Russian Cabbage Rolls with Gravy


Stuffed cabbage rolls are very popular in Russia and a staple in people's diet, especially during the winter. This stuffed cabbage recipe features rice and mixed ground meat. You can substitute ground turkey for a lighter version.

Prep Time:
40 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr 40 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 20 mins
8 cabbage rolls


  • 1 medium head cabbage

  • 2 ½ cups water, divided

  • ¾ cup uncooked white rice

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

  • 2 onions, chopped, divided

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • ¾ pound ground pork

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 3 carrots, grated

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs, or as needed (Optional)


  1. Make slits in cabbage base or cut out entire core. Fill a large saucepan 1/3 full of water; bring to a boil. Cook whole cabbage in boiling water, turning occasionally, until softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and cool. Cut cabbage leaves off cabbage one by one, trying to keep them intact. Cut out any tough, thick center ribs of the large leaves with a sharp knife.

  2. Bring 1 1/2 cups water and rice to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet. Cook 1/2 of the onions in hot oil until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add cooked rice, ground beef, ground pork, salt, and pepper to onions in the bowl; mix with your hands until filling is well combined.

  4. Lay 1 cabbage leaf on a flat surface. Place 1 tablespoon filling at the base of a cabbage leaf. Overlap with the bottom of the leaf; fold in side edges and roll up. Repeat with remaining cabbage and filling.

  5. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat and fry cabbage rolls in hot oil until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a large pot and sprinkle with remaining onion and grated carrots.

  6. Stir together tomato paste and sour cream in a medium bowl until well combined. Whisk in 1 cup water; season with salt and herbs. Pour over cabbage rolls.

  7. Cover the pot and cook over medium-low heat until cabbage rolls are cooked through and sauce has thickened, about 45 minutes.

    close up view of Russian Cabbage Rolls with Gravy garnished with fresh herbs on a white plate

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

377 Calories
21g Fat
27g Carbs
21g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 377
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 64mg 21%
Sodium 164mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 47mg 233%
Calcium 86mg 7%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 620mg 13%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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