Wigilia is at our house this year. I am so excited. I love when it's at my house because I get to make all the food. We rotate, because...

Wigilia is at our house this year. I am so excited. I love when it's at my house because I get to make all the food. We rotate, because I think everyone but me hates hosting it. [If you are like, way lost as to wtf I'm talking about, I'm real Polish, and we celebrate Christmas Eve every year together, traditional Polska style. The celebration is called Wigilia, and it's at my house this year, and I'm PSYCHED.]
I've made pierogis every year since veganhood, and this year will be no different, except I am also making golabkis too! We never have them at our table, because traditional golabkis [call them guh-wump-kees] are made with ground beef and Wigilia is a meat-free celebration. Except that my family doesn't understand that fish is meat. So fish is always present too. Anyways, Alex and I don't eat the fish, so I make a hundred and seven other things every year that we can enjoy. I had a few golabki recipes bookmarked for testing, but I really wanted to make it with a lentil filling, so I just played it fast and loose. 

"Blanching" the cabbage is the hardest part in my opinion. I don't have a pot big enough to fill with water and still fit a cabbage in there. It was kind of messy. Basically, I boiled water, dropped the cabbage in, the water went everywhere, so I shut off the burner, moved the pot to the sink and dumped out a little water, covered it, and let it sit in the boiling water for about an hour. If you have a massive pot, you could just boil it for about 15 minutes and remove it like a normal person.

The best part was the creamy tomato sauce that goes with these. I made it in my Vitamix, so I just poured it into the pan, no messy, annoying ladling involved. Look how beautiful it looks!

Golabkis are just European burritos. No wonder I am in love with them.

Alex was skeptical of them, but he ate both golabkis I put on his plate, so I'm pretty sure it's a win for me. Very excited about the win.


1 large head green cabbage
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
1 white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups dried green lentils
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
2 teaspoons aleppo pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon dried thyme

5 large very ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 white onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced, or roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup cashews
juice of half a lemon

Boil water in the largest pot you have. Cut the core out of your cabbage by cutting a cone-shaped hole at the stem, and removing it in one big piece. Drop the cabbage into the boiling water and boil for about 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can soak the cabbage in a bowl big enough for it covered in boiling water for about an hour. Remove from water and let cool slightly. 
Carefully peel the leaves away from the cabbage, without ripping them. Lay a leaf flat on your cutting board. Using a sharp pairing knife, cut the thick stem away so that the leaf lays much flatter than before. This will help you form easier rolls. Repeat with remaining cabbage leaves and set aside. Make filling:
Boil the lentils about 40 minutes, until tender. Drain and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet. Add the diced onion and cook about 5 minutes, until starting to brown. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute until the garlic is fragrant. Add lentils, cumin, coriander, dill, thyme, salt, aleppo and black pepper. Stir to coat the lentils, and cook about 3 minutes, until any water from the lentils has evaporated. Turn off heat.
Make the sauce by sautéing the onion in the olive oil until light brown. Turn heat up and add tomatoes. Let them get charred on all sides by leaving them cut side down on the pan without interrupting them for 2 minutes at a time. Once the tomatoes have some char on them, add the garlic and stir for 1 minute.
Transfer tomato mixture to a blender with the cashews, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend on high for 6 minutes. 
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Scoop about 1/4 cup of filling into a cabbage leaf, fold two edges over the filling, then roll up the rest of the way, encasing the filling. Just like a burrito. Repeat with remaining rolls.
Pour about 1/3 of the sauce into a baking dish big enough to hold all the cabbage rolls, to coat the bottom with the sauce. Carefully nestle the rolls into the pan so that they all fit nice and snug. Top with more sauce, cover the pan in foil and bake for 40 minutes. Let cool for ten minutes before serving, and serve with extra sauce.

You Might Also Like


  1. That's so exciting that you get to host Wigilia this year! I'll have to try making golabki sometime; yours look like they turned out nicely! :)

    1. I'm only a quarter Polish (my paternal grandfather was Polish), but it's the part of my ethnic heritage with which I most identify. :)