Polish Gołąbki

It doesn’t matter how you pronounce it. Gołąbki or golumpki means the same, delicious! Polish stuffed cabbage is a traditional dish everyone loves. It’s made from blanched cabbage leaves wrapped around a filling of meat and grain then baked in the oven or simmered on the stove top. There can be variations of gołąbki depending on personal preferences.  

My recipe is for traditional gołąbki, but instead of regular white cabbage I used savoy cabbage this time. It’s finer and more delicate in taste. Also, I prefer making the tomato sauce on the side rather than soaking everything in the tomato while baking. As always, you can adjust the ingredients to your liking.

Just don’t forget to keep stirring! It transfers your love energy into the food preparation:). 

Ingredients / 18-20 gołąbki

2 ½ lbs ground meat (the best is mixed, I used pork and beef)
1/2 lb (1 cup packed) jasmine rice or any kind of rice
1 large savoy cabbage
2 eggs
2 tbsp of breadcrumbs
2 large chopped onions, around 1 lb
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp marjoram, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, ½ tsp chicken seasoning or Vegeta
Chicken bouillon cube or store bought or homemade chicken stock
Oil for frying


  • Start by sautéing onion until soft and with some color, add salt and pepper, ½ tsp each during the process. Don’t forget to keep stirring frequently so the onion won’t burn. Add some water if necessary.  
  • Peel off the biggest leaves of the cabbage. Cut away the core, as deep as possible. 

  • Boil the rice. I used an Instant Pot and it never fails. Remember not to overcook it. Undercooked grain is even better. Allow rice to cool. 
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the meat, cool rice, breadcrumbs, sautéed onion, pressed garlic, eggs and 1 tsp of marjoram, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper, ½ tsp chicken seasoning or Vegeta. Mix well. 
  • Fill a large pot with water, add ½ tbsp of salt. When the water starts to boil, blanch the largest cabbage leaves first. They’ll work perfectly as a layer for a baking dish. Do the same with the whole cabbage. Do not overcook the leaves, just soften them to facilitate the rolling process. 
  • It’s time to roll the gołąbki. Weigh the filling, if possible, and divide into 3 ounces portions. I prefer small servings, but you could double it, or make it smaller or larger as you wish.  
  • When you are done rolling, fry each gołąbek on both sides using canola oil. You can skip the frying part, but I think it adds extra flavor.  
  • Place the gołąbki tightly next to each other in a deep baking dish. Don’t make more than two layers. Add 2 cups of chicken broth or more if you can fit. Cover everything with large cabbage leaves, and aluminum foil.  
  • Bake at 400°F for 1 ½ -2 hours.  

Tomato Sauce 


Chicken bouillon cube or store bought or homemade chicken stock
Passata or any tomato product
Tomato paste
Salt and pepper 

  • For tomato sauce make a roux using butter and flour. Add all the juices from gołąbki plus more broth if necessary. Mix vigorously. Add passata, then tomato paste, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust all ingredients.

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