Cabbage Rolls (prep)

Cabbage Rolls "Golubtsi"

4.86 from 21 votes
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Course: Main
Cuisine: Russian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 10 +
Author: Julia Frey of Vikalinka


  • Cabbage- 2 small heads
  • Rice- 1/2 cup
  • Olive oil- 2 tbsp.
  • Onion chopped- 1 large
  • Extra-lean ground beef- 1 lbs
  • Extra-lean ground pork- 1 lbs
  • Flat leaf parsley chopped- 1 bunch
  • Carrots grated- 2
  • Salt- 2 tsp.
  • Pepper- 0.5 tsp.
  • Bay leaf- 2-3

For the sauce

  • Chicken stock- 1.5 cups
  • Creme fraiche or sour cream- 1 cup
  • Canned Tomatoes crushed or Passata- 2 cups


  • Freeze the cabbage 3 days before you need it. The night before defrost cabbage and keep it in the fridge until you are ready.
  • Cook rice in plenty water the same way you would pasta until al dente, it shouldn't be too soft- about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • In a frying pan heat olive oil and cook onions over low heat for 7-10 minutes until tender.
  • Grate carrots.
  • In a large bowl combine beef, pork, parsley, onions, carrots, rice, salt and pepper.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together stock, crushed tomatoes and creme fraiche. Set aside.
  • Place your head of cabbage on a cutting board, cut off the bottom and pull the leaves away from the stalk. Repeat with the second head of cabbage.
  • Preheat your oven to 350F/180C.
  • Clear your work space, so all ingredients are within reach. Take a cabbage leaf and put 2 tbsp. of filling at the bottom of the wide part of a leaf (see picture above) and roll it like a burrito, tucking sides in. Your cabbage rolls will vary in size slightly depending on the size of cabbage leaves. You will have approximately 30-32 cabbage rolls.
  • Pour a cup of the sauce on the bottom of your cast iron casserole or any other heavy bottom casserole and start stacking your cabbage rolls. Half way through add a couple of bay leaves and continue stacking until all cabbage rolls are gone.
  • Pour the sauce over cabbage rolls, cover with a lid and bake in the oven for 1 hour.
  • Then take the lid off and bake for 30 more minutes.
  • Serve with additional sour cream or creme fraiche.