These delicious traditional stuffed Cabbage Rolls are made with ground sausage and ground beef with a sweet and tangy tomato sauce. They are one of our favorite comfort food recipes and perfect for the cold fall and winter months. I like to serve them with pumpernickel bread with soft butter and a light dessert like Lemon Chiffon Pie.
If your family is anything like mine then they love a great cabbage dinner. My family just loves cabbage and can never seem to get enough of it. Have you tried any of my other cabbage recipes? Southern Fried Cabbage, Haluski (Bacon Cabbage and Noodles) Cabbage Stir Fry with Bacon and Sausage along with these delectable Cabbage Rolls are just a few of our favorites.
Now this Cabbage Rolls recipe calls for ground beef and ground sausage but you can use all of one or the other. You can even use ground pork or a mixture of all of these ground meats. It really just boils down to what you and your family like best. Be sure to read all my helpful hints and tips for this soul-warming recipe. Cabbage Rolls should be fun and easy so you can make them for your family often.
How to make Cabbage Rolls
Start by boiling the whole head of cabbage in a big pot of water for about five minutes. This helps the leaves become more pliable for stuffing and rolling. It also helps keep the leaves from tearing when removed from the head. Let the cabbage drain and then carefully peel 12 leaves from the head.
Next heat a little olive oil in a large skillet. Then add the onion and cook for several minutes. Next reduce the heat and add the garlic and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly. Now add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, cider vinegar and brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Then let the sauce simmer while you prepare the stuffed cabbage.
Now in a large bowl mix the ground sausage, ground beef, rice, onion, garlic, egg, parsley, paprika, salt and pepper together. Spread a thin layer of the simmering tomato sauce in a bottom of a casserole dish. Working with the cabbage rolls on a flat surface add about 1/3 cup of the meat mixture to the center of each cabbage leaf. Now fold in the sides and roll up the cabbage placing seam side down in the casserole dish. Repeat until all the cabbage rolls are stuffed. Then pour remaining sauce over the cabbage rolls. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for about 80-90 minutes.
Recipe Tips and Notes for Cabbage Rolls
- Buy a large head of cabbage so you have large leaves to work with and extra leaves just in case.
- Choose what ever mixture of ground beef, ground pork or sausage your family will like best. My husband loves sausage so I often make it with 100% ground sausage.
- Don’t skip the step to boil the cabbage. It really makes all the difference when it comes to rolling these guys. It is almost impossible to roll a cabbage leaf that has not been boiled since it is stiff as a board.
- The ground meat does not need to be precooked.
- After boiling the cabbage slice the root end off about a 1/2 – 3/4’s inch up. This will make it easier to remove the leaves.
- Are you always in a hurry and need to cut a few corners? Use your favorite jarred marinara sauce and simply add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 1/2 -2 tablespoons brown sugar.
- Switch out the cider vinegar for balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar.
- Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil so they steam a little bit in the oven softening the cabbage leaves.
- Cut a V shape on the root end of each cabbage leaf to get rid of the tough part of the leaf and to make it easier to roll.
- If you do not have access to Minute Rice than simply parboil 1 cup of rice.
How to soften and remove the leafs from a head of cabbage
First bring a large pot of water to a boil. I use an 8 quart stockpot. Then submerge that head of cabbage in the pot for about five minutes. I usually roll it over about halfway through the cooking time. Then remove to a colander to drain. Once drained and cooled cut about 1/2-3/4 inch above the stem end and discard. These simple steps will make it so much easier to remove the leaves and make them more pliable for rolling.
Classic cabbage rolls are one of my favorite comfort food dishes. Here are some more favorites you should try:
- Cheesy Pierogi Casserole
- Chicken and Vegetable Stew
- Pan-Fried Chicken and Creamy Gravy
- Cabbage Roll Casserole
- Slow Cooker Pot Roast
Classic Cabbage Rolls
Family friendly Cabbage Rolls stuffed with ground pork, ground beef and rice smothered in a sweet and tangy tomato sauce.
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Cook Time: 90 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
- Yield: 12 cabbage rolls 1x
- Category: main meal
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: German
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 can (15 ounce) tomato sauce
- 1 can (14.5 ounce) petite diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 large head green cabbage
- 1/2 lb ground pork sausage
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup Minute Rice (or parboiled rice)
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Bring a large stock pot of water to boil. Add the whole head of cabbage and boil for 5 minutes. Remove to colander to drain and cool. Once cooled cut 1/2 inch off the stem end of the cabbage. Carefully remove 12 leaves and cut the tough rib out of the stem end in the shape of a V.
- In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes; stirring several times. Reduce heat to low and add garlic. Cook for 1 minute stirring constantly. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, cider vinegar and brown sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Spoon a thin layer of the tomato sauce in a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. In a large bowl mix the ground pork sausage, ground beef, onion, garlic, egg, rice, parsley and paprika. Place about 1/3 cup of the meat mixture in the center of the cabbage roll. Bring in the sides and roll tight. Place on tomato sauce in casserole dish. Repeat until all the cabbage rolls are made and in the casserole dish. Top with remaining tomato sauce.
- Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 80-90 minutes
Keywords: stuffed cabbage rolls, how to make cabbage rolls, amazing stuffed cabbage rolls, cabbage rolls, classic cabbage rolls, cabbage rolls recipe, beef cabbage rolls, pork cabbage rolls, cabbage roll sauce