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Cabbage Rolls (+Video)

A classic and flavorful recipe, these Cabbage Rolls are a dinner recipe everyone loves and they always come back for seconds!

AN EASY CABBAGE ROLL RECIPE

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are a classic, comforting recipe that has been around for ages. They are really easy to make and use easily available ingredients that you can find at your local grocery store. They are a great dinner or even appetizer recipe. With a tasty filling that is wrapped in cabbage and surrounded by a tomato based sauce, you can create a truly filling meal that feeds an entire family with affordable ingredients. If you haven’t made Cabbage Rolls in a while or have never tried them, go grab the ingredients and make it tonight!

Cabbage Rolls on plate with top one cut open showing filling.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Why do you add sugar added to tomato sauce?

Sugar cuts down on the acidity of the tomatoes. You’ll find nearly all good tomato sauce recipes have a little bit of sugar to balance out the flavors.

Can I cook the cabbage leaves another way?

Instead of microwaving, you can cook the whole cabbage in a large pot of boiling salted water until the leaves are soft enough to remove without tearing. Or you may remove the leaves and cook the leaves in boiling salted water for about 3 minutes each.  

What kind of side dishes go with stuffed cabbage rolls?

Keep it simple since the stuffed cabbage rolls are a pretty filling meal by themselves. Steamed or roasted broccoli, corn on the cob, egg noodles, German spaetzle, garlic bread and/or a salad.

I don’t have ground pork, can I use all ground beef?

Yes, they will still be delicious with just the ground beef. Use 1 pound of ground beef and don’t worry about the pork. Keep everything else the same. 

Can cabbage rolls be made ahead and baked later?

Yes, you can cover and refrigerate or freeze the cabbage rolls unbaked.  When they are filled, placed in the pan, and covered in tomato sauce, you may then keep them in the fridge for a day before baking, or in the freezer for up to a month before baking.

Is the meat in cabbage rolls supposed to be raw?

Yes. The meat will fully cook in the oven when you are baking the cabbage rolls. 

Why do you cut up the cabbage leaves?

I remove that hard center ridge from each cabbage leaf to create two smaller leaves to make them easier to roll up. Doing this also creates a softer and easier to eat cabbage roll. But if it doesn’t bother you, then you can certainly leave it in and create larger rolls.

Can you freeze stuffed cabbage rolls?

Cabbage rolls can be frozen. Place in a freezer container and they will keep for up to 1 month. Let defrost in the refrigerator overnight. If you just want to store leftovers, place them in an airtight container where they will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

a cabbage roll cut in half to show the inside on a white plate with tomato sauce.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • cooked white rice – this recipe is perfect for leftover rice. You could certainly use cauliflower or brown rice if that is what you prefer.
  • cabbage – look for a large and firm cabbage with leaves that aren’t soft or brown on the ends.
  • ground beef and ground pork – I like to use a combination of the two. It adds lot of flavor. However, you can just choose one or the other if you prefer.
  • onion – I usually go with a sweet yellow onion (like a Vidalia). You could also use a shallot which would give a slight garlic flavor.
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder – these are my preferred seasonings but use what you enjoy.
  • tomato soup – this is going to give it creaminess and flavor instead of just using regular tomato sauce because tomato soup has additional seasoning in it as well.
  • diced or crushed tomatoes – I prefer diced but if you don’t like tomato chunks then get the crushed.
Ingredients needed: cooked rice, cabbage, ground beef, ground pork, onion, parsley, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, tomato soup, diced or crushed tomatoes and sugar.

HOW TO MAKE CABBAGE ROLLS:

Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Use a long, thin knife to remove the core from the head of the cabbage. Place the cabbage in a covered microwave-safe dish with ½ cup of water. Cook on high power for 5 minutes. Turn the cabbage over and cook for another 10 minutes. Drain the water out of the cabbage bowl completely and allow it to cool enough to handle. 

collage of three photos: core being removed from cabbage, water being poured over cabbage and cabbage cooling in bowl.

Then, peel the leaves off one at a time and allow them to dry and fully cool on a kitchen towel. While the cabbage is cooling, stir together the ingredients to fill the rolls. Combine the rice, ground beef, ground pork, chopped onion parsley, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. Set this aside. Mix the tomato soup, diced/crushed tomatoes, and sugar in a separate bowl. Set this aside.  

a collage of three photos: cabbage leaves being dried on paper towel, filling mixture mixed up in a bowl and tomato soup, diced tomatoes and sugar being mixed together in a separate bowl.

