Old Fashioned Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Old Fashioned Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, often known as Cabbage Rolls, are a classic comfort food that has graced tables across various cultures for generations. This dish is deeply rooted in tradition, with each region adding its unique twist, but the essence remains the same – tender, savory, and immensely satisfying.

The core of this dish lies in its simplicity and the harmonious blend of flavors. It begins with selecting the perfect cabbage, usually a large, firm head of green cabbage. The leaves are carefully peeled off and blanched in boiling water, making them pliable and ready for stuffing. This process softens the leaves, making them easier to roll without tearing.

The filling is a hearty mixture, traditionally comprising ground meat such as beef, pork, or a combination of both. This meat is seasoned with salt, pepper, and often a mix of herbs and spices that vary by region – like garlic, paprika, or dill. To this, cooked rice is added, which helps to bind the mixture and adds texture. The rice absorbs the flavors of the meat and spices, creating a filling that is both flavorful and substantial.

Each cabbage leaf is then filled with a portion of this meat and rice mixture. The leaf is folded over the filling, tucking in the sides, and then rolled to form a neat parcel. These rolls are then arranged snugly in a baking dish or a large pot.

The sauce in which these rolls are cooked is simple yet vital to the dish. It typically consists of a tomato-based sauce, seasoned lightly with salt, sugar, and perhaps some vinegar, to create a balanced, slightly tangy flavor. This sauce is poured over the cabbage rolls, ensuring they are almost entirely submerged. The rolls are then cooked, either baked in an oven or simmered on the stove top, until the meat is thoroughly cooked and the flavors meld together.

As they cook, the cabbage becomes incredibly tender, almost melting into the sauce, while the filling stays moist and flavorful. The result is a dish that’s both hearty and comforting, with each cabbage roll offering a perfect bite of savory meat, soft rice, and tender leaf, all wrapped in a rich, tangy tomato sauce.

Old Fashioned Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are often served as a main dish, sometimes accompanied by a side of bread or a simple salad. They are a staple at family gatherings, known for their ability to feed a crowd and leave everyone feeling satisfied and nourished. This dish is a beautiful example of homestyle cooking, where simple ingredients are transformed into something truly special – a meal that’s as comforting as it is delicious.


  • 1 large head of green cabbage
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

How To Make Old Fashioned Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Remove the core from the cabbage and carefully separate the leaves. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the cabbage leaves. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Remove the leaves from the water and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, cooked rice, onion, parsley, garlic, egg, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  4. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of the beef mixture onto each cabbage leaf. Roll the leaf up, tucking in the sides, to create a neat package.
  5. In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine diced tomatoes, beef broth, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar. Bring to a simmer.
  6. Place the stuffed cabbage rolls into the pot and spoon some of the sauce over the top.
  7. Cover the pot and bake in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until the cabbage is tender and the meat is cooked through. Serve warm. Enjoy!
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