Best Ever Cabbage Rolls
Handed down through my family for generations, these tried-and-true Cabbage Rolls are easy and delicious, and they smell SO good when cooking! You also can’t mess them up, that’s why they are the best ever, and I’m sure you’ll agree!
Y’all, don’t be intimidated by stuffed cabbage! It’s so easy to make, and boy oh boy, are they good! Something magical happens between the beefy filling, the cabbage, and the tomato sauce on top, and just one bite will convince you that these truly are the best ever Cabbage Rolls!
This recipe was handed down to me by my Grandmother. She’d make it for family dinners, and we’d gobble up the whole pan! I make them for my family, and even my pickiest kids love them.
You’ll need a whole head of cabbage to make this Cabbage Roll recipe, and the larger outer leaves work best for stuffing. But don’t worry, cabbage keeps forever in the fridge. So gather up your ingredients and make something delicious for dinner tonight!
What Are Cabbage Rolls?
Also called stuffed cabbage, Cabbage Rolls have been around forever. Many cultures stuff cabbage and the fillings vary widely from region to region. My recipe features seasoned ground beef, rice, and onions cooked inside cabbage leaves. The sauce is so good! It mixes with the beef and cabbage juice to create a yummy sauce that you should spoon over the cut-open cabbage.
- Cabbage – You’ll need a whole head.
- Cooked white rice
- Onion – White or yellow onion, diced.
- Extra-lean ground beef
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic – Fresh garlic, minced.
- Garlic salt
- Onion powder
- Tomato sauce – Not spaghetti or marinara sauce; plain tomato sauce.
- Brown sugar
- Lemon juice
- Worcestershire sauce
How To Make The Best Ever Cabbage Rolls
- Preheat your oven to 375-F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and peel off about 12 of the outer leaves. Cook them in the boiling water for about 3 minutes, then drain.
- Combine the cooked rice, egg, milk, onion, ground beef, salt and pepper, garlic, garlic salt, and onion powder in a large bowl. Mix until combined.
- Lay a cabbage leaf on a clean work surface in front of you. Add about ¼ cup of the meat mixture in the center of the leaf and roll it up like a burrito, tucking in the ends.
- Place the stuffed cabbage leaf into a baking dish seam side down, and repeat until the meat mixture is used up.
- Mix the tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce in another bowl.
- Pour the tomato sauce over the top of the rolls and cover the baking dish with foil. Bake at 350-F for about 75 minutes.
Recipe Tips & Substitutions
- Make the rice the day before to cut down on prep time, or make extra rice for dinner the night before and save the leftovers for the stuffed cabbagel recipe.
- Prep this dish up to a day in advance, and then just bake it before serving!
- Make sure your rolls are thoroughly cooked – the filling should be 165-F with a digital meat thermometer.
- You can use white or brown rice in this stuffed cabbage recipe.
- Bake them in a casserole dish large enough to hold the rolls in one layer.
Cabbage rolls are the perfect 1-dish dinner, but sometimes I’ll serve them with Great Granny Brown’s Mashed Potatoes, air fryer broccoli, or a hearty bowl of chicken soup to start the meal.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Cabbage rolls also freeze! Freeze them for up to a month in a freezer-safe container, or use a vacuum sealer to seal them, and they’ll keep in the freezer for months.
- 12 leaves cabbage
- 1 cup cooked white rice
- 1 egg beaten
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup diced onion
- 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- For the sauce:
- 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil cabbage leaves 3 minutes; drain.
- In large bowl, combine cooked rice, egg, milk, onion, ground beef, salt and pepper, garlic, garlic salt, and onion powder in a large bowl. Place about ¼ cup of meat mixture in center of each cabbage leaf, and roll up, tucking in ends. Place rolls in large baking pan.
- Mix together tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over cabbage rolls. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 for 75 minutes.
This looks and sounds delicious, and I don’t care for cabbage, i’m going to try this recipe very soon!
I wanted to thank you for following me, and I am so glad you did so I could find your blog. Cabbage rolls are one of my favorite meals but I have never made them myself – you give me courage! (and I have a head of cabbage just waiting)
I would love it if you linked this up to Two for Tues Real Food Blog Hop that I cohost – or any real food recipe you would like!
I have made these a few times, they are so delicious. My husband says it’s a keeper.
I really, really miss cabbage rolls, it’s one of those things that one of my grandmothers made. These look exactly like them.
I’d be really interested in seeing some vegetarian cabbage roll filling too.
Yes! I’d like to echo Dan’s request for a vegetarian filling. I like to use veggie meat crumbles instead of ground meat but I’m open to options!
Stuffed cabbage is one of our favorites. This looks yummy.
