golupki, stuffed cabbage rolls, gluten-free

Mania’s Golupki – An Easy and Delicious Polish Recipe (Gluten-free)

The first meal that I made for my future in-laws was a family favorite, golubki. You may know it as pigs-in-a-blanket. My mother-in-law made me many Greek dishes, and the Mediterranean flavors were spectacular. I wanted to introduce her to some of my ethnic specialties.

We grew up eating this cabbage and beef dish during the cold, winter months. When I was a kid, I didn’t like the cabbage. I left it on my plate and just ate the filling. Nowadays, I love the cabbage. Tastes sure do change.

There is something about this particular recipe that results in darn good golubki. I’ve tried other recipes, but they don’t have the same rich flavor. It’s my mom’s recipe, so it has been tried and adjusted for 50+ years. How can you beat that?

Mania’s Golubki


1 head cabbage

1 c. cooked rice

1 onion

2 1/2 lbs. meatloaf mix (ground hamburger, pork, veal)

2-3 rashers bacon

2 qt. tomato juice

1 T. rubbed sage

salt and pepper to taste


Be sure to have a large covered casserole dish, or use foil to tightly cover when baking the golubki.

Preheat oven to 325°F

Steam in a large pot, or microwave, a large head of cabbage, until the leaves become soft and pliable.

Meanwhile, chop and saute one yellow onion until soft.

Mix thoroughly the meatloaf mix, cooked rice, sage, salt, pepper, and sauteed onions.

Peel off a cabbage leaf. If the leaf rib is too thick, place the leaf on a cutting board and cut out the rib with a sharp knife.

cut rib from cabbage leaf
cut rib from cabbage leaf

Place about 1/3 c. meatloaf mix in center of leaf. Roll up long ways, tucking sides in.

Place cabbage rolls, seam side down, in a large casserole dish. Repeat until all meatloaf mix is used. You can pack the rolls tightly, they’ll be fine.Pour enough tomato juice over rolls so that they are covered. Add bacon rashers (uncooked) on top.

Cover and bake for 3-3 1/2 hours at 325°F.  Check occasionally. If more liquid is needed, add tomato juice.

This dish is even better reheated the next day!

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