Classic Cabbage Rolls

Master the Art of Comfort Food: Classic Cabbage Rolls

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Embark on a culinary journey to the heart of comfort food with our timeless recipe for Classic Cabbage Rolls. With a rich history dating back centuries, cabbage rolls have graced tables around the world, offering a symphony of flavors and textures that warm the soul. Whether you’re seeking a nostalgic taste of home or simply craving a hearty and satisfying meal, these cabbage rolls are sure to delight your taste buds and leave you craving more. So, roll up your sleeves and join us as we explore the art of crafting this beloved dish from scratch.


  • 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. Prepare the Cabbage Leaves:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Carefully remove the core from the cabbage head and place it in the boiling water.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes until the outer leaves are soft and pliable.
  • Remove the cabbage from the water and carefully peel off 12 large leaves. Set aside.

2. Prepare the Filling:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked rice, beaten egg, milk, minced onion, ground beef, ground pork, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix until well combined.

3. Assemble the Cabbage Rolls:

  • Place a cabbage leaf on a flat surface and spoon a portion of the meat mixture onto the center of the leaf.
  • Roll the cabbage leaf around the filling, tucking in the sides as you go, to form a tight roll.
  • Repeat with the remaining cabbage leaves and filling.

4. Prepare the Sauce:

  • In a saucepan, combine the tomato sauce, diced or crushed tomatoes, brown sugar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

5. Cook the Cabbage Rolls:

  • Place the cabbage rolls seam side down in a large baking dish.
  • Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls, ensuring they are fully covered.
  • Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 1 hour.

6. Serve and Enjoy:

  • Remove the foil from the baking dish and serve the cabbage rolls hot, garnished with additional sauce if desired.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Vegetarian Option: Substitute the ground beef and pork with cooked lentils or a mixture of mushrooms and quinoa for a delicious vegetarian version.
  • Savory Variation: Add chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, or thyme to the meat mixture for added flavor.
  • Spice it Up: For a bit of heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the sauce mixture.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Cauliflower Rice Substitute: Replace the white rice with cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.
  • Sugar-Free Sauce: Use a sugar-free tomato sauce or make your own sauce using fresh tomatoes and herbs to reduce the carb content of the dish.
  • Almond Flour Thickener: Substitute almond flour for the all-purpose flour in the sauce for a keto-friendly alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. Can I use savoy cabbage instead of regular cabbage?
    • Yes, savoy cabbage can be used as a substitute for regular cabbage. It has thinner leaves and a slightly milder flavor.
  2. Can I freeze cabbage rolls before baking?
    • Yes, cabbage rolls can be assembled and frozen before baking. Place the assembled rolls in a freezer-safe dish and cover tightly with foil. When ready to bake, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed.
  3. How long do leftovers keep in the refrigerator?
    • Leftover cabbage rolls can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave or oven until heated through.
  4. Can I make the sauce ahead of time?
    • Yes, the sauce can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat before pouring over the cabbage rolls.
  5. What side dishes pair well with cabbage rolls?
    • Cabbage rolls pair well with mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, or a crisp green salad for a balanced meal.

Savor the comforting embrace of a timeless classic with our recipe for Classic Cabbage Rolls. With each bite, you’ll experience the perfect harmony of tender cabbage, flavorful meat filling, and savory sauce – a symphony of flavors that’s sure to warm your heart and soul. Whether enjoyed as a family dinner or shared with friends, these cabbage rolls are a testament to the enduring appeal of home-cooked comfort food. So, gather your loved ones and treat them to a taste of tradition with this beloved dish that’s sure to become a cherished favorite.

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