Polish Stuffed Cabbage / Gołąbki

These delicious cabbage rolls are a very unique main dish that is recognized in every region of Slavic Central Europe. “Ga-WUMP-ki”, are a fabulous delicacy often served at family celebrations and holidays. If you make too many, the leftovers will re-heat in the microwave the next day, tasting even better than the day you cooked them. Most families have a secret recipe they follow, and my family has one as well.

Our family recipe was much more time-consuming than necessary. It called for par-boiling the cabbage to make the leaves pliable for the stuffing. It made the outer leaves very soggy and the inside leaves firm. The new method of freezing the cabbage and then defrosting it was an ingenious alternative. I’ll never forget how my mother was beaming the first time she tried it! It opened up a whole new effortless recipe idea that made Polish Stuffed Cabbages easier and dare I say, fun.

My contribution to the new and easier family recipe was to cook them in my slow cooker. You see, cabbage is notorious for burning on the bottom of the pot, even on the lowest of flames, leaving behind a stink in the kitchen unlike any other! The only way to avoid that situation is by lining the bottom of the pot and  diligently watching it simmer all day. Others cooks have baked the cabbage rolls in the oven, but they don’t become tenderized and are much chewier when they are baked.  Our authentic Polish recipe is perfected to today’s standards and is easier without sacrificing taste!

Polish Stuffed Cabbages

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

This recipe is handed-down through many generations. It has been adapted to modern-day and made easier in a slow cooker. A great meal for family occasions and holidays

An original family recipe


  • 1 frozen and defrosted head of cabbage
  • 1 lb. ground pork*
  • 1 lb. ground beef*
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • salt and pepper to taste, if you like heat, add in paprika
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 c. cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 28 oz. can tomato puree
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic

*or 2 lbs. ground turkey


  1. Mix the meats or ground turkey with ½ of the chopped onion, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tbsp. chopped parsley, and seasonings. Add in the cooked rice. Place the bowl on the side.
  2. Score the fully defrosted cabbage using a sharp knife, and discard the core.
  3. Using a clean kitchen towel to line your work surface, separate the leaves from the cabbage, trimming the tough vein with scissors. Blot up the water in the leaves before stuffing.
  4. Place a handful of meat mixture near the end of the leaf and wrap it up in a roll until you have about 12-15 rolls give or take.
  5. In another bowl, mix the canned tomatoes, the other minced garlic clove, the rest of the chopped onion and parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Place 1/3 of the tomato sauce in the slow cooker and begin gently stacking the cabbage rolls. Between the rows, put more sauce, until the cooker is full.
  7. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours (or all day while you are working).
  8. Gently remove from the cooker and spoon a bit of sauce over the top when serving.

9 responses to “Polish Stuffed Cabbage / Gołąbki”

  1. Człowiek uczy się przez całe zycie. Nigdy nie słyszałam o zamrażaniu kapusty ! Ja zawsze gotuję w wielkim garnku i potem takie gorące, miękkie już liscie odrywam od głąba . Muszę spróbować sposobu z zamrażaniem . Może nie będę więcej sobie rąk parzyła !


  2. Please use the correct term…it’s Gołąbki, or Golabki if you don’t have the correct characters on your keyboard. Have a good day 🙂


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