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Classic Cabbage Rolls

Tender cabbage leaves STUFFED to the BRIM with SAVORY, JUICY, HEARTY meat and rice and then simmered in a TANGY, RED, DELECTABLE tomato sauce! Classic Cabbage Rolls will have your whole family begging for MORE! 

 

Square white dish holding three classic cabbage rolls with russian tea pot in background

Amazing Classic Cabbage Rolls

Why This Recipe Works…

  • It’s a CLASSIC!
  • The tangy tomato sauce gives a tangy taste to everything else in the recipe.
  • Cabbage is SUPER affordable!
  • The rice keeps everything moist

 

Here’s How It’s Done….

STEP 1. 

Simmer the leaves to make them pliable, then dry them well and cut out the middle vein before stuffing. 

Paper towels with cabbage leaves laid out drying.

Simmered cabbage leaves with large middle vein removed and dried off

 

STEP 2. 

Chop the onion and garlic well. 

 

Cutting board and knife with chopped onion and garlic

Minced onion and garlic – ready to be cooked and then added to the meat mix

 

STEP 3. 

Mix the meat and spices together. 

An orange mixing bowl with meat mixture inside and chopped onion in background

Meat mixture

 

STEP 4

Roll the cabbage leaves around a 1/2 cup log shaped bit of meat. 

classic cabbage rolls tucked into the bottom of a dutch oven

Little cabbage rolls are snug in their sauna bed

 

STEP 5. 

Cover the stuffed cabbage leaves with a can of diced tomatoes. 

dutch oven with cabbage rolls covered with diced tomatoes

Ready for the Aluminum Foil

STEP 6. 

Cover the dutch oven tightly with aluminum foil.

red dutch oven with aluminum foil over the top and the lid on top of that.

Ready for the oven

STEP 7.  

Bake per instructions and then Enjoy!!! Serve hot. 

two square white bowls with handles holding three cabbage rolls each, coffee cup in back ground

Stuffed Cabbage or Cabbage Rolls

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Where Do Cabbage Rolls Come From? 

Stuffed Cabbage roll recipes are popular all around the world, but this particular recipe comes from my mother in law (also famous here for her Banana Pudding and Lemon Pound Cake). 

She was taught this recipe by her Polish neighbor about 60 years ago. I’ve updated it by adding spices and flavorings. 

Can I Make These Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Ahead of Time? 

ABSOLUTELY!  This recipe is EVEN BETTER when you make it a day ahead. That gives time for all of the flavors to get to know each other

How Long Do Cabbage Rolls Keep? 

These cabbage rolls will last about 5 days if kept covered in the refrigerator.

Do not allow them to sit out for over 2  hours. 

Can I Freeze These Cabbage Rolls? 

CERTAINLY!  Placed them in a freezer proof container, cover well and freeze for up to three months

Two whole stuffed cabbage rolls on a white plate

Hello Little Cabbage Rolls!

How Do I Reheat Cabbage Rolls?

To reheat this stuffed cabbage recipe,

simply place the thawed cabbage rolls and sauce in an oven proof container and

heat in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes or till heated through.

What Can I Serve with Cabbage Rolls?

We love Classic Mashed Potatoes or This two ingredients sausage and rice dish and don’t forget to fix some Southern Sweet Tea!!

Of course, Crockpot Green Beans and Bacon or Sautéed Squash is wonderful too.

How about cruising through these SIDE DISHES and seeing for yourself what looks good! 

If You Enjoyed This Cabbage Roll Recipe, You Might Also Enjoy…

Southern Cooked Cabbage

a small white plate with one cabbage roll cut in two and a whole one in back. Stuffed Cabbage or Cabbage Rolls

Would You Love to Cook the PERFECT Southern Dinner?

IMAGINE YOU, COOKING THESE! YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

Southern Sweet Tea

Served with (choose one)

Chicken Fried Steak or

Chicken Pie or

Marinated Pork Chops

And…

Pinto Beans

Southern Cooked Cabbage

Collard Greens

Add A little Yum Yum Sauce

Deviled Eggs made with this Easy Peel Hard Boiled Egg

And finish it all off with…

Banana Pudding!

 

TIPS & TRICKS for Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe…

  • When precooking the leaves, only allow them to stay in the hot water until they are more pliable. If cooked too long they become too limp.
  • It is important to dry the leaves well before wrapping around the meat. If you do not, your sauce will be too thin.
  • You will only want about 1/4-1/2 cup of meat in each roll.
  • Make sure to cut the large vein out of the cabbage leaf before starting to roll.  A large vein is not palatable for this recipe. 
  • If you are concerned about the meat seasoning, you can microwave a small bit to check to make sure it is spiced to your satisfaction. 

See the recipe card for substitutions. 

YA’LL HELP ME OUT, OK?

I need your help! Please leave me a 5 STAR  🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 in the comments below ! This lets the internet know that THIS IS THE PLACE for wonderful comfort food!

