Classic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

April 28, 2013 at 10:00 pm 11 comments

I’ve been whipping up omelets, salads and skillet dishes for quick meals these days. Every now and again though, I get the urge (and have the time) to make a more labor-intensive dish…you know the one you can taste the effort and love you put into it?

This is one of those meals. I made these cabbage rolls during our last Spring snow storm when I was craving comfort food and these hit the spot!

cabbage roll

For April I was assigned to Sarah’s Fantastical Sharing of Recipes blog for the Secret Recipe Club…and I couldn’t decide what to make! My goodness, Sarah has an extensive list of dishes that I kept scrolling through to choose from. I have her family’s original Tamale Balls and Guy Fieri’s Cherry Cobbler Pizza on my to-make list but when I saw her Classic Cabbage Rolls, I was sold. Besides the cabbage, I had all of the ingredients already on-hand and needed a little “me time” in the kitchen.

I made a few slight changes by finely dicing my onions, using a large head of cabbage instead of medium and used crushed tomatoes instead of diced since that’s what I hand in the pantry. I also used brown rice, unsweetened ketchup, coconut sugar for the sweetener and I added 1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms because I needed to use them up in the fridge. Since I used already salted tomatoes, I opted to reduce the salt to 1 teaspoon and increase the black pepper by a smidgen.

Delicious results!

Cabbage roll1

Classic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (lightly adapted from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes)
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Grain-free option, Egg-free, Nut-free, Soy-free


  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced onion, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, ghee, olive oil, coconut oil, Earth Balance (use oil or Earth Balance for dairy free)
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans organic crushed tomatoes with basil (or Italian diced tomatoes)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp coconut palm sugar or other sweetener
  • 1 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa (for grain-free, increase mushrooms)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup (I used unsweetened ketchup)
  • 2 Tbsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce (I used Lea and Perrins brand)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 lb. ground beef, bison or turkey (if using turkey use lean not extra lean)
  • 1/4 lb. Italian sausage (I used chicken sausage)
  • 1/2 cup V8 juice, optional (I didn’t use)


  • In a Dutch oven, cook cabbage in boiling water for 10 minutes or until outer leaves are tender. Drain and rinse in cold water; drain. Remove eight large outer leaves (refrigerate remaining cabbage for another use) and set aside.
  • Meanwhile in a large saucepan, saute 1 cup onion in butter/oil until tender. Add the tomatoes, garlic, sweetener 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, add in mushrooms 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. 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 (8 rolls)

cabbage roll bite

Click here for other scrumptious recipes in this month’s reveal!

Entry filed under: Beef & Red Meat, Gluten Free, Main Dish, Refined Sugar Free. Tags: , , , , , , .

Soft Banana Bread Cookies (Vegan, Grain-free) Frozen Chunky Monkey “Cupcakes” with a Fudgy “Frosting”

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ps152 (@ps152)  |  April 29, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I remember my mom making these when I was younger. Your rolls look mouthwateringly good.

  • 3. Karen  |  April 29, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    What a FABULOUS SRC pick and such lovely photos too! Karen

  • 4. Melissa  |  April 29, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    These are a secret guilty pleasure of mine because they remind me of my childhood! I know my husband wouldn’t eat them, but one of these days I would like to give this recipe a try and share them with my mom…she’d love that!! Great pick and thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • 5. Kelsey @ K&K Test Kitchen  |  April 30, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Yum!! I agree with Melissa, these remind me of my childhood, though my grandma used to make “unrolled” cabbage rolls. Looks amazing!

  • 6. Emily @ Life on Food  |  April 30, 2013 at 10:13 am

    My husband loves cabbage. I do not. I think this is something we both could enjoy. Great pick!

  • 7. Kirstin  |  May 2, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE stuffed cabbage. Great choice and your pics are awesome.

  • […] Check out the recipe for Classic Cabbage Rolls. […]

  • 9. eatgreatbegreat  |  May 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    This stuffed cabbage recipe sounds great! Yum!

  • 10. Cynthia  |  May 11, 2013 at 12:53 am

    This really does look wonderful. I was attempting to save it through Pinterest, but can’t find the little “Pin” icon. Do you not participate in Pinterest? If not, I will go to the Fantastical Sharing of Recipes site and Pin theirs, but I really like yours. You may have addressed this issue before, but it’s my first time at your site. Thanks much!

  • 11. Best of 2013: Main Dishes and Sides | The Secret Recipe Club  |  January 3, 2014 at 11:30 am

    […] Classic Cabbage Rolls | Natural Noshing […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Enter your email address to subscribe to Natural Noshing and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 984 other followers

Recent Posts


Certified Yummly Recipes on
my foodgawker gallery

Visit naturalnoshing on

%d bloggers like this: