Classic Cabbage Rolls

Classic Cabbage Rolls: A Comforting Family Favorite

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Get ready to experience the ultimate comfort food with this classic recipe for Cabbage Rolls. Bursting with savory flavors and wrapped in tender cabbage leaves, these hearty rolls are sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner or hosting a gathering with friends, these cabbage rolls are guaranteed to impress. So roll up your sleeves and let’s get cooking!

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  • 12 cabbage leaves
  • 1 cup cooked white rice (cook in beef broth for added flavor)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 pound extra-lean meat, half ground beef and half ground pork
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


  1. Start by boiling a large pot of water. Once boiling, add the cabbage leaves and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until they are soft and pliable. Drain the leaves and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked white rice, beaten egg, milk, minced onion, ground beef, ground pork, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly combined.
  3. Place a spoonful of the meat mixture onto the center of each cabbage leaf. Roll up the leaves, tucking in the sides to form a tight roll.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Pour a small amount of the tomato mixture into the bottom of a baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
  6. Arrange the cabbage rolls seam side down in the baking dish.
  7. Pour the remaining tomato mixture over the top of the cabbage rolls, covering them completely.
  8. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 1 hour.
  9. After 1 hour, remove the foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the cabbage rolls are cooked through and the sauce is bubbly.
  10. Remove from the oven and let the cabbage rolls cool for a few minutes before serving.
  11. Serve the cabbage rolls hot, garnished with chopped parsley if desired.

Cook Notes and Variations

  • Vegetarian Option: For a vegetarian version, substitute the ground beef and pork with cooked lentils or a mixture of finely diced vegetables such as mushrooms, carrots, and celery.
  • Spicy Variation: Add a kick of heat by mixing some crushed red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce into the tomato sauce mixture.
  • Mushroom Sauce: Instead of tomato sauce, you can create a creamy mushroom sauce to pour over the cabbage rolls for a rich and earthy flavor.
  • Slow Cooker Method: Arrange the cabbage rolls in a slow cooker instead of a baking dish, cover with sauce, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Can I use a different type of meat for the filling? A: Yes, you can use ground turkey, chicken, or a combination of meats such as beef and veal for the filling. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference.

Q: Can I make these cabbage rolls ahead of time? A: Absolutely! You can assemble the cabbage rolls ahead of time and refrigerate them overnight. When ready to bake, simply pour the sauce over the top and bake as directed.

Q: Can I freeze leftover cabbage rolls? A: Yes, cabbage rolls freeze beautifully! Once cooled, place them in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Keto Version

To make a keto-friendly version of these Classic Cabbage Rolls, substitute the white rice with cauliflower rice and omit the brown sugar from the sauce. You can also use a low-carb tomato sauce or make your own using fresh tomatoes and herbs.

Low-Carb Version

For a low-carb version, follow the instructions for the keto version and reduce the amount of onion used in the filling. You can also replace the Worcestershire sauce with soy sauce or coconut aminos for a gluten-free option.

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In conclusion, these Classic Cabbage Rolls are a timeless dish that brings together savory flavors and tender cabbage leaves in a comforting and satisfying meal. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or experiment with your own variations, these cabbage rolls are sure to become a favorite in your home. So gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and enjoy the deliciousness of homemade cabbage rolls with your loved ones!

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