Golumbki (aka Cabbage Rolls)


Say it with me…”go-wump-key”…it’s a fun one.

These satisfying little rolls of meat and cabbage take me back to my childhood, and having a Polish grandmother meant that golumbki were often on the menu when we went to visit. When I made this recipe, I instantly reminisced about her standing in the kitchen cooking for all of us. Traditionally, golumbki are made with rice so I substituted cauliflower to give a similar look and texture. Grandma always used a can of Campbell’s tomato soup (contains corn syrup and gluten!) to pour over the golumbki while they cook, but I used plain crushed tomatoes to give the same flavor without any weird ingredients. This one takes a little bit of time to prepare so to make up for it, I threw it all in the crockpot on low for 5 hours – you could bake them in the oven at 350F for about 1.5 hours. Or to make the process super easy, layer the ingredients in a dish, lazy-style.

Prep time: 30 min     Cook time: 5 hours (crockpot)     Serves: 4


  • 1 large head of green cabbage
  • 1 lb (500 g) grassfed ground beef
  • 1 lb (500 g) lean ground pork
  • 1/2 white onion, diced finely
  • 1.5 cups of riced / grated cauliflower
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce (not pasta sauce)
  • Coconut oil or fat of choice


1. Rice / grate the cauliflower. I use the grating attachment on my food processor or you could grate by hand – but it’s a pain in the ass. Save  1.5 cups for this recipe and the rest for something else…it’s tasty fried up in this side dish.

2. Dice the onion finely.

3. In a large bowl, mix the beef, pork, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

4. Put a large pot of water on the stove over high heat. To prepare the cabbage for rolling, you’ll lightly boil it whole and peel the leaves off a few at a time. Cut the core out of the cabbage and place in the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. As the leaves soften, you can peel them off with a spoon. Take care not to rip them in half. The whole process usually takes about 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can throw the whole cabbage in and let it simmer for about 15 minutes – the outermost leaves will become very soft but still usable. In either case, peel as many of the leaves off as you can and let cool a bit.

5. In a large skillet over medium-high heat put a spoonful of coconut oil or your fat of choice. Add the onion and grated cauliflower  and and sauté for 3-5 minutes until the onion is translucent and the cauliflower is softened. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

6. Combine the onion / cauliflower with the meat and mix by hand to incorporate all the ingredients.

7. Roll the golumbki by taking a cabbage leaf – concave side up with the stem toward you – and placing a large spoonful of the meat mixture at the stem end. Then roll forward, fold the sides in and end with the seam down.

8. Mix the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce (not pasta sauce) in a bowl. Put ~1 cup in the bottom of the crockpot (or casserole dish). Lay the golumbki in with the seam side down. Cover with the remaining tomato mixture once the crock is full.

9. For a crockpot, cook on low for 5 hours. If using the oven, cover the top of the dish with foil and bake for 1.5 hours at 350F (175C).


3 thoughts on “Golumbki (aka Cabbage Rolls)

  1. Pingback: Day 13 – SAT, 5/18 « Paleo Dammit!

  2. Just made this for lunch for my coworkers today and it was a major hit!! My only changes were, I used petite diced tomatoes since I didn’t have crushed, and used a whole 15 ounce can of sauce. I added a tablespoon of fresh minced basil to the tomato part. Served it with some green can parm cheese. it was awesomeness on a plate!

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