Authentic Polish Stuffed Cabbage

These delicious cabbage rolls are a very unique main dish that is recognized in every region of Slavic Central Europe. Golabki, pronounced 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.

When I was growing up, 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. I’ll never forget how my mother was beaming when she read somewhere that you can get the same results by simply freezing and defrosting the whole cabbage! It opened up a whole new effortless recipe idea that made Golabki easier and dare I say, fun.

My contribution to the new and easier family recipe was to cook them in my slow img_6108cooker. 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!

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls or Golabki

  • Servings: 6
  • 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 by GourmetMariChef


  • 1 frozen and defrosted head of cabbage
  • 2 packages of ground beef, veal, pork combo pack
  • ½ finely chopped onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c. cooked whole grain gluten-free brown rice
  • 2 28 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic


  1. Mix the meats with the chopped onion and seasonings and cooked rice, placing 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.
  5. Open the cans of crushed tomatoes and pour one of the cans into the slow cooker.
  6. Gently arrange the rolls in the pot, placing the garlic cloves here and there. Season with salt and pepper as you fill the pot.
  7. When you get to the top, add in more of the canned tomatoes, salt and pepper and cover.
  8. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, reducing the heat to low to keep warm until dinner time.
  9. Mashed potatoes are a great accompaniment to the stuffed cabbage rolls.



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