Stuffed Cabbage Rolls is a classic comfort food recipe that is found in many homes throughout the world.

Many countries claim that this popular recipe originated in their culture, however there is no definite evidence of where cabbage rolls first emerged.

stuffed cabbage rolls
Stuffed cabbage rolls filled with beef, pork and rice

However, most stuffed cabbage rolls in the United States start with a filling made of ground meat, rice and chopped vegetables. The filling is stuffed into parboiled cabbage leaves and topped with a tomato-based sauce.

They are then baked until the meat is cooked and the cabbage leaves are tender.

When I was growing up I can remember my mother in the kitchen making cabbage rolls.

I remember her becoming frustrated when trying to roll the filling into the cabbage. The cabbage was either too stiff for it to roll easily, or the leaves would be too tender and it would tear and the filling would fall out.

This memory was enough for me to stick to cabbage roll casserole rather than making true, old fashioned, stuffed cabbage rolls.

stuffed cabbage rolls
Steamed cabbage leaves pulled from the head of the cabbage ready to be filled.

But that all changed when I found a few tricks to making the rolling of the cabbage leaves easier.

How To Make Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

First of all, we find it helpful to boil the water before adding the cabbage to the pot.

Rather than pulling off individual leaves, we prefer to place the entire head in the water. It makes it much easier to pull off individual leaves from the core and prevent tearing.

We then remove the thick vein at the bottom of each leaf. This results in a v shaped cut which comes in handy when it comes time to roll the filling into the leaves.

stuffed cabbage rolls
Once the cabbage rolls have been rolled, place seam side down.

We place the filling right above the v-cut. Then fold the cut ends of the cabbage on top of the filling and roll.

The remainder of the unused cabbage is then sliced and placed in the bottom of your Dutch oven or casserole pan.

The sliced cabbage helps to prevent the rolls from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Just a hint – don’t slice the remaining cabbage until all of the rolls have been prepared. You may need to an extra leaf or two during the rolling process.

The prepared stuffed cabbage rolls are placed seam side down in the pan and topped with a tomato sauce.

stuffed cabbage rolls
Cabbage rolls in the baking dish and topped with tomato sauce.

Once baked, we allow the cabbage rolls to sit and rest before serving. This allows the filling to set inside the leaves before serving.

Check out some of our other Favorite Comfort Food Recipes

Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

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Classic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Traditional stuffed cabbage rolls with ground meat and rice and cooked until tender in a sweet tomato sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cabbage
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1 can 15 ounces tomato sauce, divided
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Fill a large stockpot with water until ¾ full.
  3. Place washed, whole cabbage in boiling water just until outer leaves pull away easily from head. Pull off 12 large leaves and set aside. Slice the remaining cabbage leaves and place in the bottom of a Dutch oven.
  4. In a medium size bowl, combine the beef, pork, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, onion, rice, parsley, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Mix well.
  5. Cut out the thick vein from the bottom of each leaf, making a V-shaped cut. Place about 1/4 cup meat mixture on each cabbage leaf, right above the V cut. To roll overlap cut ends of leaf over the meat mixture. Fold in each side and begin rolling from the cut end and place seam side down on top of the sliced cabbage leaves in the Dutch oven. Repeat with remaining whole cabbage leaves.
  6. In a small bowl combine the diced tomatoes, sugar and remaining tomato sauce and mix well. Pour the mixture over the top of the rolls.
  7. Cover and bake for 1.5 hours or until cabbage rolls are tender and meat is cooked through.

  8. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe
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