• Gluten-free
  • High protein
  • Low phosphate
  • Low potassium
  • Low salt
  • Main meal
  • Polish
  • 2 hours or less
Download recipe card

A delicious recipe that is low in salt but high in protein: perfect for those receiving dialysis.



2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large onion, finely diced

1 carrot, coarsely grated

1 teaspoon caster sugar (optional)

1 tablespoon tomato purée

1 fresh (or dried) bay leaf

400g tin chopped tomatoes


1 large or 2 small heads of Savoy cabbage

250g beef mince

250g pork mince

160g white rice

Green salad

140g mixed salad leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

To serve

150ml soured cream

Leaves from 20g fresh dill, chopped


  1. Step 1

    Over a medium-high heat, heat the oil in a large, heavy frying pan or hob-safe casserole dish, then fry half the diced onion and the grated carrot for 10 minutes or until they are soft. Add the tomato purée and sugar (if using) and cook for another minute. Then add the tomatoes, 400ml cold water and the bay leaf and season with freshly ground black pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. This will be your sauce.

  2. Step 2

    Cook your rice, but for just half the amount of time it says on the packet. For example, if the packet says to cook it for 12 minutes, cook it for 6 minutes instead.

  3. Step 3

    Bring a large pan of water to the boil and blanch the whole cabbage(s) for 5 minutes. Plunge into cold water, drain thoroughly and leave to cool and dry on kitchen paper.

  4. Step 4

    In a large mixing bowl, mix the minced beef and pork with the parboiled rice, a few grinds of black pepper and the remaining diced onion – mix with your hands. Carefully tear off the leaves of the drained cabbage.

  5. Step 5

    To make the parcels, spoon about 50g of filling into each cabbage leaf (you may find that you use less in smaller leaves). Wrap each one up and place them on top of the sauce in the frying pan or casserole, tucked up snugly and with the seam of each parcel underneath so they do not unravel.

  6. Step 6

    Cook over a low heat on the hob for about 45 minutes (you want the sauce to be bubbling very gently) until the parcels are cooked through and piping hot. Serve with plenty of chopped dill and a spoonful of soured cream, with a green salad on the side, dressed in olive oil and lemon juice.

Food facts

The rice is the main source of carbohydrate in this main meal and the value has been provided for those who have been trained in insulin adjustment.

This dish is low in potassium, despite the use of some high potassium ingredients, this is because the quantities have been kept low and, where possible, vegetables have been boiled and drained. If you are following a low potassium diet, be sure to keep to the quantities and serving sizes for this recipe. If you wish, you can enjoy this recipe without the tomato sauce, which will lower the potassium even further.

This recipe is also low in phosphate, however does contain some phosphate, therefore, if you have been prescribed a phosphate binder ensure you take them with this dish.

This dish is high in protein which makes it suitable for those advised to eat more protein. To lower the protein, consider reducing or omitting the meat and replace with caramelised onion.

Use brown rice instead of white, but instead of cooking it for half the stated cooking time, cook it for just 5 minutes less than the full amount stated. Gołąbki are traditionally made using beef and pork, but you can also use minced turkey or chicken meat if you prefer. However, they will be drier than Gołąbki made with beef and pork, so you’ll need to add extra oil to the filling so that they don’t dry out.

Swap the beef and pork for minced turkey or chicken meat. Be aware that it will be drier than Gołąbki made with beef and pork, so you’ll need to add extra oil to the filling so that they don’t dry out.

Keeping the cabbage parcels and sauce separate, these can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. To freeze, place the cabbage parcels (not touching each other) on a non-stick sheet and freeze - once frozen, keep them in a container in the freezer for up to 3 months, with the sauce in a separate container. Defrost (if they have been frozen) or bring to room temperature (if refrigerated) and cook as per step 6.