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Cabbage Rolls

These delicious Cabbage Rolls are stuffed with ground meat and rice then baked in a simple tomato sauce for an easy comfort meal.

The post Cabbage Rolls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

My name is Olena and I would love to share my grandma’s cabbage rolls that I grew up eating in Ukraine as a kid. Her cabbage rolls recipe is very simple using basic ingredients. My only change is I add a tablespoon of Italian seasoning which adds so much flavor to the cabbage rolls. I have also tried to add pot roast seasoning to the filling and cabbage rolls were to die for with a bit of a heat kick!

Cabbage rolls in a large stock pot covered with tomato sauce and garnished with fresh dill.

What Are Cabbage Rolls?

Cabbage rolls are a dish where tender cabbage leaves are wrapped around meat and rice filling, then baked in tomato sauce. Cabbage rolls are a staple in many Eastern European cuisines and recipes vary greatly. Some prefer to use fermented cabbage leaves, and some like to add more rice than meat or use just rice in the filling. There are cabbage rolls even with buckwheat and barley. In our household, we like Ukrainian cabbage rolls on a meaty side, with both meat and rice in the filling, served with lots of flavorful tomato sauce.

And on busy weeknights, Ukrainians often make unstuffed cabbage rolls which are more of a casserole type of dish made in one pot.

Can You Use Different Meat In Cabbage Rolls?

To make cabbage rolls, I recommend using a combination of ground beef and ground pork for maximum flavor. However, you can use only ground beef or only ground pork, if that’s all you have on hand.

If you would like to make cabbage rolls more lean, feel free to mix ground chicken or ground turkey with more high fat content ground meat like ground beef or ground pork. Cabbage rolls made with only poultry will turn out dry.

Can You Make Them Ahead Of Time?

Yes, you can make cabbage rolls ahead of time. You can roll cabbage rolls, assemble in a single layer in a baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. Or just use the Dutch oven if you have enough space in your refrigerator. Then bake with tomato sauce mixture as per recipe.

You can also cover the baking dish with a few layers of plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze cabbage rolls for up to 3 months. You will have to fully defrost frozen cabbage rolls before baking. Thaw them in the fridge for 24 hours.

To freeze cooked cabbage rolls leftovers, bake and cool them completely. Transfer cooked cabbage rolls and sauce, leaving some room for expansion, to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Side view of cabbage rolls served on a black plate with sour cream and fresh dill on top and a fork on the side.

How To Reheat Cabbage Rolls

Store cabbage rolls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat cabbage rolls, microwave them for 2-3 minutes. You can also reheat them on the stove. In a small pot, add cabbage rolls and the sauce, cover and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or until warmed through

What To Serve With Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage rolls are a one pot meal that has meat, starch and vegetables in it. In Ukraine, we serve cabbage rolls with generous amounts of sauce, topped with a dollop of sour cream and fresh dill. With a hunk of fresh rye bread or crusty bread like baguette for sopping up the juices. Ukrainian garlic bread will go so well with cabbage rolls as well.

Tips for Best Results

  1. Buy a large head of cabbage, so you have larger leaves to work with and extra ones, just in case.
  2. When cooking the cabbage, do not remove it from the pot with boiling water to cut off the leaf every time. Instead, hold it with a big fork, cut the leaf off and remove it from the pot with the same fork.
  3. As the head of cabbage gets smaller, dump some of the boiling water from the pot, so the head of cabbage is peeking out for easy leaf removal.
  4. Large rimmed baking sheet works very well for holding cabbage leaves. It helps them cool faster and holds water.
  5. When you remove the rib on each cabbage leaf, overlap each side covering the empty triangle and closing the gap.
  6. Combine 2-3 smaller cabbage leaves overlapping each other to create a bigger leaf for rolling.
  7. Keep rolled cabbage rolls on a side. If you end up with leftover stuffing mixture, unroll larger size cabbage rolls, add more stuffing to them, and roll them back.
  8. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, a large deep baking sheet tightly covered with a double layer of aluminum foil will work. Your cabbage rolls will need a bit more cook time though.
  9. If you do not love boiling cabbage, consider buying savoy cabbage. Its leaves are soft and require no pre-cooking before rolling.
overhead view of cabbage rolls in a stock pot with tomato sauce poured on top and garnished with fresh dill
overhead view of cabbage rolls in a stock pot with tomato sauce poured on top and garnished with fresh dill
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Cabbage Rolls

These delicious Cabbage Rolls are stuffed with ground meat and rice then baked in a simple tomato sauce for an easy comfort meal.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Ukrainian
Total Cost $15.49 recipe / $1.94 serving
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 12 minutes
Servings 8 2 cabbage rolls each
Calories 355kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cabbage $2.23
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped $0.76
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced $0.34
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning $0.30
  • 2 tsp salt $0.10
  • 2 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper, divided $0.10
  • 1 lb. ground beef extra lean $6.49
  • 1 lb. ground pork $2.27
  • 1 cup white rice, uncooked, rinsed & drained $0.37
  • 1 28oz can tomato sauce $1.79
  • 4 cups chicken broth, low sodium $0.68

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425ºF. Bring a large stock pot with salted water to a boil. Add a head of cabbage to the pot and cook for 2 minutes. Use a large fork to partially lift the cabbage from the water, then with a paring knife, remove the softened outer leaves. Place the cabbage back in the pot and repeat until all leaves are removed.
  • Preheat a large skillet on medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the Italian seasoning and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring a few times. Transfer the onions and garlic to a large bowl.
  • To the same bowl, add the ground beef, ground pork, uncooked rice, salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper and mix well using your hands.
  • Remove the thick stem on the cabbage leaves. Lay the cabbage leaf flat, add 1/4 cup – 1/3 cup of the filling in the center, tuck in the sides and roll the cabbage up. Place the cabbage rolls with the seam side down in a large Dutch oven. Repeat with remaining ingredients, overlapping two smaller leaves if needed to hold the filling.
  • In a large bowl combine the tomato sauce, chicken broth, and remaining 1 teaspoon pepper. Stir the ingredients together, pour the mixture over the cabbage rolls and cover with a lid.
  • Bake cabbage rolls for 90 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 15 minutes and serve hot with sour cream and dill (optional).

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 18g | Sodium: 1179mg | Fiber: 5g

How to Make Cabbage Rolls – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of cabbage in a dutch oven boiling in water.

Add a head of cabbage to a large pot with salted boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes.

Overhead view of softened outer leaves being removed from the cabbage with a pairing knife.

Use a large fork to partially lift the cabbage from the water, then with a paring knife, remove the softened outer leaves. Place the cabbage back in the pot and repeat until all leaves are removed.

Overhead view of sauteed onions, garlic and Italian seasoning in a large skillet.

Preheat a large skillet on medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add two diced onions and four cloves minced garlic, and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add one tablespoon Italian seasoning and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring a few times. Transfer the onions and garlic to a large bowl.

Overhead view of large glass bowl with ground pork, ground beef, uncooked white rice, sautéed onion, garlic and seasoning.

To the same bowl, add one pound of ground beef, one pound of ground pork, one cup of uncooked rice, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper and mix well using your hands.

Overhead view of parboiled cabbage leaves with middle stem being removed with a pairing knife.

Remove the thick stem on the cabbage leaves.

Overhead view of flat cabbage leaf stuffed with filling

Lay the cabbage leaf flat and add 1/4 cup – 1/3 cup of the filling in the center.

Overhead view of stuffed cabbage leaf with sides tucked and leaf rolled over stuffing.

Tuck in the sides and roll the cabbage up. Repeat with remaining ingredients, overlapping two smaller leaves if needed to hold the filling.

Overhead view of stuffed and rolled cabbage leaves placed side by side in a dutch oven.

Place the cabbage rolls with the seam side down in a large Dutch oven.

Overhead view of tomato sauce mixture being poured over cabbage leaves inside dutch oven.
In a large bowl combine one 28oz. can of tomato sauce, four cups low-sodium chicken broth, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of pepper. Stir the ingredients together, pour the mixture over the cabbage rolls, and cover with a lid.
Overhead view of cooked cabbage rolls with tomato sauce in a dutch oven.

