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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cabbage Rolls

I decided to make cabbage rolls for two reasons: I wanted to make something new that I had never tried, and I wanted to use cabbage in a recipe. 

Just before simmering for an hour

Neither of these were super exciting reasons, but around St. Patty's day I got it in my head that I wanted to make cabbage rolls because it was an nice traditional Irish meal (turns out its more Eastern European, but yummy all the same).

After extensive internet perusal, I found a good looking recipe on the Taste of Home website. It looked easier than most, I had everything it called for already (yay! No 4 item run to the store), and had decent reviews. In the end, I had a good time making them (even if the cabbage wasn't cooperating as well as I had hoped), I really enjoyed them, but Chris wasn't a fan (he said they were bland which is crazy). I would make them again if Chris liked them.

Don't worry about too much of a cabbage-y taste. The darker outside leaves are more cabbage-y, but the inside leaves are milder and melt more into the flavors of the filling. Serve accordingly.

Cabbage Rolls:


  • 1 medium head cabbage (The ingredients in red are if you want to make the tomato sauce yourself. Otherwise, just use a jar of your favorite marinara sauce. Much faster)
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onion, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) Italian stewed tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1/4 pound bulk Italian sausage (I used a pound of breakfast sausage because that's what I had in the fridge and I like sausage)
  • 1/2 cup V8 juice, optional


  • In a large pot, cook cabbage in boiling water for 10 minutes or until outer leaves are tender; drain. Rinse in cold water; drain. Remove eight large outer leaves (refrigerate remaining cabbage for another use); set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, saute 1 cup onion in butter until tender. Add the tomatoes, garlic, brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the rice, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and remaining onion and salt. Crumble beef and sausage over mixture and mix well.
  • Remove thick vein from cabbage leaves for easier rolling. Place about 1/2 cup meat mixture on each leaf; fold in sides. Starting at an unfolded edge, roll up leaf to completely enclose filling. Place seam side down in a skillet (don't worry if it doesn't look perfect. It doesn't change the taste). Top with the sauce.
  • Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour. Add V8 juice if desired. Reduce heat to low; cook 20 minutes longer or until rolls are heated through and a thermometer inserted in the filling reads 160°. Yield: 4 servings.
Look at how tasty these are!

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