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Polish Stuffed Cabbage Soup Recipe – Zupa Gołąbkowa

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Polish stuffed cabbage soup is one of the local favorites. The recipe uses minced meat, rice, tomatoes and cabbage and has a rich soupy broth. You probably will recognize that this recipe uses similar ingredients when compared to my gołąbki recipes. The recipes and techniques however are very different.

The Polish stuffed cabbage soup recipe is very easy to make and requires just 10 minutes of preparation time. It does require about an hour on the stove though. The slow boil is what helps release all the flavor of the meat into the broth.

Why Is Polish Stuffed Cabbage Soup So Popular?

The soup is very popular in Polish households because it uses easy to get ingredients. The soup can feed a crowd, is a wholesome meal and freezes extremely well. 

Polish winters can be extremely cold. After being out in the cold and snow the whole day, people like to come back to a hot soup. Since the soup freezes so well, it is easy to make it in advance and warm it up after coming home.

Did I mention that the ingredients in Polish stuffed cabbage soup provide a very good balance between carbohydrates, proteins and fats making it one of the best balanced meals to eat in winter?  

Cabbage in particular is extremely high in fiber. This is great because it promotes gut motility and health. It is also a vegetable that is easy to store as it does not get spoiled quickly.

What’s The Difference Between Polish Stuffed Cabbage Soup And Gołąbki Recipes?

Despite the similarities in ingredients, the techniques used to make Polish stuffed cabbage soup and gołąbki are very different. For one thing, gołąbki requires a time intensive process of wrapping the meat and rice in cabbage leaves.

In the Polish stuffed cabbage soup, the cabbage is chopped fine and no rolls are made. This gives the soup a similar ( but not same!) flavor. It is also very different when it comes to the look and texture of  the individual dishes.

What Are Some Good Gołąbki Recipes?

I’ve written some pretty amazing gołąbki recipes over time. These are some that you should try if you have the time.



Polish Stuffed Cabbage Soup – Zupa Gołąbkowa

Part I – Fry The Meat

Add 1 tbsp. of oil to a hot pan and fry 750 gm of minced meat. Set aside when you are done.

Ingredients for Polish stuffed cabbage soup
Ingredients for Polish stuffed cabbage soup

Part II –  Cook The Rice

Wash 3/4 cup of uncooked rice. Place it in a vessel and cover it with 1 ½ cups of water. Cook till the rice is soft.

Part III – Cook The Chopped Cabbage

In a separate pot, ½ of a finely chopped medium sized cabbage. Cover the cabbage with 2-3 cups of water. Let the cabbage cook till it is soft.

Cook the finely chopped cabbage
Cook the finely chopped cabbage

Part IV – Add The Minced Meat

Once the cabbage is ready, add in the minced meat, rice and blended tomatoes. Let it cook for around 5-10 minutes. 

Add the meat
Add the meat

Part V – Season With Salt, Pepper And Dried Herbs

Polish stuffed cabbage soup is ready to serve
Polish stuffed cabbage soup is ready to serve
Yield: 10 portions

Polish Stuffed Cabbage Soup - Zupa Gołąbkowa

Polish Stuffed Cabbage Soup - Zupa Gołąbkowa
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 27 oz (750g) of minced meat
  • ¾ cup of uncooked rice
  • 3-4 cups of blended tomatoes
  • ½ of finely chopped medium-sized cabbage
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp of dried basil or lovage (optional)


  1. Fry meat with 1 tbsp of oil.
  2. Cover rice with 1 ½ cups of water and cook until soft.
  3. In a separate pot, cover chopped cabbage with 2-3 cups of water and cook until soft.
  4. Add minced meat, rice, and blended tomatoes, and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Season with salt, pepper, and dried herbs (optionally).

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 313Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 778mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 24g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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