Classic Cabbage Rolls Recipe

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Cabbage rolls, also known as stuffed cabbage or golabki, are a classic comfort food enjoyed by many around the world. This hearty dish consists of tender cabbage leaves filled with a savory mixture of ground meat, rice, and spices, all simmered in a flavorful tomato sauce. Whether served as a main course for a family dinner or as a crowd-pleasing dish at potlucks and gatherings, cabbage rolls are sure to satisfy everyone’s appetite. In this recipe, we’ll guide you through the steps to create delicious and comforting cabbage rolls right in your own kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use a different type of cabbage? A: While green cabbage is traditionally used for cabbage rolls, you can also use Savoy cabbage or Napa cabbage for a slightly different flavor and texture.

Q: Can I make cabbage rolls ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the cabbage rolls in advance and refrigerate them for up to 24 hours before baking. You can also freeze them for longer storage, then thaw and bake when ready to serve.

Q: Can I use brown rice instead of Minute Rice? A: Yes, you can substitute cooked brown rice for Minute Rice if you prefer. Keep in mind that brown rice may require a longer cooking time.

Q: Are cabbage rolls keto-friendly? A: While traditional cabbage rolls contain rice and may not be suitable for a keto diet, you can make keto-friendly cabbage rolls by omitting the rice and using low-carb substitutes for the tomato sauce.

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For the Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (15 ounce) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Cabbage Rolls:

  • 1 large head green cabbage
  • 1/2 pound ground pork sausage
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup Minute Rice (or long-grain parboiled white rice)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika


1. Prepare the Sauce:

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic, and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, cider vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and let the sauce cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove the sauce from heat and set aside.

2. Prepare the Cabbage:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully remove any damaged outer leaves from the cabbage, then core the cabbage by cutting a cone-shaped incision at the base.
  2. Place the whole cabbage in the boiling water and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the outer leaves are softened and pliable. Remove the cabbage from the water and let it cool slightly.
  3. Carefully peel off the softened outer leaves of the cabbage, taking care not to tear them. Repeat the process until you have about 12-15 cabbage leaves.

3. Make the Filling:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground pork sausage, ground beef, chopped onion, minced garlic, egg, Minute Rice, dried parsley, paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined.

4. Assemble the Cabbage Rolls:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Place a cabbage leaf on a flat surface. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the filling onto the center of the leaf. Fold the sides of the leaf over the filling, then roll it up tightly, tucking in the edges as you go. Repeat with the remaining cabbage leaves and filling.
  3. Arrange the cabbage rolls seam-side down in the prepared baking dish.

5. Bake the Cabbage Rolls:

  1. Pour the prepared sauce over the cabbage rolls, covering them evenly.
  2. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
  3. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the cabbage rolls are cooked through and the sauce is bubbly.

6. Serve and Enjoy:

  1. Once baked, remove the cabbage rolls from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.
  2. Garnish with chopped parsley or additional sauce if desired, and serve hot. Enjoy these comforting cabbage rolls with your favorite sides or a fresh salad.

Cook’s Notes:

  • If you prefer a vegetarian version, you can omit the ground meat and increase the amount of rice or add cooked lentils for protein.
  • For extra flavor, you can add herbs like thyme, rosemary, or dill to the filling mixture.
  • Leftover cabbage rolls can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.


  • Substitute ground turkey or chicken for the ground pork and beef for a lighter option.
  • Add cooked quinoa or barley instead of rice for a nutritious twist.
  • Experiment with different sauces, such as marinara or mushroom gravy, for a unique flavor profile.

Keto Version:

To make a keto-friendly version of cabbage rolls, you can replace the rice with cauliflower rice and use a low-carb tomato sauce or make your own sauce using tomato paste, garlic, and Italian herbs. Additionally, you can use ground beef or turkey as the filling and add extra vegetables like bell peppers and mushrooms for added flavor and nutrients.

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Cabbage rolls are a timeless dish that brings warmth and comfort to any table. With a flavorful filling wrapped in tender cabbage leaves and smothered in a tangy tomato sauce, they are a crowd-pleaser for all occasions. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner or hosting a gathering with friends, this recipe for cabbage rolls is sure to be a hit. So, roll up your sleeves and give it a try – you won’t be disappointed!

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