Stuffed cabbage rolls

Homemade Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe"


Stuffed cabbage rolls, also known as "cabbage rolls" or "cabbage dolma," are a beloved culinary delight, celebrated in various cuisines around the world. These delectable parcels are created by encasing a flavorful blend of ground meat, rice, and spices within tender cabbage leaves, gently simmered in a tomato-based sauce. Embraced in Eastern European, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean traditions, here's your guide to crafting these delightful stuffed cabbage rolls from scratch:


For the Cabbage Rolls:

  • 1 large cabbage head
  • 1 pound ground beef or a beef and pork blend
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (15 ounces)
  • 1 can tomato paste (15 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


1. Prepare the Cabbage Leaves:

1.1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

1.2. Carefully core the cabbage head and immerse the entire head in the boiling water.

1.3. Boil for approximately 5–7 minutes until the outer leaves become soft and pliable. Use tongs to remove the softened leaves and set them aside to cool.

2. Prepare the Filling:

2.1. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground meat, cooked rice, finely chopped onion, minced garlic, egg, salt, black pepper, paprika, cumin powder (if desired), and chopped fresh parsley. Thoroughly blend the filling mixture.

3. Assemble the Cabbage Rolls:

3.1. Place a cabbage leaf on a flat surface.

3.2. If needed, trim any tough stems near the base of the leaf.

3.3. Spoon a small portion of the meat and rice mixture onto the center of the leaf.

3.4. Fold the sides of the leaf inwards and roll it up, securing the filling as you go. Repeat this process with the remaining leaves and filling.

4. Prepare the Tomato Sauce:

4.1. In a separate bowl, combine crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, lemon juice, water, salt, and black pepper. Mix until well combined.

5. Cook the Cabbage Rolls:

5.1. To prevent sticking, line the bottom of a large pot or Dutch oven with cabbage leaves or cabbage trimmings.

5.2. Place the cabbage rolls seam side down in the pot.

5.3. Pour the tomato sauce mixture over the cabbage rolls.

6. Simmer:

6.1. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the cabbage rolls are tender, and the meat is fully cooked. Periodically check and add water if needed to prevent sticking or burning.

7. Serving:

7.1. Serve the stuffed cabbage rolls piping hot, optionally garnished with chopped parsley.


Stuffed cabbage rolls are a heartwarming and comforting meal that can take center stage or complement other dishes. Enjoy them as a hearty main course alongside crusty bread or as a delightful side dish. Savor the delightful flavors of your homemade cabbage rolls – a culinary masterpiece from the heart of tradition.

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