Croatian Savory Cabbage Strudel (Strudla s Kupusom)

Savory Cabbage Strudel

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Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 8 servings

This recipe for Croatian cabbage strudel, known as strudla s kupusom or savijača s kupusom, is a savory dish made with filo dough. A filling of cooked shredded cabbage, onion, and bacon is rolled inside sheets of filo dough and baked until golden and crispy. This savory strudel is often served with plan yogurt or sour cream on the side.

Before cooking, the cabbage and onion are salted and left to sit to extract their liquids; this can take up to 2 hours so be sure to plan accordingly. Feel free to eliminate the bacon if looking for a meatless dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds cabbage (cored and shredded)
  • 1 medium onion (sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 pound diced bacon 
  • 1/4 cup bacon grease, oil, butter, or lard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 14 sheets filo dough (thawed)
  • Additional oil, butter, or lard for the filo dough
  • Serving Suggestion:
  • Plain yogurt or sour cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Place the shredded cabbage and sliced onion in a large nonmetallic bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Mix and let sit for 2 hours. Drain and squeeze out as much moisture as possible.

  2. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove the bacon and reserve, and sauté the cabbage, onion, and sugar in the bacon fat, adding more oil, butter, or lard if necessary. When the cabbage is tender, mix in the reserved bacon and season to taste. (If eliminating the bacon, simply saute the cabbage, onion, and sugar in oil or butter. Season with salt and pepper.)

  3. Turn the cooked cabbage out onto a sheet pan and spread out to cool to lukewarm. Divide the filo dough into 2 piles (7 sheets each). Keep them covered with plastic wrap or a clean towel at all times.

  4. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment paper on a work surface and lay down 1 sheet of filo dough; brush lightly with oil, melted butter, or melted lard. Top with another sheet of filo dough and brush. Continue in this manner until all 7 sheets are used.

  5. Place half of the cabbage mixture in a 3-inch-wide strip on the bottom 1/3 of the filo dough. Fold in the left and right sides and brush with oil. Roll the filo away from you, using the parchment paper to assist. Place the log seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet and brush the outside with oil, butter, or lard. Repeat with the remaining filo and filling, making a second log.

  6. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

  7. Serve with plain yogurt or sour cream, if desired, and enjoy.