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Dutch Oven Cabbage Rolls, made with layers of bacon. A family dinner favorite the whole family loves. Comfort food - Cabbage Rolls (Голубцы)

Cabbage Rolls Recipe (Голубцы)

Dutch Oven Cabbage Rolls, made with layers of bacon. Known as Golubtsi, a family dinner favorite the whole family loves. Comfort food - Stovetop Cabbage Rolls (Голубцы)

Course Dinner, Main
Cuisine Polish, Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword cabbage rolls recipe
Prep Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author Peter's Food Adventures


  • 1 large cabbage
  • 2 pounds /1kg lean ground beef
  • 2 cups uncooked medium grain rice
  • 3 carrots grated
  • 2 large onions finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 pound /500g back bacon

Ingredients for Cabbage Rolls Sauce (Podliva)

  • 2 bottles Passata Tomato Puree 24oz/700g
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbs beef stock powder
  • 2 grated carrots
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic crushed
  • handful fresh chopped dill
  • 2 bay leaves
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Maggi seasoning to taste optional
  • finely chopped cabbage leaf leftovers


  1. Rinse the rice, and cook according to instructions, and allow to cool.
  2. Cut out the core from the cabbage and remove the outer leaves. In a large pot of salted water, fully submerge the cabbage, core side down. Bring to a boil and rotate the cabbage (allowing water to fill through the core between the leaves). After about 6-7 minutes, pull off the cabbage leaves as they soften, and allow to cool. Leaves should be soft enough to bend but not overcooked.

  3. In a frying pan, heat olive oil and sauté 2 onions until caramelized then add 3 grated carrots for 7 minutes until caramelized.

  4. In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, cooked rice, sautéed carrots and onions, 2 eggs, salt and pepper and mix well. 

  5. Place 2 tablespoons of meat mixture to the thickest side of the cabbage leaf. Roll up the cabbage, tucking the insides as you go, wrapping as you would a burrito. Your first few might look a bit funny, but it will get easier as you go.

  6. Layer a few cabbage leaves in the bottom of your Dutch Oven Pot. Lay the cabbage rolls side by side until the first layer is filled. Place a layer of bacon on the cabbage rolls. Repeat levels until pot is full, I usually get 3 levels.

  7. In a separate pot, add 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat and sauté the remaining onion, garlic and carrots until tender. Add the 2 bottles of Passata tomato puree, bay leaves, chopped cabbage leaf leftovers, beef stock powder and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add sour cream and chopped dill and mix through the tomato sauce. Add Maggi (optional) and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  8. Pour the tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls and bacon until fully covered. Bring it to a simmer, cover and cook for approx. 40 minutes until the meat is throughly cooked.

  9. Serve with sour cream, garnish with dill and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

The centre pieces of the cabbage are too small to use, as are any thick stems. Finely chop them and any excess cabbage and reserve for the tomato sauce.