Beet Leaf Holubtsi

Beet Leaf Holubtsi

These traditional Beef Leaf Holubtsi feature the best of season.

Beets In The Garden

When I plan my garden I have a few must have veggies that are top priority in my kitchen. Number one on that list is beets.

Beets are the most versatile vegetable I grow. I use the entire plant, and especially love the leaves. You can use the baby leaves in salads or wash and freeze them for smoothies. But to truly enjoy them allow them to grow a little longer until they are about 2 1/2 inches wide. The perfect size for rolling them around a creamy rice, bacon, dilly onion filling.

Steeped In Tradition

I have been making Beet Leaf Holubtsi for years. The tender leaves make the perfect blanket for the rice with fresh dill and onions. Bacon is NOT required but makes a nice addition to the rolls.

They are finished off by topping them with a bit of butter and baking them in whipping cream with some shaved onion.

Planning Ahead

I like to pick the leaves the day before, Wash the leaves and place on sheets of paper towel to dry. Once dry I put them in a large bowl, cover it with a clean tea towel and leave them in the fridge over night. The next day you will find them lightly wilted and ready for rolling. I have read of a few methods of wilting the leaves, from freezing them to placing them in the oven. I have tried the oven method with okay but very time consuming results. Just pop them in the fridge for the night. Trust me.

Beet Leaf Holubtsi
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Sidedish
Cuisine: Ukrainian
  • beet leaves
  • 2 cups of white rice
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 6 slices of bacon - diced
  • 1 medium onion - chopped
  • whipping cream
  • fresh dill
  • salt & pepper
  1. Prepare the rice according to the package directions.
  2. Meanwhile fry bacon, after 5 minutes add 1 tablespoon of butter and chopped onion.
  3. It is done when the bacon is crisp.
  4. Pour the bacon and onions, over the rice.
  5. Add a generous amount of freshly chopped dill and stir to combine.
  6. Now is a good time to season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add a ¼ cup of whipping cream, stirring until it all becomes creamy.
  8. Place a beet leaf on a cutting board and trim the bottom part straight across to remove the stem. Place a generous teaspoon of filling on the trimmed edge of the beet leaf and roll it towards the tip.
  9. Gently place the roll in a greased/buttered baking dish.
  10. Repeat until you have used all the leaves and filling.
  11. Pour whipping cream and a few teaspoons of shaved onion over the rolls just until lightly covered.
  12. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


Beet leaf holubtsil filling on Nutmeg Disrupted

Beet leaf holubtsi on Nutmeg Disrupted












*They are not rolled like cabbage rolls, when in when making cabbage rolls you tuck the edges in when rolling.  We want to use nice tender leaves and they are often small so it is fine to leave the edges of the beet leaf holubtsi open.

If you are wanting to freeze your Beet Leaf Holubtsi do not add cream. Wrap and freeze.

Beet leaf holubtsi on Nutmeg Disrupted

You can bake Beet Leaf Holubtsi from frozen. Be sure to place the pan onto a large pan to cook as the cream will cook over the edges. Bake for an extra 30 – 40 minutes.

Beet Leaf Holubtsi from Nutmeg Disrupted

For more traditional Ukrainian recipes be sure to check out our Ukrainian Dishes resource page for more spectacular recipes.

Published by Redawna

Cannabis, Garden & Food Writer/Educator/Photographer. SMM in the Cannabis space. Management Professional. Community Builder. Entrepreneurial spirit.

7 Replies on “Beet Leaf Holubtsi

  1. Thanks for sharing this recipe. It’s nice to see a version of this written down….. My mom and grandma are very much “a little of this, a little of that” Ukrainian cooks when they share a recipe, which is awesome, but it’s nice for me to have a great starting point to work from when I’ve never made these myself before! These look amazing!

  2. Thank you for this! I am from Edmonton with parents with a farm near Mundare. Needless to say, our Ukrainian rots mean eating this dish all the time, especially Christmas Eve.

    I live in Tokyo with my own family, and my son’s summer homework will have us explaining this wonderful, time-honored recipe to his Japanese classmates. Now if I could only find some beet leaves…

    1. Chris! Thank you for your comments.
      I wonder if you could find any beets with their leaves there?
      What a wonderful dish for your son to have to explain to his classmates.

      I will keep my fingers crossed that you are able to locate to fresh beet leaves.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  3. I make to but with pork and rice and make a mushroom sauce with mushroom soup and sour cream and then bake them they are delicious

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