Gołąbki (literally: little doves; pron.”go-woomp-kee”, already plural) are Polish-style cabbage rolls, stuffed with a variety of fillings.
In this recipe, we’re stuffing our Gołąbki with a very classic filling: a mix of ground pork and rice. Rich tomato sauce compliments them beautifully, but you can enjoy them on their own.
For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know below.
Do you need any special ingredients to make these Gołąbki?
This recipe couldn’t be simpler, there are no special ingredients required.
White Cabbage is a traditional choice, but you can use Savoy or Red Cabbage instead.
What could you serve with Stuffed Cabbage Rolls?
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are one of those filling dishes that are typically enjoyed on their own, sometimes with fresh bread on the side.
For a more elaborate meal, serve them with mashed potatoes, dill pickles or some braised beet salad.
Can you make Gołąbki another way?
Yes, you can bake them instead – bake for one hour, covered, at 360°F (180°C).
‘Gołąbki’ can be cooked in a slow cooker / crock-pot. Sadly, I haven’t tried this method yet, therefore I cannot recommend a specific recipe.
Feel free to experiment with different fillings and sauces. Try swapping pork for a different type of meat, such as beef, poultry (chicken, turkey, duck…), veal, game meat…
You could also swap rice for barley, pearl barley, millet or buckwheat.
What diets are these Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls suitable for?
When making tomato sauce, swap all-purpose flour for a grain-free flour (potato starch works well). This way, this recipe becomes gluten-free.
How long can you keep these Gołąbki in the fridge?
Once these Cabbage Rolls are served, ideally you should consume them within 4 hours.
To store them, allow any leftovers to cool. Refrigerate them in a container with a lid. You can keep Gołąbki chillin’ in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Can I freeze these Stuffed Cabbage Rolls?
Yes, you can:
- Wrap each cooked Cabbage Roll in aluminum foil (individually)
- Pour the sauce into a separate container with a lid, label it and place in the freezer.
Alternatively – freeze ‘Gołąbki’ and the sauce together, in a single container. Place the dish in a freezer-friendly container with a lid and label it well with a date and a description.
In any case, aim to consume them within 3 months.
How do I reheat these Gołąbki?
Avoid thawing Cabbage Rolls at room temperature. I find that they tend to fall apart during cooking because of it. But it’s worth moving them to the fridge for an hour before reheating (so they’re not so stone-cold).
In a microwave: If you have kept the Cabbage Rolls in a container that’s microwave-friendly, there’s no need to move them. Otherwise, place ‘Gołąbki’ in a bowl, half submerged in sauce (or water if you don’t have the sauce anymore).
Cover with a lid or another plate and microwave for around 3-5 minutes (from chilled) or 7-8 minutes (from frozen) until piping hot. The exact cooking time will depend on how many rolls you’re reheating. More rolls equals more time.
On the stove (frying pan or a cooking pot): This method works best for ‘Gołąbki’ stored in sauce. Pour a few drops of oil into the bottom of the pan (or pot) or melt a little bit of clarified butter (ghee). That way, the dish won’t burn. Reheat on a ‘low’ heat, covered, periodically checking if they’re not sticking. Cook until warm throughout, for anywhere between 8 to 15 minutes.
In the oven: Place the Cabbage Rolls in an oven-proof dish, cover with tomato sauce and cover with a lid. Bake at 300°F (150°C) for 12-15 minutes (from chilled) up to 20-25 minutes (from frozen). If you want the Rolls to get a bit crispy, remove the lid for the last few minutes of baking.
If you’ve stored ‘Gołąbki’ wrapped individually in aluminum foil, there’s no need to unwrap them. Just place them directly in the oven (times & temperature as above). Reheat the sauce in the microwave or on the stove.
Good to know: ‘Gołąbki’ are often misspelled, and no wonder – if you don’t speak Polish, ‘ą’ and ‘ł’ can look a bit… exotic.
That’s why you’ll see them spelled as: golombki, golumpki, golabki, golobki or gwumpki. ‘Gołąbki’ are already plural (a single one would be called ‘Gołąbek’, pronon. goh-wom-beck), but you’ll often see them referred to as galumpkis, golumkies, golumpkies, golumpkis, gwumpkies or gluntkes.
Halupki and Holubky are their Czech/Slovak names. In Jewish cuisine, holipshes, goleptzi golumpki and holishkes or holep are very similar dishes. (source)
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