Did you know that there are different versions of cabbage rolls all over the world?
In fact, there are at least 19 versions of cabbage rolls worldwide—from Polish to Italian. (*)
It’s pretty surprising for a simple dish like the cabbage rolls (cooked cabbage, minced meat, onions, and garlic), right?
Well, we totally understand the craze about it. After all, it’s a versatile dish that you can mix with different types of sauce. But more than that, it pairs well with a wide range of side dishes too!
So are you ready to discover what to serve with cabbage rolls?
If so, let’s get rolling!
- What to Serve with Cabbage Rolls: 20 Ideas for Your Next Dinner
- 1. Mashed Potatoes
- 2. Potato Pancakes
- 3. Roasted Red Potatoes
- 4. Garlic Bread
- 5. Garlic Roasted Carrots
- 6. Bean Salad
- 7. Cucumber Salad
- 8. Tomato Soup
- 9. Goulash
- 10. Barley Pilaf
- 11. Grilled Sweet Potatoes
- 12. Roasted Cauliflower
- 13. Mashed Cauliflower
- 14. German Spatzle
- 15. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- 16. Rye Bread
- 17. Cornbread
- 18. Applesauce
- 19. Baked Mac and Cheese
- 20. Sauteed Mushrooms
- The Bottom Line
What to Serve with Cabbage Rolls: 20 Ideas for Your Next Dinner
Since it comprises vegetables, different types of fillings, grains, spices, and sauces, we can’t deny the fact that cabbage rolls are already a complete meal nutrition-wise.
But if you want a balanced and well-rounded meal, you should pair stuffed cabbage rolls with a suitable side dish.
Well, here are 20 delicious side dishes that you can choose from:
1. Mashed Potatoes
Of course, we have to start with the most popular comfort food of all—mashed potatoes! Since this one’s a perfect match for vegetables and meaty dishes, it will surely match well with cabbage rolls.
The best thing about this side dish is it’s pretty easy to do. You just need to boil the potatoes, add mix and butter and blend well. After that, mash the mixture until it becomes fluffy and smooth.
You can also customize the taste of your mashed potatoes by adding spices of your choice, cheese, and cream.
Pro Tip: If you wish to boost your fiber intake, make a colcannon, and Irish mashed potatoes with either kale or cabbage.
2. Potato Pancakes
If you’re getting tired of the usual mashed potato side dish, you may want to serve cabbage rolls with potato pancakes. Same with mashed potatoes, its neutral taste will give your taste buds a break from the different flavors of cabbage rolls.
The pancakes add a crispy texture to the overall meal, and the best part is you can enjoy an egg-free version of this dish which is perfect for people allergic to poultry.
Pro Tip: Use applesauce in place of eggs. For a healthier version, you can use sweet potatoes.
3. Roasted Red Potatoes
And yes, we have a third potato side dish which proves that potato dishes are timeless and versatile.
We’ve mashed and fried potatoes, so what’s left to do?
Roast them, of course! But before you do that, make sure to coat the potatoes with butter, garlic, Italian herbs, parsley, and other seasonings for a delectable side dish you won’t forget.
Pro Tip: Leave the potato skins on to enjoy the maximum flavor.
4. Garlic Bread
Garlic bread is another cabbage rolls classic side dish that you can find anywhere or make on your own. Its buttery and garlicky flavor will truly complement the hearty fillings of cabbage rolls.
Pro Tip: Use ready-made bread if you’re pressed for time.
To turn ready-made bread into garlic bread, all you need to do is prepare the garlic mixture (minced garlic cooked in butter) and spread it into your bread. Then, top it with herbs and pop it in the toaster for a crispy and filling treat!
5. Garlic Roasted Carrots
Carrots are the last side dish you’d think of mainly because they usually just play supporting roles – and not the main star—in most dishes. However, we believe that roasted carrots will change the way people see the carrot. The best thing is it’s also one of the best side dishes you can serve with cabbage rolls.
To make roasted carrots, all you need to do is coat the carrots with a mixture of garlic-infused melted butter. Afterward, roast them up to bring out their sweetness and create a crunchy texture and beautifully charred appearance. Finally, top it off with thyme for that extra dose of flavor.
Fun Fact: A 100g serving of this side dish contains only 92 calories, so it’s a great low calorie choice for people on a diet.
6. Bean Salad
If you’re looking for a versatile salad to serve with stuffed cabbage rolls, bean salad is the way to go! This is because its earthy taste can help balance cabbage rolls’ overwhelming flavors and spices.
You can quickly whip up this side dish by mixing different beans, tomatoes, cucumber, fried onions, mint, parsley, lemon juice, vinegar, cilantro, and other herbs of your choice.
Fun Fact: Beans offer more stomach-filling satisfaction than meats because of their high fiber content. (*)
7. Cucumber Salad
If you don’t like anything heavy or filling, why don’t we go for the light and refreshing cucumber salad? This is the perfect side dish for cabbage rolls with spicy meat fillings.
The best part? Everything you need to make this is already in your kitchen—cucumber, lemon juice, salt, and red wine vinegar.
Pro Tip: Add a dollop of sour cream or a pinch of sugar to knock back the flavor of bitter cucumbers.
8. Tomato Soup
Tomato soup is a usual cabbage rolls side dish because its sweet and tangy flavor perfectly balances the spicy flavor of cabbage rolls.
Since tomatoes contain high levels of antioxidants and vitamins, tomato soup is considered one of the healthiest side dishes you can serve with cabbage rolls.