Hello MrsH! Glad you could join us on the two for tuesday recipe blog hop! I love when new blogs link up because then I get to check out their digs. i am now following you on facebook and grabbed your RSS feed, but your twitter link is not working, so please check that out! I ADORE stuffed cabbage, but rarely make it due to “family resistance” will have to try it again and maybe unwrap the little packages for the girls. 😉 [email protected]
I just love cabbage rolls…and this sounds sounds very tasty! Thanks so much for sharing this with us at t4t this week =)
Thank you for linking up with Two for Tuesday. I learned a great tip while watching Jacques and Julia one day. To save the step of blanching the cabbage, freeze it, then allow to thaw. They’ll come out just as limp, but without the boiling water step.
I am quite a cabbage fan, cooked cabbage though, not a lot of coleslaw. These look wonderful. Next time, shred some of the remaining cabbage and use it as a base to cook the rolls on, the pan juices will braise the cabbage for a delicious side veggie to go with. Sometimes I like the cooked stuff in the bottom so much that is all I eat. Thanks for sharing and following.
Thank you so much for posting. I haven’t made this in over 10 years and I want to make them. I live in a Polish/Ukranian area and we have them everywhere, but I want to make them myself again. I am going definitely use your recipe.
I have these in the oven .. They look pretty , can’t wait to eat them
made these today and they were DELICIOUS!
I make mine with V-8 juice and tomatoe soup…..and I also add the V-8 and soup to the hamburger mixture! And I love that casserole dish you use, it’s sooo pretty!
Yummmy. You make like we do. For the topping, I use tomato soup, butter, a shot of vinegar which tenderizes the cabbage and lots of onions………..Your pictures made my mouth water. Thanks for posting this recipe. Nice job. I fill a turkey roaster with them when I make them.
We love cabbage rolls and I’ve never tried to do them in the oven before. These turned out great! The sauce was a little runnier than we’re used to but regardless, it was excellent. We will definately be making this again. Thank you for making one of our favorite dinners so much easier!
So glad that you liked them, Rhea! If you’ like a thicker sauce, you can add a can of tomato paste to do the job too!
Crystle: “RIGHT ON”!!
You can do it in a slow cooker, or a pressure cooker, done both and came out delicious.
For those who don’t eat meat.. my mom uses mushrooms and rice instead of the meat and rice.. and adds seasoning and onion already cooked in butter.. Yumm! my fav.
cooking cabbage in the microwave in a bag speeds up time in cooking the cabbage slit and leave whole micro 8 min
This looks wonderful and I’ve been looking for a good recipe. I’m going to the store RIGHT NOW!
Thank you these sound great. Will make them this week for the family. Hope they come out as nicely as yours did!
Sounds like stuffed bell peppers but just rolled in cabbage leaves. Yummy!
First these look delish. Second I’am going to try them out on my Kids. Third I noticed the dish you used to show the cabbage rolls. I bought some too, arn’t they wonderful to cook with and they look beautiful too.
Looks absolutely disgusting, but what else can you expect from a dumb Polak. Next time you steal a cultures recipe learn to make it right, buuh.
I do mine quite similar. The one thing I do differently is to only par cooked the rice (1/2 the time) so it’s al denté. It’s not so mushy at the end. I love sour cabbage rolls but that would be a hard sell to family and friends so I add one cup of sour kraut to my mixture. It really adds a subtle flavour. Not sour, but really delicious.
Every culture has a rolled leaf dish. To think that the Ukrainian’s have the only recipe is very pedestrian. Mexico= stuffed born husks. Greece=stuffed vine leaves. Asia=stuffed rice paper. And on and on. Make what you like to eat and don’t diss other cultures.
These are perfect but I switch up the topping. I add a bag of sauerkraut to the top of cabbage rolls then use the sauce over that. Scrumptious!
Pingback: Tastee Recipe Just a Few Easy Steps to a Filling, Yummy Meal - Tastee Recipe
That 4 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of garlic salt, and 1 tablespoon of onion powder seems excessive. And it does not list them in the instructions.
jan: Ok, you can reduce the garlic if you think it is too much use common sense!!! In the instructions it all goes in the meat mixture!!!
This recipe I wanted to let you know this was my first time making cabbage rolls. This recipe was incredible!!!!!!!!!!! In case anybody is wondering. This came out delicious. Thank you for the share!
Thank you! Comparing recipes, and I think i’ll give this one a try tonight.
The Instructions in the recipe do not say what to do with the 4 cloves minced garlic 1 tablespoon garlic salt 1 tablespoon onion powder. Do they go in the mixture or the sauce…?
j1shalack: You need to think and not depend on all, you add it to the meat mixture. Where else???
It is very close to mine so I know that they are super delicious. I use ketchup instead of a tomato sauce as it is thicker and I usually add the ketchup and worchester sauce until I can smell them in the mixture. A mixture of pork and beef is probably a juicier/fattier taste but most use either pork or beef. I don’t use the sugar nor the lime juice as these things get eliminated as one ages closer to the 80’s.
iriscutforth: To give it more taste, yes mixture of pork and beef gives it more flavor (what would we do without our piggy’s). I usually use both meats.
Made this tonight, to garlicky no one could eat it! I found another recipe almost exactly like this one with no garlic, I think that is how I remember making it. I know I used to love my grandmas.
