Russian Cabbage Pie (Kulebjaka) Recipe

Russian cabbage pie
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Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 105 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1 pie
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
542 Calories
25g Fat
64g Carbs
17g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 542
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 10g 52%
Cholesterol 266mg 89%
Sodium 744mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 64g 23%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 65mg 324%
Calcium 167mg 13%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 550mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Russian cabbage pie or kulebjaka or kulybyaka is similar to a savory turnover like a Mexican empanada or Italian calzone. Kulebjaka can be made with a flaky puff pastry or pie dough, or a yeast dough as it is here. The fillings vary from vegetarian to meat to the famous salmon filling, and is known as kulebiak in Poland and kuliabiaka in Belarus. A Lithuanian version of cabbage-meat pie made in a pastry crust is known as placiu kepsnys. Compare this with a Eastern European Cabbage Pie Recipe made with a pie crust.

Freeze leftover egg whites and save for leftover egg white recipes.


For the Yeast Dough:

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:

  • 1 large head green cabbage, about 3 pounds, finely shredded,

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, or lard

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 4 large hard-cooked eggs, finely chopped 

  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, or 2 tablespoons dried dill, or to taste

  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs

  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten, for egg wash

  • 1 teaspoon milk, for egg wash

Steps to Make It

  1. To make the yeast dough: In a small saucepan, bring milk and 1/3 cup butter to a boil, remove from heat and cool to 110 degrees.

  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup water, and let stand until foamy. Add the milk mixture, egg, egg yolks, and salt to the yeast mixture and mix well. Add 3 cups flour, a cup at a time, kneading for 10 minutes and adding as much of the remaining flour as necessary to achieve a smooth and elastic dough.

  3. Coat a bowl with vegetable spray and place dough in it, turning once to coat both sides. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled–1 to 3 hours.

  4. To make the filling: Bring a large saucepan or Dutch oven of salted water to a boil. Add cabbage, return to the boil, and cook 3 minutes. Drain well in a fine sieve and squeeze to remove all the liquid.

  5. Heat 3 tablespoons butter or lard and 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven and add onion. Sauté until translucent and add cabbage. Cook, stirring often, until cabbage is tender but not browned and any liquid has evaporated—5 to 30 minutes or more. Remove from heat and stir in eggs, salt, pepper, and dill, mixing well. Cool to room temperature.

  6. To assemble: Heat oven to 375 F. Punch down dough and divide into 2 pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Roll out larger portion into a 14 x 10-inch rectangle on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

  7. Sprinkle the surface of the dough with breadcrumbs and spread the cabbage filling evenly over the breadcrumbs to within 1 1/2 inches of the edges.

  8. Roll out remaining piece of dough into a 12 1/2 x 8 1/2-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface or sheet of parchment paper, and place over the cabbage filling. Brush edges of bottom dough with egg wash. Fold up and over the top crust, pressing to seal and crimping with the fingers or the tines of a fork. Prick the top of the crust all over (but not the edges) with a fork or docking tool. Brush liberally with remaining egg wash. Let rest uncovered for 20 minutes.

  9. Bake 40 to 45 minutes. Cover the crust with foil if it is browning too quickly. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes before cutting into squares. Can be served as an appetizer, side dish, or main course with sour cream, if desired.