Hearty Easy Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

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?

5.0 from 1 reviews
Hearty, Easy Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Polish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This easy stuffed cabbage rolls recipe is about as simple and delicious as they come. Meaty, hearty, and perfect for cold nights.
Ingredients
  • 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
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • 1 28-ounce can tomato puree
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt for topping
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. In another bowl, combine reserved cabbage water, stock and tomato puree. Set aside.
  6. Have the stock pot washed and ready so that you can start rolling your cabbage leaves. In the center of each cooked leaf, place 1/4 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!

Comments

  1. Frugal Kiwi says:

    I’ll have to try this one as I’ve never had anything like it. But I’ll need to REALLY scrub my stock pot, as I’ve been using it to dye wool with eucalyptus leaves!
    .-= Check out Frugal Kiwi

  2. Oh, that sound deelish!
    I don’t know why, but I am craving something hearty and meaty, but without all the bread-y filling that you get with a giant burger or sandwich.
    I think this should hit the spot. It is SO on the menu for tomorrow.
    .-= Check out Jerry

  3. You could also do Cabbage Soup W/ Ground Beef. I enjoy the soups cuz I can make them in batches and freeze them.

  4. Sarah - A Beach Home Companion says:

    It’s surprising how nutritious and low-cal cabbage is, I used to think it was just filling, like iceberg lettuce, and would take it off my fish tacos.

    I found this recipe for Cabbage, Chicken Sausage and White Bean Soup last year and have been making it in the winter. It’s hearty, cheap, gluten-free and delicious: .

    I can’t say it’s from my childhood, but it makes me warm and fuzzy.
    .-= Check out Sarah – A Beach Home Companion

  5. If you cut trim the rib from the cabbage leaf they will roll easier.

  6. MarthaAndMe says:

    I LOVE stuffed cabbage. People who have never had it think it’s weird, but it is SO good.

  7. Can never go wrong with stuffed cabbage. Worth the effort!! Your pic looks so appetizing as well as the recipe. I make it Northern African style a family recipe of a childhood friend of mine. Definitely will give your lower fat version with turkey a try:)
    .-= Check out Shulie

  8. I think I will make these. I love stuffed cabbage rolls.

  9. The Writer's [Inner] Journey says:

    This sounds SO good.
    .-= Check out The Writer’s [Inner] Journey

  10. Stuffed cabbage is my favorite dish that my mum makes. She adds whole garlic and I love to find them in the pot.
    .-= Check out Ursula

  11. Susan Johnston says:

    I’ve never tried stuff cabbage rolls, but that photo sure makes them look tasty!
    .-= Check out Susan Johnston

  12. My husband is German and grew up on cabbage rolls (his family calls them Pig in a Blanket) This recipe looks great, I’ll be trying it soon. Thanks!
    .-= Check out Maria

  13. Vladimir says:

    That is a cool recipe, in Russia and Ukraine we call them Galoobtsi, some people make roll them up in Cabbage leaves and some use Grape leaves. To me the Cabbage leaves have better taste in them and the Grape leaves seem tasteless to me.

  14. Vladimir says:

    Also, I wrote Galoobtsi, so to read it the right way, say the “ts” part of the word as you would say in pizza the “zz” part of the word. And the “a” letter in Galoobtsi you would say it as in car the “a” letter sound. Some of the Russians and Ukrainians usually make them for holidays and special occasions.
    .-= Check out Vladimir

  15. FabFrugalFood says:

    Made this just the other day and it was fantastic! It will definitely become a staple around here. I substituted red lentils for the brown rice to make it fully low-carb, which worked nicely.
    .-= Check out FabFrugalFood

  16. My Austrian grandmother made cabbage rolls without any tomato product. She cooked the rolls in sauerkraut juice and covered the rolls in sauerkraut. I would love to have a similar recipe.

  17. Grandma did NOT use turkey… trust me.
    Polish, Russian, or Czech… it didn’t happen that way.

  18. Yellow Tulips says:

    Looks tasty.

    I’m half Polish and growing up my Babchie made the best stuffed cabbage. My mom was one of five children and even though my aunts and uncles all make “Babchie’s recipe”, it is my mom who’s managed to replicate them the best. (Babchie’s ‘secret’ was ground pork!)

    Mom’s been gone for just three years now and I’ve only attempted to make them once. You jogged my memory. It’s cabbage on the grocery list!

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      Awesome! If you’re ever interested in sharing your Babchie’s recipe, I’d love to see what a 100% legit version looks like. :)

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