Lazy Cabbage Rolls – Ленивые Голубцы

In the Slavic home, the cabbage roll (golubtsi) is very well known. Not only do we eat them around the humble family dinner table, but we make huge amounts of cute little rolls to be served at church events and weddings. Just like borsch, there are many variations of the cabbage roll.

Today, I would like to introduce the cousin of the cabbage roll. It is for times when you crave the taste of golubtsi, but don’t have the time or desire for the task. These are affectionately called ”lazy cabbage rolls”. They may be much quicker to prepare, but they certainly don’t lack in flavor. This recipe is so convenient, healthy and most importantly, tastes great too.  

Yields: 20-25 cabbage rolls

Ingredients:

1 lb ground meat, I prefer pork, but have also used chicken and turkey with great results

2 onions finely diced

1 carrot finely shredded

1 1/2 cup cooked cabbage finely minced or chopped in food processor (about 1/3 of a cabbage head) RESERVE liquid in which you cook the cabbage

1/4 cup long grain rice, cooked (if you have cooked rice on hand, you will need about 3/4 -1 cup)

1 egg

1 can diced tomatoes

1/4 cup lecho, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter in a nonstick skillet. Add onions, season with 1/4 tsp salt, cover and cook on medium heat about 3 min, or until tender and translucent. Add carrots, season with 1/4 tsp salt. Cover and cook for another 5-7 min, or until tender and lightly golden.

In a large bowl, combine the pork, cooked rice, onions, carrot, cabbage, egg and mix.  IMG_1608 Form into oval patties, about 2-3 Tablespoons each. Place in 2 13×9 inch glass baking dishes.  IMG_1637 Combine the diced tomatoes and Lecho, if using, in the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/3 cup of reserved cabbage water. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Pour over the cabbage rolls. It should cover them about halfway. IMG_1667 You can also simply pour in 1/2 – 3/4 cup of  cabbage water, tomato juice, or any kind of broth.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 30-35 min, or until the meat is no longer pink.  IMG_1726 Another variation of making lazy cabbage rolls is shallow frying in a skillet.

Heat about 1 Tablespoon oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Dredge the oval patties in flour and add to pan, cooking for about 3 min per side, until lightly golden.  IMG_1678
IMG_1686 Cook the cabbage rolls is batches and place them into a medium sized pot. Pour in the tomato mixture or broth/cabbage liquid to barely cover the cabbage rolls.  IMG_1714 Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 min, or until meat is cooked through and tender. IMG_1761 IMG_1736

 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
Yields: 20-25 cabbage rolls
  • 1 lb ground meat (chicken, turkey, or preferably pork)
  • 2 onions finely diced
  • 1 carrot finely shredded
  • 1½ cup cooked cabbage finely minced or chopped in food processor (about ⅓ of a cabbage head)
  • reserved liquid from cooking cabbage
  • ¼ cup long grain rice, cooked (if you have cooked rice on hand, you will need about ¾ -1 cup)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup lecho, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt butter in a nonstick skillet.
  3. Add onions, season with ¼ tsp salt, cover and cook on medium heat about 3 min, or until tender and translucent.
  4. Add carrots, season with ¼ tsp salt.
  5. Cover and cook for another 5-7 min, or until tender and lightly golden.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the pork, cooked rice, onions, carrot, cabbage, egg and mix.
  7. Form into oval patties, about 2-3 Tablespoons each.
  8. Place in 2 13x9 inch glass baking dishes.
  9. Combine the diced tomatoes and lecho, if using, in the food processor and pulse until coarsely ground.
  10. Add ⅓ cup of reserved cabbage water. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  11. Pour pureed tomatoes, lecho and cabbage water over patties,covering them about halfway.
  12. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 30-35 min, or until the meat is no longer pink.
Skillet variation:
  1. Heat about 1 Tablespoon oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Dredge the oval patties in flour and add to pan, cooking for about 3 min per side, until lightly golden.
  3. Cook the cabbage rolls is batches and place them into a medium sized pot.
  4. Pour in the tomato mixture or broth/cabbage liquid to barely cover the cabbage rolls.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 min, or until meat is cooked through and tender.

 
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Comments

  1. Inna Sysa says

    This will be the next thing i try!! I love golubtsi, but have never made them. I’ll let you know how they turn out.

  2. Natalia P says

    LOVE IT!! I used a cup of uncooked shredded(food processor) cabbage and they came out soft and delish. Saves time I think. The best part-No more convincing my hubby and kids to finish the cabbage from regular cabbage rolls :)

    • Elena says

      Now that’s Super lazy. I bet the taste is better too cuz if I use cooked cabbage the taste and vitamins are out.

  3. Joanne says

    Oh, my goodness, these were good! I saved time by buying a bag of shredded cabbage (made for cole slaw) at the supermarket and just chopping it smaller.

  4. Yana says

    Hi Olga – I’ve been searching for a good Russian food blog and in finding yours I think I’ve found it! If you need another idea, I’ve done an even lazier golibtsi in casserole form by mixing cabbage, beef, rice, tomato, all the other ingredients in a casserole dish and then baking it. I’ve seen versions of it online, you should try it!

  5. erica says

    Made this last week it was fantastic, my husband approved!! Thanks so much for taking your time to post pictures and instructions! God Bless

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