Russian Monday: "Lenivie Golubtsy" - Lazy Style Cabbage Rolls

Nobody knows exact origin of golubtsy (pronounced in Russian as “go-loob-zy”), i.e. Russian traditional stuffed cabbage dish, neither origin of its name. One thing is for certain – this dish is tasty, satisfying and impossible to get bored with due to tens of variations of the same recipe. One of such variations is named “lazy golubtsy”.

Usually it is a good option when you don’t have much time to wrap traditional forcemeat with rice into cabbage leaves, or simply don’t want to bother with that. In such case stuffing can be placed in layers between cabbage leaves, or simply mixed together with shredded cabbage. I would like to offer you the recipe passed to me by my mom. Full tablespoon of sour cream is a perfect condiment to serve with golubtsy.

For more Russian recipes, visit Russian Cuisine page.

Lazy Style Cabbage Rolls

Serves: 4 people


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2/3 cup white rice
  • 1 1/3 cup water for rice
  • 1 small cabbage, or 1/2 of large cabbage, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • sour cream to serve (optional)
  • fresh herbs (optional)


In the sauce pan mix together the rice, water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir once, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook without stirring, until all the water has been absorbed, and the rice is tender, 12-15 minutes. Let it cool.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep fry pan or sauté pan over low heat, warm the olive oil and add the onion. Cook, stirring, just until the onion is wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and stir, cook a little more, about 5 minutes. Let it cool.

In a large bowl mix together the rice, cabbage mixture and ground beef. Add the spices and eggs. Mix everything together very well. Using two hands form a medium size cutlets. You should have about 8-10 cutlets.

In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm a little olive oil and sauté the cabbage rolls until well browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover the cabbage rolls with the tomato sauce and half & half mixed together. Cover and cook on a very low heat for about 10-15 minutes. Serve hot with sauce and sure cream. You can sprinkle with fresh herbs as well.


La Table De Nana said...
October 26, 2015 at 8:55 AM  

My husband would love these Yelena:)

Medeja said...
October 26, 2015 at 9:17 AM  

Oh yummy! This is my comfort food :D

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...
October 26, 2015 at 9:54 AM  

A wonderful dish! Really mouthwatering.



Angie Schneider said...
October 26, 2015 at 11:06 AM  

So satisfying and delicious...I don't think I have ever had cabbage rolls made with rice and I love the idea!

Paula S. said...
October 27, 2015 at 12:18 AM  

What type of white rice did you use, something like basmati? And I'm not sure we have this half & half sold here in Italy, any ideas how to substitute it?

Sefa Gencal said...
October 27, 2015 at 12:57 PM  

Merhabalar, çok güzel ve leziz görünüyor. Ellerinize sağlık.


Yelena Strokin said...
October 27, 2015 at 2:05 PM  

Helo Paula, yes, I used basmati rice, but I think you can use any rice you have but sticky. If you don't have half & half you definitely use any cream is available for you, but don't put as much. Lovely to hear from you and thank you for your interest for Russian recipes.

Sue/the view from great island said...
October 28, 2015 at 3:30 PM  

This is perfect timing for me, I just had stuffed cabbage at a restaurant and came away determined to make it for myself!

handmade by amalia said...
November 4, 2015 at 10:26 AM  

I haven't seen these for a long time. My grandmother used to make them, though I think her recipe was a little different. These days we make the vegetarian version, rice only.

Naomi Kim said...
May 28, 2016 at 10:57 PM  

I feel like I've missed part of the recipe. What spices and how many eggs? It sounds a lot easier than traditional cabbage rolls and I'm looking forward to trying this.

Yelena Strokin said...
May 29, 2016 at 12:31 PM  

Sorry Naomi about the eggs. You will need 2 eggs. And for spices you put salt and pepper, and I use a little paprika, about 1/2 tsp. I hope you like them!

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