Family Friendly Recipes

Big Grandma’s Cabbage Rolls (Galupmki / Gołąbki)

Big Grandma’s Cabbage Rolls (Galupmki / Gołąbki)
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Big Grandma’s Cabbage Rolls (Galupmki / Gołąbki)

Lazy Man Version

I remember the first time my Grandmother taught me how to make Cabbage Rolls (Galupmki).  Her first instruction was to rinse the rice three times.  When I asked why, she told me because that was the way her Mother showed her how to do it.

Grandma and Grandpa Simmons

She also mentioned that when she was young, the rice was not very clean.  That made sense to me, rice production back in the early 1900’s probably was not as clean of a process as it is today.  Even when I was young and went to the small, neighborhood store by my Grandmother’s house, they sold the rice by the pound out of an uncovered large barrel.

However, after doing some research, rinsing the rice will not only remove debris, it also removes any surface starch that would cause clumping or make the rice gummy as it cooks.  Today, I typically rinse the rice only once.

I watched my Grandmother carefully as she blanched the cabbage, mixed her ingredients and rolled each little cabbage roll.  I did this method of making traditional cabbage rolls for many years.  Of course, with working and raising my son, I started to look for short cuts.  Eventually, I made lazy man Galumpki.

In a crockpot, I would put a layer of the sauce.  Cut up blanched cabbage (large dice) and layer it on the bottom.  Next, make the meat filling into meatballs, placing a layer of the meatballs over the cabbage.  Cover the meatballs with more cabbage and pour the sauce over the whole thing.  Repeat the layers as needed.  Cook in the crockpot for 8 hours or until everything is cooked through.  They come out nice and tender and you won’t have to spend the time rolling them into cabbage rolls.

Try this lazy man’s crock pot version.  It will still have all the flavor of traditional Galumpki.

Big Grandma's Cabbage Rolls


Big Grandma's Cabbage Rolls (Lazy Man Crock Pot Version)

August 21, 2019
: 4-6


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 1 medium green pepper (optional), small dice
  • 1 medium onion, small dice
  • 3/4 cup uncooked long grain rice, rinsed
  • 45 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 cans tomato soup
  • 8 oz water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Step 1 Boil a pot of water for the cabbage.
  • Step 2 Cut the cabbage in half. Place the cabbage in a pot of boiling water. Cook until the leaves of cabbage soften and become pliable. Remove from the heat, drain, remove the core and rough chop.
  • Step 3 Dice peppers and onions.
  • Step 4 In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, ground pork, onions, peppers and rinsed/dried uncooked rice together. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Step 5 In a large bowl, mix the tomato sauce, tomato soup and water together.
  • Step 6 Lazy Man Crock Pot Version – Place a layer of sauce on the bottom of the crock pot. Cut up the par-boiled cabbage and layer over the sauce.  Lightly season with salt and pepper.  Make meatballs from the meat mixture. Layer on top of the cabbage. Add another layer of cabbage and add sauce over the top. Lightly season with salt and pepper.  Repeat layers as needed. Cook on high for 4 hours. Turn to low and cook for an additional 3-4 hours or until everything is tender and cooked.
  • Step 7 Serve immediatley.
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4 thoughts on “Big Grandma’s Cabbage Rolls (Galupmki / Gołąbki)”

  • I’m not a big Galupmki eater (altho the easier the recipe the better), but this reminded me of mom’s Lazy Man Pierogi. I loved that dish. Will you post that?

    • Sandy, I checked and I don’t have it. Mom re-did her black cookbook where she had her recipes written out. Some were lost. I caught her shredding recipes after she put them into her computer. I grabbed the ones that hadn’t been shredded, but unfortunately, that one is gone. Check with Carol. I know Mom got that one from her.

  • Would love to see the Lazy Man Pierogi, if found. Love all these recipes. The schmear recipies brought me to your site.

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