Cabbage rolls are commonly accompanied by a delectable sauce and a variety of sides that will make you want to serve cabbage rolls every day of the week. Don’t we always feel difficulty in deciding what to serve with cabbage rolls?
Cabbage rolls can be a very hearty meal, depending on the fillings you choose, so pair it with a light side dish, like green beans or a cauliflower puree. You can also consider adding some mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, roast vegetables and creamy sauces to bring out the flavours of your authentic cabbage rolls.
Read on if you are keen to find out more about this delicious food which originated from European countries.
What are cabbage rolls?
Cabbage rolls are a great favourite in many households across the world, but especially in European countries where they originate.
Filled with a variety of meat fillings from beef and pork to lamb and tofu, these delicious delicacies can be paired with an array of side dishes to suit your filling. So, the question arises that what to serve with cabbage rolls?
It can be cooked in several ways, like steaming, baking or simmering and seasoned with onions, garlic and your favourite spices. With the addition of vegetables like mushrooms.
What to Serve with Cabbage Rolls? Cabbage rolls around the world- Find your Best Option
Although cabbage rolls are predominantly popular in Europe, they are enjoyed throughout the world. Indulge in some of the delicious side dishes to complement your cabbage rolls.
Romania And Moldova Celebrate With Cabbage Rolls
Traditionally served as a celebration meal on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, at weddings and baptisms and at other large celebrations.
The Romanian version of the cabbage roll showcases the flavours of ground pork and caramelised onions. They created this delicious meal with sauerkraut, enhancing the flavour even more.
Great Romanian side dishes that pair well with cabbage rolls include:
Hungry for Hungary
Pickled cabbage leaves or sauerkraut are traditionally used in Hungary for cabbage rolls and filled with minced pork meat and served with sour cream and paprika.
The best way to enjoy this version of the cabbage roll is to serve it with
- Mashed potatoes and applesauce
- Add some delicious buttered bread rolls for dipping to really top it off well
Russia Makes It Simple
The Russians are famous for a ‘lazy style’ cabbage roll, where the cabbage is chopped up and mixed with minced meat and cooked buckwheat or rice. This mixture is stewed with a sour cream and tomato sauce to create a quick and easy meal.
This cabbage roll alternative will pair well with:
- Russian knish
- A baked or fried potato dumpling
- Simple Russian pancakes.
Ukrainian Cabbage Delights
Ukrainian cabbage roll recipes vary in different regions of the country, but the most popular filling is a combination of corn or buckwheat grits, with fried onions, minced meat and pork crackling, all mixed with spices and rolled in fresh or pickled cabbage leaves.
A popular sauce for these cabbage rolls is a mushroom gravy or dipping sauce.
The Ukraine is known for side dishes like borshch, a soup made from beetroot, or varenyky, stuffed dumplings containing a wide variety of fillings. These are ideal side dishes for your cabbage rolls.
Other great side dishes for your Ukrainian cabbage rolls include tomato soup, bacon strips or drippings as well as cream or sour cream as a sauce.
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A Staple for Serbia and Croatia
Cabbage rolls in Serbia and Croatia are a staple dish. Created with pork meat and sauerkraut leaves, they are particularly popular over Christmas time.
Enjoyed with the addition of smoked bacon and paprika, these cabbage rolls can be paired with tasty pork ribs on the side.
Delicious Egyptian Addition
The Egyptian dish directly translated to mean “stuffed cabbage” combines onion, tomato, herbs, spices like cumin, mint and dill, as well as rice.
Fresh cabbage leaves are used and cut into smaller pieces, before being partially pre-cooked. After stuffing, the rolls are boiled in a broth or tomato-based sauce. Egyptian cabbage rolls seldom include meat, making for the perfect vegetarian meal.
If you prefer the addition of meat to the dish, a side of Alexandria style livers is the perfect fit. Other great side dishes to eat with your cabbage rolls include:
- Marinated vegetable salad
- Egyptian boiled chicken in a broth
- Some delicious Egyptian beef or lamb koftas
A North American Idea
Made popular in the USA by Polish immigrants, Americans have their own unique take on cabbage roll dishes. The descendants of Polish and Jewish East European immigrants have inherited the cabbage roll recipes of their families, adapting where necessary to fit their family’s preferences.
They are usually made with ground beef or chicken, and hardly ever use pork since American cabbage roll recipes descend from Jewish families. Seasoned with dill, onion, lemon juice, brown sugar, garlic, paprika and allspice, and paired with tomato-based sauces, these cabbage rolls are filled with ground meat and rice.
Great side dishes to accompany the American cabbage roll include:
- A mixed bean salad
- Cheesy scalloped potatoes
- Cornbread stuffed with mushrooms
- A great all-American sauce to your cabbage rolls like a blue cheese dressing or a delicious sausage gravy or barbeque sauce.
Poland’s Finest Cabbage Rolls
Cabbage rolls are the epitome of Polish cuisine, and combine beef and pork meat with barely or rice inside their cabbage leaves. These cabbage rolls are cooked in the oven, accompanied by a delicious tomato-based sauce.
Typical Polish side dishes that work well with cabbage rolls include:
- Mashed potato
- Honey-glazed roasted carrots
- Sautéed wild mushrooms or Polish potato pancakes.
- Breaded cauliflower id also a great option if your cabbage roll filling consists of rich flavours.
A Swedish Classic
A classic combination of minced pork and rice makes the perfect Swedish version of a cabbage roll. The original recipe made use of vine leaves but was adapted to use cabbage when vines leaves were unavailable or too expensive
A popular addition to this dish include mashed or boiled potatoes, a creamy gravy made from beef broth and sour cream, and lingonberry jam, a tart yet sweet addition to the meal.
Hopefully, now after reading this, you can decide what to serve with cabbage rolls? Regardless of where your cabbage roll recipe originates from, light side dishes always work well.
Add some mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, roast vegetables and creamy sauces to bring out the flavours of your authentic cabbage rolls.