Cabbage rolls stuffed with minced meat and rice / Golabki – Polish food

I don’t know how it happens. Time just flies. It just feels like New Year Day was and it is the middle of the month! I wish days were longer.
We spent New Year’s Day walking on a beach. It was beautiful, sunny day. How is your New Year going so far?
sandymount dublin beach
And later we cooked gołąbki.
I must admit I don’t like to write about Polish cuisine. I feel that every statement I write can be denied. I know that somebody else can say at his/her home they do it differently. Even my parents don’t agree when it comes to food, till this day there are things they eat differently or cook differently.
Gołąbki (golabki), literally means “little pigeons”, but don’t worry, it doesn’t have anything in common with pigeons meat, don’t worry. Apparently, in Slav culture, it was popular to name food (especially the ritual food) after animals.
Gołąbki are simple cabbage rolls stuffed with minced meat and rice or buckwheat (exactly buckwheat kasha/groats). I always thought it’s quite difficult to make them, but actually, it’s very easy, the only tricky part is to lightly boil the cabbage and take off the leaves when they are pretty hot, but that’s it. The stuffing is pretty easy and the rest is done by boiling. They are perfect to freeze or to conserve in jars. My mum always makes a huge amount of them.
You can also buy a pre-prepared one in Polish shops if you just want to try.
The sauce is important, without it, you can find them a little bit bland. I love the gołąbki with tomato sauce, but the mushroom sauce is also an option. You can serve it with potato purée, bread or enjoy them by themselves.
It isn’t the most photogenic food and it was too dark to make you step by step tutorial, but I hope you will enjoy them anyway.

Cabbage rolls stuffed with minced meat and rice / Gołąbki


  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cabbage
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 500 g minced meat (any meat will work pork, beef, lamb)
  • water


Cook rice following the instructions on the package.

Sauté the onion in the butter for a short time. Mix onion, rice, and minced meat. Season it well with salt and pepper.

Wash a cabbage. Cut out its heart (leaves will be easier to remove). Place the cabbage in a pot of boiling water (water shouldn’t cover whole cabbage). Let it boil for a few minutes, just enough to make the leaves’ stems soft enough to fold. Roll the cabbage and remove the outer leaves. Look out, they are hot.  Keep boiling and removing leaves until there are some.

If the stems seem quite thick, just trim them.

Layer a big pot of leftover cabbage leaves (i.e.. the one that was too small to stuff them). The cabbage layer will prevent rolls from burning.

Place a portion of the stuffing into the center of each cabbage leaf.

First, fold in right and left sides of the leaf and then roll it. Place in the pot. Season every player of the cabbage rolls with salt. Cover the rolls with a water. Simmer for about 1 hour.

Prepare your favorite tomato or mushroom sauce. You may use a liquid from the cabbage rolls.