Did you know that while the golabki originated in Poland, it is now popular across eastern Europe? It is an ultra easy dish to make. While that is one of the reasons that people love it, it also makes a very filling meal. Plus, the ingredients don’t cost much, which is a big bonus.
You can check out my recipe on authentic Polish Golabki if you are looking for the traditional version of this dish. In this recipe, we will talk about how to make keto golabki which involves a couple of changes to the traditional recipe. It is still easy to make and everyone loves the keto Polish stuffed cabbage as much as the traditional one. That makes it a win-win!
Cabbage In Polish Cuisine
You will notice that cabbage plays a big role in Polish cuisine. From being used in salads to being cooked in dishes, cabbage is used routinely. The vegetable is cheap and it is easy to store. This makes it a great vegetable, especially during the winter months when greens are harder to come by.
Cabbage is also one of the best superfoods to have on your plate. This is because it has a lot of heart-protective antioxidants that help lower the LDL (bad cholesterol) in your body. It is also loaded with fiber which means you consume fewer calories per portion. Fiber also helps with bowel movement.
Keto Golabki Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Low Carb, Paleo)
Prepare The Filling
Part I – Wash The Cauliflower
Wash 1 medium cauliflower and remove the green leaves around it. Some people prefer to soak the cauliflower in salt water to remove stray insects and worms that could be on it.
Part II – Grate The Cauliflower
There are two ways in which you can grate the cauliflower. The first is to use a traditional box grater. This is time consuming but you get a nice texture to the grated cauliflower. If you intend to use this technique, you will require bigger cauliflower pieces in order to get a better grip.
The second technique requires a food processor. For this, break the cauliflower florets up and put them in the food processor. The smaller pieces make it easier and quicker to grind. Grind for 10 seconds and check the consistency.
Part III – Mix The Cauliflower And The Minced Meat
Mix 2 lbs. of ground pork with the cauliflower. Add 1 tbsp. of salt, 1 tsp of pepper, and 2 tbsps. of dried marjoram. Combine the ingredients well. This will prevent a lump of spices from suddenly appearing in one part of the keto gołąbki.
Set the filling aside and prepare the cabbage.
Prepare The Cabbage
Part I – Wash The Cabbage
Wash the cabbage well. Remove the outer leaves and discard. These are usually harder and tend to have a lot of grit on them. Remove the core of the cabbage after you are done.
Part II – Put The Cabbage Inside Boiling Salty Water
Place the cabbage in boiling salty water. The cabbage needs to be boiled until the leaves are soft and flexible enough to form the keto gołąbki. The amount of time required to do this differs depending on the variety of cabbage which is why you need to keep a close eye on it. Ideally, it could take anything between 1-10 minutes.
Part III – Drain The Cabbage
Once the cabbage is ready, drain the water out. Keep it aside to cool. The leaves need to be cold enough to touch since you will need to roll the keto gołąbki.
Part IV – Separate The Leaves
Separate the leaves of the cabbage. The keto gołąbki recipe requires individual leaves. These leaves will be used as wrappers for the meat.
Assemble And Cook The Keto Gołąbki
Part I – Form The Gołąbki
In order to start forming the keto gołąbki, take an individual leaf. Place the filling inside it. Wrap the keto gołąbki carefully. If you haven’t done this before, take a look at this video which explains the technique in detail.
Part II – Line A Heat Resistant Pan With Cabbage Leaves
After you are done forming the gołąbki, you will have a couple of cabbage leaves left over. Use these to line the bottom of a heat-resistant pan. Some people choose to chop them up and put them instead. It is an individual preference. The main difference is in the texture of the food when it is served. Chopped leaves will merge with the gravy whereas lining the pan will give you whole leaves.
Part III – Add In Sliced Bacon
Adding sliced bacon on top of the cabbage leaves will help infuse the dish with the characteristic bacon flavor. This forms the second layer in the dish.
Part IV – Add The Gołąbki
Add in the gołąbki on top of the cabbage and the bacon. When placing the gołąbki make sure to ensure that they are packed closely together such that each gołąbki touches the next.
Part V – Pour The Cabbage Water.
Add in the cabbage water that you had drained out after cooking the cabbage leaves. This will add flavor to the dish and will give it a good consistency. The rule of thumb is to cover ½ to ⅓ of the dish with water. Sometimes, you will find that the cabbage water is insufficient. At this point, you can substitute it with drinking water.
Part VI – Gently Spread Tomato Paste On Top Of The Keto Gołąbki And Cover The Dish With The Lid
Part VII – Place In The Oven
Place in the oven heated to 356°F (180°C). Cook for 50-60 minutes (until they are soft). You may also cook gołąbki on the stove.
Part VIII – Pour heavy cream at the end if you want your sauce to be thicker.
FAQs About Keto Gołąbki
I Don’t Have Pork Mince, What Other Meat Can I Use?
Traditionally you will find that pork mince is the go-to meat when it comes to gołąbki. You can also use minced pork. People however have started experimenting with other meats like turkey and chicken. In general, white meats tend to be drier and they don’t taste as good as red ones.
What Do You Serve Gołąbki With?
You will find that in Polish households, gołąbki is a stand-alone dish. It has all the makings of a wholesome meal. The cabbage is remarkably filling and the meat packs the recipe with all the flavor you need. If you do want to serve something at the side, you will find that it pairs well with bread.
How Long Can You Store Gołąbki?
The best way to serve gołąbki is fresh off the stove. The thing is, sometimes you will land up with leftovers. Even though this dish does not reheat well, it can still be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Don’t reheat it using a microwave. Try to use an oven or a stove to warm it up. This helps in maintaining the texture of the meat.
- 2 lbs (900kg) of ground pork
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 1 medium cabbage
- 1 tbsp of salt
- 1 tsp of ground pepper
- 2 tbsps of dried marjoram
- 4 tbsps of tomato concentrate/paste
- 8-10 slices of bacon (optionally)
- ½ cup of heavy cream (optionally)
Prepare The Filling
- Wash the cauliflower and remove the greens.
- Grate the cauliflower using a food processor or box grater until it gets the consistency of the rice.
- Mix the cauliflower rice with minced meat. Add 1 tbsp of salt, 1 tsp of pepper, and 2 tbsps of dried marjoram.
Prepare The Cabbage
- Wash the cabbage and remove the outer leaves.
- Remove the core and put the cabbage inside the boiling hot salty water.
- Depending on the type of cabbage, boil for 1-10 minutes, until the leaves are softer and flexible enough to form gołąbki.
- Drain and cool down the cabbage. Leave the water from the cabbage, you will need it later.
- Separate the leaves- you will use each leave to form gołąbek.
Assemble And Cook Keto Gołąbki
- Start forming gołąbki: take each leave, put the filling inside, and wrap it carefully. See this video if you don't know how to do it.
- Place the remaining cabbage leaves on the bottom of the heat-resistance dish (you may chop them if you like).
- If you want, you may put sliced bacon on the cabbage.
- Place gołąbki on the cabbage/bacon. They should tightly cling to each other.
- Pour the cabbage water into the heat-resistant dish. They should cover about ½ - ¾ of the dish (if you don't have enough cabbage water, add tap water).
- Gently spread tomato paste on top of keto gołąbki.
- Cover the dish with the lid.
- Place in the oven heated to 356°F (180°C). Cook for 50-60 minutes (until they are soft). You may also cook gołąbki on the stove.
- Pour heavy cream at the end if you want your sauce to be thicker.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 109Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 612mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 7g
These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix