Gołąbki – Polish cabbage rolls

Pigs in the blankets

I think that Gołąbki – Polish cabbage rolls are one of most popular and most liked Polish dish. Exactly as is in my family home. When my mum asks my children what to cook for our visit, they say: Gołąbki:)

There are many ways to prepare gołąbki, my Mum boils, while many people bake them. Many people cook them in tomato sauce, I prefer to cook gołąbki in a light broth and make a tomato sauce for serving.

Gołąbki Polish cabbage rolls served on the plate


  • cabbage head
  • 1 and half lb / 600 g ground meat, pork or pork-beef mixture
  • 1 cup rice
  • small onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3-4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • half teaspoon pepper
  • half teaspoon red paprika powder
  • 2 cups tomato juice/ tomato puree
  • 3 cups broth
Cabbage preparation

Core the cabbage head and place it in a large pot and turn on the heating. As it boils the leaves loosen up to remove. You can boil or steam cabbage, you need to get it fork tender. Lay leaves on a clean dish towel to absorb the water.

Many people use another trick: they freeze the whole head of cabbage the week before then thaw out the night before and the leaves come right off.

Rice cooking

In the meantime cook rice according to the box instructions or do it as follows: Place rice in a saucepan, rinse few times until the water is clean. Add 2 cups of water and half tablespoon of salt, place on the stove top. Bring to boil, stir, cover and put off the fire. After 10 minutes rice will absorb the whole water from the saucepan and will be ready. This is actually also a budget way to cook rice- you cut on electricity:) all you need to remember is that the cover needs to close the dish tightly, so that the heat stayed inside.

Meat preparation

Place meat in a bowl, add seasoning: salt, pepper and red paprika. Add chopped onion, garlic and parsley. Mix with cooled rice. I like to have 1 part of meat and one part of rice, but you can manipulate the ratio according to your likes.

Gołąbki – Polish cabbage rolls assembling

Take one leaf of cabbage, cut excess stingy tough seam of cabbage if necessary. Place a generous portion of meat in the center, fold in the sides and roll up the cabbage. Place in a pot/baking dish with a seam side down. Continue till you run out off cabbage leaves or/and meat:)

Gołąbki cooking


Place gołąbki in the pot, top up with a mixture of 2 cups of broth and 2 cups of water, bring to boil and simmer 45-50 minutes.


Place gołąbki in a casserole dish, top up with a mixture of 2 cups of broth and one cup of water. Bake in 180C /360 F for 45 minutes.

Gołabki – Polish cabbage rolls are best for me served with tomato sauce: place tomato puree in a sauce pan, add a cup of broth, season with salt, pepper, dried garlic, onion and paprika, simmer till it gets thick.

For more Autumn recipes check this section on my blog: Autumn food.

Gołabki polish stuffed cabbage rolls served on a plate

Comment on the post if you have questions, other ideas on the recipe or just enjoyed reading. I would be happy to see your thoughts on my posts!

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20 thoughts on “Gołąbki – Polish cabbage rolls”

    1. Silly comment and critical. Cookbooks refer to this recipe the same…they call it stuffed cabbage. English language has many ways of communicating things that are not exactly correct but it became the way of language.

      1. Thank you Janie <3 Don't worry, I appreciate correction, I am aware that I am not a native speaker, please comment again when you find something:)

  1. After combining the ingredients & forming the golabki, Mama baked them in the oven as per the above recipe. They were then left to cool & we’re refrigerated until the next day. In a hot fry pan with a good chunk of butter, melted in 1-2 tbsp oil, place the gołąbki to fill the pan and fry until cabbage picks up golden brown patches all over, turning as necessary. Serve with the pan juices. My favourite.

  2. Thank you for your recipe. I just made it. Can’t wait to serve it for dinner. It is a surprise for my hubby. His grandmother made this dish. No one seems to know her recipe. What a shame.

  3. I saw on Travel Channel a restaurant in Krakow where they use groats and spices, the golumpki are somewhat flat, and baked. They are sauteed in butter before serving. Do you know the restaurant or the recipe?

    1. There is lots of restaurants in Krakow, rather impossible to find out which was it was. Was gołąbki with groats and meat?

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