Grandma's Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Serves: 8

I love stuffed cabbage rolls! They do take some time to make, but are so good. They also freeze well, if you have leftovers.

Yield: 16 rolls, 2 per person
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:


1 large head green cabbage, about 2 to 21/4 pounds
2 pounds ground beef
2 eggs (not necessary, you can leave them out)
1 medium onion, grated or minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup raw long-grain white rice
tomato sauce
2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion,  chopped (medium dice)
2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
juice of one lemon
1/3 to 3/4 cup light brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)
chopped parsley, for garnish


1 Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil. When the water comes to a boil, fill a large bowl with ice water. Cut out as much of the core as you can from the bottom of the cabbage, then drop the whole, cored head into the boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes. Once the leaves separate and are pliable, immediately remove and drop the blanched leaves that separated (or whole head if all the leaves did not separate) in the ice water. Once cooled down, remove and pat the leaves dry. Repeat with any leaves still attached to the head that aren't pliable, if necessary. Alternatively, If you've got time on your hands, you can freeze the wrapped head of cabbage for two days then defrost. The leaves will peel off easily and be soft enough to roll.

2. Set aside about 16 of the largest leaves for stuffing and rolling, then chop some of the remaining leaves to make 1 cup of chopped cabbage and reserve.

3. Mix the ground beef with the eggs, grated onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and rice. Divide this mixture into sixteen 2-ounce balls. Using moistened hands, form the balls into cylinders. Place a cylinder of filling near the bottom of a cabbage leaf (if the vein in the leaf is really thick, shave it down with a knife before placing the beef on it, being careful not to cut through the leaf itself.). Begin to roll it up, folding both sides over the filling, and finish rolling to enclose the filling, like an eggroll. Continue, filling and rolling all the cabbage leaves. Place them, seam side down, on a tray or baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

4. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a heavy, nonreactive saucepan. Sauté the second onion until soft and golden. Add the garlic and saute for 2 more minutes, then add the reserved chopped cabbage and sauté briefly.

5. Add the tomato sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine. Increase the heat until it comes to a boil, then lower it and simmer for 5 minutes. Add raisins now, if using.

6. Line of the bottom of a 13 x 9 roasting pan or glass dish with a layer of sauce. Place cabbage rolls, seam side down, on top of sauce. Top cabbage rolls with remaining sauce then cover the whole pan with tin foil. Bake for 2 hours in a preheated 350F oven.

* You can cook the rice prior to adding it to the meat mixture, if desired (just follow the rice manufacturer's directions), but raw rice is how my grandmother made it, and the rice has always cooked through perfectly for me.


Add Recipe to Cook'n

blog comments powered by Disqus