Patti ‘n Clare’s Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage (Prakkes)

images (6)This is a greatly adapted recipe from Yiddish Cuisine: A Gourmet’s Approach to Jewish Cooking by Robert Sternberg. Sternberg writes: Jews from all over parts of Poland, the Baltic states and the Ukraine make prakkes with a sweet and sour tomato sauce and raisins. (In Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania, the prakkes are made with a savory tomato sauce.) In Yiddish stuffed cabbages are also called holishkes and golubtzes. What did your family call them?


  • 3 tbl oil
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 or 4 carrots sliced in rounds
  • 2 or 3 stalks of chopped celery
  • 1 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup craisins soaked in a cup of red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Six cups of your favorite tomato sauce or pasta sauce.

Saute the onions and then add everything else and simmer while you prepare the cabbage and filling. Before you make the filling, set one large head of green cabbage in a large pot, cover with salted water, bring to a boil, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Let it soak in cold water until you are ready to fill the leaves.

For the filling:
  • 2 lbs of ground beef substitute (for Passover we used gluten-free).
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup grated cheese

To fill the prakkes, separate the cabbage leaves place, about 1/3 cup of filling in the center of a leaf, fold up the bottom (stem end), fold the sides in and roll, like a burrito.

When all are filled, and the sauce is done, cover the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking pan or roaster with sauce, tightly pack a single layer of prakkes and cover with the remaining sauce, cover tightly with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake at 325 for 2 hours.

Before serving, remove the ginger and bay leaves.

If you eat meat, you can replace the ground beef substitute with ground beef.