Polish Turkey & Quinoa Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
June 26, 2018
By Elizabeth Palmer Califano

This humble and traditional Polish dish gets a flavor and health boost with the addition of quinoa and extra veggies in the filling. Both cabbage and tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, and turkey is an excellent source of protein and B vitamins. Perfect for a crowd, this dish can be made in a large batch, and its ingredients are easily adaptable. You can swap the turkey with ground pork, beef, or chicken, or vary the minced vegetables in the filling to suit your tastes. Serve with a simple green salad for a vibrant and delicious meal.

Serves 3-4

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 1 zucchini, minced
  • 2 handfuls spinach, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 jar smooth tomato sauce
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1-pound lean ground turkey
  • 8-10 green cabbage leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Ground parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Fresh chopped dill, to serve


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water up to a boil.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and a big pinch of salt and pepper, and sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the zucchini and spinach, and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
  3. Turn off the heat, and stir in the fresh dill and cooked quinoa. Allow to cool slightly while you continue with the recipe.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the tomato sauce and the maple syrup.
  5. Stir the raw ground turkey into the slightly cooled quinoa vegetable mixture, making sure it’s all mixed well.
  6. Trim the hard stems from the cabbage leaves, taking out a small “V” shape, and discard. Blanch the trimmed leaves in boiling water for 10-15 seconds to soften just slightly. Allow them to cool and dry on a kitchen towel before using.
  7. Place about 2 tablespoons worth of filling at the base of the cabbage leaf. Fold the sides in, and roll up tightly to form a snug parcel. Arrange all the filled leaves tightly in an oven proof baking dish.
  8. Spoon ¾ of the sauce over the cabbage rolls (reserve the rest for serving), sprinkle over the parmesan cheese if using, and cover the dish with foil. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until the filling is cooked through. Allow to cool for 10 minutes out of the oven. Sprinkle with fresh dill, and enjoy!

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About the Author

Elizabeth Palmer Califano
Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: www.elizabethpalmerkitchen.com