Old Fashioned Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed cabbage rolls are a classic comfort dish, perfect for a cozy family dinner or special occasions. Packed with a savory mixture of ground beef, pork, and rice, these rolls are enveloped in tender cabbage leaves and baked to perfection. Let’s dive into the ingredients and steps to create this timeless recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 medium head cabbage (3 pounds)
  • 1/2 pound uncooked ground beef
  • 1/2 pound uncooked ground pork
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon snipped fresh dill or dill weed
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar


  1. Begin by cooking the cabbage in boiling water until the outer leaves pull away easily from the head. Set aside 12 large leaves for the rolls.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, 1/2 cup of tomato sauce, chopped onion, uncooked rice, parsley flakes, salt, dill, and cayenne pepper. Mix the ingredients well to form the filling.
  3. Cut out the thick vein from the bottom of each cabbage leaf to create a V-shaped cut. Place approximately 1/4 cup of the meat mixture onto each cabbage leaf. Fold in the sides and roll up the cabbage leaf, starting from the cut end. Repeat this process for each roll.
  4. Slice the remaining cabbage and place it in a Dutch oven. Arrange the cabbage rolls seam side down over the sliced cabbage.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, sugar, and the remaining tomato sauce. Pour this mixture over the cabbage rolls.
  6. Cover the Dutch oven and bake at 350°F until the cabbage rolls are tender, which usually takes about 1-1/2 hours.
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  • Make sure to cook the cabbage until it’s just tender enough to roll without being too soft.
  • Adjust the seasoning according to your taste preferences. You can add more spices or herbs to enhance the flavor.
  • Serve the stuffed cabbage rolls with a side of mashed potatoes or crusty bread for a satisfying meal.

Enjoy the delightful flavors and comforting aroma of these Old Fashioned Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. Whether served for a family dinner or shared at a gathering, this timeless recipe is sure to become a favorite. Gather your ingredients and indulge in the warmth of homemade goodness with every bite.

  1. Can I use different types of meat for the filling?
    Absolutely! While the traditional recipe calls for a combination of ground beef and ground pork, you can customize the filling to your liking. Ground turkey, chicken, or even a meatless substitute can be used as alternatives. Just keep in mind that different meats may alter the flavor and texture slightly, so adjust seasoning accordingly.
  2. How do I prevent the cabbage rolls from falling apart during cooking?
    Ensuring that the cabbage leaves are blanched properly before rolling is key to preventing them from falling apart. Cook the cabbage in boiling water until the leaves are pliable but not overly soft. Additionally, when rolling the cabbage rolls, tuck in the sides tightly to secure the filling and prevent any unraveling during baking. Placing the rolls seam side down in the baking dish also helps keep them intact.
  3. Can I make these cabbage rolls ahead of time?
    Yes, you can prepare the cabbage rolls ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator before baking. Once assembled, cover the baking dish tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, simply remove the dish from the refrigerator, uncover, and bake according to the recipe instructions. Keep in mind that you may need to increase the baking time slightly if the rolls are cold from refrigeration.
  4. Are there any vegetarian or vegan alternatives for this recipe?
    Absolutely! To make vegetarian or vegan stuffed cabbage rolls, simply omit the ground meat and replace it with a hearty plant-based protein such as lentils, quinoa, or textured vegetable protein (TVP). You can also add finely diced vegetables like mushrooms, carrots, and bell peppers to enhance the flavor and texture of the filling. Substitute vegetable broth for the beef or pork broth in the cooking liquid for added depth of flavor. Follow the same assembly and baking instructions outlined in the recipe for delicious vegetarian or vegan cabbage rolls.
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