Bake cabbage rolls for 90 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 15 minutes and serve hot with sour cream and dill (optional).

Overhead view of cooked cabbage rolls with tomato sauce on a black serving plate topped with sour cream and fresh dill.

The post Cabbage Rolls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Kapusniak (Ukrainian Sauerkraut Soup)

Kapusniak is a hearty and budget-friendly soup made with sauerkraut, vegetables, and pork. It’s the perfect warm and cozy bowl for winter!

The post Kapusniak (Ukrainian Sauerkraut Soup) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Kapustnyak, or Kapusniak, is one of the heartiest soups I know! It is sharp, smokey and comforting, a great soup to enjoy at the end of a long day. Ukrainians took advantage of inexpensive, widely available and highly nutritious fresh or fermented cabbage and made a lot of dishes with it.

I grew up eating this soup every few weeks. Grandma made it with sauerkraut stored in barrels for winter and whatever pork meat or soup bones she had on hand. I always enjoyed a bowl of Kapustnyak with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of crusty bread, and I don’t know anyone who didn’t love it. I hope you like it too!

Overhead view of a bowl of kapusniak with sour cream.

What is Kapusniak?

Kapustnyak is a hearty Ukrainian sauerkraut soup with pork and vegetables. It is a very rich, dense, and delicious dish that even picky eaters love.

The main ingredients in kapustnyak are sauerkraut and pork. Then various root vegetables like onion, carrot, potatoes, and garlic are added. In Ukraine, we ate soup every day year-round.  Kapustnyak is more of a winter soup because fresh produce is not available during colder months. Rather everyone had cold storage full of root veggies and pickled goods including sauerkraut. 

Kapustnyak is seasoned very simply. In Central Ukraine, we used “salo”, cured with salt pork fat similar to bacon or lard, to saute the veggies in. It adds an immense amount of flavor along with cooked pork and broth. Then we add garlic, salt, pepper and dill. Also the juices from sauerkraut add a ton of flavor to the broth.

There are a few other versions of Kapustnyak. One of them is thickened with a roux of butter and flour, resulting in a thick broth. Zaporizhzhian kapustnyak contains millet. Another variation is to add white beans.

What kind of meat can be used in Kapusniak?

If pork ribs are not available, you can use any cut of pork, like pork chops, in their place. Kielbasa would also taste good, but that would be more like the Polish version of kapustnyak.

If ribs are too expensive, 6-7 slices of bacon is another great option. It will add a good amount of pork flavor and fat kapustnyak relies on.

You can also use fewer ribs, about 1 lb., to make this recipe more budget-friendly, or even pork soup bones.

Overhead view of a pot of kapusniak.

What Kind of Sauerkraut to Use

Make sure to buy regular sauerkraut, also known as German sauerkraut, in regular grocery stores. Ingredients should be “cabbage and salt”. Do not buy sauerkraut in white wine. There is no need to rinse or drain the sauerkraut. Use all the juices for maximum flavor.

What else can you add to Kapusniak?

Here are some other great ingredients that you can add to kapustnyak to take it to the next level:

  • Allspice: In some regions in Ukraine add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of allspice.
  • Thicker soup: It is common to see an addition of 2 tablespoons of millet, a bit of mashed potatoes, or all-purpose flour to thicken the soup.
  • Fresh cabbage: Some people like to add 1-2 cups of shredded raw green cabbage to make it taste fresher and resemble borscht
  • Fresh parsley: If you don’t have fresh dill, feel free to use fresh parsley. I do not recommend using dried dill weed as its taste is very strong and bitter. In Ukraine, it is used mostly for pickling. Or omit fresh herbs altogether, soup will be delicious anyways!

What to serve with Kapusniak

Serve kapustnyak very warm with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of rye bread or fresh crusty bread like a baguette. This hearty soup is a meal on its own!

