stuffed cabbage

Polish stuffed cabbage, also known as Golumpki or Gołąbki, is a classic Central European dish. Everyone makes it slightly differently, but it is incredibly forgiving in that way. The cabbage is boiled in salty water which not only flavors and tenderizes it but also enhances its vibrant green color. The filling is sort of like a meatball or a meatloaf – it is filled with ground beef, spices, and rice, bound together by an egg.

This golumpki recipe is a true ode to the cruciferous vegetable and is versatile, economical, and delicious. My grandma always cooked stuffed cabbage on the stove, simmered in a covered pan, but I bake mine in the oven. Golumpki is a cozy, warming meal that will comfort and satisfy you.


  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 ½ cups cheap white wine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large head green cabbage, cored
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ cups tomato sauce 


In a small pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent and beginning to brown. Add the rice and wine and bring to a boil. Turn down heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. (You know it’s done when you can see that the onion is at the top and the liquid has absorbed into the rice).

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon kosher salt to a boil. Add the head of cabbage and cook for 15 minutes, turning with tongs to ensure all sides are cooked. Remove loose leaves as they fall off and let cool.

Combine the raw ground beef, cooked rice, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and egg in a large bowl. Mix with your hands to ensure even combination. Fill a handful of meat mixture in a leaf of cabbage and roll it up, starting at the stem. Fold over the sides and tuck the stuffed cabbage into a pan lightly greased with olive oil. Thinly cover with tomato sauce.

Cover with lid or foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 teaspoon of salt.