Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls | Very Culinary

by Amy on March 6, 2012 · 28 comments

Kaalikääryleet (Cabbage Rolls)
My red hair, green eyes, and freckles leads everyone to believe I’m Irish. But I’m not. Paul is, though, so does that makes me Irish by proxy? And check it out…my sister married an Irish fella, too. Go figure.

What’s even more odd is that neither Paul or my BIL like corned beef or cabbage. And they call themselves Irishmen! I call them weirdos!

So. Ya. I know a lot of people dislike cabbage. They think it smells funky. I would not be one of those people – okay, wait. I will acknowledge the odd smell. But I still like it. Unlike smelly socks, which I do not like. To be clear.

I came across these rolls and it being ages since I ate stuffed cabbage, they sort of beckoned me. Stuffed cabbage recipes are a plenty, especially right now for St. Patty’s Day, but I like the simple ingredients in this one. And the sweet raisins definitely added a dimension of flavor.

These are very easy to make, but definitely not fast – sort of reminds me of lasagna in that way. Totally worth the time, though. Especially if you like cabbage and aren’t a weirdo.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Makes 10 rolls, Serves 4-5
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 cup chopped yellow onion
• 1 medium head (about 2 pounds) green cabbage
• 1 pound ground beef
• 1/2 cup cooked rice
• 1/4 cup golden raisins
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
• 1/2 cup beef broth
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika
• sour cream or Greek yogurt, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13×9 inch pan with non stick cooking spray.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Using a small, sharp knife, cut in a circle all around the stem of the cabbage and remove the core. Place the cabbage in the boiling water. After about 2 minutes an outside leaf will come loose–pull it off and out of the water using tongs. After another minute the next leaf will come loose. Remove and repeat until you have 8 to 10 leaves. Pat the leaves dry with paper towels. Cut out the thick part of the rib from the bottom of each leaf, but don’t cut more than a third of the way into the leaf.

In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, cooled onion, rice, raisins, and salt. With the stem side of the cabbage leaf facing you, place a scant 1/3 cup of the beef mixture in the center of each cabbage leaf. Fold the bottom edge over the mixture and then fold the sides over and roll into a tidy packet. Place the cabbage rolls, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish.

In a bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, broth, and paprika. Pour evenly over the cabbage rolls. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Serve the cabbage rolls with a big dollop of sour cream or yogurt, if using (I didn’t think it needed this.)

(from Pennies on a Platter)

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie March 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm

I happen to LOVE cabbage, and cabbage rolls are a pretty awesome way to showcase it’s flavor. There are so many ways to stuff cabbage, but this one sounds delish!

P.S. If you’re not Irish, what are ya? :)


Amy March 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm

I’m a mutt. Just no Irish in the mix.


Danguole March 7, 2012 at 12:50 pm

These were definitely a staple in my childhood! I hope to make them sometime soon. Can’t always rely on Mom.


Dina March 7, 2012 at 8:10 am

i love these!


Josh March 7, 2012 at 12:34 am

This is a awesome dish, it reminds me of a meal my mother cooked for me called porcupine balls hahaha (her name for it I think) as a kid ….. Will be using this idea for my Irish pub night menu on st patties day


Amy March 7, 2012 at 8:18 am

Maybe MY kids would have eaten these if I’d called them that! Everything is more fun to eat with a fun name. Thanks for stopping by, Josh :D


myfudo March 6, 2012 at 10:44 pm

I’ve gotta try this…Looks really delicious. I love the neat wrapping you did…


Shelley March 6, 2012 at 7:22 pm

This looks fantastic! Er… I have a possibly silly question… you mention cooking the rice and onion before putting in the rolls, but not the beef. So, does the hour baking time cook the beef, or are you supposed to cook it before, like the onion and rice?


Amy March 6, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Hi Shelley – not silly at all! Yes, the beef cooks completely from an hour of heat and steam…do not cook it beforehand or it could be too dry. The rice needs to be cooked beforehand because there isn’t enough liquid to cook it once rolled, and the onion gets sauteed beforehand to bring out the sweetness and give it a soft texture.


