Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls In Vegan Cream Sauce

Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls In Vegan Cream Sauce

Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls Give Scraps a Second Chance

Those beautiful larger leafs that gently cradle the innards of the cabbage ball are those most likely doomed to a miserable death for the common consumer. Ukrainian cabbage rolls, or sometimes referred to as guluptsie,  evolved of the idea of utilizing every element of the plant-including cooking with the outer cabbage leaves. 

Outer cabbage leaves get a bad rep.  They’re defiant in their accessibility (If you don’t peel off that cabbage head in one piece now i’m using this entire ball of madness for softball practice this afternoon!) They often take the brute of the bugs needing something to munch on in growing season.  And  what the hell, why is the flavor so powerful compared to the rest of the plant?

Outside cabbage leaves are not mean. They are just misunderstood. Save the cabbage leaves, and create some Ukrainian cabbage roll magic!


Sauteed fresh veggies
sauteed fresh veggies for ukrainian cabbage rolls
Sauteed veggies and tofu
saute crumbled tofu for Ukrainian cabbage rolls

Make Guluptsie Vegan

To all my face free foodies out there- this one’s for you! I’ll admit, when I first envisioned this dish I was a little hesitant as to how I was going to make it all fit together seamlessly because there are just SO MANY PLANTS in guluptsie! Each one with their own personality and punch. Here are a few ways I got the plants to be obedient without too many arguments: 

  • Quinoa is natures little power seed. its packed with twice the amount of protein as rice used in this dish. I love it in these Ukrainian cabbage rolls because it really helps create some hearty texture!
  • Tofu mimics the flavor and adds texture to whatever you add it to.  
  • Celery- because no food is good food without crunch!
  • mushrooms are the flavor savor of this dish and pack it plump full of selenium, choline, and vitamin C, and Vitamin D for strong bones and improving mood!

Nutritional Yeast Makes One Size Fits All Sauce

My favorite foods are those that can serve multiple functions. I use nutritional yeast for almost everything including as: 

  • A seasoning
  • Makeshift Sauce
  • A cheese alternative
  • Thickening agent 
In this recipe I use nutritional yeast as both a sauce and thickening agent at multiple stages in the process. 
Nutritional Yeast Sauce
Nutritional yeast sauce for Ukrainian cabbage rolls
Ukrainian cabbage roll filling

Filling Up Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls

There’s a lot of things that can get boring when they’re not packed with fat and laden with a side of guilt.  These perfect vegan packages are not one of them!  Traditional Ukrainian cabbage rolls are often packed with  pork or beer, but I just officially made the rule we don’t need all that nonsense.  

Where The Magic Starts

Imagine this.  You’ve recently peeled off several impossibly beautiful large outer leaves from a particularly pesty patch of cabbage.  And every time a leaf successfully detaches- you let out the long “whoosh” of air you’ve been holding in as you desperately attempt to not create a massacre of half-leaves and heartache.  

You got this.  Now do yourself a favor and cut out the V of hard vain from the bottom that will never fold into a roll no matter how much of your heart you put into it.  Ask me how I know.  

filled cabbage leaf for ukrainian cabbage rolls
Secure ukrainian cabbage rolls
secured guluptsie roll

That's a Wrap-A Ukrainian Cabbage One That Is

You’ve come to far to let a brilliantly beautiful garden leaf tell you what to do.  No matter how bad-ass they look.  So wrap it up and secure it with a toothpick before it plots any further rebellions.

The awesome thing about these Ukrainian cabbage rolls, is you can make just about anything fit with a little creativity! While a labor of love and a little more time intensive than most of my throw together madness, they’re worth the wait! These are also freezer friendly, so you can enjoy them again. 

How do you create your cabbage rolls? Do you have a must have ingredient not listed here that really takes the cake (cabbage roll… same thing)? I’d love to hear your creations! Leave me the deets below! 

ukrainian cabbage rolls
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls With Vegan Cream Sauce

These savory Ukrainian cabbage rolls add a delicious twist to the once meaty favorite. A comforting winter favorite lower in calories and loaded with veggies.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
baking time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 736kcal
Author: Shena Jaramillo. Registered Dietitian
Cost: $5


  • 8x8 cake pan
  • Skillet


  • 2 tbsp olive oil may use 2-4
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 whole jalapeno chopped
  • ½ cup mushrooms chopped
  • ½ cup celery chopped
  • 1 cup tofu extra firm
  • ½ cup quinoa cooked
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast add water to create sauce
  • cup crushed tomato or tomato sauce
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup v8 juice

Creamy Vegan Sauce

  • 2 tbsp lime juice fresh squeezed
  • 1 cup cashews soaked
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar


Cabbage Rolls

  • Core and freeze cabbage. Alternatively boil head of cabbage for 2-3 minutes.
  • Peel about 10 large leaves from outside of cabbage.
  • Cut out hard center piece in leaves making a small V.
  • Add 2-4 tbsp olive oil to pan. Add in oregano and red pepper flakes.
  • Chop garlic, celery, mushroom, and jalapeno
  • squeeze moisture from tofu with hands making into crumbles.
  • Add all veggies to skillet over medium heat. Brown slightly before adding tofu as tofu will add moisture and veggies will not saute as well.
  • combine nutritional yeast with 2 parts water to create sauce. Add to sauteed veggies along with 1 cup of tomato sauce.
  • Add filling to cabbage leave to create ukrainian cabbage rolls. Secure with toothpick. Add v8 juice and 1/2 cup tomato sauce combiend to top. Cover with tin foil. Bake for 1-1.5 hours until leaves are soft at 350 degrees.

Creamy Vegan Sauce

  • combine all ingredients for vegan cream sauce. Use high powered blender to create desired consistency. Add more water if desired than specified to create the right texture.
  • top with fresh cilantro.



Nutrition Facts
Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls With Vegan Cream Sauce
Amount Per Serving (3 cabbage rolls)
Calories 736 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Polyunsaturated Fat 8g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Sodium 563mg24%
Potassium 1458mg42%
Carbohydrates 92g31%
Fiber 19g79%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 44g88%
Vitamin A 32IU1%
Vitamin C 41mg50%
Calcium 141mg14%
Iron 22mg122%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Serving size is for 2 Ukrainian
Sauteed fresh veggies
sauteed fresh veggies for ukrainian cabbage rolls
Sauteed veggies and tofu
saute crumbled tofu for Ukrainian cabbage rolls
Nutritional Yeast Sauce
Nutritional yeast sauce for Ukrainian cabbage rolls
Ukrainian cabbage roll filling
Ukrainian cabbage roll filling
filled cabbage leaf for ukrainian cabbage rolls
filled cabbage leaf for ukrainian cabbage rolls
cabbage rolls, Calories will vary for Ukrainian cabbage rolls slightly based on size of roll and quantity of topping added. 
These Ukrainian cabbage rolls can be made spicier by adding sriracha sauce to the tomato sauce topping. 


Serving: 3cabbage rolls | Calories: 736kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 563mg | Potassium: 1458mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 32IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 22mg
Shena Jaramillo. Registered Dietitian
Latest posts by Shena Jaramillo. Registered Dietitian (see all)

Shena Jaramillo. Registered Dietitian

Hi I'm Shena. I believe in choosing plants first, honoring your hunger, and that a little humor goes a long way.

Leave a Reply