Stuffed Cabbage Rolls: A Hearty and Flavorful Classic

Stuffed cabbage rolls are a classic comfort food that brings together tender cabbage leaves filled with a delicious mixture of ground meat, rice, and sautéed vegetables, all simmered in a rich tomato sauce. This hearty dish is perfect for a cozy family dinner. Let’s get started on making these flavorful rolls!


For the Cabbage Rolls:

  • Young cabbage – 1200 g
  • Beef – 500 g
  • Chicken thigh fillet – 300 g
  • Rice – 120 g (cooked until half-done)
  • Onion – 180 g
  • Carrot – 150 g
  • Butter – 20 g
  • Salt – 0.5 tsp
  • Ground black pepper – 1/3 tsp
  • 100 ml of stock (for keeping the rolls moist)

For the Sauce:

  • Sautéed vegetables (onions and carrots)
  • Flour – 2 tbsp
  • Tomato paste – 100 g
  • Water – 1 l (used to blanch the cabbage)
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Sugar – 2 tsp
  • Ground black pepper – 1/3 tsp
  • Sweet paprika – 1 tsp
  • Dried garlic – 1 tsp
  • Sour cream – 1.5 tbsp
  • Bay leaves – 3-4 pcs
  • Allspice berries – 5-6 pcs


Step 1: Prepare the Cabbage

  1. Boil the Cabbage:
    • Remove the core from the cabbage and place the head in boiling water for a few minutes until the leaves start to soften.
    • Carefully remove the leaves one by one and set them aside to cool.

Step 2: Prepare the Filling

  1. Sauté Vegetables:
    • In a pan, sauté the finely chopped onion and grated carrot in butter until softened. Let it cool.
  2. Grind the Meat:
    • Grind the beef and chicken thigh fillet together in a meat grinder.
  3. Combine Ingredients:
    • In a large bowl, combine the ground meats, cooked rice, sautéed onions and carrots, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Step 3: Assemble the Rolls

  1. Roll the Cabbage Leaves:
    • Take a cabbage leaf and place a spoonful of the meat mixture on the edge. Roll the leaf, tucking in the sides to secure the filling. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling.

Step 4: Prepare the Sauce

  1. Cook the Sauce:
    • In the same pan used for the onions and carrots, add a bit more oil if needed and sprinkle in the flour. Stir and cook until it starts to turn golden.
    • Add the tomato paste and cook for another minute.
    • Gradually pour in the water (used to blanch the cabbage), stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
    • Add salt, sugar, black pepper, sweet paprika, dried garlic, sour cream, bay leaves, and allspice berries. Bring the sauce to a simmer.

Step 5: Cook the Cabbage Rolls

  1. Simmer the Rolls:
    • Place the cabbage rolls in a large pot, packing them snugly. Pour the sauce over the rolls, ensuring they are fully covered.
    • Cover the pot and simmer on low heat for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the cabbage and filling are tender.

Step 6: Serve

  1. Serve Hot:
    • Carefully remove the cabbage rolls from the pot and serve hot, drizzled with the rich tomato sauce.
  2. Enjoy:
    • Enjoy your delicious homemade stuffed cabbage rolls!

Tips for Success

  • Softening Cabbage Leaves: Boil the cabbage leaves just enough to make them pliable for rolling, but not too soft.
  • Even Rolling: Ensure the filling is evenly distributed and the leaves are rolled tightly to prevent them from unrolling during cooking.
  • Flavorful Sauce: Simmer the sauce well to let all the flavors meld together for a rich, savory taste.

Health Benefits

Stuffed cabbage rolls are a nutritious and balanced meal. They provide protein from the meat, fiber from the cabbage, and essential vitamins and minerals from the vegetables.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use other types of meat?

A: Yes, you can substitute the beef and chicken with pork, turkey, or a mix of your preferred meats.

Q: How do I store leftovers?

A: Store leftover cabbage rolls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove before serving.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can prepare the rolls and sauce ahead of time and refrigerate them. Cook them just before serving.

Q: What can I serve with these cabbage rolls?

A: Serve the cabbage rolls with a side of mashed potatoes, crusty bread, or a fresh green salad for a complete meal.

Stuffed cabbage rolls are a classic and comforting dish that brings together rich flavors and hearty ingredients. This recipe is sure to become a favorite in your household. Enjoy making and eating these delicious rolls, and explore more of our recipes for additional culinary inspiration!

Other Recipes:

Leave a Comment