Lent-friendly authentic ukrainian stuffed cabbage rolls with potato filling

  • Cook Time
    2.5 hours
  • Serving
    8
  • Difficulty
    Medium

Stuffed cabbage rolls are just like dumplings – there is no single canonical recipe. You can come up with a variety of incredibly tasty fillings, experiment with spices, cook them in a pan or over an open fire, or even bake in the oven.

As a rule, stuffed cabbage is cooked with some type of cereal and minced meat. We made lent-friendly cabbage rolls with mashed potatoes, and highlighted the taste of vegetables with fragrant spices. Season the dish with a tomato sauce to give the stuffing a slight tanginess. It turned out very tasty and simple. You can make several portions ahead of time and freeze them for an easy weeknight meal.

The secret to making stuffed cabbage rolls with mashed potatoes

Stuffed cabbage rolls or holubtsi are usually made with ordinary white cabbage, but you can use savoy cabbage instead. In this case, you don’t need to boil the leaves in advance, as they are soft enough raw. You can also use Chinese and red cabbage. Take into account the fact that the taste of the dish will largely depend on the chosen vegetable.

For lent-friendly cabbage rolls with potato filling, it is best to use yesterday’s boiled potatoes, as they will hold their shape well. Or just use starchy potatoes. To make the flavor more intense, you can cook the potatoes in a rich vegetable or mushroom broth instead of water.

What else to add to the stuffing?

We decided to add sauteed onions to the potato filling. But you can play around and add some sauteed mushrooms or carrots, or even oven baked garlic. To add some heat and even more flavor, add some spices: various peppers, dried dill and parsley, thyme and turmeric.

How to experiment with the tomato sauce

You can also experiment with the sauce. We made it from tomato paste with added salt, sugar and water. Instead of water, you can use mushroom broth to make the flavor even more intense. You can use canned peeled tomatoes for the sauce, or add fresh ones. Just grate on a fine grater or blitz them up with a blender before adding to the sauce.

How to cookstuffed cabbage rolls with potato filling

Ingredients

For the cabbage rolls:

For the tomato sauce:

Lent-friendly authentic ukrainian stuffed cabbage rolls with potato filling: Directions

Step 1

Prepare all the ingredients you’ll be using to make these lent-friendly stuffed cabbage rolls. If you have yesterday's boiled potatoes, use them.

Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_1
Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_1
Step 2

Prepare the filling for stuffed cabbage. Peel the potatoes and cut them into small pieces of the same size. This will help the potatoes cook evenly. Place the potatoes in a saucepan, add 3 bay leaves, 5 allspice, 3 cloves garlic, salt and pepper to taste. You don’t have to peel the garlic cloves. Cover with water, bring to a boil and cook over medium heat. 

Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_2
Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_2
Step 3

Meanwhile, make the sauted onions. Peel the onions and dice them. Heat up a frying pan with about 3 tbsp sunflower oil in it and saute the onions until soft and transparent, stirring occasionally

Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_3
Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_3
Step 4

To check if the potatoes have cooked through, pierce them with a knife to see if they’re tender enough. Once they are tender enough, remove the garlic and spices from the pan, completely drain the water from the potatoes. The less liquid in the potatoes, the better and denser the filling will be. Add the fried onions to the boiled potatoes, mash everything until smooth and allow to cool completely. If the weather allows, you can let the filling cool on your balcony. This will speed up the process.

Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_4
Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_4
Step 5

Prepare the cabbage leaves. Cut out the core. 

Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_5
Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_5
Step 6

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil and place the cabbage in it.

Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_6
Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_6
Step 7

The upper cabbage leaves will change their color and become transparent, then they can be removed. Prick the cabbage with a fork and carefully remove the leaves one at a time. If you have cut out the core, the cabbage leaves will fall off by themselves. The approximate interval between the readiness of the leaf layers is about 2-3 minutes.

Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_7
Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_7
Step 8

Be sure to cut out the hard stems in the cabbage leaves. This will help the leaves hold their shape. 

Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_8
Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_8
Step 9

Preheat the oven to 180C. Put a small amount of stuffing in the cabbage leaf and roll it into a roll, wrapping the edges. Lay out the stuffed cabbage close to each other in a baking dish.

Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_9
Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_9
Step 10

Prepare tomato dressing. In a deep bowl, whisk together 3 tbsp tomato paste and 1 tsp sugar. Add the water. To give a richer taste to the dish, use mushroom or rich vegetable broth instead of wayer. The amount of sugar can be increased to 2 tsp. Mix the dressing well with a whisk or fork until all the ingredients are dissolved. Pour the sauce over the cabbage leaves. It is very important that the liquid completely covers the cabbage rolls. Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the oven for 1-1.5 hours, depending on the hardness of the cabbage at a temperature of 180 degrees. Once the rolls are tender, remove the foil so that the rolls can brown up a little, and bake them for another 20 minutes.

Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_10
Stuffed-cabbage-rolls-with-potato-filling_10
Cooking is easy!

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