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Do you have a great cabbage roll recipe?

Just given a couple of cabbages and the thought 'cabbage rolls'. I'd like to make a bunch and freeze them in large Zip Locks.
Any suggestion are greatly appreciated. I could 'Goggle' some recipes but going to the 'CHers' seems best.

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  1. I cobble together a recipe I really like from Julia Child's The Way to Cook. I use a ham filling (she has several options). If I am feeling ambitious, I make the version that looks like a big cabbage (you layer the leaves in a bowl), but I also sometimes make packets. I haven't ever frozen them.

    I haven't made this version from Smitten Kitchen, but am planning to once it is a little more winter like:


    1. I have tried a few, many of which were a lot of work. I found one I liked that is not at all difficult and tastes wonderful: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cabbage-... We double the sauce recipe as we must be using smaller cabbage leaves (the sauce is nowhere near enough without doubling).

      I want to try some variations including ground lamb.

      1. I make them the way my Slovak grandma taught my mother...
        1 cup cooked rice
        1 lb ground beef
        1 egg
        1 small onion, minced
        Chopped parsley, salt and pepper
        Mix all. Wrap in softened cabbage leaves (I nuke the cored head to soften them)

        Saute in a little oil in a Dutch oven:
        1 small onion, chopped
        Add a good tsp or two Hungarian paprika, stir a little over heat and add a couple cups of tomato sauce or puree.
        Place the cabbage rolls in the sauce, top off with more tomato sauce to cover rolls. Simmer for an hour or so.

        Serve with homemade mashed potatoes.

        1. I do not. However, i have a great tip. I have to make these often for my mother. Tomato sauce, white based sauce. I find it tedious to get nice full leaves. Put your cabbage in the freezer and defrost. Yay! Just like blanching but so much easier

          2 Replies
          1. re: Goatjunky

            Thanks. I put the cabbages in the freezer yesterday. What is the 'white based sauce'?.

            1. re: Puffin3

              I wing mine, because its just something we had when i was young and copied Mom. This is close. I believe, but am not sure, that this is a swedish thing. Closest i could find


          2. There have been a couple of great threads on this topic over the years:
            I don't have my recipe here with me, can post it later, but it is cobbled together from these threads and others like them over the years. I make a big batch in the winter and freeze in smaller portions. They freeze extremely well.

            1. Yes, lots of recipes already posted here, but my little piece of wisdom is to cook them long, low and slow. You really want the flavors to meld and the cabbage to become very soft, even translucent.

              5 Replies
              1. re: monavano

                posted this note before-don't know where/when.
                LATimes Culinary SOS 30+ years ago had a recipe for cabbage rolls using cinnamon & brown sugar in the meat filling < not much of either as I recall but by far best I've ever had or made. haven't been thrilled with too many attempts since.

                1. re: iL Divo

                  I think that would work nicely with a sweet and sour type tomato sauce.

                2. re: monavano

                  I'll be sure to do that. 'Everything' in life is better enjoyed 'low and slow'.
                  'Fast and Furious' is for 'newbies'.
                  Two bulls on a hill top watching a bunch of heifers in the valley: Young bull: "let's run down and get one of them". Old bull: "Let's walk down a get them all".

                  1. re: Puffin3

                    It sound so basic, but when I first tried to replicate the golabki of my childhood, something just wasn't right. I just didn't get it, until one day, I was standing in a cafeteria style Polish restaurant, asking for a golabki. I'd had golabki there before and they're fantastic.
                    Then it hit me as I was looking at the long steam table that kept the food warm. Low and slow!
                    Low and slow.

                    1. re: monavano

                      Most cooking falls into either the low and slow or else
                      the hot and fast.

                3. Hmm. I don't use a recipe but one tip I can give when filling the rolls is to spread the filling out over the leaf instead of leaving it in one pile.

                  In other words, roll them jelly roll style and not burrito style. That way the cabbage and meat is combined in every bite in a cleaner way.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Violatp

                    I don't do that-- my method is to make a mound and roll, but my other tip is no not cut out the stem. It gets good and soft during braising and just makes good sense when rolling.

