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From robust tomato soup to cucumber salad, slow-cooked kielbasa to mashed potato, here are some easy cabbage roll side dish recipes and ideas. Find out what to serve with cabbage rolls right now.

Cabbage rolls are a mainstay of Eastern Europe, with influences extending as far as the Mediterranean and Egypt. Recipes vary by country and culture, from Polish golumpki to Turkish sarma, but the basic principle stays the same: a meat or vegetable filling wrapped in cooked cabbage leaves.

Sauerkraut, pierogies, and barley pilaf are just a few of the quick side dishes that will round off your dinner. Discover your new favorite cabbage roll side dish right now.


Cabbage rolls already have a strong cabbage taste, but adding sauerkraut elevates the meal with bitter, briny, and savory characteristics. Sauerkraut’s fermented tastes are a common addition to cabbage rolls in many Eastern European dishes.

Sauerkraut is a kind of pickled cabbage that is popular across Central and Eastern Europe. You may purchase it or create it at yourself using cabbage, salt, and caraway leaves. Place it in a jar and let it aside for a few days to ferment.


Serve your cabbage rolls with pierogies, another classic Polish meal, to keep them as authentic as possible. Pierogies are stuffed dumplings available in both savory and sweet flavors. Their creamy, soothing taste counteracts some of the sour flavors of cabbage rolls.

Combine flour, water, eggs, and butter to create pierogi dough. For the traditional filling, combine cooked potatoes, onions, cheese, and salt. Fold the dough into dumplings and boil them, then pan-fry them rapidly.


Kielbasa is a typical Polish smoked sausage in the form of a U. When coupled with cabbage rolls, its smokey, savory aromas create the perfect warming supper. It has the ability to bring out the tastes of the meat filling in the rolls.

Kielbasa is a generic term for a variety of sausages, ranging from the fiery tastes of kielbasa krakowska to the gentler, uncooked kielbasa biala that is often eaten with soup. You may cook kielbasa in a skillet or grill it, depending on the variety you choose.

Try our turkey kielbasa recipe for something new. Slow cooking the turkey sausage in beer and mustard brings the taste to a new level.

German Cucumber Salad

Gurkensalat, or German cucumber salad, is a pleasant, cooling salad filled with herby tastes. This light salad goes well with a hearty entrée like cabbage rolls. This dish is for you if you want to keep it traditional while preparing your lunch but don’t like some of the other, rich traditional side dishes common in Central Europe.

You’ll also need sour cream, vinegar, sugar, dill sprigs, salt, and pepper, in addition to the cucumbers. Thinly slice the cucumbers, then whisk together the other ingredients to make a dressing. Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and place in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Potato Pancakes

From the latkes popular in Jewish communities during Hanukkah to bramboraky, a beloved snack in the Czech Republic, potato pancakes are a staple across Central and Eastern Europe. Their gentle, soothing taste complements the sometimes-bitter flavor of cabbage rolls owing to the pickling of the cabbage leaves.

To create potato pancakes, begin with shredded or ground potatoes. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper before forming them into flat pancakes and frying them.

Rye Bread

When cooking cabbage rolls, you’ll need something to soak up the wonderful sauce that comes with them. This is where rye bread comes in. This dark, rich loaf is a favorite in Central and Eastern Europe, where cabbage rolls originate, and it absorbs the taste of cabbage rolls better than ordinary white bread.

You may purchase rye bread from the supermarket or prepare your own using rye and ordinary flour, active dry yeast, and molasses. Activate the yeast, then knead the dough (for added flavor, some bakers add caraway seeds). Allow it to rise before baking!

Tomato Soup

Soup is an excellent way to begin any meal. A small appetizer meal will stimulate your appetite for a bigger main course. Tomato soup is one of our finest soup recipes because it is light yet being filled with flavorful flavor from the tomatoes. It works nicely with cabbage rolls since both meals have a strong sour taste.

You can purchase canned tomato soup, but what’s the point? Making your own is simple with canned tomatoes, broth, onion, and salt (for added taste, add celery and carrots). Simmer the tomatoes, then puree the soup until smooth.

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a delicious side dish for nearly any dinner. Their mild flavor is the ideal complement to the strong flavor of cabbage rolls. In addition, mashed potatoes may be used to soak up the sauce from the cabbage rolls.

