I never thought I’d say that a meat-stuffed cabbage would be my new favorite dish, but it is true. I guess that’s what living in a house with three guys will do to you! I’d tried a recipe for stuffed cabbage a while back, and I didn’t like it. It used bratwurst, which I’m not the biggest fan of in the first place. Plus, I think the dish and I had just gotten off on the wrong foot to begin with. Cabbage rolls were always something I saw other families eating, and were kind of grossed out by. Meat and cabbage, okay. But, to slather it in tomato sauce? Weird.

I came across this recipe on Pinterest, and I couldn’t wait to try it. I had originally written in Swedish meatballs into our menu for the week, but decided to swap it out for the cabbage rolls where the main ingredients (ground pork and beef) were the same. Completely and totally blew everyone away! They are braised in red wine, and that really does something for the cabbage. Cabbage can be such a harsh flavor, but the wine balances it right out. And, the cabbage mellows the wine out. It’s a win-win! The rice combined with the ground meats really lightens up the texture of the filling, too. Often meat fillings can be so dense and rubbery – this was just right. Also, I’m pleased to report that the tomato sauce fits right in perfectly. You really can’t go wrong when the base for the sauce is the delicious beefy, wine-y braising liquid. If you’re looking for a last minute Christmas Eve supper, look no further. With a little bit of prep work leafing the head of cabbage (that I actually found quite fun!), this is a dinner that takes care of itself on the stove top – so you can spend more time doing the fun stuff. Plus, the scent of it bubbling away is intoxicating…

Also, I finally hopped on the Facebook bandwagon. Stop by and say howdy over there, if you are so inclined. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!


17 Comments

  1. Posted December 25, 2011 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

    You have such sweet kids….lovely family. These cabbage rolls are so mouth-watering! Bookmarked.

  2. Posted December 27, 2011 at 7:59 AM | Permalink

    This looks so delicious!
    Great family photo! Happy holidays to you and your family!
    Love your blog! Nice finding you!
    Visit me at: my-greek-cooking.blogspot.com

  3. Posted January 3, 2012 at 8:33 AM | Permalink

    What a great family pic! I love stuffed cabbage rolls, but my husband doesn’t like cabbage. This recipe makes me think I should just tell him to take the cabbage off….or maybe try them and he might like it. Looks mouthwatering…and mashed potatoes are a must!

  4. Posted January 13, 2012 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    Too funny, I just saw this photo on Pinterest and had to come take a look. I might have to put these on our Sunday dinner menu. Yum!

  5. Posted June 15, 2012 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

    Hi. Thanks for the recipe. I was looking for something to take to a covered dish dinner. Will take these, plus the mashed potatoes if I can. will try your blog. Thanks again. Helen

  6. Willie
    Posted April 16, 2013 at 5:42 PM | Permalink

    Since it’s being simmered on low for several hours, would it be possible to cook this in a crockpot instead?

  7. Kathy
    Posted June 9, 2013 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

    Laura,
    Years ago my brother-in-law who is Hungarian, taught me home to make stuffed cabbage. To this day, our 4 grown boys and their families, all our friends look forward to cooler weather when I start making my stuffed cabbage. I will try the wine, but my recipe calls for – none other than Cambell’s tomato soup instead of beef broth, no tomato paste or flour.
    The soup will make the sauce thick enough. Lately I have tried a crock pot and it works fine. I could never cook it on the stove, I would alsways burn the bottom. I always put it in the oven at 325 degrees in a roasting pan with a lid for 2 to 3 hours, depending on the thickness of the rolls.

    • Posted June 9, 2013 at 6:19 PM | Permalink

      The wine definitely adds a great flavor – but by the time it’s finished cooking doesn’t taste like wine. I will have to try the oven cooking method in the fall, when it cools down!

  8. Rick King
    Posted October 7, 2013 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

    How many cans of Campbell soup do you use for this?

    • Posted October 8, 2013 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

      Rick, I don’t use any tomato soup in the recipe. I use tomato paste, flour, and red wine to make the sauce.