                    1. re: monavano

                      Heh. And I always cut out the stem!

                      I suppose there can be a hundred pans of golabki and a hundred different versions.

                      1. re: Violatp

                        The wide array of preparations is amazing.

                  2. This is my grandmother Billie Provost's recipe. We called her Maw-Maw. (some in the family spell it MoMo, which gets a little closer to the pronunciation.) We are a cajun family. These are The. Best. I'm including her stuffed bell pepper recipe as well, just because. If you make them and like them and make them again, please credit her :)

                    Note: I sometimes use fresh garlic and spice it up a little but the original recipe is really special.

                    MAW-MAW’s CABBAGE ROLLS

                    1 ½ lb ground chuck

                    1 ½ t salt

                    3 oz cans tomato sauce (or homemade)

                    1 pinch garlic powder

                    red pepper to taste

                    ½ t chili powder

                    1 ½ cup cooked white rice

                    1 onion chopped

                    Mix meat, rice, onions, salt, garlic, pepper with can of tomato sauce. Mix well.

                    Core out the bottom of a head of cabbage and boil or steam 5-10 minutes until leaves are soft. The top leaves are done before the middle… so I remove the top ones to cool then finish blanching the others.

                    Put a large tablespoon of meat mixture on each leaf, depending on size of leaf. To fold over, pull the sides over the meat, then the thicker part of cabbage and roll so meat cannot fall out. Done properly, you will not have to use toothpicks.

                    Put in a thick pot tightly placed next to one another and add 2 cans tomato sauce mixed with two cans of water. Fill sauce almost to top of pot and cook on medium until done.

                    MAW MAW’S STUFFED PEPPERS

                    3 bell peppers cut in half

                    1 ½ lb ground meat

                    ½ cup chopped celery

                    ½ cup chopped onion

                    ½ cup finely chopped bell pepper

                    sprinkle of garlic powder

                    red or black pepper and salt to taste

                    1 8oz can of tomato sauce

                    3 or 4 slices of toasted bread

                    Saute meat and onions until almost brown, then add seasonings. (You can toast the bread while meat is cooking)

                    Scrape toast slices together for a few fine crumbs to put on top of the peppers, then soak the bread slices with a little water, milk and egg.

                    Add the tomato sauce and a little water to the meat, cook down a little more, then add bread, squeezing to remove moisture as you go. Mix in bread well.

                    Par boil peppers after they are halved and cleaned. Do not boil as they will get too soft. Cool peppers then fill with the meat mixture. Sprinke crumbs on top. Bake on 350 for about 10/15 minute

                    1. Suggest you go to Epicurious or to the Saveur recipe search. Donkey's years ago one of them had a tremendous
                      recipe using the basics (ground beef, rice, etc.) but the difference was that when all the leaves had been rolled, you put them in a pan, added whatever sauce you were using and then covered all with sour kraut and baked, covered in a low (300) oven. The tang of the kraut and the sweetness of the rolls made for a wonderful flavor combination. I can't find the recipe, but surely it has not been lost for all time, as it was delicious.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: amazinc

                        Here's my recipe which includes kraut. I never heard of this until I moved to southern Ohio--but I will say it makes delicious cabbage rolls.

                        HUNGARIAN CABBAGE ROLLS

                        1 medium cabbage
                        1 # sauerkraut
                        1/2 # ground beef
                        1/2 # ground pork
                        1/2 c white rice, cooked than cooled
                        1 t salt
                        1/2 t pepper
                        1 egg
                        1 c onion, chopped
                        1 clove garlic, minced
                        2 T Hungarian paprika
                        pinch cayenne pepper
                        16 oz can tomatoes, chopped (I like whole ones that I chop rather than the already chopped ones which I don't think cook up as well)
                        1 c water

                        Core cabbage. Place in large pot and boil until leaves start to loosen, removing 12-16.

                        Put half of the kraut in a dutch oven or large pan.

                        Mix meats, rice, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, and egg. Put 3-4 Tbsp in cabbage leaves, roll up and place seam side down on kraut.

                        Combine remaining ingredients with remaining kraut and pour over rolls. Cover and bake at 325 for 2 hours.