Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls With Tomato Sauce (Gołąbki)

Stuffed cabbage with ground beef on plate
Brian Hagiwara / Getty Images
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
298 Calories
17g Fat
25g Carbs
15g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 298
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 41mg 14%
Sodium 664mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 88mg 441%
Calcium 134mg 10%
Iron 2mg 8%
Potassium 726mg 15%
*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 Polish stuffed cabbage or gołąbki is from chef Marek (Mark) Widomski, founder and director of the Culinary Institute in Cracow, Poland. Chef Mark and his staff offer classes in everything from peasant food to gourmet cuisine. Instead of using rice as a filler, Chef Marek uses buckwheat groats (kasza gryczana) and a tomato sauce finish.


For the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls:

  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 (3-pound) cabbage, cored

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1/2 pound ground pork

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup chicken broth, or vegetable broth

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar, or to taste

Steps to Make It

Make the Cabbage Rolls

  1. In a large saucepan, bring buckwheat groats and 2 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Groats should be al dente. Drain if necessary.​

  2. Place whole cored cabbage 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 18 leaves. Drain in a colander and cool. Cut out the thick part of the main vein of the 18 leaves. Coarsely chop any remaining cabbage.

  3. In a skillet, sauté large chopped onion in oil until golden. Transfer to a bowl and add pork, cooked and cooled buckwheat groats, salt, and pepper.

  4. Center a portion of meat mixture on each cabbage leave. Fold the bottom edge of the cabbage up and away from you. Fold in the sides and roll as for an eggroll.

  5. Place some of the coarsely chopped cabbage in the bottom of a large casserole or Dutch oven and add the gołąbki, in layers, if necessary. Top with remaining coarsely chopped cabbage.

  6. Add 1 cup boiling salted water and cook on the stovetop for 45 minutes or in a 350 F oven for 45 minutes.

Make the Tomato Sauce

  1. Sauté small chopped onion in butter until translucent.

  2. Stir in flour thoroughly and whisk in cold broth.

  3. Add tomato paste and cook on a low flame until thickened. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and sugar. Serve over cabbage rolls.