time I make them. One of our family favs.

  12. It’s very nice that someone appreciated a Polish dish, although I know that not everyone will like it.
    One small note, it’s not Golumpki but Gołąbki (You can say Golombki) 🙂
    Once again, thank you very much for pointing out Polish cuisine (which is not my favourite) :-):-)
    Bon appétit !!

  13. My Mom has made these as long as I can remember. We even had them while visiting Krakow and Warsaw. At first, I was skeptical about the use of tomato soup but have really grown fond of this version for the sauce. We also add a bit of beef stock (‘better than bouillon’) to enrich the flavor. Smacznego!

    1. Dayna Jankowski says:

      Thank you for sharing! Glad it turned out Smacznego!

  14. I love cabbage rolls and try different recipes. This is the best one I’ve ever had. The only variance is I added a 1/4 cup brown sugar and a good splash of white vinegar to the sauce. Amazing. The grated lemon peel threw me off I’ve never seen that in this recipe before, but it’s an awesome addition. So more testing recipes for me THIS IS THE ONE!!

  15. I love cabbage rolls and try different recipes. This is the best one I’ve ever had. The only variance is I added a 1/4 cup brown sugar and a good splash of white vinegar to the sauce. Amazing. The grated lemon peel threw me off I’ve never seen that in this recipe before, but it’s an awesome addition. So more testing recipes for me THIS IS THE I love cabbage rolls and try different recipes. This is the best one I’ve ever had. The only variance is I added a 1/4 cup brown sugar and a good splash of white vinegar to the sauce. Amazing. The grated lemon peel threw me off I’ve never seen that in this recipe before, but it’s an awesome addition. No more testing recipes for me THIS IS THE ONE!!

  16. Marie Andrick says:

    I’ve made these for years my MIL taught me they are cooked in a large pot on the stove top. They are delicious same ingredients as receipe above, my husband was Lithuanian and loved gulapies.

  17. Princella says:

    Tried these and they came out so good. The only thing I added was 1/4 cup brown sugar

  18. Very good dish. Would make it again.

  19. These were good but next time I make them I will add more spice to the meat mixture because it was pretty dull and double up on the sauce. Maybe even triple. Thank you for sharing.

  20. If you want it faster, put a few leaves of cabbage to boiling water at a time, not the whole thing.