Russian Turkey and Cabbage Meatballs – Lenivie Golubtsy

Golubtsy is very popular Eastern dish. In original recipes it’s meat and rice stuffing into cabbage or grape leaves. I made it with collard greens and kale. This recipe is popular variation, it’s name mean lazy, easy goluptsy. Chopped cabbage is added in meat and rice mixture.  Some make it really easy: they don’t make meatballs and just fry it as is.


Yield: 5 servings (two meatballs and 1 tbsp. tomato sauce)

20 oz. turkey breast, ground or finely chopped*
1 cup onion, finely chopped
3 cups cabbage, finely chopped
1 cup cooked rice (can be made from 1/3 cup dry rice or use the leftovers)
2 tbsp. sour cream
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
2 tsp. flour, divide
5 1/2 oz. tomato juice (one can of Sacramento Tomato Juice)
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper

*I chopped turkey breast with sharp knife into very tiny pieces to made minced meat, but ground turkey can be used.


Pour cabbage into boiled water (about 3 cups), bring to boil. Drain cabbage in a colander and squeeze out the water. Mix together chopped or ground turkey, chopped onion, cooked rice and cabbage. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well about minute. Shape cabbage-meat mixture into 10 elongated shapes, about 3.5 oz. each.


Preheat oven in 350F.

Spray large skillet with cooking spray. Heat 1 minute over medium heat. Add meatballs, cook 2-3 minutes or until browned. Mix stock or water, sour cream, half of garlic, 1 tsp. flour and salt to taste, pour over meatballs, put skillet into the oven and bake uncovered about 20 minutes.

Mix tomato juice, garlic, 1 tsp. flour and salt, bring to boil, mixed well. Pour on top of meatballs. Serve hot with sour cream and tomato sauces and any side dishes, mashed potato works great.


1 serving is about 209 calories

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3 Responses to “Russian Turkey and Cabbage Meatballs – Lenivie Golubtsy”

  1. […] is something between chicken plov and very lazy golubtsy. Comfort food with plain ingredients. Russians love stewed cabbage with tomato, some add sausages […]

  2. […] Russian and Ukrainian dish. My family loves it. So sometimes I made “lazy” version of it – lenivie golubtsy, or stuffed peppers and collard […]

  3. […] before spring cleaning. Recipe adapted from Next time I want to try Very Lazy Way to cook Lazy Golubtsy and cook it in rice cooker […]

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