Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Galumpkis)

I've been craving something comforting and meaty lately, especially after deciding on giving up meat (beef, pork, lamb, chicken... everything except fish and seafood) for Lent starting tomorrow. So I decided on stuffed cabbage rolls. The sweet and sour tang of a tomato sauce glazed over meat and rice stuffed cabbage definitely was in order!

A few bloggers fed my cabbage roll cravings recently including Tangled Noodle, Cassie and even Giz's twist on a traditional recipe! I went with a recipe from Tyler Florence since I haven't given him some recipe love lately. (Although I'm super ready to meet him again in a few weeks at an upcoming trade show!) It definitely hit the spot just as I hoped and these are great to freeze since the recipe makes a large batch!

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Galumpkis)
recipe from Tyler Florence

Sweet & Sour Tomato Sauce:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 1/2 quarts crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cabbage Rolls:
11/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Splash dry red wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups steamed white rice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large heads green cabbage, about 3 pounds each

To make the sauce:
Coat a 3-quart saucepan with the oil and place over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and sugar; simmer, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Place a skillet over medium heat and coat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sauté the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, until soft. Stir in the tomato paste, a splash of wine, parsley, and 1/2 cup of the prepared sweet and sour tomato sauce, mix to incorporate and then take it off the heat. Combine the ground meat in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg, the cooked rice, and the sauteed onion mixture. Toss the filling together with your hands to combine, season with a generous amount of salt and pepper.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Remove the large, damaged outer leaves from the cabbages and set aside. Cut out the cores of the cabbages with a sharp knife and carefully pull off all the rest of the leaves, keeping them whole and as undamaged as possible, (get rid of all the small leaves and use them for coleslaw or whatever.) Blanch the cabbage leaves in the pot of boiling water for 5 minutes, or until pliable. Run the leaves under cool water then lay them out so you can assess just how many blankets you have to wrap up the filling. Next, carefully cut out the center vein from the leaves so they will be easier to roll up. Take the reserved big outer leaves and lay them on the bottom of a casserole pan, let part of the leaves hang out the sides of the pan. This insulation will prevent the cabbage rolls from burning on the bottom when baked. Use all the good looking leaves to make the cabbage rolls. Put about 1/2 cup of the meat filling in the center of the cabbage and starting at what was the stem-end, fold the sides in and roll up the cabbage to enclose the filling. Place the cabbage rolls side by side in rows, seam-side down, in a casserole pan.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Pour the remaining sweet and sour tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls. Fold the hanging leaves over the top to enclose and keep the moisture in. Drizzle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 1 hour until the meat is cooked.


  1. What a wonderful winter meal!

  2. I love cabbage-- these look great!

  3. I am not a huge cabbage person but these look really yummy!

  4. These look so savory! My FIL's sarma are gentle little packets compared to these assertive rolls. Thanks for the mention - it's hard to resist a craving when you've been triple-teamed cabbage roll posts! Yours, Cassie's and Giz's make me want to try different versions of this humble combo.

  5. My Polish parents make Galumpkis for practically every holiday, lol! They are so yummy! looks like a great recipe, I'll have to try it out!

  6. I've never had cabbage rolls, but they look very comforting, maybe I'll give them a shot.

  7. I've only ever had Lean Cuisine Stuffed Cabbage and well... I wouldn't recommend it.

    Yours look great!!!!

  8. I'll have to try this version some time--the recipe I have from my Polish grandmother is different, I'm curious about the wine in this...We do these a lot near the Holidays--Christmas and Easter. though, my Babci's rule to thumb was usually to make them when "the cabbage looked good" ha ha!

  9. These look delicious. My Polish grandmother used to make these all of the time, but of course she never wrote down the recipe. All I know is that she put bacon in the bottom of the pot they cooked in. I'm going to star this recipe to try.

  10. These could pass for my grandmother's. She always cheated and used ketchup as the base for her sauce.

  11. Great job on these "J" - I've never tried to make a sweet and sour version but I'll bet they're fantastic. They're somewhat time consuming to make but what a delight to have frozen cabbage rolls when you just don't feel like cooking - especially since they just as good warmed up as they are freshly made. Thumbs up!!

  12. My grandmother and aunt have an obsession with making galumpkis that not only encouraged me to eat my first galumpki this year, but also had me making two different recipes to see if I could make the perfect cabbage-wrapped meat dumpling.

  13. Well, well- I go to google and look whose blog pops up!! :) I just had to laugh- thanks for always being there for me recipe-wise, JO! Hope you are having a fab. holiday season-

  14. My dad made these on Easter - they were great!!!!

  15. There is no such thing as “galumpki.” The Polish word is “golabki” (there should be a line through the “l”–which gives it a “w” sound, & an accent–which looks like a backwards comma– on the “a”). It’s pronounced “gaw WOAMB kee.”

  16. Anonymous - thanks for your comment! I'll be sure to let Chef Tyler Florence know the correction, as this was an adaptation of his recipe which was titled (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - Galumpkis)...