LORI: if too much garlic, then you reduce that ingredient next time.
This was a very good starting recipe. I made a few slight changes. For example, I used brown rice because it tends to have a bit more bite. I also doubled the recipe so I use one can of tomato sauce and one can of diced tomatoes. Other than that, I followed the recipe to a tee. To the meat mix, I added about a teaspoon and a half of salt and a 4 rounded teaspoon of black pepper. The paper added a nice subtle bite but it was not at all overbearing. That would definitely use quite a bit of pepper because this is a fairly mild dish. The next time, I will likely add a bit of salt to the sauce as well because with the cabbage and the rice along with all that meat and tomato sauce, it requires more salt than you would think. Ive seen some recipes that suggest adding Dill. I may add a teaspoon to the meat mixture next time just to make the flavor slightly more complex. These stuffed cabbages were only slightly sweet and sour if you follow the recipe exactly. They have something to them but what I like is it was not at all overbearing as often stuffed cabbages can be. If you like it more Tangy, add additional lemon juice and brown sugar. I would rate this recipe three and a half Stars. For some reason I’m only it will take like five stars though on the website itself.
Please note the typo in my above review. I added one rounded teaspoon of black pepper. Not four! Also I have read reviews that say this has too much garlic. Ground meat, cabbage, rice, and tomato sauce are all very bland. I did not think it was too much garlic whatsoever. I also sliced up the remaining cabbage and mixed it’s in between the cabbage rolls as my grandmother used to do.
ABSOLUTELY, THE BEST EVER!
I thank you. ????????????????
Cabbage Rolls come from Europe area, and my grandmother come from Poland made these all the time, and I loved them!!!
I’m Polish and I make cabbage rolls often but I must add my family and I never used sugar in our recipe.There’s no need to add sugar,it’s an unhealthy addition
You can also cook cabbage with bacon and the spices that suit you.
Annamaria: Poland-WOW. I am of Polish Decent and love cabbage rolls, a great POLISH dish!!! You can also top with cheese!!
You go girl, I give you my courage too!!!
Has anyone tried adding cheese to these? I haven’t made them yet but I’m going to tonight and I was going to add cheese. Any thoughts would be nice.
Omg, these were awesome! Sweet tomato was different. I had a god mother from Syria that made something similar, less sweet, and most likely used lamb. This recipe is a keeper!
Mine are in the oven ,cant wait! Had a hard time getting the leaves off , didnt enjoy that much ,next time will blanch them first, cant wait to taste.
Pingback: Cabbage Rolls – Diet My Way
Anyone know about the carb & calorie count on these??? They look good
nice recipe, but two changes i make. first is to precook the beef and mix with rice and onions afterward. The other is to mix the meat/rice mixture with some of the sauce prior to stuffing. the result is a distinctly more flavorful roll.
1 Table spoon of garlic powder and onion powder seemed like too much. I went 1 teaspoon.
Not too much garlic at all! Are some of you using the whole bulb rather than just a single clove? Just saying…
That was exactly what I was thinking they were doing 😂.
Can you freeze these? And would this recipe feed 13 people or should I double it
Yes, you can. And you should definitely double it.
At which stage do you freeze? After baking it or before?
I’ve actually frozen them both ways with little difference.
In the oven now! My son and husband despise cabbage so I can’t wait to see what they think. I LOVE cabbage so I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never had cabbage rolls! I also had a hard time peeling the leaves and only did 6 vs the 12 the recipe calls for, more filling for each! Can’t wait to taste them, they already look delish!
This is amazing, my husband does not like cabbage but he ate this up and said this was a winner. And had seconds and just went on and on about the sauce very good
I’m so glad that it was enjoyed so much!!
These look delicious, I am so excited to try them! And I love your temptations dishes ????. I have the green.
Love the recipe family loved it but I thought it was a little too sweet but then again not sure if that is the norm I will put this on my favorite meal list
First time making cabbage rolls. These were delicious!!
I make these with a few extra ingredients dice up some carrots and sweet bell peppers and celery and sometimes I will add some garlic sausage cut into tiny cubes and mix these ingredients with your ground beef and for the tomato sauce I use v8,tomato paste to thicken a bit and small can of whole stewed tomato this is very tasty not to mentioned full of vitamins and minerals eventual to good health you could also cut out red meat and sub with ground chicken or turkey
Thank you for posting a recipe that I, who has never tried a cabbage roll recipe, can follow! So many recipes call for weird ingredients and sauces that don’t even sound good. I have a head of cabbage that I was going to make a cabbage roll casserole because I was afraid to try cabbage rolls.
This is a phenomenal recipe. I sometimes will substitute the cabbage and stuff some green peppers and it’s just as delicious!!
Pingback: My All Time Favorite Recipes | Best of the Best - Hellobluebubble
As one of my most favorite dishes, i had always looked for a recipe that hit all the right notes. I knew I needed a recipe that include brown sugar for that savory taste. This is THE recipe I shall use forever. It worked perfectly and turned out perfect as well. Kudos!!!! Everyone should try it!