  9. Mark
    Posted October 7, 2013 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    My Russian Mother-in-Law makes these sometimes using a head of sour cabbage instead of fresh, which lends a great pickled flavour to them – different but very tasty. If you try it I would recommend dropping the wine as the sour cabbage already tastes fairly vinegary. Also, of course, you don’t boil sour cabbage during the prep process since it is already soft and pliable. But you cook them the same as the rest of the recipe.

  10. Posted October 24, 2013 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    MY UKRAINIAN FAMILY MAKE THE CABBAGE ROLLS WITH RICE, HAMBURG,SALT,PEPPER ,ROLL THEM UP PUT IN ROASTER ADD TOMAYO JUICE AND COVER CABBAGE LEAVES ON THEMIXTURE ,PUT ALUMINUM FOIL OVER THE ROASTER AND PUT IN THE OVER 325 FOR 3 HOURS.
    I ON THE OTHER HAND LIKE MINE WITH A TWIST GARLIC , GREEK OREGANO SALT, PEPPER,CUT UP GREEN PEPPERS OR CRUSHED CHILLI FLAKES,ONIONS.I COOK MY RICE AND BOIL THE CABBAGE, COMBINE THE HAMBURG,RICE AND SEASONING CUT UP ONIONS .I ALSO GET HAMBURG SEASONING IN THE STORE ADD TO THE MIXTURE,A LSO SOYA SAUCE MIX TOGETHER ROLL MY CABBAGE IN THE MIXTURE. PUT IN ROASTER ADD TOMATO JUICE AND ADD A LITTLE HERB DEPROVENCE SPICE TO THE TOP COVER WITH ALUMIUM, PLACE IN OVEN 325 FOR 2-3 HOURS . SOMETIMES I GRATE MOZZERALLA CHESEON MY CABBAGE ROLL.AND I PUT OTHER HERBS IN MY MIXTURE THE HERB DEPROVENCE HAS A NICE TASTE SO I PUT SOME IN HALF OF THE MIXTURE AS MY BROTHER DOES NOT LIKE SPICES. HE LIKED MY MOTHERS I LIKE MINE.

  11. Mariana
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    My ancestry is Polish/Ukrainian. My mother also used canned tomato soup for the sauce, but the wine and broth sounds yummy. I have used V8 mixed with a can of tomato soup, but add some bay leaf in. This is really good, too. I always roast mine (why have to stand over the stove to check them? Put in the oven and forget about them for a few hours.).
    Also, here’s great tip for the cabbage – less electricity, time and fuss – just buy your cabbage well ahead of time and freeze it. Take it out about a day before making rolls to allow it to completely thaw out (put in a large strainer in sink or over a large bowl/pot to catch water/juice. When cabbage has thawed it is ready to roll! Just remove the cabbage core and use the leaves.

    I have seen the soured cabbage available in the grocery store. Otherwise, you would add some vinegar to the boiling water if softening cabbage that way, but try the thawing method – it is so labor-saving :-) And I like to substitute Savoy cabbage for the regular green cabbage sometimes, more delicate flavor and leaves not so thick.

    I know cabbage can have a strong smell, but cabbage rolls cooked in sauce until tender are a rolls in sautéed onion next day, but these days a microwave does the trick quick.hole other “animal”. You can substitute ground chicken or turkey for the pork/beef also. We would reheat r

    Lastly, we never served the cabbage scraps used to keep the steam in, just discarded those. You can also just put some sauce on the bottom of the roaster, place in your rolls and cover with tin foil, then the lid. ENJOY!!!

    • Posted October 27, 2013 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

      Mariana, that is a wonderful idea. Can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks so much for the freezer tip!

  12. Mariana
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 3:55 PM | Permalink

    P.S
    I just read a recipe for Romanian cabbage rolls and the author suggested that if you buy a sour cabbage from the store to use it can be salty so she suggests soaking the sour cabbage in a pot of water first to remove some of the salt.

  13. Nicole
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 2:51 AM | Permalink

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! It is exactly the way my Russian family used to make. My Grandmother passed away and I lost the recipe I was heartbroken! Thanks so much!

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