Stuffed Cabbage (Golumpkis)

January 22nd, 2006 by Jeff in Main Dishes

If you have lived near any Polish communities then you automatically know how good stuffed cabbage, or golumpkis can be. Where I grew up, there were many Polish people around, so many in fact, that pretty much every family be they Irish, German, or whatever, had their own recipes for stuffed cabbage.

After I left home, I moved to an area where this was not the case. I went home for Easter to visit the family and my aunt had made a batch of golumpkis that brought back the memory of this food.

Most of the Polish versions of stuffed cabbage always seemed a bit dry to me. I believe that is the way they intend it, which is fine if that is your taste. For myself however, I altered this recipe quite a bit to fit my tastes. It is no secret that I have Italian taste buds even though, as far as I know, there isn’t a drop of Italian blood in me. I decided I would modify the traditional recipe just a little.


  • 1 head cabbage
  • 1/2 pound of Italian sweet sausage
  • 1/2 pound of ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 cup cooked rice (I use instant rice because I am lazy) 🙂
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 12 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes


Preheat oven at 350.

Get a large sauce pot and fill three quarters with water and bring to a boil. While your waiting, continue.

Mix the ground beef and sausage (raw) with all of the spices and rice and mix thoroughly. I usually use my hands here because it is just easier.

By the time you are finished with this, hopefully your water is about ready to boil. Take the head of cabbage and cut out the stem, but don’t cut the head in half, leave whole.

Once the water is boiling, throw in the head of cabbage and when it returns to a boil, turn off the heat, but leave pot on the burner.

Get a large casserole dish or aluminum baking dish.

I would recommend you get a large plate. Using a fork, pull off one leaf of the cabbage at a time and place them on the large plate. You are going to need a few. If the leaves start to get hard to remove, just start on to the next part of this recipe until you need more leaves. As you leave the head in the hot water, they will get softer. The idea here is to get the ENTIRE leaf as undamaged as possible.

Take the meat and with your hand make a little roll, about the size of a Chinese egg roll and place it inside of one of the cabbage leafs. Roll the leaf so it folds around the meat and looks like a roll of cabbage. 🙂

Place in the casserole dish with the seam facing down. Repeat this until the dish is full. You should pack these together pretty tight as that keeps them from falling apart. Some people use toothpicks to hold them together but it isn’t needed if they are packed tight.

Once the dish is full, take the onions and spread them all over the golumpkis evenly.

Take your crushed tomatoes and spread them over the golumpkis until they are all covered. You might have some left over.

Bake like this for 1-1/2 hours basically until the meat is done.


For a more Italian flavor, add basil and/or oregano to the tomatoes before you spread them over the golumpkis.

Sometimes I add a little more allspice, up to a tablespoon.

You can try hot Italian sausage too, they both taste great.

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