Lazy Cabbage Rolls – Ленивые Голубцы

Lazy Cabbage Rolls-1-11In 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.  

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon butter or oil

1-2 onions, finely diced

1 carrot, peeled and finely grated

1 celery stalk, minced

3 cups green cabbage, finely shredded or chopped in food processor (about 1/2 of a small/medium cabbage head)

1 lb ground meat, (ground pork, chicken, turkey, beef, etc.)1 cup cooked long grain rice (or cook about 1/3 cup of rice)

1 egg

1 (14 oz) can tomato sauce (or puree a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes)

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

salt, ground black pepper

Instructions:

Lazy Cabbage Rolls-1Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter or oil in a skillet. Add onions, carrot and celery. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Lazy Cabbage Rolls-1-2Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, until the vegetables are tender. Lazy Cabbage Rolls-1-13Add the shredded cabbage, pour in about 1/2 cup of water and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until the cabbage is softened too. Cool slightly.

Lazy Cabbage Rolls-1-3In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, cooked rice, cooked vegetables and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.
Lazy Cabbage Rolls-1-4Form the meat mixture into oval patties, about 1/4 cup each, placing them into a 13×9 inch glass baking dish.
Lazy Cabbage Rolls-1-5In the same skillet you were using to cook the vegetables, add the remaining 1 teaspoon of butter or oil and add the minced garlic, sautéing for only about 30 seconds. Pour in the tomato sauce and another 1/2 cup of water. Season with salt and ground black pepper. You can also add some herbs or spices. Bring the tomato sauce to a boil.

Lazy Cabbage Rolls-1-7I love adding a bit of garlic to the sauce to make it more flavorful. If I’m using homemade sauce, it’s already very flavorful and has garlic in it, so I skip adding more garlic, but add the water and heat it up. Heating up the sauce takes only a minute, but will really speed up the cooking process. Since I already used the skillet to cook the veggies, it’s not going to be an extra skillet to wash, so I like to do this. If you don’t heat up the sauce, bake the cabbage rolls in the oven longer.

Pour the tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls.
Lazy Cabbage Rolls-1-8Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 35 min, or until the meat is cooked through and tender.
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_1686Cook the cabbage rolls is batches and place them into a medium sized pot. Pour in the tomato sauce and water. IMG_1714Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 min, or until meat is cooked through and tender.

Serve with sour cream and fresh herbs, like dill or parsley. Lazy Cabbage Rolls-1-10

Lazy Cabbage Rolls - Ленивые Голубцы
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 12-14 cabbage rolls
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon butter or oil
  • 1-2 onions, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 3 cups green cabbage, finely shredded or chopped in food processor (about ½ of a small/medium cabbage head)
  • 1 lb ground meat, (ground pork, chicken, turkey, beef, etc.)1 cup cooked long grain rice (or cook about ⅓ cup of rice)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 (14 oz) can tomato sauce (or puree a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt, ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter or oil in a skillet. Add onions, carrot and celery. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, until the vegetables are tender. Add the shredded cabbage, pour in about ½ cup of water and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until the cabbage is softened too. Cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, cooked rice, cooked vegetables and 1½ teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper.
  4. Form the meat mixture into oval patties, about ¼ cup each, placing them into a 13x9 inch glass baking dish.
  5. In the same skillet you were using to cook the vegetables, add the remaining 1 teaspoon of butter or oil and add the minced garlic, sautéing for only about 30 seconds. Pour in the tomato sauce and another ½ cup of water. Season with salt and ground black pepper. You can also add some herbs or spices. Bring the tomato sauce to a boil.
  6. I love adding a bit of garlic to the sauce to make it more flavorful. If I'm using homemade sauce, it's already very flavorful and has garlic in it, so I skip adding more garlic, but add the water and heat it up. Heating up the sauce takes only a minute, but will really speed up the cooking process. Since I already used the skillet to cook the veggies, it's not going to be an extra skillet to wash, so I like to do this. If you don't heat up the sauce, bake the cabbage rolls in the oven longer.
  7. Pour the tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls.
  8. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 35 min, or until the meat is cooked through and tender.
  9. Another variation of making lazy cabbage rolls is shallow frying in a skillet.
  10. 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.

Lazy Cabbage Rolls-1-11

26 Comments

  • Inna Sysa

    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.

  • Natalia P

    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

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

  • Joanne

    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.

  • Yana

    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!

  • erica

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

  • Jessica

    Olga, I found your blog during the 2014 Winter Olympics. I planned our menu for the week using all Russian recipes. Your lazy cabbage rolls have been a regular addition to our dinner table. All of your recipes are well written and delicious. Keep sharing!

  • AlinaK

    These were sooo yummy! I love cabbage rolls but failed several times making the original recipe. I was surprised that these tasted like cabbage rolls. Thank you, thank you for this amazing recipe!
    I had a question, I’m going to do a double batch, with 2.5 lbs of ground meat, do I put 2 eggs?

  • Mila L.

    Olga, thank you for a delicious recipe. My 3 kids don’t like regular cabbage rolls so I never make them but decided to try this recipe since cabbage is kind of hidden and my sister-in-law recommended your recipe. I tripled this recipe but I did use short grain organic brown rice that I cooked quickly in pressure cooker (~15 minutes to replace white rice) and let’s just say it turned out very awesome. More than half was eaten in one dinner so will need to plan to make some again soon. Thank you for sharing and all the yummy recipes that you share with us. God bless!!!

    • olgak7

      I’m so happy to hear that, Mila! Thank you for taking the time to write. I remember when all my siblings were still little, they weren’t big fans of the traditional cabbage rolls either, but whenever Mom made the lazy version, they would gobble them up:).

  • Amanda

    How would I make this a lazy stuffed
    cabbage recipe and could I use beef
    instead of lamb.

    1 lb Ground lamb
    1/2 c Light or dark raisins
    1 tb Fresh coriander, chopped
    1 tb Fresh dill, chopped
    1 ts ;Salt, or to taste
    1/2 c Raw rice, well-rinsed
    20 To 25 cabbage leaves, blanched in boiling water for 3 mins
    3 lg (1 lb) apples, peeled, cored, & sliced
    2 md (1 c)onions, cut into rings
    3 c Tomato juice
    (Raisin, Apple, And Lamb Stuffed Cabbage) Fruit & meat w/herbs makes another unfamiliar combination for stuffing cabbage leaves. Rice always provides a filler & tomato juice the medium of cooking tolma. Another premier example of Georgian culinary ingenuity.

    1. Mix lamb w/raisins & herbs & process to a smooth consistency. Mix w/salt & rice. Stuffed cabbage leaves w/mixture. 2. Put stuffed cabbage in one layer in a large pan or skillet & scatter over over it half of apple slices & onion slices. Add another layer of stuffed cabbage & balance of apples & onions. Pour tomato water over all & bring to a boil. Cover pan & cook over low heat for 1 hr. Serve warm w/bread.

  • Justin

    We made these last night and liked them. I almost forgot to add the egg, though. It’s in the list of ingredients but not mentioned in the recipe text.

Leave a Comment