5 Perfect sauces for holubtsi (Ukrainian cabbage rolls)


Holubtsi (cabbage rolls) is a traditional dish every Ukrainian family cooks. Cabbage rolls can differ in fillings but they can also be served with various sauces.

Today we’re going to share with you 5 dainty sauces for holubtsi. You will find out how to cook tomato, sour cream, tomato-cream, vegetable, and mushroom sauces.

These sauces will add new flavor accents and variety to your everyday meals. Now you can serve your favorite cabbage rolls with different sauces, and each time they will taste almost like a different dish.

1 Simple tomato saucewith parsley and bay leaves

If you want to cook this sauce, take:

  • 550 ml thick tomato juice
  • 2 big bulb onions
  • 350 g (12 oz) soft and ripe tomatoes
  • 100 g (3,5 oz) fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5-7 black peppercorns
  • Salt – to taste
  • Sugar – to taste
  • Vegetable oil – for frying


Wash tomatoes well and make cross-shaped cuts on the top. Plunge the tomatoes into fiercely boiling water and leave them for a couple of minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomatoes into a bowl with ice water. Remove the peel and cut the pulp into cubes.

Peel, rinse, and dice bulb onions. Finely chop washed and dried parsley.

Preheat the vegetable oil and fry the onion, ​​tomatoes, and parsley for 8 – 9 minutes.

Pour tomato juice over the ingredients. Wrap bay leaves and peppercorns in a piece of gauze. Add them to the pan.

Cook the sauce gently over very low heat for half an hour.

After a quarter of an hour, remove the bay leaves and peppercorns. Add salt and sugar to the mass.

When the sauce is done, pour it over cabbage rolls and serve at once.

2 Sour cream saucewith garlic and red pepper

If you want to cook this sauce, take:

  • 500 ml medium-fat sour cream
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley
  • Salt – to taste


Wash and chop fresh parsley finely. Combine it with sour cream. Season the mass with salt.

Peel and squeeze garlic cloves. Add the garlic and red pepper to the sauce. Mix to combine.

You can stew cabbage rolls in this sour cream sauce in an oven or serve the sauce separately together with the already cooked holubtsi.

3 Tomato-sour cream saucewith chili pepper and herbs

If you want to cook this sauce, take:

  • 2 medium bulb onions
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 250 ml sour cream
  • 4 tbsp chopped herbs
  • 250 ml boiled water
  • 2 heaping tbsp tomato paste
  • Half chili pepper
  • Salt – to taste
  • Vegetable oil – for frying


In a frying pan, preheat a small amount of vegetable oil. Add peeled, rinsed, and chopped bulb onions. Fry the onion evenly (be careful to not overcook it).

Peel and wash carrots, grate them finely, and add the veggies to the pan. Continue to fry the ingredients for 2 to 3 minutes.

In 1 minute, pour in tomato paste and sour cream. Stir everything thoroughly and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add salt, finely cut chili pepper, and herbs. Pour in 250 ml of water. Mix to combine.

Pour the cooked tomato-cream sauce over cabbage rolls and bake for 15 minutes at medium heat.

4 Mushroom saucewith broth and onion

If you want to cook this sauce, take:

  • 200 g (7 oz) mushrooms
  • 1 bulb onion
  • 200 ml sour cream
  • 100 ml broth
  • 50 g (2 oz) parsley
  • 50 g (2 oz) dill
  • Salt – to taste
  • Ground black pepper – to taste
  • Dairy butter – for frying


Peel, wash, and chop the onion. Peel, rinse, and cut mushrooms finely. If you use wild mushrooms, then you should boil them at first, and then cool and slice.

Combine the onion and mushrooms and fry the ingredients over preheated dairy butter. Add sour cream, salt, and pepper. Stir everything and stew for 10 minutes.

Add washed and finely chopped parsley and dill. Pour broth over. Bring the mass to boil and remove from the heat.

5 Vegetable saucewith tomato, carrot, and bell pepper

If you want to cook this sauce, take:

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 bulb onion
  • 80 ml tomato paste
  • Salt – to taste
  • Mix of peppers – to taste
  • Vegetable oil – for frying


Peel, wash, and grate a carrot. Peel, rinse, and chop a bulb onion. Preheat vegetable oil and cook the veggies until soft. Wash a bell pepper, cut the top off, a remove the seeds and membranes. Finely dice the pepper and add it to the pan.

Stew the ingredients together for a couple of minutes. Peel a tomato, chop it coarsely, and add to the pan. Pour in tomato paste and 250 ml of filtered water. Season the mass with salt and pepper. Stir everything thoroughly.

Cook the mass over medium heat until all components become tender and the sauce becomes smooth.

It’s better to cook cabbage rolls together with this sauce in a multicooker or oven.

Enjoy your meal!

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