Cabbage Rolls With Ground Beef and Rice

Cabbage Rolls
Cabbage Rolls. Diana Rattray
    85 mins
Ratings (40)

These cabbage rolls are stuffed with ground beef and rice and baked to perfection with a tangy tomato sauce.

Cabbage rolls are my favorite comfort food, a dish my mother would make for special occasions. This recipe for stuffed cabbage isn't exactly like hers, but it is very close. It's a very popular recipe.

I have discovered another, much easier way to prepare the cabbage leaves. The night before you plan to make the cabbage rolls put the whole head of cabbage in the freezer. Take it out in the morning and give it the rest of the day or several hours to thaw. The leaves of the thawed cabbage will peel off easily and are flexible enough to stuff with no pre-cooking required! 

The meat isn't cooked ahead of time, to try to use very lean ground beef to avoid the excess fat. I use 90% or 93%.

What You'll Need

  • 1 head of cabbage, about 1 dozen large cabbage leaves
  • Filling
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Sauce
  • 1 cans (8 ounces ) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water

How to Make It

  1. The night before you will be making the cabbage rolls put a head of cabbage in the freezer. Take it out the next morning to thaw during the day. 
  2. Peel about 12 to 15 large leaves off of the cabbage head. They should be flexible enough to fill without blanching.
  3. If you are not working with a frozen, thawed head of cabbage, carefully peel off about 12 to 15 large leaves from the raw cabbage. Drop the cabbage leaves into boiling salted water; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain well.
  1. Heat the oven to 350° F (180 C/Gas 4).
  2. For filling, combine ground beef, rice, onion, egg, and salt, pepper, and milk. Mix well and divide into 12 portions. Place a portion of the beef mixture onto the center of each cabbage leaf. Roll the leaf around the filling, burrito style. Fasten the rolls with toothpicks. Place the rolls in a baking dish or oven-safe Dutch oven.
  3. For the sauce, combine the tomato sauce, tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and 1/2 cup of water; pour over the cabbage rolls. Cover and bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour. Remove the rolls with a slotted spoon and discard the toothpicks.
  4. Place pan with juices over medium heat or transfer the juices to a saucepan and place over medium heat; stir cornstarch and water mixture into the sauce; bring to a boil and cook until thickened.
  5. Serve the cabbage rolls with the sauce.

Serves 6.

Reader Comments

  • "I have been craving cabbage rolls for a long time, but both my husband and son do not like cabbage and my husband doesn't like tomatoes. I wanted to find a cabbage roll recipe that would win even them over. I had a very basic recipe in my ancient cookbook, but it did not have much in the way of flavor, and even I wasn't crazy about it. So I researched on the internet and found this recipe and decided to try it. Well, all three of us -- even my husband and son who don't like cabbage -- LOVED this recipe! My son said it was the best he had ever eaten, and my husband was practically licking his plate clean. This is one of those recipes that you eat until you are uncomfortable, and are then frustrated because you are too full to eat more -- it is SO good! I'd give it 10 stars if I could!" Sunshine
  • "This was my first time making these and it was so simple. My husband loved them - I made the 12 and he wanted more. I'm so glad I found it on here.I promise you will like it!" Melissa
  • "We tried this recipe tonight ... followed it step by step. Delicious and so Easy to prepare. I printed this up and added it to my recipe box. The entire Family raved..... As a Mom and a Grandmother of 4, I am giving this recipe 5 Stars... I LOVE IT!" Army Mom

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