Stuffed Cabbage Rolls – Homemade Polish Golabki

Traditional recipe for fragrant, delicate homemade cabbage rolls. Soft cabbage leaves are filled with stuffing of rice and mushrooms and baked to perfection.

This recipe for Stuffed Cabbage Rolls is based on Polish recipe for Golabki, which is one of the most popular polish comfort foods. Perfect family dinner loved by everyone.

Why you should try Stuffed Cabbage Rolls?

  • delicious, delicate and very soft
  • easy and super fragrant stuffing
  • great for meal prep
  • they can be frozen for later
  • they are gluten-free, plant based and kids friendly

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls in a large cooking pan.

This is my Mom’s recipe for Cabbage Rolls, and I am so excited to share it with you. One of the flavors from my childhood. Living in Poland every autumn I would walk with my parents to the forest to pick up wild mushrooms. When they were drying in our kitchen their amazing smell would fill every corner of the house. One of the dishes my Mom did afterwards was those Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.

Key Ingredients in Stuffed Cabbage Rolls


Traditionally white or green cabbage is used to prepare Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. Savoy Cabbage is a very interesting choice, not only its’ leaves are softer, but it also looks beautiful.

In some places you may find special cabbage for cabbage rolls. It has thin soft leaves that are perfect for rolling the stuffing.


Regular white rice is perfect for Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. It doesn’t have to be prepared fluffy. Actually it’s ok if your rice will turn out sticky after cooking. Basmati, Jasmin and Arborio rice will do nicely too.


My Mums’ original recipe calls for dried wild mushrooms of boletus (cep, porcini) type. They are extremely aromatic and their flavor cannot be mistaken with anything else. They are also only available in few parts of the world.

You can use the type of mushrooms you like – Champions, Bella mushrooms, Cremini or Portabello. The more aromatic the mushroom type the more delicious Cabbage Rolls will turn out.

*** If you find dried wild mushrooms in the store, buy a little (they can be pretty expensive!). Even small addition along regular mushrooms will greatly improve flavor of the dish.


Yellow onion is perfect for frying. You need to chop it really fine and fry until soft and translucent.

Yellow onion fried translucent in a small cooking pot.


Although Stuffed Cabbage Rolls will be prepared in the oven, they are actually cooked, so we need a liquid of some kind. Good quality vegetable broth is the best option, but if you don’t have any, water will suffice.

Are Stuffed Cabbage Rolls plant based?

Actually, where I come from there are two types of Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. Ordinary version served in the cheap bars called for rice mixed with minced meat. Mushroom version was considered more exquisite and was often served during Christmas.

This is obviously the mushroom – plant based version, and we can serve it with choice of two delicious thick sauces.

Delicious, soft and fragrant Stuffed Cabbage Rolls according to traditional Polish recipe.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Recipe by VegnFitCourse: DinnerCuisine: Polish, EuropeanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cook time


Total time



Traditional recipe for fragrant, delicate homemade cabbage rolls. Soft cabbage leaves are filled with stuffing of rice and mushrooms and baked to perfection.


  • 1 head of cabbage (Green Cabbage, Savoy Cabbage or special cabbage for rolls)

  • 1 cup white rice

  • 1 medium onion

  • 300g mushrooms *if you are using dried wild mushrooms please see the notes below

  • 2-3 tbsp frying oil (sunflower, grapeseed, or colza oil)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp pepper

  • about 1l / 4 cups of vegetable broth of water

  • See two versions of the most popular sauces under the main recipe.


  • Cook rice until soft and let it cool down a little.
  • Take off 3-5 outer cabbage leaves and put them aside. Place Cabbage in a really big cooking pan and cover it with hot water. Blanch cabbage for around 5 minutes in boiling water, so that all the leaves soften.
  • Take the cabbage out of water, let it cool down and drain. Separate leaves from the cabbage and cut out the hard rib with a sharp knife (see pictures under the recipe below).
  • Chop onion and mushrooms finely. You can use food processor for the mushrooms.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Fry onions until translucent and golden. Don’t be shy with oil, as it will make the stuffing come together nicely.
  • Add chopped mushrooms to pan with onion. Cover and wait for them to release juices. *** If using dried wild mushrooms check under the recipe for cooking instructions
  • Add onion and mushrooms to cooked rice and mix, so they combine well, creating slightly sticky stuffing. Try it and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Place 1-2 tbsp of stuffing on a cabbage leaf. Fold both sides of the leaf inside. Start rolling from the thicker part towards thinner part of the leaf. (check pictures below for exact rolling technique)
  • Place 2-3 cabbage leaves on the bottom of a large pot or oven dish. Place Stuffed Cabbage Rolls on the leaves tightly together. You can put 2 -3 layers of rolls if necessary. Pour the broth in and cover the rolls with remaining leaves.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Bake the rolls for 30-40 minutes.


  • In order to cook rice perfectly, measure half cup of dry rice and cover it with twice the amount of water. Start cooking on a high heat and when the water starts to boil turn the heat down. It should simmer. Cover the pot and wait for the rice to ‘drink’ all the water. Turn the heat off and leave cooked rice in a covered pot.

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There is no doubt that the only proper way to serve cabbage rolls is with delicious thick sauce. There is however never-ending war between those that prefer tomato sauce and mushroom sauce. Let me give you both recipes, and let you be the judge of what’s the best way.

Other recipes you may like:

How to make Tofu Taste Like Chicken

Crispy Fried Tofu Cutlet

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls in a baking dish.


