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Classic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

stuffed cabbage rolls

Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Then there were cabbage leaves stuffed with ground meat and rice, cabbage leaves of such a toughness that they were almost impossible to cut without spattering ground meat and rice all over the carpet. Shadow pushed his around his plate.
stuffed cabbage rolls

Classic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Classic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are a delicious and comforting dish, featuring tender cabbage leaves filled with a savory mix of meat, rice, onions, and herbs. They are baked in a flavorful tomato sauce and make for a satisfying meal. Enjoy these cabbage rolls as a hearty main course or serve them as part of a family-style feast.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 29 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Eastern European
Servings 6


  • 1 large head green cabbage
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 1 pound ground beef or pork or a mix of both
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can 14.5 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 can 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Core the cabbage head by cutting around the stem and removing it. Carefully submerge the cabbage head in the boiling water, and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the outer leaves are softened and can be easily removed. Gently peel off 12 large cabbage leaves, then drain and set aside to cool. Reserve the remaining cabbage for another use.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked white rice, ground meat, chopped onion, egg, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Lay a cooled cabbage leaf on a flat surface, with the stem end facing you. Place about 1/4 cup of the meat and rice mixture in the center of the leaf. Fold the bottom of the leaf up over the filling, fold the sides of the leaf inward, and then roll the leaf away from you, creating a sealed roll. Repeat with the remaining cabbage leaves and filling.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with their juice, brown sugar, white vinegar, garlic powder, and paprika. Stir well to combine.
  • Spread about 1 cup of the tomato sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Place the cabbage rolls, seam side down, in a single layer on top of the sauce.
  • Pour the remaining tomato sauce mixture over the cabbage rolls, ensuring they are evenly coated.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
  • Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 20-30 minutes, until the cabbage rolls are tender and the meat filling is cooked through.
  • Let the cabbage rolls rest for a few minutes before serving, spooning extra sauce from the baking dish over the rolls, if desired.