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Classic Cabbage Rolls

Classic Cabbage Rolls

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It’s a classic for a reason!

Whether you call them cabbage rolls, stuffed cabbage, piggies, golabki, or something else, cabbage leaves filled with meat and rice provide a comfort food that the whole table will likely love.

Cabbage rolls are quite common in Eastern European and Middle Eastern cuisine, with variances in filling and spices. Different regions also use different sauces in their recipes, with this one calling for a tomato-based sauce that is popular in Eastern European and some Egyptian presentations. This recipe calls on several regional nuances, leaving a dinner table dish with a unique flavor.

We’ve included instructions on cooking in the oven and the slow cooker, so you can pick your preferred method.

Serves (Makes about six servings)


12 cabbage leaves
1 cup cooked white rice (cook in beef broth for added flavor)
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup minced onion
1 pound extra-lean meat, half ground beef and half ground pork
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 14.5-ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes, with liquid
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


First, steam the entire head of cabbage in a pot of boiling water, making sure to cut off the core first. Let the cabbage head boil for about 6-8 minutes — if you notice leaves separating from the head, you can gentlypeel awaythe softened leaves with a long fork. Drain the head of cabbage and peel the necessary amount of leaves when cool.

Grab a large bowl and combine the rice, egg, milk, onion, garlic powder, ground beef, ground pork, salt, and pepper. Scoop about a 1/4 cup of this mixture into the center of each cabbage leaf and roll them up, making sure to tuck in the ends.

If you’d like to slow cook them, place the rolls in the slow cooker. If you’d like to bake them, place them in a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish. If you are using the oven, preheat it to 350 degrees F.

In a separate bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce.

Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls.

If using the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours. If using the oven, cover with foil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees F.

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