A spoon lifting a spoonful of kapusniak from the bowl.
Overhead view of a bowl of kapusniak with sour cream.
Print

Kapusniak

Kapusniak is a hearty and budget-friendly soup made with sauerkraut, vegetables, and pork. It's the perfect warm and cozy bowl for winter!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine Ukrainian
Total Cost $11.33 recipe / $1.13 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 10 1.5 cups each
Calories 327kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. pork short ribs or pork side ribs $5.98
  • 12 cups water $0.00
  • 3 bay leaves $0.45
  • 2 slices bacon* $0.80
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped $0.37
  • 2 large carrots, chopped $0.29
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed (2" cubes) $1.19
  • 4 cups sauerkraut (or one 28oz. jar) $1.74
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper $0.03
  • 1 Tbsp fresh dill (optional) $0.27

Instructions

  • In a large pot, add the pork ribs, water, and bay leaves. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat a large skillet over medium heat and saute the bacon for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onions and carrots, and saute for another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set the bacon and vegetables aside.
  • Remove the pork ribs from the pot, place them on a plate, and set them aside. Add the sauteed veggies, potatoes, garlic, sauerkraut, salt, and pepper to the pot with the broth. Bring to a boil and then cook on low heat covered for 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Meanwhile, cut the cooled meat into small pieces. Add the chopped meat to the soup, stir, discard the bay leaves and adjust the salt to taste.
  • Serve the soup hot with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of rye bread or baguette for dipping.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*If you do not have bacon, you can use 1 Tbsp olive oil to cook the vegetables.
*Store the soup in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 728mg | Fiber: 6g
Side view of a bowl of kapusniak with a spoon.

How to Make Kapusniak – Step by Step Photos

Pork ribs and bay leave in a large pot.

Add 2 lbs. pork ribs to a pot along with three bay leaves and 12 cups of water. Place a lid on top and bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 45 minutes.

Cooked bacon in a skillet.

Meanwhile, chop two slices of bacon and cook in a skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes to render some of the fat. If you don’t have bacon, you can just use 1 Tbsp olive oil.

Chopped carrots and onions added to the skillet with the bacon.

Add one large onion (diced) and two large carrots (chopped) to the skillet with the bacon and continue to sauté over medium for 4-5 more minutes.

Vegetables added to the soup pot.

Remove the pork ribs from the pot. Add the sautéed bacon and vegetables, 4 large potatoes (cut into 2-inch pieces), 2 cloves of garlic (minced), and 28oz. sauerkraut, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper to the pot. Place a lid on the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.

Chopped pork ribs on a wood cutting board.

Meanwhile, cut the cooled pork ribs into small pieces.

Pork ribs being added back to the soup.

Remove the bay leaves, add the chopped pork ribs back to the soup, stir, and adjust the salt to taste, if you wish.

Finished sauerkraut soup with a wooden spoon.

Serve the soup hot with some fresh dill, a dollop of sauerkraut, and some bread for dipping!

Overhead view of a bowl of kapusniak with a spoon.

The post Kapusniak (Ukrainian Sauerkraut Soup) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Deruny (Draniki) – Ukrainian Potato Pancakes

Deruny, also called Draniki, are traditional Ukrainian potato pancakes made with finely grated raw potatoes, onion, flour, and eggs.

The post Deruny (Draniki) – Ukrainian Potato Pancakes appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I learned to make Deruny (Ukrainian potato pancakes) when I was growing up and they’ve been a favorite of mine ever since. They’re easy, budget-friendly, filling, and taste like home! I know you’re going to love this simple but delicious recipe.

Close up of potato pancakes on a plate with sour cream.

What is Deruny?

Deruny, also called Draniki, are traditional Ukrainian potato pancakes made with finely grated raw potatoes, onion, flour, and eggs. The pancakes are pan-fried in a generous amount of any mild-tasting or neutral oil, like avocado oil.

The name Deruny means “to grate” and while it’s a labor-intensive process that requires a bit of muscle work, it is that process that results in an authentic dish. You can combine all ingredients in a food processor to speed up the process. The taste will be slightly different, but it still works.

What to Serve with Deruny

Deruny are traditionally served with a dollop of sour cream as a main dish for dinner or breakfast. In Ukraine, savory dishes, especially potatoes, are a popular breakfast food.

