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Whole Foods: Grand-mom’s Galumpkis


Food and family are strongly linked in my memory. Some of my earliest remembrances are around the table with people I love. Unfortunately I don’t remember much about my dad’s parents because they passed away when I was very young. Most of what I know about Grand-mom Korch comes from stories my dad told me. But I also know her through her recipes. Some of my mom’s old stand-by meals were recipes Grand-mom had taught her to make (probably so that my picky dad would actually eat!) I don’t know for sure, but I expect that this recipe was passed down to Grand-mom by her mother-in-law, since my Grand-pop was Polish and she was French (cabbage rolls are a traditional Polish dish.) How special to be able to share this dish with my family (hopefully with a daughter someday) and with all of you.

Cabbage is one of the most inexpensive green veggies on the shelf when it is in season.

A few things I love about this dish – first it is total comfort food, which is always welcome in the late winter and early spring. Second, I always want to use cabbage more when it is in season because it is nutrient dense yet incredibly inexpensive, but I can never seem to figure out what to make with it other than coleslaw. Finally, it is freezer friendly – of course!

Grandmom’s Galumpkis (Cabbage Rolls)


Kim @ onceamonthmeals.com


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic cloves, smashed (about 2 cloves) (sauce)
  • 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes canned (sauce)
  • 8 ounces canned tomato sauce (sauce)
  • 14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes (sauce)
  • .125 teaspoon ground red pepper (sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (sauce)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (sauce)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced (about 1 medium)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic cloves, minced (about 2 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • splash of dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1.5 cups steamed white rice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large heads green cabbage, about 3 pounds each


Note: Make sure your rice is cooked before you start. When my mom made this meal as a young bride, she forgot this step, resulting in some pretty crunchy cabbage rolls. Ick!

To make sauce, heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large sauce pan. Saute 2 teaspoons garlic cloves for about 1 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and cook 5 minutes. Stir in red pepper, white wine vinegar, and sugar. Simmer a few minutes until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat. Set aside.

To make filling, heat two tablespoons oil in a medium skillet. Saute onions and garlic until soft. Stir in tomato paste, red wine, parsley and .5 cups prepared sauce. Combine and remove from heat. In a large mixing bowl combine ground meats (do NOT cook), onion and tomato mixture, and cooked rice. Season generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Boil a large pot of salted water. To prepare cabbage, remove cores and outer damaged leaves. Reserve outer leaves. Remove remaining leaves without tearing as much as possible. Keep smaller inner leaves for another use (such as coleslaw). When water is boiling, blanch the cabbage leaves for 5 minutes (should be soft and pliable) then drain and run under cold water.
Prepare baking pan by lining it with reserved outer leaves. Allow leaves to hang over the edges. They will act as a “blanket” for the rolls. Lay out blanched leaves. Place about .5 cup of filling in each and roll burrito style, starting at the stem end. (You may remove stems if they are too tough to roll.) Place seam side down in the baking pan. Pour remaining sauce over the rolls and fold in the cabbage leaf “blanket.” Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until meat is cooked through. You can double check internal temperature using a meat thermometer if you are unsure.

Freezing Directions:

Cover with foil and freeze BEFORE baking. TO SERVE: Thaw and bake as directed above.

Servings: 12 cabbage rolls

**conversion chart image provided by Erik Spiekermann

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12 Responses to “Whole Foods: Grand-mom’s Galumpkis”

  1. Erin says:

    This is a family fav of mine too! can’t wait to try out the recipie for freezer style!!! :)

  2. Kristen says:

    Yum yum yum! One of my favorite childhood dishes (my Lithuanian mom made them). I had found a recipe and had my husband (the cook in our family) make it with some cabbage that we had from our local CSA. Nice to have a freezer friendly recipe!

  3. Lisa says:

    I truly loved the BLUE dress!!! I think I want one for myself. You looked awesome in it. Great for business, day wear or a sexy date with the hubs. You looked good and put together in everything though….I will follow your lead on my next conference. Cabbage rolls look yummy too…

  4. Miz Helen says:

    We just love Cabbage Rolls and your Grand-mom’s Galumpkis look amazing and can’t wait to try the recipe, yummy! Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  5. mbm says:

    My grandma made gołąbki too. I miss them. Nice recipe!

  6. cdo says:

    Any suggestions for a replacement for the pork? My husbnd is allergic to it. Thanks! Love the website!

    • Tricia says:

      I am sure that ground chicken or turkey would work just fine. You might want to balance it with a few more spices if you like bold flavor.

  7. Mary says:

    Does anyone know why the cabbage would be hard and leathery? My grandmother used to make these, and the cabbage was soft, sweet and delicious.
    I made two pans – we ate one last night and the other is for a family thing. My problem is that the cabbage (which I blanched) is hard and almost leathery. I would bake it some more, but the meat is done – and I am afraid overcooking is the problem in the first place. Or could it be undercooked? I cooked 2 pans of it in a 350 oven for about an hour. Any advice? I have to take it over tonight and don’t want to be embarrassed. Might it help to bake it again? How about a slow cooker? Thanks!

  8. Becky says:

    I love cooking family recipes. Even though my parents and grandparents have been gone many years, I feel like they are in the kitchen with me. Thanks for reminding me.

  9. Dee says:

    @Mary, it could be old cabbage, or it just needed boiled longer. Sometimes if ours is not “limp” enough, we stick it in the microwave for a few seconds (the leaves, I mean)

    Recipe looks so good and I prefer my cabbage rolls this way, but due to limitations we have switched out to “lazy man’s cabbage rolls” whereby we chop our cabbage, soften it in the microwave, then layer it in a casserole with our meat and rice mixture, top with sauce and bake. Taste is the same, not as eye-appealing!

  10. Nkki says:

    My family recipe cooks the rolls in a soup. Place your rolls in a pot, add one can of tomato soup and fill up the pot with water. Bring to a boil and turn down to simmer until done. We would serve it with rye bread. A very frugal dish because my great grandparents did not have a lot of money.

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