Eastern European Main Course Recipes

Czech Cabbage Rolls

Known to the Czech’s as Holubky, this is the hearty comfort food of Eastern Europe.  While the recipe would appear to be a variation of the cabbage rolls many North Americans are familiar with, most would be surprised to learn that cabbage rolls have been very popular for centuries in slavic countries.

Charles Bridge and the Vltava River, Prague, Czech Republic

Czech Cabbage Rolls

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Eastern European
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 450kcal
Author: Kevin Lamoureux


For the Filling

  • lb lean ground beef
  • ½ lb ground pork or mild sausage
  • cups uncooked converted rice
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp hot paprika or cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp caraway seed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

For the pan

  • 1 head cabbage
  • 2 cups drained sauerkraut
  • 1, 28 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1, 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 2 cups tomato juice


  • Remove core from cabbage while leaving the rest of the head intact.
  • In a large pot with a steamer basket, place the head of cabbage on the basket with the core side down.
  • Soften cabbage leaves by steaming for 5 minutes or until wilted.
  • Allow to cool, separate leaves and set to dry on tea towel.
  • In a large bowl, mix meat, onions, garlic, rice, eggs, and seasonings
  • Spread tomato sauce followed by the sauerkraut on the bottom of a large roast pan.
  • Remove thick centre stems from leaves with a pearing knive
  • Chop up unused cabbage pieces and add to bottom of pan
  • Roll meat into leaves cigar style
  • Layer rolls in roast pan
  • Cover with tomato juice, tomato soup and diced tomatoes
  • On top of the stove, bring sauce to a boil then transfer to preheated oven
  • Bake covered at 325° F for 2 hours

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