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Main dish • Savoury

Mallory’s Mom’s/Grammy’s Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls

Mallory O’Connor, Habanero Consulting Inc.
Mallory O’Connor

Practice Lead, Culture and Transformation

My grandma would make a meat and rice version of these rolls for every big family dinner, bringing a bit of her Ukrainian heritage and memories to the table. After she passed away, my mom started making them, and then over time adapted them to all our family’s dietary changes: vegetarian, non-dairy, vegan. Everyone loves this comfort food alongside our traditional turkey dinner and it makes for great leftovers...if there are any!

Mom’s/Grammy’s Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls


  • 1 large or 2 small heads Savoy cabbage
  • 2 cups cooked rice (preferably sushi rice as it’s nice and sticky)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Seasonings (whatever profile you’d like)
  • Chopped cooked bacon, if desired
  • Chopped onion
  • Butter
  • Broth
  • Sour cream


  • Neither my mom nor my grandma ever wrote down recipes, so measurements are fluid or non-existent. Use your best judgement – it’s an adventure!
  • This recipe can be made vegan by omitting bacon and sour cream and substituting non-dairy butter and vegetable broth.


Step 1

Remove leaves from head of cabbage and cook in simmering water for 5 to 10 minutes. Don’t overcook – you want them just soft enough to be malleable for the rolling. Once cooked, cut out spine on leaves, keeping just the soft leafy part.

Step 2

Fill leaves with rice, salt and pepper and seasoning mixture. Fold ends in and roll up the the leaves to make the cabbage rolls. Place in baking or casserole dish (ideally one you can cover).

Step 3

Brown chopped onions and combine with melted butter.

Step 4

Spread mixture over cabbage rolls and bake in a covered casserole for about ½ to 1 hour at 325°F.

Step 5

While the rolls are in the oven, cook the bacon and drain.

Step 6

If the rolls are dry, pour a small amount of broth over them. Serve with bacon crumbles and sour cream.

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