Tomato soup and cabbage rolls go so well together that there’s one cabbage roll version that combines both ingredients—Golombki. (*)
Goulash is a beef stew seasoned with paprika and contains beef, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, and carrots. This warm and hearty stew is the perfect match for cabbage rolls and can give you the warm, comforting, and fuzzy feeling you need during cold winter nights.
For the best Hungarian meal, we suggest serving goulash with Hungarian cabbage rolls made with eggs, minced pork meat, sauerkraut, cabbage, rice, and paprika
10. Barley Pilaf
Do you know what makes Barley Pilaf a great cabbage rolls side dish?
It provides the meal with a contrast of texture that will make it more interesting.
The barley is soft and chewy, while the pine nuts will give you the crunch that the cabbage rolls lack—truly a blend of texture you won’t find in any other side dish recipes.
Try adding vegetables and garlic to your pilaf to make it extra nutritious and tasty.
11. Grilled Sweet Potatoes
The flavors in cabbage rolls are almost complete except for one thing—sweetness. That’s why we suggest whipping up some grilled sweet potatoes so you can enjoy a well-rounded and balanced meal.
Just fire up the grill, cook your sweet potatoes, and top it off with your choice of spices (try paprika, garlic, and cilantro), and you can already enjoy a tasty meal.
Pro Tip: We recommend using different types and colors of sweet potatoes so you can add a splash of color to your plate.
12. Roasted Cauliflower
Do you want the crispy texture without the carbs? Well, cauliflower can be an excellent substitute for potatoes.
In addition to giving you the crunch minus the calories, cauliflower is also versatile, so you can season it in any way you like. Afterward, roast it into perfection, and you got yourself a nutritious yet delicious side dish.
13. Mashed Cauliflower
How about the creamy texture of mashed potatoes without the unwanted carbs?
Yes, cauliflower is still the answer!
Mashed cauliflower may be low in carbs, but it tastes just as unique as mashed potatoes. To prepare this side dish, you just need to steam the cauliflower, blend it with melted butter and garlic, and add salt, pepper, and cream.
For a boost of flavor, you can also add cheese.
Pro Tip: For the creamiest mashed cauliflower, use prepackaged cauliflower rice.
14. German Spatzle
German Spaetzle is egg noodles that are not like any other noodles in many ways. For one, this is because it has a chewy and dumpling-like texture that makes it so addicting.
Additionally, it’s packed with a flavor that perfectly complements cabbage rolls. Last but not least, the noodles come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, making your dinner plate more interesting to look at.
15. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
You can also serve cabbage rolls with a fiber-rich dish like Brussels Sprouts to boost your fiber consumption.
Most people consider brussels sprouts to be bitter tasting, but the truth is it all depends on how it’s cooked. The best cooking method is roasting, as it unleashes an entirely new flavor—sweet, nutty, and caramelized.
Pro Tip: To prevent Brussels Sprouts from becoming soggy, roast it in the oven over a baking sheet.
16. Rye Bread
If you’re looking to pair your cabbage rolls with something neutral and bland, rye bread is the way to go! This bread is so versatile that you can also create a sweetened version of this bread if you’re looking to add sweetness to your cabbage rolls.
Pro Tip: To make rye bread more flavorful, don’t forget to add caraway seeds.
We’ll be honest with you. While cabbage rolls already have almost every flavor imaginable, it lacks a particular texture. Well, you can solve this issue by pairing it with cornbread.
This type of bread is fluffy at the center but crispy at the edges and will undoubtedly provide the cabbage rolls with its much-needed crisp texture. The best part is you can make it plain or sweet so you can satisfy whichever taste you’re craving!
Fun Fact: Since this bread is made of cornmeal instead of flour, it’s a lot healthier than your regular white bread.
Yes, cabbage rolls are almost perfect with their fillings and sauces. This is most especially true if it has a spicy kick.
But have you ever thought of serving it with a sweet dessert? Well, you should start doing so!
We recommend going for applesauce because of its sweet and tangy taste, giving you a burst of flavor you can’t get from any other dessert.
You only need cinnamon powder, honey, lemon juice, and apples to make this apple puree.
19. Baked Mac and Cheese
Have a long tiring day?
Well, this is the best time to dig in on comfort foods, and we got the perfect match for you—baked mac and cheese and cabbage rolls!
Imagine this: You have your meaty and savory cabbage rolls on one side of your plate and a creamy and cheesy baked mac and cheese on the other.
Take one bite of each, and what do you get?
A marriage of flavors that will surely satisfy your taste buds—that’s what!
20. Sauteed Mushrooms
Mushrooms are one of the usual stuffing for cabbage rolls. But did you know that you can also make a delicious side dish that you can serve with cabbage rolls?
Yes, you can! All you need to do is cook it with butter, garlic, and spices of your choice and get yourself a delicious and fancy side dish. If you want something more filling, you can also add green beans to it.
Fun Fact: A 100g serving of sautéed mushrooms only has 70 calories, so it’s healthy as well!
The Bottom Line
Cabbage rolls already have everything you need for a complete and delicious meal— ground meat, grains, cabbage leaves, and sauces.
But here’s the best news: you can still take cabbage rolls to a whole new level by pairing it with suitable side dishes.
So what to serve with cabbage rolls?
Well, we’ve already provided you with just about all the side dishes that you can serve with cabbage rolls. So it’s now up to you to choose which one would satisfy your cravings and suit your preferences.
So what are you waiting for?
Start cooking now so you can enjoy the best dinner of your life.