Sarmale (Traditional Romanian Dish for Christmas Dinner) / Cabbage rolls


Hello dear ones, today I propose to you to make together a recipe that will definitely not be missing from the Christmas table, namely: Sărmăluțe!

„Sarmale” it is a traditional dish in Romania that we always prepare for Christmas.


It’s the recipe my grandmother made, now my mother makes it and she taught me to make it too. So you can trust that it is a tested and highly appreciated recipe.


I suggest you make „Sarmale” with meat and Vegetarian „Sarmale” (for those like me who do not eat meat).


Here is the filmed recipe, and below I give you all the details.



For „Sarmalele” with meat we need (60-70 pieces):

  • A cup of rice
  • 500 grams of minced meat mixture (beef and pork)
  • Two big carrots
  • One kg of onions
  • A jar of tomato paste (314 g)
  • A cup of sunflower oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sweet Pepper
  • An egg to tie the composition
  • A pickled cabbage (depends on how big the cabbage is)


For Vegetarian „Sarmalele” (30 pieces) we will need:


  • Half a cup of rice
  • 400 g of wild mushrooms
  • a carrot
  • a large parsnip
  • 3 onions
  • half a cup of sunflower oil
  • a pickled cabbage
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sweet pepper


First, we scald the rice. Before scalding it, we wash it until no white dust comes out of it. Then boil water and put all the rice and leave it for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes we drain it well.

We will go together for the beginning with the composition of both kinds of cabbage rolls and at some point, we will break up.

Put all the onions in the blender. Put all the oil in the pan and put the onion over it. Leave the onion to cook. Meanwhile, put the carrot in the blender, put it over the onion and let it cook. Meanwhile, chop the parsnip and put it to harden in another pan with two tablespoons of oil.

Put a jar of tomato paste in the pan with onions. Mix well.

We prepare the composition for vegetarian „Sarmale”:


We put in a bowl 3 generous tablespoons of scalded rice, then from the pan with onions we take 4 tablespoons of the composition, the parsnips, the mushrooms that we also chopped in the blender. Season with salt, pepper and paprika to taste. We add an egg (this is optional, but helps the composition to bind better).


Mix well and set aside. We take care of the composition for the meatballs.


Mix the rest of the scalded rice with the minced meat, then put the rest of the composition in the pan, season with salt, pepper and paprika. Let the composition cool a bit and add the egg. We mix and we practically finished preparing the composition for these cabbage rolls as well.


We prepare the cabbage for packing.

We prepare the pots in which we will boil the stuffed cabbage. Put a layer of chopped sauerkraut on the bottom of each pot. Then we place the sauerkraut.

Then we start rolling the Sarmalele patiently.

Meanwhile, boil some water. After we finish packing, cover the cabbage rolls with a layer of cabbage. Put enough hot water to cover them and then put them to cook for about an hour. Throughout the cooking we add a cup of hot water. so that they will not stick to the bottom of the pot. After an hour we take out a cabbage and try it, the cooking time depends on the cabbage you use, sometimes you will need to leave them to boil for 2 hours. Therefore, it is best to try them.


Good appetite!


If you liked the recipe, I invite you to subscribe to my Youtube channel and share the recipe with the people you would like to enjoy!


Happy holidays!

With love,


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