Lately I’ve been craving something hearty and meaty, so I recreated my old favorite easy stuffed cabbage rolls recipe and thought I would share it with you, the folks I love so much. Cabbage rolls are just so perfect for chilly weather, which make sense when you know that they come from the cold climates of Russia and Eastern Europe. Stuffed cabbage roll recipes can also be found on Middle Eastern family menus, where they’re more often served with yogurt and herbs native to that area.
I always end up getting a ton of cabbage in my winter CSA box, and I’m always trying to ways to put it to use. I usually end up making colcannon mashed potatoes or corned beef and cabbage (especially for Saint Patrick’s Day!), but right now got a ton of ground meat in the freezer, and you can only make so many burgers. So stuffed cabbage rolls it is!
I hope you enjoy these cabbage rolls – they’re up there as one of my favorite recipes. My Ukrainian step-grandma used to make them, so I always remember them fondly.
I’m sure I’m not the only one with a favorite memory of their mom or grandma’s stuffed cabbage rolls recipe – what do you remember from your childhood?
- 1 large green cabbage
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 red onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups cooked long-grain brown rice
- 1½ pounds ground turkey
- 2 cups turkey or chicken stock
- 1 28-ounce can tomato puree
- Sour cream or plain yogurt for topping
- Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a stockpot – make sure there is enough water to cover the cabbage. Turn the heat down to low, toss in the cabbage and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Take the cabbage out of the water and set aside until it cools enough to pick it up, reserving 1 cup of cabbage water. Be sure to set it on a place, as it will drain water everywhere. Remove 20 leaves from the cabbage – make sure to grab leaves that have not split – and allow them to cool on paper towels. If the inner part of the cabbage isn’t soft enough to roll, boil it for another few minutes after you’ve removed the outside leaves.
- Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat, and saute onion until it is soft. Toss in garlic and celery, saute for another minute.
- Combine the following into a large mixing bowl: onions, garlic, celery, parsley, egg, salt and pepper. Mix well and add in cooked rice and ground turkey, using your hands to make sure everything is mixed well.
- In another bowl, combine reserved cabbage water, stock and tomato puree. Set aside.
- Have the stock pot washed and ready so that you can start rolling your cabbage leaves. In the center of each cooked leaf, place ¼ cup of filling. Tuck in the sides of the leaf and then starting with the stem end, roll the leaf tightly so that there are no spaces where filling can escape. Place cabbage rolls in the stock pot, stacking them neatly in layers.
- Cover stuffed cabbage rolls with tomato sauce and bring the whole thing to a boil. Cover tightly and simmer cabbage rolls over low heat for 1 hour. Remove cabbage rolls to a plate and cover with foil.
- Turn up the heat to medium and simmer tomato sauce until it is reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper to taste, pour over plated rolls. Top with sour cream or plain yogurt.
Please leave a comment and let me know what you thought of this easy stuffed cabbage rolls recipe!