Cabbage Rolls: How To Make Ukrainian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

A cabbage roll is a dish made up of cooked cabbage leaves wrapped around a variety of fillings. It is well-known in the Balkans, Central, Northern, and Eastern Europe, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iranian cuisines, as well as to Western Asia and Northern China.

Traditional European meat fillings include beef, lamb, or pork seasoned with garlic, onion, and spices. Grains, including rice and barley, mushrooms, and vegetables, are also often included.

Fermented cabbage leaves, particularly in southeastern Europe, are used for wrapping. Seafood, tofu, and mushroom shiitake can also be used in Asia. Chinese cabbage is commonly used for wrapping in Asian countries.

Ukrainian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

  • Author: Romae Chanice Marquez
  • Recipe Category: Snacks
  • Cuisine: Ukrainian

Cabbage leaves are filled with the filling and are then fried, boiled or steamed in a covered pot. They are usually eaten moist, and often accompanied by a sauce. The sauce varies significantly, according to the cuisine.

The whole preparation and cooking time is 2 hours and 30 minutes. This recipe is suitable for at least 8 servings. 

Photo credit: @bella.trix.chan /

Ukrainian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Ingredients

Ukrainian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Instructions

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease a 2-quart saucepan and add water to it. Steam the whole cabbage head until it is al dente.

Step 2: Meanwhile, put 3 cups of water and the rice to a boil in a pot.

Step 3: Reduce heat and cover for 20 minutes, and simmer. Melt butter over medium heat in a small skillet.

Step 4: Saute the onion until it is translucent. Then, stir in the cooked rice. Season to taste. Cut the leaves off the cabbage and sprinkle with salt and pepper. You can cut the larger leaves in half.

Step 5: Spoon 1 tablespoon of rice onto a leaf and firmly roll it up. In a prepared casserole dish, put rolls, in rows. Pour the tomato juice over the rolls. Cover and bake for 2 hours in the preheated oven.

Ukrainian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Additional Information

  • Per serving has 207 calories, 3.539.6 5.7 8 521
  • This recipe will take 2 hours and 30 minutes to prepare. 
  • This recipe will make enough for 8 servings.
  • At the beginning of the 18th century, stuffed cabbage rolls were brought from the Middle East to Scandinavia by the Swedish Charles XII after he was expelled and was able to return.
  • Kaalikaarryle, a similar dish, is made from rice and chopped meat and rolled into cabbage leaves, then browned in table fat until it is brazed onto the burner. A gravy is made with potatoes and lingonberry jam.

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About Ukrainian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Historically, cabbage rolls have origins in the ancient middle east and spread as trade networks grew, and people migrated to Eastern Europe. Some Jewish scholars have found signs that stuffed cabbage rolls, as early as 1500 years ago, were part of Jewish food culture.

Tomato-based sauces are characteristic of Eastern Europe. Alternatively, they sometimes use pure sour cream. The cabbage in Lebanon is stuffed with rice and hazelnut meat and rolled into the size of a cigar. It is usually served with a side dish of yogurt and a vinaigrette of lemon and olive oil, flavored with garlic and dried mint.

A variant called holishkes is traditionally eaten by Jews on Simchat Torah. Recipes vary according to the region. For example, Romanians and Northern Poles prefer a savory sauce, while Galicia and Ukraine favor sweet-and-sour tastes.


Stuffed cabbage rolls are bringing back memories of family holidays and meals for many of us. It really is a comfort meal. Immigrants from Eastern Europe and Scandinavia took the recipes and customs to North America. For more international recipes, click here.

Featured Image: @eshraqsalameh  /, @stumptownfood  /