I love cabbage rolls but never tried to make them myself. Something about it seemed really…daunting. Mom to the rescue! My Mom came to visit a couple of months ago and she knows how to make them so I told her to get crackin’! Okay I was nice about it but we love them and I wanted to learn how to make them. Turns out there’s a method but it’s really not hard.
You cook the cabbage for a few minutes until the leaves wilt. Then cut out the stem and peel off the biggest leaves.
Lay the leaves out to cool a bit and then cut that thick center piece out in a V-shape. Put your meat inside, and tuck and roll baby. No really. Tuck and roll.
Here’s the how-to video, which I love because my Mom was a little camera shy but this was so fun to do with her! (And sorry about the vertical video. Oops!)
So once you tuck and roll, baby, get those cabbage rolls in a Dutch oven if you have one, or I just used a 9″x13″ baking pan. Pour the sauce over the top and cook them up. Pretty easy!
I would suggest doubling and freezing some of these. They’re not hard to make but it’s a bit of a process so why do it twice? Do it once and freeze a second batch for another night.
- 1 head cabbage
- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 lb. ground pork OR use 1 lb. ground beef
- 1-15oz can tomato sauce, divided
- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup uncooked rice (A rice blend of white, brown, wild and red is very good in this.)
- 1 tblsp. dried parsley flakes
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. dill weed
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1-14 1/2oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can of tomato soup
- 1 tsp. sugar
In a large pot cook whole head of cabbage in 3-4" of boiling water for 4 minutes or until you see outer leaves wilting. Take cabbage out of pot and let cool for a few minutes.
Carefully use a knife and cut 12 outer leaves away from cabbage: Cut from the stem edge and gingerly (so you don't tear the tender leaves) remove the leaves to a large baking sheet to cool. Cut a V out of the thick vein from the bottom of each reserved leaf. (Look in the video to see what the leaves look like after this is cut out to get a better idea.) Set remaining cabbage aside to use later in this dish.
In a small bowl, combine the meat, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, onion, rice, parsley, salt, dill and cayenne. Mix well.
Place about 2-3 tblsp. meat mixture on each cabbage leaf, overlap cut end. Roll up completely to enclose filling.
Slice the remaining cabbage and in the bottom of a large pot (dutch oven or I used a 9"x13" pan) make a bed of cabbage and arrange the cabbage rolls on top seam side down. Combine the canned tomatoes, tomato soup, remaining tomato sauce and sugar. Pour over cabbage rolls.You can put more cabbage leaves on top if you have some left over.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Makes 12 cabbage rolls.