Slovenian Stuffed Cabbage Recipe - Sarma s Kislim Zeljem

Agriculture - Six heads of white cabbage with the wrapper leaves still attached, studio.
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  • Total: 5 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cook: 4 hrs 30 mins
  • Yield: 18-24 leaves (9-12 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
465 Calories
20g Fat
27g Carbs
44g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18-24 leaves (9-12 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 465
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 25%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 194mg 65%
Sodium 1055mg 46%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Protein 44g
Calcium 133mg 10%
*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 Slovenian stuffed cabbage or sarma s kislim zeljem is made with pork and beef, rice, sauerkraut, and tomato juice. This is great with mashed potatoes or noodles and crusty rye bread. Here are more stuffed cabbage recipes.


  • 1 large head cabbage (about 4 pounds)
  • 1 finely medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat (or butter)
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground pork
  • 3/4 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • 1 cup rice (uncooked)
  • 2 pounds sauerkraut (drained and rinsing optional)
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 pork neck bones

Steps to Make It

  1. Remove core from cabbage. Place whole head in a large pot filled with boiling salted water. Cover and cook 3 minutes or until softened enough to pull off individual leaves. You will need about 18-24 leaves.

  2. When leaves are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to cut away the thick center stem from each leaf, without cutting all the way through.

  3. Chop the remaining cabbage and place it in the bottom of a large greased casserole dish or Dutch oven. Sauté onion in bacon fat until tender and let cool.

  4. Combine ground pork and beef, cooked onion, egg, pepper, salt and rice, and mix well. Don't overmix or the meat will become tough.

  5. Place about 1/2 cup of filling on each cabbage leaf. Roll away from you to encase the meat. Flip the right side of the leaf to the middle, then flip the left side. You will have something that looks like an envelope. Once again, roll away from you to create a neat little roll.

  6. Place cabbage rolls on top of the chopped cabbage in layers in the casserole dish or Dutch oven. Place drained sauerkraut on top followed by tomato juice, water, and neck bones on the very top. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low, cover, and simmer on the stovetop for 3 to 4 hours, making sure the rolls do not burn. Serve with mashed potatoes or noodles and a good crusty homemade bread.