Ukrainian Beet Leaf Holubtsi


Beet Leaf Holubtsi or Beet Leaf Cabbage rolls…No matter what you call them, they are delicious. Make them when the beet leaves are fresh and available from your own garden or local farmera’ market. These freeze very well. When you are ready to serve them, either pop them into the oven for 30 minutes or fry them in melted butter.

2 cups cold water

1 cup rice

1 tsp. salt

1 onion, diced

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup dill, finely chopped

salt & pepper, to taste

fresh beet leaves

Bring the water, salt and rice to a boil. Cover, turn down the temperature to Low and let steam for 20 minutes.

Fry the onions in the butter until the onions are soft and transparent. Add the dill. Then mix all into the cooked rice.

Wash the beet leaves and spin them dry. Set them aside to allow them to wilt a bit. To wilt them, you can put them into a 200F oven for 5 minutes or just leave them on your kitchen table in the sun.

Spray a roaster with Pam or brush with oil.

Place a tablespoon of the rice mixture on a beet leaf. These beet holubtsi look similar to cabbage rolls. I find that if you fold the sides over the filling and then roll the bottom to the top, they tend to hold together better.

Place in layers in a roaster or ovenproof casserole dish.  Pour 1/2 cup warm water over the holubtsi, cover and bake at 300F. for 35 – 40 minutes.

Serve with Dill Sauce:

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup fresh dill

1 Tbsp. Onion, finely chopped

Simmer the onion in the sour cream for 15 minutes. Add the dill, salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well and then pour over the holubtsi.


18 thoughts on “Ukrainian Beet Leaf Holubtsi

    • I’m so glad that you liked the Beet Leaf Holubsti. Many people, including Ukrainians have told me that these are not as common as I thought. All of my family and friends ate them when I was growing up on the prairies; and they still do! Thanks again for checking out my blog.


  1. HI – these sound yummy! And I have very large beet leaves right now! I might try lazy gal style 😉 ps you should add a Pinterest option to your page 😉 you will get plenty of pins!


  2. My mom used to use beet tops instead of Babbage ang rice but she filled them with some king of flour mixture called 4x flour . Does any one know what that wa


    • Hello Jean,
      Your email is cut off so Im not exactly sure what you are asking about. If you are talking about filling beet leaves with a flour mixture (?) then perhaps you are seeing a recipe for bread dough. See my recipes for Beet Leaf Holubsti. If not, email back. Thanks for checking out my blog.


    • Hello Kathy,
      Thank you for checking out my blog recipes. If the leaves are too crisp and firm, they will crack and they will be difficult to roll. To avoid this, pick your leaves or buy them a day or even two before you plan to roll them and bake. I wash mine (a couple of waters if from my own garden) and lay them on tea towels to wilt. The towels absorb the water. You can also rinse as above, wrap in paper towel and put in a plastic container with a lid. They will wilt down.


  3. Hi Petrosha, I made these last summer from our garden beet leaves and like them very much. recently I came across a recipe where they stretch the dough over the leaf and then roll up “jelly roll style” then bake 375 for 25 minutes. I would love to know what you think of that method. Thank you, Maureen


    • Good day Maureen,
      Thank you for checking out my blog. This recipe you found sounds delicious! Sounds like one would roll out the dough with a rolling pin and then lay the beet leaves over it, and roll up jelly-roll style. I think I’ll try this out. Let me know how you do if you too try making these in this manner. Thank you so much for sharing.


      • Goody day Petrosha, I may try this AM though in case you try before I’m back to you they didn’t roll the dough out they pinched a piece off and hand pulled it to the shape of the leaf and rolled them up. Thank you so much for your interesting recipes. Best regards, Maureen


      • Hello Petrosha, I made the “jelly roll” style Holubsti and liked how the leaf being through the dough gave slightly more flavor, however the method is somewhat more time consuming.
        Best regards, Maureen


        • Hello Maureen,
          Thank you for letting me know. I bought some fresh beets with beautiful green leaves from the farm market yesterday (my beets are still too small) and will make some today. I’ll do a post later.


    • Hello Glenn,
      Thank you for checking out my blog. Yes, whipping cream is pretty great as well. And yes,….a few more calories! You might want to chop some fresh dill with that cream as well.


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