  • 1.5 cups tomato passata
  • 1 cup of broth after cooking cabbage rolls
  • 3 tbsp tomato concentrate
  • 1 tbsp wheat flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegan cream (optional)
  • favorite herbs: marjoram, basil, oregano (optional)

Pour half the broth, tomato passata and tomato concentrate into small cooking pot and start heating up on a small heat. Add herbs if using any. Simmer for few minutes. In the meantime add flour to remaining broth and mix well to avoid any lumps (add vegan cream if using any).

Add 2 tbsp of cooking sauce into the broth with flour. Mix and add one more spoon. Pour broth with flour into the pan with sauce and mix quickly. As the sauce simmers it should thicken. Check if it needs salt and pepper and season accordingly.

Cover Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with hot sauce.


  • 200g mushrooms (the same type you use for stuffing)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tbsp frying oil
  • 1 cup room temperature water (or broth after cooking cabbage rolls)
  • 1 heaped tbsp wheat flour
  • salt and pepper

Fry thinly chopped onion until translucent adding 1/2 tea spoon salt. Add finely chopped mushrooms, cover and cook for few minutes until mushrooms release juices. Add half the water, cover and cook for 5-8 more minutes.

Add wheat flour to cold water and stir until there are no lumps. Add 2 tbsp juice from cooking mushrooms into the cup with water and flour. Stir to combine. Now add flour with water to the pot and mix quickly, so that no lumps are formed. Wait till the sauce boils and thickens. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with hot sauce.

How to make Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Making Stuffed Cabbage Rolls is actually quite easy, the only process that needs more attention is stuffing and rolling the cabbage leaves. The rest is pretty much basic.


Start by taking off 3-5 outer cabbage leaves. They will serve us as a bottom and cover for cooking our stuffed cabbage rolls.

Place whole cabbage in a large pot and cover it with hot water. Blanch it for around 5 minutes in boiling water. This way the leaves will become soft – it will be so much easier to separate them from cabbage and to roll them.

Cutting out the thick part from the cabbage leaf.

After you separate the leaves from the cabbage cut the thick rib off with a sharp knife. It will be way easier to roll stuffing into the leaf.


I always use ratio 1 part rice to 2 parts water. It works perfectly. Start with higher heat for the water to start boiling and then let it simmer until rice absorbs all the water. Turn the heat off and let the rice sit in a covered pot for 5-10 minutes.


First we need to fry onion until translucent and golden. Normally I would do this using minimum amount of oil required, but this time we can add oil to cover the whole bottom of the pan with a thick layer. Oil is what will helps glue stuffing together.

When onion is ready we need to add finely chopped mushrooms. We do it only to get rid of excess liquid they always release when heated. We don’t want them to do it inside the cabbage rolls. I used separate pot for cooking the mushrooms, but you can cook them together with onion.


When the liquid evaporated from the pan, we can add our mushrooms and onion to the pot with rice.

We need to mix our stuffing very well, so that all ingredients are combined into nice sticky pulp. Now it’s the time to adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Try not to eat half of the stuffing while trying and seasoning.

Stuffing of rice and mushrooms with fried onion on top.


Our leaves are ready and our stuffing is delicious and fragrant. Let’s get rolling..

Place your stuffing in the middle of a cabbage leaf. Depending on the size of your cabbage you will need 1-2 heaped table spoons of stuffing.

Placing mushroom-rice stuffing inside cabbage leaf.

Fold both sides of the leaf on top of stuffing.

Wrapping stuffing into cabbage leaves.

Start rolling from the thicker part of the leaf (this part from which you cut the rib off).

Rolling Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - Polish Golabki.

Form a neat cabbage roll. Make sure there is no hole in the cabbage for the stuffing to escape.

Rolling Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.

Place 2-3 cabbage leaves on the bottom of the pot or oven dish. If using pot, make sure it’s the type that can be placed in the oven (no plastic handles, etc.). You can use casserole dish if you have it.

Gently place stuffed cabbage rolls in a pot (folded side downwards). They should be tight together, so nothing falls apart while cooking. You can layer them up if you need to.

Pour the broth over the rolls. They don’t have to be covered completely, as the steam formed in a dish will cook them evenly. Cover the last layer with remaining cabbage leaves (at least 2). You can use the pot cover, but you don’t have to.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls in a large cooking pan.


I like to use oven to prepare Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, so that temperature is distributed evenly and they are ready faster. Place the pot (or oven dish) with rolls in the oven heated to 180°C / 350°F and keep it there for 30-40 minutes. Turn the heat off and let them sit 10 more minutes.

Since Cabbage Rolls are being prepared in a broth you can also cook them on the stove, if you don’t want to use oven. Make sure to cover bottom of the pan with 2-3 cabbage leaves, so that bottom rolls don’t get burned.

*** If you have dried wild mushrooms

Dried wild mushrooms require a bit different approach.

You will need around 1 cup dried mushrooms. Rinse them under the running water and place them in a pot. Cover with fresh water and let them soak for at least one hour. Next, put the pot on a stove and cook mushrooms for 30-40 minutes on a medium heat.

When mushrooms become soft take them out of the water and let them cool down. Chop them finely. My Mom uses meet grinder to do that. Now the wild mushrooms are ready to be added to cabbage rolls stuffing.

What about leftovers?

You can easily store Stuffed Cabbage Rolls for three days in the fridge. Heat them up before serving and cover with a warm thick sauce (tomato or mushroom).

Can you freeze Vegan Cabbage Rolls?

If you want to store them longer, they freeze very well. Keep them in the freezer for up to three months. To unfreeze, just place them on the counter overnight.

Let me know if you liked this recipe for Stuffed Cabbage Rolls! Please share it on Pinterest and Yummly!

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