Easy Cabbage Rolls – Spend With Pennies

Easy Cabbage Rolls – Spend With Pennies

This stuffed cabbage rolls recipe is one I enjoyed from my grandma’s kitchen for years and years.

Tender cabbage leaves are filled with a beef and rice mixture and baked in with a simple tomato sauce.

This dish can be made ahead of time and reheats and freezes well.

cooked Cabbage Rolls in a casserole dish

Types of Cabbage Rolls

This cabbage rolls’ recipe comes from my grandma and my mom. My grandma immigrated from Poland so we have enjoyed many cabbage dishes or even just simple fried cabbage.  Between pierogi and rouladen, Grandma’s kitchen always smelled incredible and there was always something amazing to eat!

There are many many different ways to make cabbage rolls based on family tradition and location. Polish cabbage rolls usually contain meat and rice while the Ukrainian version my friend Penny makes generally contain only rice.

While some add raw meat and rice and cook them with the cabbage, our family has always pre-cooked the rice and meat.

Cabbage Rolls ingredients with labels

Ingredients in Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage

We use a head of regular green cabbage and boil it in a large pot of water to make it tender. Many people freeze the whole head of cabbage and thaw it to eliminate the boiling step but I find the cabbage isn’t as tender this way.

Meat Mixture

My grandmother always used pork in her cabbage rolls so I use a mixture of beef and pork. You can use just one or the other (or any ground meat). Cooked long-grain white rice is added to the meat along with an egg to help it hold together.

Sauce

Most Polish cabbage roll recipes are covered in tomato sauce or tomato juice. We love the addition of a can of tomato soup to tomato sauce. It may not be typical but it softens & sweetens the sauce slightly and tastes delicious!

ingredients in a pot with bowl of cabbage to make Cabbage Rolls

How to Make Cabbage Rolls

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil cabbage until tender.
  2. Cook rice slightly undercooked per the recipe below. Brown the ground beef and pork while the rice is cooking. Combine remaining filling ingredients
  3. Add the filling to cabbage leaves and roll. Place seam side down in a casserole dish.
  4. Top with the sauce and bake.

process of rolling Cabbage Rolls and putting in dish

Tips for Great Cabbage Rolls

  • For the most tender cabbage leaves, boil them in salted water.
  • Cut 1/2 inch off the head of cabbage, the leaves will fall off as they cook.
  • Once boiled, use a small knife to cut the thick stem of the leaf (image above).
  • Overlap smaller leaves and fill, even if they’re not pretty, they’ll cook perfectly.
  • You may have leftover filling depending on the size of your cabbage. Extra filling can be added to tomato soup, or stuffed in zucchini or bell peppers.
  • Cabbage rolls can be frozen before or after baking.

plated Easy Cabbage Rolls

More From Grandma’s Kitchen

Did you make these cabbage rolls? Leave a comment and rating below! 

Easy Cabbage Rolls

Homemade Cabbage Rolls are so flavorful & filling. With meat, rice, sauce, and cabbage, they’re just like Grandma used to make!


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  • Boil cabbage leaves about 2 minutes or until soft. (See note below for removing leaves). Set aside to cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Cook rice according to package directions but reduce cooking time by 5 minutes so the rice is slightly underdone. Set aside.
  • Cook pork (or turkey), beef, onions, garlic, & seasonings in a pan until no pink remains. Drain any fat. Add in rice, diced tomatoes, & ⅓ cup of tomato sauce. Stir in egg.
  • Mix remaining tomato sauce and tomato soup in a bowl. Spread a very thin layer of the tomato sauce mixture in a 9×13 pan.
  • Remove or thin any thick stem on cabbage leaves. Lay the cabbage leaf flat and add ¼ to ⅓ cup filling to the center of the leaf. Fold in the sides and roll the cabbage up. Place seam side down in the pan. (See note for small leaves). Repeat with remaining cabbage.
  • Pour sauce over the cabbage and cover tightly with foil. Bake 75-90 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.
To remove leaves from head of cabbage, cut approx ¼ » off the bottom of the head and place the whole head of cabbage in boiling water. Boil about 2 minutes. Peel off the softened leaves. Place remaining head back in the boiling water and repeat until all of the leaves are removed. Remove any tough stems from cooked leaves.

  • Once boiled, use a small knife to cut the thick stem of the leaf (image above).
  • Overlap smaller leaves and fill, even if they’re not pretty, they’ll cook perfectly.
  • You may have leftover filling depending on the size of your cabbage. Extra filling can be added to tomato soup, or stuffed in zucchini or bell peppers.
  • Cabbage rolls can be frozen before or after baking.

Calories: 488, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 108mg, Sodium: 431mg, Potassium: 895mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 620IU, Vitamin C: 66.1mg, Calcium: 113mg, Iron: 3.3mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Beef, Casserole, Dinner

Cuisine Polish

ingredients to make Easy Cabbage Rolls with plated dish and writing
plated Easy Cabbage Rolls with a title
cooked Easy Cabbage Rolls in the pan with a title
Easy Cabbage Rolls on a plate with a bite taken out with writing

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