Swedish Cabbage Pudding

This dish is a beautiful, delicious, and classical dish in Swedish cuisine. Very easy to make and a practical meal when you have to feed many people.

Cabbage pudding is a very classical dish in Swedish cuisine. There are a few variations of this dish – the difference is whether you use rice and also the kind of meat that is used. The most basic recipe uses a mixture of minced beef and pork. In this recipe, I use minced beef meat – but I have also used minced turkey with excellent results.

When you follow my recipe, the cabbage will still be a little al dente – which is good, if you prefer a soft texture you steam the cabbage in a bit of broth after frying it. 

The cabbage was introduced to the Swedish people in the 18th century—200 years after Denmark. King Karl XII brought cabbage dolma from Turkey, and one can say that the cabbage pudding is the more practical variation of cabbage dolma.

You can quickly turn the cabbage pudding into an entirely vegetarian/vegan dish. I will post it separately.

The best thing about the dish is that it can be prepared well in advance – keep it in the fridge and cook it for about 45 – 50 minutes before you want to serve it.

Sometimes it can be practical to make a lot of it and put it in the freezer.

1200 grams of white cabbage (shredded thin)
2 – 3 tablespoons muscovado syrup (or plain dark syrup)
One teaspoon salt
2/5 of a teaspoon black pepper
Butter for frying.
Two medium yellow onions
500 grams (1.3 lb) of beef  – (see notes above)
One egg
Two tablespoons Japanese soy sauce
One dl (0,4 cup) whipping cream
1 tbsp concentrated veal broth
One tablespoon syrup – Muscovado or dark syrup
1.5 teaspoon salt
2/5 of a teaspoon black pepper
One teaspoon dried thyme

Boiled potatoes and Lingonberry jam


  1.   Peel the onion set aside.
  2.   Measure all the ingredients and have them ready.
  3.   Shred the cabbage finely, set aside.
  4.   Melt the butter in a pan on relatively high heat and fry the cabbage for 5 minutes without burning it.
  5.   Put it in a large bowl and mix in 2 – 3 tablespoons muscovado syrup (or plain dark syrup), one teaspoon salt, 2/5 of a teaspoon black pepper. Put it aside.
  6.   Put the onion in a food processor and run a few turns.
  7.   Add egg,  soya sauce, whipping cream, concentrated broth (preferably veal), syrup (muscovado) or plain dark syrup, salt, pepper, dried thyme.
  8.   Run it a few laps before adding 500 grams (1,3 pound) of beef or the meat of your choice – continue the process until everything is very well mixed.
  9.   Oil a pan 20 x 30 cm (8×13 inches) with high edges.
  10. Start with a layer of the fried cabbage, put on the slightly loose meat mixture, and even it out. Finish with a layer of cooked cabbage.

All this can be done well in advance, keep it in the fridge until an hour before you want to serve it.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (392 Fahrenheit), insert the cabbage pudding into the center of the oven for about 40 minutes, you may need to cover it towards the end to protect the top layer from burning.

Enjoy it with boiled potatoes and lingonberry jam. 

Note: (Karl XII, born June 17, 1682, at the Castle Three Crowns, died November 30, 1718, was king of Sweden from 1697 until his death)



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