Delicious Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

The aroma of stuffed cabbage rolls takes me back to my childhood, when my grandmother used to prepare traditional Polish dishes for us. One of our family favorites was golabki – a flavorful dish consisting of cabbage leaves stuffed with a savory filling.

As a vegan chef, I’ve created a plant-based version of this traditional favorite that still has all the elements of the original recipe. My vegetarian golabki using mushrooms, onions and long grain rice as the filling creates a hearty and delicious meal that even meat eaters will enjoy.

In this recipe article, I’ll show you how to make these delectable cabbage rolls from scratch. You’ll find a complete list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions so that you can make this dish using simple and accessible ingredients easily found at your local grocery store.

Whether you’re preparing an elegant dinner for guests or sharing a meal with friends and family, these vegan golabki vegetarian cabbage rolls will make any occasion special. So let’s get started in making this beautiful culinary delight!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Golabki (Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls) (Vegetarian Version)
Golabki (Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls) (Vegetarian Version)

My dear friend, I believe you’ll fall in love with this recipe for Golabki (Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls) – vegetarian version!

Firstly, let me tell you about the flavors of this dish. With a combination of sweet paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, it’s no surprise that the filling is so delicious. The earthy and meaty taste of mushrooms and onions are balanced out with fresh parsley which adds a layer of brightness to the mix. And with the addition of Worcestershire sauce, this Golabki recipe takes on a whole new level of complexity that will leave your taste buds craving more.

But why stop there? Let me tell you about the texture of these stuffed cabbage rolls. The long-grain rice gives a nutty flavor and chew to each bite, while the cabbage delivers a slightly crisp and tender touch. Every morsel is like an experience in itself.

Plus, since it’s a vegetarian version, you won’t have to worry about feeling guilty or concerned about eating too much meat or any animal products. This vegan recipe is plant-based and healthy so you can enjoy its deliciousness without worrying about any negative impacts on your health.

Finally, this stuffed cabbage recipe is easily made using only low-priced ingredients while being easy to prepare too! It’s great for meal prep or for making ahead for the week – making it perfect for those busy days! Once prepared, these rolls can be re-heated effortlessly or if you have any leftovers storing them only requires freezing in an airtight container.

So come on, my friend! I know you’ll love this version of the traditional Polish dish – Golabki Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls – vegetarian-style!

Ingredient List

 Let's roll, Golabki-style!
Let’s roll, Golabki-style!

Here are all the ingredients that you’ll need to make these delicious Golabki Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls in a vegetarian version:

For the filling:

  • 1 cup long-grain rice, easily made brown rice
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or garlic powder
  • 2 cups mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter, or vegan substitute
  • Salt and pepper

For the cabbage rolls:

  • 1 large head of cabbage
  • 1 ½ cups cooked rice (from the filling)
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce, optional

Make sure to have all these ingredients on hand before starting to cook.

The Recipe How-To

 When life gives you cabbage, make Golabki.
When life gives you cabbage, make Golabki.

Now that we have prepared all the ingredients, it’s time to get started with the recipe. This Vegetarian Golabki Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls recipe is surprisingly easy to follow, so don’t be intimidated by the stuffed cabbage concept!

Step-by-Step Instructions
Preparing the Cabbage Leaves

  1. First, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Next, take your large cabbage and remove any outer leaves that are damaged or tough.
  3. Carefully separate 12-15 whole cabbage leaves, making sure to trim or remove any thick stems.
  4. Blanch the leaves in a pot of salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened.
  5. Remove from heat and let the leaves cool.

Making the Filling

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Add 1 cup of finely diced onions and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add 4 finely chopped garlic cloves, stirring until fragrant.
  4. Add 2 cups of finely chopped mushrooms, stirring until golden brown and tender.
  5. Finally add 2 cups of cooked long grain rice, mixing everything together.

Tip: You can also use brown rice or any other grain of your preference.

Rolling the Cabbage Leaves

  1. Spread out each cabbage leaf on a clean surface with the “curved” side facing up.
  2. Place a spoonful of the filling (around 2-3 tablespoons) onto each leaf’s bottom center and then fold both sides over, rolling it up tightly like a burrito.
  3. Repeat this process with all remaining cabbage leaves.

Baking the Rolls

  1. Place each roll into an 8×11 baking dish, seam-side down.
  2. In a bowl, mix together 2 cups of tomato juice, 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup of chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour the mixture over the rolls evenly.
  4. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

Tip: If you prefer extra saucy rolls, you can always double the sauce recipe.

Once finished, remove from oven and let cool for several minutes before serving.

Now you have followed all steps necessary to prepare a compelling Vegetarian Golabki recipe!

Substitutions and Variations

 Full of flavor and ready to devour.
Full of flavor and ready to devour.

As with any recipe, there are always ways to switch up the ingredients to suit your preferences or dietary needs. Here are a few substitutions and variations you can try with this vegetarian version of Golabki:

1. Swap out the mushrooms: If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, you could easily substitute them for another vegetable, such as finely chopped carrots or zucchini.