Joanne March 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm

I definitely thought you were Irish for a LONG time…but the curly hair kind of gave it away :P I do really like cabbage though…and raisins in my savory dishes. And to “waste” as much time as possible making ridiculously delicious meals for myself. Case in point! This is happening. With lentils subbed in for the beef, but still.


Bev Weidner March 6, 2012 at 9:07 am

I’ve had stuffed cabbage rolls in my head for like a month now.

It’s A SIGN!


Jenna March 6, 2012 at 8:00 am

I love cabbage rolls, but I’ve always felt too lazy to make them. Maybe looking at your picture of the deliciousness on and off for the next hour will give me a little kick in the pants.


Amy March 6, 2012 at 8:19 am

Hey Jenna – um…ya…these aren’t my typical “quick-no-more-than-15-minutes-prep-on-the-table-in-30” recipes. I never make lasagna for the same reason. BUT they were so easy and delicious. A good lazy Sunday meal.


Margaret March 6, 2012 at 6:57 am

These look really good. I had a ‘hankering’ for some last week, but made them with pork. These looks so much better!!!!


Amy March 6, 2012 at 8:16 am

Hi Margaret – ground pork would be yummy, too. I do think the raisins probably work better with ground beef, though. These definitely filled a craving I didn’t even know I had!


Nikki @Pennies on a Platter March 6, 2012 at 6:55 am

I love your presentation of these! Beautiful! Glad you liked them, and glad you didn’t omit the raisins! :)


Amy March 6, 2012 at 8:12 am

Thanks Nikki! I thought the raisins were clutch. Loved them. And I love your blog. Thanks for stopping by!


Sandi March 6, 2012 at 6:51 am

Since your talking to the Polish Princess here…I’m only going to give you one suggestion, this recipe is very close to mine!! I sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar over mine (It helps cut down the acid in the tomato sauce) and then I put a layer of bacon on top of my galumpki. It gives the cabbage a really nice flavor! Just a suggestion, Oh wait, that was 2 wasn’t it ;-)


Amy March 6, 2012 at 8:11 am

Good tips, Sandi. Bacon! Paul might have had a second helping if I’d included that. I actually didn’t find the tomato sauce to be bitter and thought the raisins gave it the sweetness it needed. I even omitted the sour cream that was recommended. Although, I believe this is originally a Paula Deen recipe…and I can’t see her ever omitting the sour cream!


pam March 6, 2012 at 6:47 am

I love cabbage rolls, but mine always fall apart. Love the little ties!


Sandi March 6, 2012 at 6:53 am

Pam, if you roll them tightly and place them seam side down, they should be ok. I take my extra cabbage, chop it up and layer it in the bottom of my roasting pan, this way the cabbage doesn’t “stick” when it bakes.


Amy March 6, 2012 at 8:02 am

I rolled mine real tight and placed them seam side down…and they stayed together no problem. The scallion tie was just for garnish :D I also used a lot of Pam nonstick spray so they didn’t stick to the pan. Sandi, I like the idea w/ the chopped up extra cabbage, but don’t the pieces adhere to the rolls as they cook??


Sandi March 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Amy: Not at all. You’ve got the two different textures of cabbage and the chopped cabbage just acts like a bed. Maybe one or two pieces would adhere…but nothing to call home about..


the wicked noodle March 6, 2012 at 6:45 am

Looks so yummy!! I’m working on a stuffed cabbage recipe later today. Cross fingers for me that it’ll turn out as I hope it will! I love how you tied the cabbage rolls with green onion. So pretty!!


Jessica J March 6, 2012 at 6:36 am

Wow, these look so pretty! They almost look like egg rolls. Yum!


Melissa March 6, 2012 at 6:29 am

I love cabbage. A lot. One of the things my mom made when I was young that I did like was crockpot corned beef and cabbage (with carrots and potatoes, too, of course). She didn’t only make it on St. Patrick’s Day, either. But that was the beginning of my cabbage love. I like it so much that I will munch on raw chunks of it when I am cutting it up for slaw.

Anyhoo! :)


Amy March 6, 2012 at 8:01 am

My mom made corned beef and cabbage (with potatoes), too. Not in the crock pot, though. She made it a few times a year…I can remember how the cabbage was so soft and scalding hot, the butter would melt instantly and then work it’s way over to the potatoes. Sigh. Another one of her recipes I absolutely have to get!


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