Cabbage Rolls – Holubtsi

Cabbage Rolls – Holubtsi

These Cabbage Rolls – Holubtsi has its roots in the Ukrainian dishes of my family using traditional inexpensive ingredients.

Perfect For Any Holiday Meal

Cabbage Rolls are a dish we enjoy with every holiday meal. The version using whipped cream would be the perfect accompaniment to your Easter Ham.

Cabbage Rolls from Nutmeg Disrupted

Recently I have been baking them 2 ways, one the traditional way, with tomato soup but took the idea from the Nalysnyky I love so much and started cooking them with dill and cream.

Cabbage Rolls from Nutmeg Disrupted

They exceptional and a great change from the traditional way I am used to them. They have a creamy texture and the dill flavour really comes through and the cream cuts the sourness of the cabbage.

Cabbage Rolls - Holubtsi
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Ukrainian Traditional
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 2-3 cups of vinegar
  • 3 cups of Minute rice or any long grain white rice you prefer
  • 1 lb. of bacon (chopped)
  • 1 large white onion (chopped)
  • ¼ cup of butter or margarine
  • Pepper to taste
  1. Remove the core from the cabbage using a sharp knife.
  2. Place the cabbage cored side down in a large pot, add the 2 cups of vinegar and enough water to cover the cabbage.
  3. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat.
  4. Once the cabbage leaves start to separate from the head, carefully using tongs, remove the leaves. Once all the leave are separated from the head allow to cool.
  5. In a pot make the rice according to package directions.
  6. Once rice is done move it to a large mixing bowl and add the butter and pepper.
  7. Meanwhile in a skillet fry the bacon and onion until cooked through but not crunchy.
  8. Once the bacon and onions are cooked pour over the rice, drippings included. Stir well to combine thoroughly.
  9. Take a cabbage leaf and split it down the center removing the tough rib part.
  10. If the leaves are large, slice the half of the cabbage leaf in half again.
  11. Place a large teaspoon of the filling at one end of the leaf and roll up tucking in the sides.
  12. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.
  13. Layer the cabbage rolls in a greased casserole dish.
  14. You can dot with butter, cover with foil and bake in a 325*F over for 1 ½ hours.
  15. The way we make them is using 1 can of tomato soup mixed with a half can of water and poured over the casserole.
  16. Bake for the same amount of time but place foil under the dish as it will cook over!
  17. And most recently I have been baking them with 1½ cups of whipping cream, with a tsp of fresh chopped dill and 2 tablespoons of butter.
  18. Combine and pour over the cabbage rolls.
  19. Cover with foil. Bake for 1½ hours.

If you are freezing your cabbage rolls you can do it a few different ways :

#1:   line a cookie sheet with foil and spray lightly with Pam. Place the cabbage rolls onto the cookie sheet and pop in the freezer. Place the frozen cabbage rolls into freezer bags.

#2:   layer the cabbage rolls into a freezer safe container, preferably one that can go straight into the oven. Cover with plastic wrap then with foil.

If you are  looking for more Ukrainian dishes pop over to our Ukrainian Dishes resource page for more delicious recipes.


Published by Redawna

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

27 Replies on “Cabbage Rolls – Holubtsi

    1. Dave!!!!!

      Its great seeing you!

      I don’t make them too often but do enjoy them when I do!
      Sometimes is good to get back to ones roots!
      I tend to do that through my cooking!
      Always the foodie!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

    1. Hi Naomi!

      They are really good if you are a fan of cabbage.
      They are a bit of work but it is worth it.
      They freeze well which is nice, espically if you make a large amount.

      I hope you give them a try!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  1. Hi Redawna……..Funny I should come across your web site. I was just sitting here on the computer waiting for my Holubtsi to finish baking. I still make them the traditional good old Ukie way that Baba taught me…………I made them with 3 huge cabbages, now I’m dead tired. This way I give some to my brothers to take home and my neighbour….and of course I will freeze some.
    Love your photo’s……..I’m from Toronto, where are you from?

    irka 😉

    1. Irka!

      Thanks for stopping by!!!
      I am just outside of Grande Prairie Alberta, moved here from near Edmonton!