Stuffed Cabbage or Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed Cabbage or Cabbage Rolls

Tender cabbage leaves STUFFED to the BRIM with SAVORY, JUICY, HEARTY meat and rice and then simmered in a TANGY, RED, DELECTABLE tomato sauce! Classic Cabbage Rolls will have your whole family begging for MORE! 
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cabbage rolls, stuffed cabbage
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 518kcal
Author: Loaves and Dishes

Ingredients

  • 1 head of fresh cabbage
  • 2 tbs butter
  • ½ onion - minced
  • 3 garlic cloves - minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • dash of salt
  • 1 lbs ground beef
  • ½ lb hot ground sausage
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp dried chipotle
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • ½ tsp raw sugar can sub brown sugar if no raw sugar available
  • 1 cup of cooked white rice
  • 1 can of Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Can of Fire Roasted Diced tomatoes

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350. Place a soup sized stock pot on medium heat with water filled to 75% of the pot. Set up a large bowl with ice water. Set out several layers of paper towels on a sheet tray. Peel as many leaves from the cabbage as possible without damaging them. Using tongs, carefully press the cabbage leaves down into the water when it comes to a simmer - do not boil. Allow each leaf to simmer for 30 secs or until pliable and bright green. Then remove to the ice bath for 10 secs and then remove to the paper towels. Continue until all leaves have been soaked and layed out to dry. Use at least 12 leaves. Use extra paper towels or a salad spinner, dry each cabbage leaf well. Using a sharp knife, remove the large vein that makes the base stem. Cut it out by making an upside down V shape.
  • In the bottom of a oven proof dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until onion starts to become translucent (3 minutes). Add the garlic and bay leaf and cook over medium heat until fragrant (1 minute). Remove from the heat and set aside and allow to cool. When cooled, remove the bay leaf. Remove the onion and garlic mix and set aside in a separate bowl. Pour the can of Tomato sauce into the bottom of this stock pot.
  • In a medium sized bowl, add the ground beef, sausage, salt, pepper, cumin, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, chipotle, tomato paste and sugar. Add the rice. Add the reserved onion and garlic mixture (make sure you removed the bay leaf). Mix well. See recipe tips that follow the recipe for directions about testing the spice level.
  • Time to assemble! On a flat surface, lay the cabbage leaf out flat. Using your hand, scoop up about ½ cup of ground meat mixture and shape into a log shape and lay on the cabbage leaf in the center of the leaf. Roll the cabbage leaf up like a burrito by folding the sides in and then rolling from the end closest to you to the outer edge. Lay the completed roll in the bottom of the large oven proof pot on top of the tomato sauce which you already poured into the pot.  Put the seam of the cabbage roll on the bottom so it stays closed. Continue doing this until all of the cabbage leaves have been rolled with the meat mix in the middle.
  • Pour the can of fire roasted diced tomatoes on top of the cabbage rolls (do not pour off any can water, simply add to the dish). This should cover the cabbage rolls, but if it doesn’t add more tomato sauce until rolls are covered.
  • Place heavy duty aluminum foil on the top of the sauce pot and secure well. Place the pot lid on top of the aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake until the meat mixture is well done - start checking at about 45 minutes to 1 hour Should be completely done by 1.5 hours for sure.

Notes

  • When precooking the leaves, only allow them to stay in the hot water until they are more pliable.  If cooked too long they become too limp.
  • It is important to dry the leaves well before wrapping around the meat.  If you do not, your sauce will be too thin.  
  • You will only want about 1/4-1/2 cup of meat in each roll.
  • Make sure to cut the large vein out of the cabbage leaf before starting to roll.  A large vein is not palatable for this recipe. 
  • If you are concerned about the meat seasoning, you can microwave a small bit to check to make sure it is spiced to your satisfaction. 
SUBSTITUTIONS:
  • It is OK to substitute other types of meat like lamb, hamburger, ground pork, etc. for the meats in this recipe. 
  • Any flavoring of the diced tomato is fine (even no added flavoring at all).  The garlic basil makes a nice addition. 
  • If you don't have onion and garlic, use 1 Tbs of onion or garlic powder added directly to the meat mix instead and skip browning these in the pan. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Stuffed Cabbage or Cabbage Rolls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 518 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 11g55%
Cholesterol 91mg30%
Sodium 689mg29%
Potassium 792mg23%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin A 455IU9%
Vitamin C 64.4mg78%
Calcium 114mg11%
Iron 3.9mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

***This recipe first appeared on the pages of Loaves and Dishes December 31, 2015 and has been updated with “why this recipe works”, Step by step instructions, Frequently asked questions, Tips and Tricks, updated recipe card, nutritional information, what to serve with stuffed cabbage, related recipes and a verse to share***

A VERSE TO SHARE

There’s no greater gift than salvation and I am truly thankful for it. Amen. 

Matthew 6:33

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

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Recipe Rating




Duane

Friday 20th of March 2020

This looks delicious. My Polish Grandmother used to make this when I was a kid, I haven't had this in about 30 years....

Wendi Spraker

Saturday 21st of March 2020

Duane, I hope you will give them a go. enjoy!

Martha Hewett

Wednesday 18th of December 2019

Love you’re recipes

Wendi Spraker

Thursday 19th of December 2019

Thank you Martha!

Erik-Nils

Tuesday 14th of August 2018

I have been looking around for a detailed recipe, without success until now. I deliberately avoid recipes which are supposed to be easy or best. Photos are very good, ingredients intriguing. Looks like your recipe is the one to go for.

Wendi Spraker

Tuesday 14th of August 2018

Hi Erik! Thanks for leaving me a message. Not every recipe can be easy or "best". Can it? I hate to think what our tastebuds would think if we only ever ate easy recipes. :(. This one is a tiny challenge, but worth it, I think. Best wishes!

Moxie

Friday 2nd of February 2018

Super Recipe! Perfect!

Anne Bremser

Sunday 5th of March 2017

My mom made cabbage rolls like these (except all beef). She got the recipe from our Japanese neighbor in the late 1950s. Who knows where Mrs. Ogino got it. It even had cumin in it. I somehow lost my copy of the recipe and was afraid we'd have to live without them. Thank you for posting your mother-in-law's recipe. You saved the day!

Wendi Spraker

Sunday 5th of March 2017

Hi Anne and welcome! I'm so glad you are here and that this recipe helped you to find a piece of your family history! :). Peace friend.

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