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Classic Cabbage Rolls

I've always enjoyed cabbage rolls but didn't make them since most methods were too complicated. This recipe is fairly simple and results in the best cabbage rolls. My husband, Sid, requests them often. They're terrific to share at gatherings with our children and grandchildren. —Beverly Zehner, McMinnville, Oregon
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Cook: 1-1/2 hours
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 1 medium head cabbage
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onion, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) Italian stewed tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1/4 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup V8 juice, optional


  • In a Dutch oven, cook cabbage in boiling water for 10 minutes or until outer leaves are tender; drain. Rinse in cold water; drain. Remove 8 large outer leaves (refrigerate remaining cabbage for another use); set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, saute 1 cup onion in butter until tender. Add the tomatoes, garlic, brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the rice, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and remaining onion and salt. Crumble beef and sausage over mixture and mix well.
  • Remove thick vein from cabbage leaves for easier rolling. Place about 1/2 cup meat mixture on each leaf; fold in sides. Starting at an unfolded edge, roll up leaf to completely enclose filling. Place seam side down in a skillet. Top with the sauce.
  • Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour. Add V8 juice if desired. Reduce heat to low; cook 20 minutes longer or until rolls are heated through and a thermometer inserted in the filling reads 160°.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (2 each) equals 499 calories, 21 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 85 mg cholesterol, 1,845 mg sodium, 49 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 32 g protein.

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  • Ashley
    Oct 25, 2020

    When you print the recipe it tells how much beef and sausage to use. Sorry! Or in the immortal words of Gilda Radner as Rozanne Rozannadanna, "Never mind!"

  • skpage
    Jul 16, 2020

    No comment left

  • Kasia
    Jun 11, 2020

    Absolutely wonderful! Although, being Polish I definitely did not add the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. generally the filling is very simple. Half portion of rice compared to the meat with onions, garlic and salt and pepper. As for the sauce, plain tomato sauce, about 4 cubed tomatoes, mixed in some water to make it liquidy, I personally like the sauce to be just a little watery with golombkis. Thank you for this recipe!! A lot of happy bellies in the household! ALSO! a good tip i received from my roommate, is to chop up the ends of the cabbage leafs and place them into the skillet for the rolls to sit on. this way they wont burn.

  • Gramma Amy
    Apr 16, 2020

    Good recipe that we enjoyed. I made a couple minor changes due to ingredients on hand: In place of stewed tomatoes, I used 1 can petite diced tomatoes and 1 can tomato sauce. We love garlic, so used 5 cloves. And to the rice meat mixture, I added 1 egg. I baked for 1 3/4 hours at 325 degrees in a small roaster pan with 1 small can of sauerkraut on the bottom to help keep the rolls from sticking and for flavor when serving. Placed the rolls on top of the kraut, and covered with the tomato mixture. It was very good, and I had left overs to freeze for a fast meal another day.

  • mshaus8
    Apr 3, 2020

    Good grief, so menu complainers! Take it for what it is, just a good recipe.. if you want to try it g for it, if not, don't. It's just one version and just happens to be the one out family loves. Sometimes we even add mushrooms ?? it's a great recipe!

  • pookie136
    Mar 3, 2020

    Mary, She did not say these were your "authentic Hungarian" cabbage rolls.all regions of the world have a different version and name for them.Our Golbakis don't use your ingredients. So unless you actually made them it's not very cook friendly of you to knock the recipe and give it a bad review. Have you submitted your recipe?

  • jb1011
    Mar 2, 2020

    I agree with Mary, this isn't a classic stuffed cabbage recipe. You need the rue(with tomato paste added), sauerkraut (ideally also whole pickled heads of cabbage), smoked bacon and smoked ribs, and off course Vegeta. Also, no Italian seasoning and sausage. My mom always added uncooked rice (not cooked)that was sautéed in some oil, till translucent. My mom always served it with mashed potatoes as that's what the kids preferred. She would have just liked plain boiled potatoes.

  • Marleen
    Dec 21, 2019

    Mary, I make this all the time and do not use italian seasonings or italian sausage...But I would definitely love your recipe with sauerkraut, sounds yummy!! If your willing to share your recipe, please e-mail it to me [email protected] [email protected]

  • Mary
    Sep 17, 2019

    yuk im Hungarian and this is not authentic at all. Italien seasoning does NOT go in this recipe..where is the ham hock, the rue, the sauerkraut? smh

  • gmalovesyou
    Oct 14, 2018

    This has been a family favorite for many years. I mix tomato soup and tomato sauce instead for a creamier sauce to put over mashed potatoes. My family loves it.