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Adjust Servings:
1 head, ~ 4 lbs green cabbage
1 cup yellow onion finely chopped
1 cup celery finely chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup cooked rice
1 1/2 lb ground meat I used turkey, but you can use beef, pork, lamb or any combination
1 large clove garlic
1 large egg
a large pinch marjoram
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup sour cream
to taste salt and pepper

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Lithuania: Balandeliai

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

  • Serves 6
  • Medium




When I found out my Hungry Harvest box was going to include a head of cabbage, I immediately started searching international recipes for cabbage rolls.  It turns out I didn’t have to look far.  Nearly every country in Eastern Europe has its own take on the cabbage roll, with slight variations on what you’ll find inside.  In Lithuania, they’re called Balandeliai which means “little doves.” I actually chose this one because I had most of the ingredients already on hand: celery and green pepper, also from my Hungry Harvest box; leftover tomato sauce; I used ground turkey I had in the freezer rather than buying beef, pork or lamb; sour cream leftover from the Polish white borscht; Courtney even had the brilliant idea to use leftover chelow for the rice!  I literally didn’t have to buy anything to make this dish, which is almost unheard of on this culinary journey.  And let me tell you, I loved these cabbage rolls!  They’re both delicious and healthy, and I’ve been enjoying them for lunch all week.  You can feel free to adjust the ingredients to accommodate what you have on hand, and you can use brown rice, farro or barley to make these even healthier!

Recipe Source: The Spruce



Remove core from cabbage. Place whole head in a large pot filled with boiling salted water. Cover and cook 5-7 minutes, or until softened enough to pull off individual leaves. You will need about 12 large leaves. Chop the remaining cabbage and place it in the bottom of a Dutch oven or large saucepan. When leaves are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to cut away the thick center stem from each leaf, without cutting all the way through.


While leaves are cooling, cook chopped onion, celery, and bell pepper in butter in a large skillet until tender. In a large bowl, mix cooked rice, cooled onion mixture, meat, garlic, egg, marjoram, and salt and pepper until well combined, but don't over mix.


Place about 1/2 cup of meat on each cabbage leaf. Fold the right side of the leaf to the middle, then the left side. Roll away from you to encase the meat. Place on top of the shredded cabbage and repeat with remaining leaves. Season well with salt and pepper.


Combine tomato puree with chicken broth and pour over rolls. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer on the stovetop for about 1 hour (you can get away with 45 minutes).


Ladle about a cup of the pan juices into a bowl and mix in sour cream. Ladle it back over the cabbage rolls and serve!


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