Sweet & Sour Cabbage Rolls

I think every Eastern European country has its version of stuffed cabbage rolls.  I grew up on my Mom’s version which was not sweet and sour…just sweet.  Being Polish, we called them, Golabki, pronounced
ga-WUMP-kee.  It means, little pigeons in Polish, a reference to their size and shape.  My husband calls them Gad-wonkas just to irritate me…it works.

Anyway, I have always loved my Mom’s cabbage rolls but my friend Jody has been after me to try her sweet and sour rendition. Jody’s mom Sharon has been making them this way forever and they have always raved about it. 

OMG, can I just tell you…I love them. Love them! I mean I always love a good ‘twang in my food and this recipe just has a nice ‘twangy note.  I love the contrast of the sweet and sour, it goes so perfectly together with the meat.

Here’s what’s interesting, in my Mom’s version, and this version too, tomato soup is used as the sauce base.  We have tried many others ways to achieve the same flavor and every time go back to the soup. It just works perfectly. And makes it easy.

I hope you enjoy this version, it rocks.

Sweet & Sour Cabbage Rolls
From Sharon

1 large head cabbage
1 cup long grain white rice, uncooked
1-1/2 – 2 pounds ground beef
2 large eggs
Coarse salt and pepper
1 cup golden raisins
1 jar jar sauerkraut
4 cans tomato soup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 soup cans of water

Bring a large stock pot (12 quart) of water to boil.  Place whole head of cabbage in boiling water to blanche and separate leaves, set aside separated leaves.

In another small saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Pour in rice and boil for 5 minutes. Rinse and drain.  Mix rice with ground beef, eggs, raisins and salt and pepper.  Roll mixture in cabbage leaves.

Spread a thin layer of one can of soup and one cup water in a large baking pan.  Layer cabbage rolls and cover with drained sauerkraut.  Evenly sprinkle with brown sugar and lemon juice. (you can make it sweeter and more sour by adding more sugar and juice from the sauerkraut jar). Top with the rest of the tomato soup, mixed with water.  Cover and bake at 325o for two hours.

So good!!!

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Post a Comment


  1. Ok, I am totally making these! My hubs is Polish and his family calls them golabki too. I’ve learned a whole lot of Polish stuff since he’s been around, lol! I love stuffed cabbage and I have never made it. Here it goes!

  2. Erica 2

    I’m 100% Polish and golabki are one of my all time favorite comfort foods. My dad made them one time, using ground turkey & brown rice for a healthful version and I’ve also seen them made with mushrooms and buckwheat. Great blog. Will be following from now on!

  3. Linda 3

    These are on my to do list after seeing the pic. We have made dozens of different versions and love the ones with sauerkraut best. Will let you know. (its a bit hot right now)

  4. Anna 4

    Reading over the ingredient list, I’m thinking that these aren’t foods I’d normally ever eat together. But I’m intrigued and want to try it!


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