Serbian Stuffed Cabbage Recipe #2 - Sarma

Sauerkraut cabbage rolls
Brian Hagiwara / Getty Images
  • Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 6 servings of Serbian Sarma
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
701 Calories
37g Fat
51g Carbs
45g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings of Serbian Sarma
Amount per serving
Calories 701
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 47%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 252mg 84%
Sodium 1475mg 64%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 18%
Dietary Fiber 14g 51%
Protein 45g
Calcium 251mg 19%
*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.)

This recipe for sarma is slightly different from Sarma Recipe #1 in that paprika and eggs are added to the primarily pork mixture, and the sauerkraut is rinsed of excess brine. Also, the sauce is thickened with a roux called a zafrig.

Check this Quick Tip for an easy way to remove leaves from a cabbage head.


  • 1 large head cabbage, 3 to 4 pounds
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground chuck
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 cup raw rice, rinsed
  • 1 (32-ounce) jar sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large ​ham slice or pieces of smoked butt
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Steps to Make It

  1. One day prior to serving, cut the core out of the cabbage and salt the cavity. Place cabbage in large pot of boiling water. Cover, turn off heat and let stand overnight. Next day, separate leaves, cutting out any large veins.

  2. Mix together pork, beef, salt, paprika, pepper, eggs and rice. Place 1 tablespoon on each cabbage leaf and roll up.

  3. Place half the sauerkraut in a Dutch oven or pot with a cover. Place ham or smoked butt on top of that, add the sarms and top with the remaining sauerkraut, tomato sauce and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and cook 1 hour.

  4. Make a zafrig by combining oil and flour in a small skillet, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and turns light brown. Add some of the cooking liquid and stir until smooth. Add this thickener to the sarma in the pot. Mix thoroughly and cook 1 more hour.

  5. Sarma​ freezes well cooked or uncooked.