Best Stuffed Cabbage Rolls


Tender leaves of cabbage are wrapped around a hearty sirloin and rice filling and topped with a homemade tomato sauce in this family-friendly recipe for stuffed cabbage leaves. The hint of allspice and slight tang from vinegar create a perfect balance in this dish. They remind me of eating at a Lebanese food festival, although not quite as spicy. Serve with Greek salad or tabouli salad and warm pita for the perfect bite!

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
12 cabbage rolls


  • 6 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 large head cabbage

  • 2 teaspoons oil

  • ½ cup minced onion

  • 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce

  • 1 (14 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained

  • ¾ cup water

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

  • 1 pound ground sirloin

  • 1 cup uncooked white rice

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1 medium lemon, cut into 6 wedges

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley, or to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Stir in 4 teaspoons salt. Remove loose, outer leaves from the cabbage and place in the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from the water and set aside.

  2. Remove core from the cabbage and carefully place the head in the boiling water. Cook for 5 minutes, removing the outer leaves one at a time as they loosen every minute. Set aside 12 large leaves and reserve inner portion of the cabbage for another use.

  3. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Set aside 2 tablespoons minced onion for cabbage rolls; add remaining onion to the hot oil. Cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, undrained diced tomatoes, water, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  5. Prepare cabbage rolls: Mix sirloin, rice, garlic, reserved minced onion, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, remaining pepper, and allspice together in a bowl until well combined.

  6. Place a softened cabbage leaf on a cutting board and remove the bottom, tough portion of the stem. Place about 3 tablespoons meat filling into the center of the leaf. Fold the sides inward and roll the leaf up tightly, like a burrito or spring roll. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling.

  7. Pour 1 cup tomato sauce mixture in a bottom of a 9x13-inch or 11x7-inch baking dish. Place cabbage rolls, seam-side down, in the baking dish and pour remaining sauce on top. Cover tightly with foil.

  8. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Lightly squeeze a wedge of lemon over each serving and garnish with parsley.

Cook's Note:

If the cabbage leaves are smaller, prepare this dish with 2 medium heads instead of 1 large, as to attain the best larger leaves for rolling.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

390 Calories
13g Fat
46g Carbs
23g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 390
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 52mg 17%
Sodium 2457mg 107%
Total Carbohydrate 46g 17%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 23g
Vitamin C 101mg 503%
Calcium 146mg 11%
Iron 6mg 35%
Potassium 949mg 20%

* 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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