Boil the potatoes to make mashed potatoes. Then stir in the butter, milk, and spices like as salt and pepper. Using a potato masher, mash them until smooth.

Russian Cabbage Soup

If you’re serving cabbage rolls, why not make the whole dinner a cabbage party and start with cabbage soup as an appetizer? Shchi, a classic Russian cabbage soup, is an excellent appetizer. Shchi has a subtle, flavorful taste that complements cabbage rolls.

Other veggies required are carrots, onions, celery, and potatoes. Cook the veggies before adding the broth and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a low heat until the veggies are cooked.

Barley Pilaf

Rice pilaf is a classic meal of stacked rice and vegetables popular in Northern Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The strong, earthy taste of barley lends richness and health to pilaf. It complements the rich tastes of cabbage rolls.

In addition to barley, you’ll need chicken broth, olive oil, and veggies like carrots and peas. To begin making the pilaf, toast the barley in an oiled pan with the onions and garlic. Cook the barley till soft, then season and add your favorite veggies.

Roasted Asparagus

Cabbage rolls are a classic winter meal due to their toughness and extended shelf life, but pairing them with roasted asparagus adds a touch of spring taste. Asparagus’ inherent harsh qualities are mellowed by roasting, making them an excellent compliment to cabbage rolls.

This fast veggie side could not be simpler to prepare. Simply sprinkle olive oil, lemon juice, and salty and fresh black pepper over cooked asparagus in foil. Trim the asparagus, season with salt & pepper, and bake until tender and slightly browned.


What does cabbage pair well with?

What Can You Make With Cabbage?
Any kind of main course, including chicken, salmon, white fish, pork chops, pig roast, or pot roast.
Sandwiches like a Reuben.
Steaks, bratwurst, sausage, or burgers grilled.
Sandwiches with sloppy joes or pulled pork.
Ribs on the grill.
Piccata di chicken.
Salad with cucumbers.
Salad with beans.

What is the best type of cabbage for cabbage rolls?

Cabbage Savoye

It’s stunning. The leaves of Savoy have a lovely waffle-knit texture that makes them aesthetically appealing. And because of the texture, the leaves have a little flexibility, making them suitable for meals like stuffed cabbage or cabbage rolls.

Can cabbage be steamed and frozen before use for cabbage rolls?

If you want to create filled cabbage leaves, you don’t need to cook the leaves beforehand. It’s much simpler to simply freeze the cabbage—an extra bonus is that it doesn’t stink up your place.

Why is the cabbage on my cabbage rolls tough?

If your cabbage rolls are too tough, it’s because you didn’t cook them long enough. My first approach, letting the cabbage lie overnight, begins to soften the cabbage. If they are still not soft enough after cooking, return them to the oven and cook for a longer period of time.

What protein goes best with cabbage?

Meat: Beef smoked sausage makes an excellent protein addition to fried cabbage. You may also use turkey sausage, turkey bacon, or normal bacon.

What alcohol goes with cabbage?

Cabbage, whether served raw in slaws or fermented in sauerkraut, pairs nicely with light white wines with a touch of sweetness, such as Riesling, Blanc du Bois, or even sparkling Spumante.

What ethnicity is cabbage rolls?

Although the exact origins of cabbage rolls are unknown, they may be traced back to Jewish cookery over 2,000 years ago. Recipes vary by area, with Romanians and northern Poles preferring a savory sauce and Jews from Galicia and Ukraine preferring sweet-and-sour.

Why do you soak cabbage before cooking?

Crisp it up: Soaking shredded cabbage in cold water keeps it crisp. This also helps to lessen the sourness. Drain well before mixing with the remaining ingredients.

Why are cabbage rolls good for you?

With high quantities of Vitamin C, antioxidants, and anthocyanins (highest in red cabbage), it helps the immune system. 3. Cabbage also promotes bone and tooth health since it is abundant in minerals including potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

Should you bake cabbage rolls before freezing?

Bake the cabbage rolls according to the package directions. Then remove from the oven and set aside to cool fully. Once cool, transfer to a fresh baking sheet (sprayed with nonstick spray) and place in the freezer for 2-3 hours, or until completely frozen.

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