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Golubtsi Recipe
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5 from 10 votes

Golubtsi Recipe - A classic Ukrainian food.

These stuffed cabbage rolls are the best I've tried! Cabbage rolls (golubtsi) are made with simple, inexpensive, but very tasty (and freezer-friendly!)
Course Main Course
Cuisine Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword Golubtsi
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 - 16
Author Claudia Martinez
Cost $16-$20


  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash or your favorite salt-free seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups of your favorite mushroom marinara sauce
  • 6 medium sized sticks, grated (4 for the meat mixture, 2 for the Puddlelife sauce)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 pound minced pork
  • 2 medium cabbage
  • 6 cups medium cooked white rice, from 2 cups uncooked rice - instructions below


How to prepare rice and cabbage

  • Rinse 2 cups of white rice and cook it in 3 1/2 cups water with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the water is completely absorbed. Or do the same in a rice maker.
  • Fill 2/3 a large soup pot with water. Let it boil. Add 1/2 tablespoon salt and 4 tablespoons vinegar.
  • Jingle and scrape off the top two leaves from each cabbage. Use a knife to cut the core of each cabbage (see photo). We put the cabbage first in the water, put the cork down, for about 5 minutes, then turn it over and continue to cook for another 5-6 minutes. The leaves will pull when they start to soften. The leaves will cook faster if they are chopped. Transfer the leaves to a plate to cool when done. You know it's over when it turns soft and yellow and the large leaves turn pale green. Repeat the process with the second cabbage, adding more water if necessary. Keep about 3-4 cups of water out of the pot!

Preparation of the meat mixture / stuffed meat

  • Mix ground beef with rice in a large bowl.
  • Grate 4 carrots and fry in about 3 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium/high heat. Once tender, add 1 cup of the mushroom marinara sauce and sauté for another minute.
  • Add the carrot mixture to the rice and meat. Add 2 eggs and a tablespoon of salt. Mix well.

Chopping and Stuffing the Cooked Leaves:

  • Large Leaves: Cut the leaves in half in the middle and remove the hard part - you will end up with two leaves. Place 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture on top of each leaf (or as much as possible - leaf sizes vary). Roll the paper into a cone so that the thickest part of the paper is at the base and the wide part is stuffed at the top. While stuffing the cabbage, arrange them either in the same saucepan you used to cook the cabbage or in a cast iron Dutch oven.
  • Small Leaves: Cut off the raised surface of the hard central stem only to flatten the leaf and facilitate coiling. Fill each cabbage leaf with about 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture. Place the filling on the bottom/trunk. Roll like a burrito and stuff both ends with fingers.

How to make Pudleva (sauce)

  • Heating approx. 2 tablespoons olive oil. Fry 2 grated carrots, reserving 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash. Stir until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of sour cream and 1 cup of mushroom marinara sauce. Fryeha for another minute and then raise it from the fire.
  • Pour the Buddleva over the Golubtsy and add enough reserved water to roughly cover the goloobtsi (2 1/2 to 3 cups).

There are two ways to cook this:

  • If you are using a small saucepan, bring it to a slight boil, cover and simmer over medium heat for 40 minutes.
  • If using a Dutch oven (recommended method), cover and bake at 450°F for 20-25 minutes on the lower third (one step below the center rack). When it pops, reduce the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for an hour.