Deruny can also be served as a part of a large spread or as a side dish at large gatherings or celebrations.

You can pair deruny with quick and easy traditional Ukrainian cucumber and tomato salad.

What Else Can I Add to Potato Pancakes?

Deruny is a very simple recipe. However, there are some variations among the families mostly due to personal taste preferences and ingredients available on hand.

I use russet potatoes but yellow Yukon gold or red potatoes will also work. Any potato will work except baby potatoes, of course. You can use yellow or white onion.

You can add a clove or two of freshly grated garlic and a bit of chopped fresh dill. If you have gluten intolerance I am pretty sure you can use all-purpose gluten-free flour, just not almond flour or coconut flour.

How to Store Leftovers

Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. That’s if you have any! No need to reheat as deruny taste amazing cold!

Tips for Making Potato Pancakes

  • Keep peeled potatoes in a bowl with cold water while peeling and grating other potatoes to prevent from browning.
  • Make sure to wear gloves when grating potatoes and onion. It is very easy to damage your skin when grating on star-shaped side of the grater.
  • Use mild tasting oil like avocado oil, light olive oil or grapeseed oil for frying as deruny absorb quite a bit of oil during frying. Extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil will overpower the taste of potato pancakes.
Overhead view of potato pancakes on a plate with sour cream.
Close up side view of Deruny on a plate with sour cream.

Deruny (Ukrainian Potato Pancakes)

Deruny, also called Draniki, are traditional Ukrainian potato pancakes made with finely grated raw potatoes, onion, flour, and eggs.
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine Ukrainian
Total Cost $2.77 recipe / $0.46 serving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 about 5 Deruny each
Calories 252kcal
Author Olena Osipov

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs. russet potatoes $1.75
  • 1 yellow onion $0.38
  • 2 large eggs $0.39
  • 2-3 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper $0.02
  • 3-4 Tbsp cooking oil (for frying) $0.16

Instructions

  • Peel the potatoes and onion, then rinse with cold water.
  • In a large bowl, grate potatoes and onion on the star-shaped side of a grater, taking turns and mixing the grated mixture. This will prevent potatoes from browning.
  • Add eggs, flour, salt, and pepper and mix well. The batter will be on a liquid side. Alternatively, you can prepare it in a food processor by grinding all ingredients together until no large chunks are left, for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Preheat a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp of oil. Add a large spoonful of pancake batter and fry until golden brown, flip and cook on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  • Serve the deruny hot with a dollop of sour cream. Makes about 30 deruny.

Nutrition

Serving: 5deruny | Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 421mg | Fiber: 3g
Deruny in a skillet and on a plate.

How to Make Deruny (Potato Pancakes) – Step by Step Photos

Ingredients for potato pancakes.

For these simply potato pancakes you’ll need about 2-2.5 lbs. Russet potatoes, one yellow onion, two large eggs, 2-3 tbsp all-purpose, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, and 3-4 tbsp oil for frying.

Peeled potatoes and onions.

First, peel the onion and potatoes, then rinse with cold water.

Grated potato and onion in a bowl.

Grate the potatoes and onion on the star-shaped side of a grater into a large bowl, taking turns and mixing the grated mixture. This will prevent potatoes from browning.

Other ingredients for potato pancakes added to the bowl.

Add eggs, flour, salt, and pepper to the grated potatoes and onions, and mix well.

Potato pancake batter in a bowl with a spatula.

The batter will be slightly liquid. Alternatively, you can prepare it in a food processor by grinding all ingredients together until no large chunks are left, for about 3-4 minutes.

Potato pancakes in a skillet half-cooked.

Preheat a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp of oil. Add a large spoonful of pancake batter and fry until golden brown.

Flipped deruny in the skillet.

Flip the deruny and cook on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Side view of Deruny on a plate with sour cream.

Serve the deruny hot with a dollop of sour cream. Makes about 30 deruny.

Overhead view of a plate full of Deruny with a dish of sour cream.

The post Deruny (Draniki) – Ukrainian Potato Pancakes appeared first on Budget Bytes.