      I hear you about being beat after doing a round of cabbage rolls! I know when I make then I will do 100’s.
      Because you already have the mess, why not, plus, its not a job one wants to do all the time!
      Its good they freeze so well!

      I will head over and check your blog out next!!
      Please do stop in anytime!
      So nice to meet fellow Canadian bloggers!

  2. Mine weren’t nearly as beautiful looking, but the taste….wow! I froze three casserole dishes full of them for the holidays. We cooked the fourth…. delish! Thanks for this recipe. Love love love them…

  3. This is how my mother-in-law taught me to make cabbage rolls, with just a few differences. I remove the core of the cabbage, rinse well under running water and then pop in a plastic bag and freeze. when it thaws, the leaves are all limp, just like sour cabbage. To give it that ‘sour’ taste I add some vinegar and a bit of dry mustard to the tomato soup mixture. I also sometimes add dill to the rice mixture for something a bit different.

    Will have to try your method for handling the cabbage though – sounds interesting.

    1. Teresa,

      Thank you for your comments! I may have to give your
      method for handling the cabbage as well. It sounds a bit
      easier but my concern is getting enough vinegar into them
      through the sauce.
      After a bit of convincing I got my family to
      try cabbage rolls with cream & dill in place of the tomato and it has become a favourite way
      of eating them now.

      I look forward to giving it a try.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  4. Hey there, I was going to make a whole bunch and freeze them do you cook them first and then freeze them ore freeze them after assembling them?

    1. Hey Shalane,

      They are rolled, put into containers and then frozen. I do not cook them until they are needed. I think if you were to cook then freeze them they would be very mushy when you reheat them.

      If you have any more questions let me know!

  5. I am making and freezing them today. Do you add the cream before freezing or on the day you are going to cooked them in the oven? Thanks! They look great.

    1. Good morning!

      You freeze them without the cream.

      I’d love to hear what you think about them when you get the chance to enjoy them. Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Depending on the size of the cabbage it usually get 3-4 of those 6×4 foil freezer containers.
      Often when making cabbage rolls I like to do a big batch and make a days project so I have many to go into the freezer.
      It can be a messy job, I like to make it worth while!

  6. Do you have a cabbage borscht recipe? About the cabbage rolls: although I know how to make them and have done so in years past, I now cop out and making Lazy Cabbage Rolls, and I do not use canned soup because of the salt content. I make a no salt canned tomatoes sauce, with dill. Then bake. I really can’t taste the difference. Lazy Cabbage Rolls? Layer cabbage leaves with rice (and ground meat if you wish). Pour sauce over and serve hot or cold. How I love cold cabbage rolls and cold borscht. With the latter I do bring out the Smetana.

  7. Ok, a dumb question… I’ve never made cabbage rolls. When u say 3cups rice, is that already cooked? Or am I to make 3 cups raw rice? Thanks, T

    1. There is no such thing as a dumb question. The would be 3 cups of uncooked rice.

      I hope that helps!
      Thanks for stopping by Thelma

  8. Although I am a diehard Ukrainian cook I am always willing to try new recipes and so glad I did. These cabbage rolls are delicious! I am going to serve my Ukrainian family this version for Easter this year because they are that good…I like using Savoy cabbage as it is sweet and tender. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Thank you so much for the feedback Judy! I really enjoy the creaminess of Beet Leaf Holubtsi and knew it had to be a great way to prepare cabbage rolls. It is so good! I like the suggestion of using Savoy cabbage and I am absolutely going to try it. It is so much more tender than green cabbage, I bet it is just spectacular! Thank you for stopping by. I hope you and your entire family has a wonderful Easter together.

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