Serbian Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage (Posna Sarma) Recipe

Stuffed Cabbage
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  • 80 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 18 rolls (6 servings)
Ratings (13)

During Serbian Orthodox Lent and Advent, meat and dairy are strictly prohibited. For cabbage lovers, this recipe for vegetable stuffed cabbage or posna sarma (where posna means Lenten or fasting) allows one to indulge in a favorite food while still following the church's strictures.

What You'll Need

  • 1/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 2 onions (finely chopped)
  • 3 carrots (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 rib celery (finely chopped)
  • 3 Cubanelle peppers (or other sweet peppers finely chopped)
  • 2 cups rice (long-grain, cooked)
  • 2 tomatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 (3- to 4-pound) cabbage
  • 1 (32-ounce) jar sauerkraut (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (10-3/4-ounce) can tomato soup

How to Make It

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add carrots, celery, and peppers and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add rice, tomatoes, salt, and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool and mix in garlic.
  3. Meanwhile, steam cabbage until leaves are limp and pull away easily. Continue to remove as many leaves as possible.
  4. With a paring knife, remove tough ribs from leaves without damaging leaves. Reserve tougher outer leaves but don't use for rolling.
  1. Heap 2 tablespoons vegetable filling on each leaf, fold the bottom of the cabbage leaf up over filling, then fold sides to the center, and roll away from yourself to encase completely. Repeat until filling is gone.
  2. Heat oven to 350 F. Discard the cabbage core and coarsely chop any remaining cabbage you have reserved except for the tough outer leaves.
  3. Spread chopped cabbage on the bottom of a large casserole dish or Dutch oven. Add the sauerkraut. Layer on the cabbage rolls, seam side down.
  4. Mix tomato sauce and soup with enough water to make a liquidy consistency. Pour over rolls until mixture is level with rolls but not over the top.
  5. Cover rolls with reserved tough outer leaves. 
  6. Cover casserole dish and bake 1 hour. Remove tough outer leaves and discard. Let sit 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Freezes well.