2. Make it vegan: To make this recipe entirely plant-based, simply swap the butter for a vegan alternative and use vegetable broth in place of the Worcestershire sauce.

3. Change up the grains: While long-grain white rice is used in this recipe, you could experiment with other grains such as quinoa or brown rice for a more nutritious twist.

4. Try different cabbage types: This recipe calls for a large green cabbage, but you could also use Savoy cabbage for a softer texture or red cabbage for added color.

5. Mix up the sauce: While the tomato juice and sauce add great flavor to this dish, you could also try using tomato soup or even a homemade gravy to top your cabbage rolls.

By experimenting with different ingredients and methods, you can create your own unique take on this traditional Polish dish.

Serving and Pairing

 The humble cabbage never tasted so good.
The humble cabbage never tasted so good.

Ah, the moment of truth! The dish is cooked and now it’s time to savor it. Serving and pairing your golabki stuffed cabbage rolls will elevate your culinary experience.

Firstly, I recommend serving these savory rolls with a side of vegan mashed potatoes or roasted root vegetables. These sides offer a perfect balance between the flavors and textures of your stuffed cabbage rolls.

Another option to consider is to serve these rolls on a bed of sweet paprika-spiced tomato sauce. This combination enhances the flavor profile while adding color to the presentation.

If you want a crunchier texture to pair with your stuffed cabbage rolls, try serving them with some pickled vegetables such as beets or cucumbers. The acidity and tanginess of the vegetables contrast beautifully with the warm and earthy flavors of the rolls.

To drink, I recommend a light-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir or Beaujolais. The fruitiness and subtle acidity from these wines complement the flavors in the dish perfectly.

In conclusion, pairing your golabki stuffed cabbage rolls with various sides and drinks can enhance your culinary experience. Don’t be afraid to explore various options until you find what works best for you.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 You won't believe these are vegetarian.
You won’t believe these are vegetarian.

When it comes to Golabki (Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls), one of the best things about this dish is that it can be prepared ahead of time, stored, and reheated easily. Since these cabbage rolls are a labor of love and require quite a bit of effort to make, being able to prepare them in advance is truly a lifesaver.

To make ahead, assemble your cabbage rolls all the way up until the point where you would usually bake them. Instead, cover them tightly with plastic wrap and store them in the fridge for up to 48 hours. If you need more time than that, you can freeze them up to a month in advance. Just make sure they’re in an airtight container or wrapped very well in plastic wrap and foil.

To reheat your pre-made cabbage rolls, simply place them on a baking sheet and cover with tin foil. Bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes if they’re fresh or 45 minutes if they were frozen beforehand.

If you have leftovers from a previous meal, storing and reheating Golabki couldn’t be easier. Any remaining cabbage rolls can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. When you’re ready to enjoy them again, simply heat them up in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 20-25 minutes or until they’re heated through.

It’s important to note that while reheating your stuffed cabbage rolls is easy enough to do, you don’t want to overdo it. Overheating delicate foods like these could cause the filling to dry out or the cabbage leaves to become too soft. Stick with gentle reheating methods and your leftovers will taste just as good as they did on the day you initially prepared them.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect comfort food for any occasion.
The perfect comfort food for any occasion.

As someone who has made golabki multiple times, I have developed some tips for making the perfect vegetarian version of this traditional Polish dish. Here are my top tips to ensure that your cabbage rolls come out delicious and satisfying every time.

Firstly, I highly recommend using savoy cabbage if you can find it. Unlike regular cabbage, savoy cabbage leaves are not as waxy and are easier to roll. Additionally, they have a slightly sweeter flavor which complements the filling beautifully.

Next, when preparing the cabbage leaves, be sure to steam them until they are soft and pliable. This will make them much easier to fold around the filling and will prevent tearing. Be careful not to overcook the leaves, as they can become too delicate and difficult to work with.

When making the filling, I prefer to use a mixture of finely chopped mushrooms and onions instead of ground beef or other types of meat. Not only does this make the recipe plant-based, but it also adds a richness and depth of flavor that is often lacking in traditional meat-filled recipes.

To ensure that your filling is moist and flavorful, I recommend adding tomato juice or tomato sauce to the mix. This gives the recipe an extra burst of umami flavor that pairs well with the earthiness of the mushrooms.

In terms of seasoning, don’t skimp on the sweet paprika! It adds a warming and smoky flavor to the dish that is absolutely essential. I like to add garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce as well.

Finally, be sure to bake your stuffed cabbage rolls covered with foil for at least an hour to allow all of the flavors to meld together. And don’t be afraid to experiment with different serving options – I love serving mine with a dollop of vegan sour cream or parsley for extra freshness!


Before you start making your own version of this delicious Polish dish, let’s go through some frequently asked questions that we’ve compiled to help ensure your golabki turn out the best they can be! We hope that these answers will give you the confidence and knowledge to create your very own stuffed cabbage rolls to perfection. Let’s keep reading to see what they are.

