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In general, golubtsi or stuffed cabbage are known in the different cuisines: Greek, Eastern European, Kazakh, Turkish, but they all have some differences. Even in Ukraine there is no common traditional recipe and Ukrainian golubtsi differs depending on the region. For example, millet was mainly used as a filling, but depending on the region it was often replaced by corn grits or buckwheat. On the Left Bank of Dnipro river and in the southern regions, stuffed cabbage was made large, using the whole cabbage leaf, though in the West it was considered as a sign of a lazy host, and the cabbage leaf was divided into several parts. Cabbage (steamed or pickled) was first stuffed with cereals, fried onions and pork greaves. Meat was added only on holidays.

Golubtsi was stuffed in the oven with meat soup and sour cream or with kvass, if it was a fasting season. In the 1920s and 1930s, cabbage rolls changed to the version that is more familiar to us today: with rice and meat filling and tomato paste. Stuffed cabbage was usually an everyday dish, but in some right-bank regions it was traditionally served at a festive table.


  • Beef — 1 kg,
  • Fresh cabbage — 1.2 kg,
  • Rice or millet — 4 tbsp.,
  • 2 Onions
  • Butter — 2/4 tbsp.,
  • Bitter pepper — 2 peas,
  • Salt, pepper.

For gravy

  • Sour cream — half a cup,
  • Meat broth — 2.5 cups,
  • Wheat flour — 1 tbsp,
  • Butter — 1 tbsp.

The cooking process

  1. Peel the cabbage, wash it, remove its head, then boil the cabbage in salted water for 10-15 minutes. Then tilt the head into a colander to drain the water and, when cool, separate the petals and remove the thick streaks.
  2. Preparation of minced meat. Grind the meat with a meat grinder. Boil rice or millet a little to make it crumbly. Cut the onion into small cubes and fry. Mix all these ingredients, add salt and pepper. The stuffing is ready. Add it to the cabbage leaves, wrapping them in tubes with curved edges.
  3. Preparation of gravy. Fry the flour for a few minutes with butter and mix with sour cream. Then gradually pour in the hot broth and put the whole mixture to simmer on low heat. After 8-10 minutes, add a pinch of salt, strain and cook until it boils.
  4. Place the prepared stuffed cabbage in a pan with a lid. Add pepper peas and pour gravy. Sometimes cabbage leaves are placed on the bottom of the vessel and on top of the stuffed cabbage. Then send the dish in the oven to simmer on low heat until cooked. Stuffed cabbage is considered ready when the cabbage becomes soft.

Other dishes

Sprat rissoles

Area: South of Ukraine

Hrechanyky (Buckwheat Cutlets)

Area: East of Ukraine