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Sarma (Stuffed Cabbage)

Bea Gassman

"For this satisfying dish, cabbage leaves are stuffed with a seasoned mixture of rice, ground beef, pork and ham. They are then laid on a bed of sauerkraut and simmered to completion. This is the best stuffed cabbage recipe I've ever tried."
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3 h 15 m servings 532 cals
Original recipe yields 6 servings


  • Calories:
  • 532 kcal
  • 27%
  • Fat:
  • 22.7 g
  • 35%
  • Carbs:
  • 43.8g
  • 14%
  • Protein:
  • 38.4 g
  • 77%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 141 mg
  • 47%
  • Sodium:
  • 1135 mg
  • 45%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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  • Prep

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  1. Place cabbage in the freezer for a few days. The night before making the rolls, take it out to thaw.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, ham, rice, onion, egg, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well. Form meat mixture into oblong balls, using 1/2 cup of the mixture at a time. Then, wrap a cabbage leaf around each ball.
  3. Spread the sauerkraut in the bottom of a large pot, then layer cabbage rolls on top, placing them seam-side down. Pour tomato juice over rolls, then add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 3 hours, adding more water as necessary.

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Read all reviews 33
  1. 41 Ratings

Most helpful positive review

My Grame made Sarma on a regular basis. She was born in Chabar (now Yugoslavia) & is Croatian. She has been gone for quite some time but her recipe's live long and prosper. She did not freeze...

Most helpful critical review

I love Sarma we make sarmas a lot at home and Dolma's, I made the Turkish way, similar recipe but I like the Turkish way better.

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Most positive
Least positive

My Grame made Sarma on a regular basis. She was born in Chabar (now Yugoslavia) & is Croatian. She has been gone for quite some time but her recipe's live long and prosper. She did not freeze...

Usually for sarma you use a sour cabbage but since I didn't have one I added about 4 tbsp of vinegar to the water that I blanched the cabbage in. I also added chopped bacon to this recipe. I f...

Great recipe!! As suggested, I parboiled the cabbage head with a bit of vinegar instead of freezing. I sauteed the onion with fresh minced garlic before adding to ground beef/pork mixture and ...

I love Sarma. This recipe is pretty good, my mother in law uses barley instead of rice. Just a note the poster who said that this is mostly made in Romania is wrong. Sarma is made in Croatia, Bo...

Great eastern european sarma recipe!! Thank you. I changed it a bit by leaving out the ham and adding a kilbasa to the pot as it cooked. Came out wonderful.

My grandmother who was ethnic German, Danauschwaben from Semln made Serbian Sarma. A family favorite of ours. She added a little dill or marjoram, one or the other, and used straight pork, no b...

Elderly neighbors and best friend loved it and requested more! Changes: followed other reviews' advice and parboiled the cabbage rather than freezing it. I only used ground beef, a little ham, &...

This sarma is called sarmale,and it is made mostly in Romania.

This ethnic recipe is awesome! I just used ground beef and put ham hocks in the slow cooker! I didn't add the tomato! The key thing is to improvise! But, the slow cooker is a miracle!