Are cabbage rolls Ukrainian or Polish?

One of Poland’s beloved culinary creations is the stuffed cabbage roll. These delectable delights typically consist of a mixture of pork and beef combined with rice or barley, all wrapped up in a soft and delicate cabbage leaf. These rolls are then cooked to perfection either in the oven or on the stove until the flavors meld together and the cabbage is tender.

Why is my stuffed cabbage tough?

When cabbage rolls are too tough, it is a sign that they have not been cooked for an adequate amount of time. To ensure tender and delicious cabbage rolls, I recommend letting the cabbage sit overnight to soften before cooking. However, if the rolls still come out tough after being baked, then they should be returned to the oven and cooked for a longer period of time.

What are Ukrainian cabbage rolls made of?

These cabbage rolls are a popular Ukrainian dish, known as Holubtsi, that feature a filling of ground beef, rice, and chopped onion. They are rich and filling, perfect for those seeking a hearty meal.

How many calories in a vegetarian cabbage roll?

Get ready to indulge in a scrumptious vegan delicacy that won’t break the scale. This recipe takes 30 minutes to prepare and just 15 minutes to cook, yielding 2 weight watchers points per serving of 2 cabbage rolls. Each serving contains 142 calories, 3 g fat (with only 1 g saturated fat), 5 mg of cholesterol, 675 mg of sodium, 25 g of carbs, 6 g of fiber, and 8 g of protein. With these nutritious and delicious rolls, you’ll be able to enjoy hearty flavors and still maintain a healthy diet.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this vegetarian version of the classic Polish dish, Golabki (Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls), is a must-try for anyone looking for a delicious and wholesome meal. By substituting meat with mushrooms and rice, this recipe offers all the flavor and texture of traditional cabbage rolls while being plant-based.

With its rich combination of sweet paprika, garlic powder, pepper, salt, and Worcestershire sauce, the filling is bursting with flavor that will delight your taste buds. When paired with tender cabbage leaves and tomato juice-based sauce with a touch of sweetness, it makes for a scrumptious meal that everyone will enjoy.

This recipe requires some effort but is well worth it. The result is a baked vegan cabbage roll that tastes just as good as the meat-filled version. With generous portions and an uncomplicated list of ingredients, you can easily make this dish for your family or friends.

So give this recipe a try and impress your loved ones with an impressive yet simple dish. As you savor every bite of the mushroom and rice filling wrapped in a velvety cabbage leaf, you’ll know that you have made a healthy and satisfying choice. So don’t wait any longer – gather your ingredients and get ready to cook up some comforting Golabki (Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls) today!

Golabki (Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls) (Vegetarian Version)

Golabki (Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls) (Vegetarian Version) Recipe

pronounced gaw-WUMP-kee, literally meaning 'little pigeons'. Probably the best known Polish food. The ground meat & rice type in tomato sauce are the most common, but the seasonings and stuffings vary from region to region and there are many other varieties, including vegetarian versions like the one listed here.
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Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Calories 446.4 kcal


  • 1 large cabbage, with big leaves, core removed
  • 175 g long grain rice
  • 50 g butter
  • 2 large onions, peeled and minced
  • 450 g mushrooms (canned or fresh)
  • 5 ml Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 5 ml salt
  • 2 ml pepper
  • 5 ml garlic powder
  • 9 ml sweet paprika
  • 1 ml parsley
  • 1 1/2 1 1/2 liters vegetable stock or 1 1/2 liters mushroom stock
  • 6 -9 ml sweet paprika


  • Slice through the base of the cabbage and cook in lightly salted boiling water until tender.
  • When the leaves are tender, peel off (You may have to peel the first layers first and then return the cabbage to cook and continue peeling the leaves until all are done).
  • Boil the rice until just tender; drain and set aside.
  • Fry the onions in the butter until softened.
  • Dice the mushrooms and fry lightly with the onions, and the Worcestershire sauce, if using.
  • Mix with the rice and season with salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and parsley.
  • Place a tablespoonful of the rice mixture in each cabbage leaf; carefully, tuck in sides and roll to cover rice.
  • Heat the oven to 400°F.
  • Grease a roasting pan and place cabbage rolls seam side down in pan, packing them tightly together.
  • Pour enough juice or stock over the top to cover them.
  • Sprinkle lightly with remaining paprika.
  • Cover and bake in oven for 20 minutes.
  • Remove cover and bake for another 10 minutes to brown the cabbage lightly.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 602gCalories: 446.4kcalCarbohydrates: 80.3gProtein: 13.8gFat: 11.4gSaturated Fat: 6.7gCholesterol: 26.7mgSodium: 1759.8mgFiber: 12.7gSugar: 28.4g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Beginner Cook, Canadian, Easy, European, Free Of..., Healthy, Inexpensive, Kid-Friendly, Long-Grain Rice, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, One-Dish Meal, Oven, Polish, Potluck, Rice, Stove Top, Vegetable
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