Prep Time: 40 mins | Cook Time: 2 hrs 15 mins | Cooling Time: 20 mins | Total Time: 3 hrs 15 mins | Servings: 18 cabbage rolls
This Old-Fashioned Cabbage roll is an amazing recipe inspired by Nan. Cabbage leaves stuffed with savory ground beef mixture and coated in tomato sauce. These cabbage rolls are insanely delicious!
1 large egg
1.5 lbs lean ground beef, or extra lean ground beef
1 c. COOKED long-grain rice, or similar variety (you’ll need about ⅓ c. of uncooked rice to yield 1 cup of cooked rice)
1.5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 yellow onion, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp dried dill (dill weed)
½ tsp onion powder
⅓ c. chopped fresh parsley
3 (13.5-oz.) cans of tomato sauce, divided (into about three (398 milliliters) cans or 5 cups. 1 medium head green cabbage, you’ll need about 18 leaves for the rolls and another 8 to 10 or so for the bottom of the dish and on top
1.5 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ c. water, left over from boiling cabbage
Chopped fresh dill, garnish to taste (optional)
½ to 1 tsp red chili flakes (crushed red pepper flakes), optional
How to make Old-Fashioned Cabbage Rolls (Inspired by Nan)
Step 1: Following the package directions, cook the rice.
Step 2: Prepare the oven. Preheat it to 350 degrees F.
Step 3: Place the ground beef with Worcestershire sauce, egg, cooked rice, onion, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, dill, onion powder, red chili flakes (if using), and ½ cup of tomato sauce in a large bowl. Mix well until blended and set aside.
Step 4: Place the head of the cabbage in a large pot of boiling water. Cover the pot with a lid ajar and let the water boil for about 8 to 10 minutes. Then, remove the cabbage head carefully. Set the water aside.
Step 5: Remove the cabbage leaves once the cabbage is cool enough to handle, cutting out the core from each leaf.
Step 6: On the bottom of a deep 9 x 13-inch baking dish or roasting pan, place some cabbage leaves.
Step 7: To assemble, start by taking one leaf at a time. On top, distribute approximately 1/4 c. of the ground beef mixture. Fold in the sides and roll up the leaf to wrap the filling. Into the baking dish, place the roll-up, seam side down. Do the same with the rest of the ground beef mixture/leaves.
Step 8: Place the rest of the tomato sauce and half a cup of the cabbage water in a medium bowl. Mix well until combined, then pour this over the cabbage rolls. On top, place more cabbage leaves.
Step 9: Tightly tent the baking dish with aluminum foil. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 2 hours 15 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes until the cabbage rolls are completely cooked and the internal temperature of the rolls reaches 160 degrees F.
Step 10: Carefully take the foil off and discard the top cabbage eaves. Let the cabbage rolls cool for about 20 minutes. Serve garnished with some fresh dill if desired. Enjoy!
For this recipe, use lean or extra ground beef.
Make sure to tightly roll the cabbage leaves and lay them in the baking dish seam side down.
If you want less of the tomato bite, add a bit of brown or white sugar to the tomato sauce.
If desired, you can swap some of the tomato sauce with canned tomatoes. You can use diced or whole peeled tomatoes (use a 28-ounce can of tomatoes with 12 to 14 ounces of can tomato sauce).
Into the sauce/water mixture, stir in 1 to 2 tbsp tomato paste before pouring it over the stuffed cabbage rolls to add more richness to the tomato sauce.
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