Rice Fillings for Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls

Rice Fillings for Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls

7 Variations below:

2 cups rice
2 cups or less boiling water
2 teaspoons salt
1 medium onion, chopped
4 to 5 tablespoons butter or other fat
Salt and pepper

Wash the rice well in a sieve until the water comes off clear. Add to the boiling water, stir in the salt, bring to a brisk boil, and let it cook for 1 minute. Cover, turn off the heat, and allow it to stand until the water is absorbed. The rice will be only partially cooked. Cook the onion in the fat until it is a light golden color. Mix with the rice and season to taste with salt and pepper. The filling for holubtsi (cabbage rolls) should be well seasoned because some of the seasoning will be absorbed by the leaves, giving a flat taste to the finished product. Cool the filling.


  1. Milk-Rice Filling: Substitute boiling milk for the water and use butter.

  2. Soup Stock-Rice Filling: Substitute a rich soup stock for the water.

  3. Rice and Tomato Filling: Cook the rice in equal parts of water and tomato juice.

  4. Rice and Mushroom Filling: Add 1 cup or more of chopped cooked mushrooms to the rice. When canned mushrooms are used, measure the mushroom stock, and add enough water to make 2 cups. Cook the rice in this liquid.

  5. Rice and Bacon Filling: Add 1/2 cup or more of chopped crisp bacon to the rice filling.

  6. Rice and Meat Filling: Add 1/2 pound of cooked ground pork or ham to the rice filling.

  7. Rice and Dill Filling: Add 1/4 cup or more chopped tender dill to the rice filling.