Pat the cabbage leaves dry with paper towels. Remove the hard ridges in the center of the cabbage leaves with a knife, creating two separate pieces. These would be very difficult to roll up if you didn’t do that. Taking one cabbage leaf at a time, place about 1 ½ to 2 Tablespoons of filling into each leaf. Roll up the leaf and tuck the ends under. Continue with the rest of the rolls.

collage of three photos: hard ridges removed from cabbage leaves creating two leaves, filling placed in center of cabbage leaf and cabbage being rolled up over filling.

Pour half of the sauce into the base of the baking dish. Place rolls seam-side down into the baking dish. Place the cabbage rolls in two long rows, close to each other.  (If your dish is smaller and you must layer the cabbage rolls, cover each layer with some tomato sauce.) Then pour the rest of tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls.

a collage of two photos: tomato sauce spread into the bottom of a baking dish and cabbage rolls placed in baking dish and covered with remaining sauce.

Cover the pan tightly with tin foil and bake for 90 minutes.

Cabbage Rolls in baking dish with tomato sauce on top.

Let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving.  

a spoon holding up one stuffed cabbage roll over a baking dish.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Baked Stuffed Cabbage Rolls recipe

Cabbage Rolls (+Video)

A classic and flavorful recipe, these Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are a dinner recipe everyone loves and the always come back for seconds!
5 from 31 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cabbage
  • ¾ cup cooked white rice
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 1 small onion, small diced
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly chopped parsley (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 10 ounce can tomato soup
  • 15 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon sugar

Instructions

  • Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
  • Use a long thin knife to remove the core from 1 large head cabbage.
  • Place the cabbage in a covered microwave-safe dish with ½ cup of water. Cook on high power for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the cabbage over and cook for another 10 minutes. Drain the water out of the cabbage bowl completely and allow it to cool enough to handle.
  • Then, peel the leaves off one at a time and allow them to dry and fully cool on a kitchen towel.
  • While the cabbage is cooling, stir together the ingredients to fill the rolls. Combine ¾ cup cooked white rice, ½ pound ground beef, ½ pound ground pork, 1 small onion, small diced, 1 Tablespoon freshly chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder and ½ teaspoon pepper. Set this aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix 10 ounce can tomato soup, 15 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes and ½ teaspoon sugar. Set this aside.
  • Pat the cabbage leaves dry with paper towels. Remove the hard ridges in the center of the cabbage leaves with a knife, creating two separate pieces. These would be very difficult to roll up if you didn't do this (it's also easier to eat without that ridge).
  • Taking one cabbage leaf at a time, place about 1 ½ to 2 Tablespoons of filling into each leaf.
  • Roll up the leaf and tuck the ends under. Continue with the rest of the rolls.
  • Pour half of your sauce in the base of the dish.
  • Place rolls seam-side down into the baking dish. Place the cabbage rolls in two long rows, close to each other. (If your dish is smaller and you must layer the cabbage rolls, cover each layer with some tomato sauce.)
  • Then pour the rest of the tomato sauce over all of the rolls.
  • Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 90 minutes.
  • Let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Video

Notes

  • Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
  • All beef can be used in this recipe instead of a beef and pork mixture.
  • Make sure you are using cooked rice.
  • You can use diced or crushed tomatoes.
  • The sugar added to the tomato sauce cuts down the acidity.
  • These can be frozen, see my tips above.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 735mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 13g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made a few changes to mine, but followed the main recipe and process. They turned out wonderful! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    These were delicious! The only thing that I added was a couple of tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and minced garlic to the meat mixture. Family love them!

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe is excellent. They are just like my Mom made. My husband couldn’t believe how good they were and he is a picky eater.

  4. 5 stars
    Recipe sounds amazing and I will give it a whirl. I have been craving me some cabbage rolls recently and bought a cabbage a couple of days ago in preparation for making some. I have made cabbage rolls a few times and always struggle with separating the leaves. I like your idea of using the microwave. What I have done, with success, was freezing the entire cabbage, thawing it and then pulling off the leaves – no need to blanch or cook (read: no cabbage-y smell permeating the house!). Another tip I read and tried was instead of cutting out the thick ridge was to shave off some of it so that it is flat like the remainder of the leaf. Much easier to roll. Finally….I do not eat beef but I do eat venison so have made these with that…as well as using ground chicken or turkey. All are great! Thanks for your recipe – I have printed off so many of your recipes, I need to create a folder just for your creations!!!