Grandma’s Galumpkis

Galumpkis (pronounced “gwumpkis”), also known as stuffed cabbage, are a staple in many Polish households. These are one of the first foods I remember eating as a kid. My Hungarian grandmother made these for her Polish husband, kids and all us grandkids when we were visiting her. This is one of my favorite comfort foods to make when I’m missing her and need a pick-me-up. My grandma used to make galumpkis using a mix of ground beef and pork, but I’ve swapped it out for ground turkey breast. Feel free to use whichever one you like.

One huge tip for making the galumpkis is to freeze the cabbage head (make sure to remove the core before freezing) a few days before you want to make the rolls. Then place the cabbage head into the refrigerator the night before you plan to make the galumpkis. Run the cabbage head under warm water before you start to make the rolls. This may sound like a few extra steps, but this process helps to make the leaves more pliable to avoid tearing when wrapping them around the filling.

Galumpkis (Stuffed Cabbage)

Recipe developed by Tessa Nguyen, CCC

Serves 8-12

1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 bunch of scallions, sliced
2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic head, minced
1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
4 cups brown rice, cooked
1 cup dry old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 packages (20.8 ounces each) ground turkey breast, extra lean
1 large cabbage head *prepared as above tip mentions*
1 can (29 ounces) plain tomato sauce, no salt added


  1. Spray large sauté pan with cooking spray. Sauté onions, scallions and mushrooms until onions begin to caramelize. Stir in the garlic and red chili flakes, cooking for 1-2 minutes more and then setting mixture aside to cool.
  2. While onion mixture is cooking, separate cabbage leaves and lay them flat on a clean work surface. You may need to run some warm water over the cabbage head to help separate leaves.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine sautéed onion mixture and all remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly and season with smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  4. In the same sauté pan, cook a teaspoon of the filling and taste. Adjust seasonings as necessary.
  5. Place about ½ cup of the mixture into each cabbage leaf and roll tightly, tucking in the sides to keep all of the filling inside.
  6. Lay rolls in a large baking dish, covering with the remaining odd ends of cabbage. The extra cabbage also helps to insulate the rolls to keep them moist while cooking.
  7. Place this baking dish on top of a sheet tray so as to catch any sauce that may bubble over while cooking.
  8. Evenly pour the tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls and cover with foil. Bake in a 375°F oven for 2 hours, then uncover and cook for 30 minutes more.
  9. Serve rolls hot by themselves or with a scoop of horseradish, my brother’s favorite.
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Tessa Nguyen
Tessa Nguyen, RD, LDN, is a chef and registered dietitian consultant in the food and nutrition industries. Follow along for her culturally diverse recipes on her blog or her Youtube channel, Tessa's Table. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.