Saturday, January 2, 2021

Favorite Cabbage Rolls

The history of Cabbage Rolls goes way back, and several countries claim to have started this tasty main dish. There are many variations as to how to make Cabbage Rolls, and here is my own. Enjoy this family favorite with your family! It's a great dish, especially on New Year's Day!

While growing up, I did not like Cooked Cabbage, but I always ate it on New Year's Day. Why? That's because my parents always said I had to eat cabbage on New Year's Day to have money all year. Of course I wanted money, so I ate it. I knew some families who cooked coins in their cabbage dishes to make sure they had money!

Several years later my mom starting making Cabbage Rolls, and they were better than Cooked Cabbage on New Year's Day. I loved her Cabbage Rolls and wanted to make it for my family, but that recipe was not in her recipe box. I have experimented with different ingredients and amounts, and this recipe of mine is now a family favorite. It tastes and smells delicious!

Makes about 16-20

Favorite Cabbage Rolls


Meat Mixture Ingredients:

2 lbs. lean ground chuck or 1 lb. ground chuck and 1 lb. ground turkey
3/4 teas. salt 
1/4 teas. black pepper
1/4 teas. Italian seasoning
1/8 teas. garlic powder
1 medium onion, chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten 
2/3 cup long grain rice (uncooked)
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Tomato Sauce Ingredients:

1 - 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste (6 oz)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 cups low-sodium beef broth
3 cups water  
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 teas salt or to taste
garlic powder - a few "shakes"
black pepper - a few "shakes" (optional)

Additional Ingredients:

1 or 2 medium heads of cabbage


Step 1:
In a large bowl, mix all Tomato Sauce Ingredients. Cover and set aside.

Step 2:
Remove outside leaves of cabbage and rinse. Carefully make cuts around the stalk to help remove cabbage leaves.

Place the head of cabbage in hot water in a pot that is wide and tall enough to hold the cabbage head. Heat covered on low heat on the stove. When water is hot, turn down to very low.

As the cabbage leaves soften, remove leaves with tongs and place in a large baking dish or pan. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm, soft, and moist. 

Softened Cabbage Leaves

Step 3:

While the cabbage leaves soften, combine Meat Mixture Ingredients in a large bowl. Mix by hand until combined well.

Line a large baking pan with wax paper or aluminum foil. Use a 1/4 cup measure to scoop heaping 1/4 cup "meatballs" onto the lined pan.

Place 1 meatball on each softened cabbage leaf. Wrap the cabbage leaf around the meatball.  Secure with 1-2 wooden toothpicks.

Place cabbage rolls in a large pot, toothpick side down. Arrange extra cabbage leaves on top of the cabbage rolls.

Pour Tomato Sauce Mixture on top of the cabbage rolls.

Bring to a boil. Cook on low heat for about 1-1/2 hours. 

Cabbage Rolls are done when the internal temperature of the meat reaches at least 160 degrees.

Serve with Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and/or your favorite side dishes. The Tomato Sauce Broth makes a great sauce to pour over Mashed Potatoes and other vegetables.

My Favorite Cabbage Rolls


  1. Looks just like my cabbage rolls! I have been a cook for many years, and like yourself, from Southern WV, Boone Co. I had them for New Years. We also have red hair in common, hahahahaha.

    1. I have found that lots of great cooks come from Boone County, WV. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Dixie! I think you will love them. Let me know how they turn out!