Sarmale (Stuffed Cabbage or Vine Leaves)


This recipe is a very traditional Moldovan recipe. My mother and my grandmother used to cook it at almost every Moldovan holy day and sometimes on a casual day. I love it! If you cannot find parsley root, you may substitute parsnip or turnip.

Prep Time:
1 hrs
Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
5 servings


  • 3 ¼ cups long grain rice, rinsed

  • 2 pounds pork loin roast, finely diced

  • 1 pound carrots, chopped

  • 1 pound onions, chopped

  • 1 pinch salt to taste

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • ½ teaspoon dried dill weed

  • ¼ cup sunflower seed oil

  • 6 ounces parsley roots, chopped

  • 1 medium head cabbage


  1. Place rice in a medium bowl, and pour boiling water over it. Let soak for 15 minutes, then drain.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, parsley roots, onions and tomato paste. Cook and stir until the vegetables are tender. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the rice.

  3. Heat 2 more tablespoons of oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork, and cook for about 2 minutes, just until browned on the outside. Transfer to the bowl with the rice and vegetables; season with dill and black pepper. Stir until everything is well blended. Set the mixture aside to cool.

  4. Carefully remove the leaves from the head of cabbage, and place them in a large pot with about 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until tender and flexible.

  5. Remove the cabbage leaves from the pot, but leave enough in the bottom to cover. On each of the remaining leaves, place about 2 tablespoons of the pork and rice mixture in the center, and wrap the leaf around to cover. Place the stuffed cabbage leaves into the pot.

  6. When the pot is full, place a few boiled cabbage leaves over the top. Pour boiling water into the pot to cover the cabbage rolls, and place over medium-low heat. Cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the rice is tender.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

917 Calories
21g Fat
127g Carbs
54g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 5
Calories 917
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 104mg 35%
Sodium 275mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 127g 46%
Dietary Fiber 11g 39%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 54g
Vitamin C 81mg 404%
Calcium 170mg 13%
Iron 8mg 43%
Potassium 1505mg 32%

* 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.