Bulgur Stuffed Polish Cabbage Rolls: Oil-Free Vegan Galumpkis

Bulgur Stuffed Vegan Cabbage Rolls – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Whole Grain, Comfort Food Polish Recipe





Advanced  |  Servings: 4  |  Ready In: 75 minutes |  Yield: about 12 cabbage rolls

Galumpkis, also known as Cabbage Rolls, are a classic Polish comfort food.  This plant-based, vegan version skips the meat for a hearty, satisfying filling of whole grain bulgur and aromatic vegetables.  The rolls are baked in simple oil-free sweet and sour sauce for a healthy, satisfying dish that warms you to the core.  It takes a little bit of work to make these, but it is worth the effort!


For the Cabbage Rolls:

  • 1 large head green cabbage
  • ¾ cup Bulgur (Cracked Wheat)
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 28 oz. canned Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar

How it’s Done

To soak the Bulgur:  Place the bulgur in a heat-safe container.  Bring a cup of water to a boil.  Pour over the bulgur enough to cover it by 1 inch.  Let soak 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, fluff with a fork. 

To boil and peel the cabbage:  Use a sharp paring knife to “circle-out” the core of the cabbage and remove.  Place the cored head of cabbage in a large pot, with the core side down.  Cover about half-way with water.  Cover with a lid.  Bring to a boil.  Prepare another bowl with ice water.
Once the cabbage simmers, use a spoon to flip it over.  Place the spoon in the hole left from removing the core, and stir around the head of cabbage.  As the leaves soften, they will peel off, one at a time.  Carefully remove the leaves and place in your bowl with ice water.  Continue this process as you prepare the filling and the sauce.

To make the Sweet and Sour Sauce:  In a small pot, combine all ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer 15 minutes.  Taste to adjust seasoning.  Set aside until ready to use.

To make the Vegan Cabbage Roll Filling: Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the carrot and onion to the pre-heated pan.  Cook over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes, until softened and golden around the edges.  Stir often to prevent burning.
Once the onions and carrots are soft, clear a spot in the center of the pan and add the tomato paste to that spot. Cook 1 minute, just to caramelize a bit.  Add the wine to the pan.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the garlic the pan.  Cook another 3-5 minutes, just until the wine evaporates and the sauce is aromatic.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in your soaked bulgur.  Season with salt and pepper. Taste to adjust seasoning.

To assemble and bake the Oil-Free Vegan Polish Cabbage Rolls:  Preheat your oven to 350F.
Remove the cabbage leaves from the ice bath and drain well.  Use a sharp paring knife to trim the veins flat on the leaves.  This will make them easier to roll.

Line a large 13×9-inch casserole dish or baking pan with some of the cabbage leaves.  Allow the leaves to drape over the edge.  You’ll use these later to cover the top of the cabbage rolls.  It’s best to use the darkest green (or outermost) leaves from the cabbage for this.
Pour about 1 ½ cups of the Sweet and Sour sauce over the bottom layer of cabbage leaves.
Lay out a cabbage leaf.  Fill with about ½ cup of the Bulgur Stuffing.  Carefully roll, tucking in the side edges, like you would roll a burrito.  Place the cabbage roll, seam-side-down, in the lined casserole dish.  Repeat this process with the remaining cabbage leaves and filling.
Pour the remaining Sweet and Sour sauce over the top of the Cabbage Rolls.  Fold over the flaps of cabbage leaves that lined the pan, covering as much of the top of the rolls as you can.  You can use aluminum foil if you don’t have enough leaves to cover.
Place the Cabbage Rolls in the oven and bake 30 minutes.

Remove and enjoy!

Chef Katie’s Tips:

Hot Water Kettle Tip:  A hot water kettle is great for something like soaking bulgur.  Simply turn on your kettle.  Place the bulgur in a heat-safe container.  When your water is boiling, pour enough over to cover the bulgur by 1 inch.  You can prepare the remining ingredients while the bulgur soaks.

Gluten-Free Tip:  Bulgur is a cracked wheat, which means it contains gluten.  If you’re avoiding gluten, you can swap out the bulgur for a gluten-free grain like quinoa, short grain brown rice, or millet.  ¾ cup of raw grain equals about 1 ½ cups cooked grains.  For a grain-free version, you can even use Cauliflower Rice.

Want extra Plant-Based Protein?  Add in 1 cup of cooked brown lentils or crumbled tempeh to the filling.  These plant-based ingredients will have the same texture as the ground meat traditionally used in this recipe.

Freezer Friendly?   This dish is very freezer-friendly.  Make the stuffing and assemble to rolls, placing in a casserole dish.  Wrap tightly and freeze.  When ready to enjoy, thaw out the cabbage rolls in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.  Then bake as directed, at 350F for about 30 minutes, until hot in the center.

Watch to Learn More:


Nutrition Info:

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving (about 3 cabbage rolls + sauce)
calories 225
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1 g 1 %
Saturated Fat 0 g 0 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 228 mg 10 %
Potassium 1187 mg 34 %
Total Carbohydrate 40 g 13 %
Dietary Fiber 9 g 36 %
Sugars 15 g
Protein 9 g 17 %
Vitamin A 73 %
Vitamin C 139 %
Calcium 18 %
Iron 22 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Shopping and Gear List

  • Duru Fine Bulgur, 1000g, 2.2lb
  • Columela Sherry Vinegar (Solera 3) Reserva, 12-Ounce
  • Amore Tomato Paste – 4.5 oz (2 Pack)


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