These easy Old-Fashioned Cabbage Rolls are stuffed with a savoury ground beef mixture, coated in tomato sauce and are oh so scrumptious! Inspired by my grandmother, it'll be the only stuffed cabbage roll recipe you'll need!
Course Main Dish
Keyword old fashioned cabbage rolls, Sunday supper recipe
1cupCOOKED long grain brown rice(or similar variety)
1.5poundslean ground beef(or 'extra lean')
1onion, peeled and minced
1/3cupparsley, roughly chopped
1/2 to 1teaspoonred chili flakes (optional)
42ouncestomato sauce, divided (Three 398 millilitre cans or 14 ounce cans (roughly 5 cups). See point 5 below in recipe 'Notes.')
1mediumhead green cabbage(you'll need about 18 leaves for the rolls and another 8 to 10 or so for the bottom of the dish and over top.)
1/2cupwater(leftover from boiling cabbage)
fresh dill, chopped (garnish, optional)
Cook rice per package instructions and lay to one side. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit at this point too
In a large bowl combine ground beef with Worcestershire sauce, egg, cooked rice, onion, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, dill, onion powder, red chili flakes (if using) and 1/2 cup of tomato sauce. Mix until combined.
In a large point of boiling water, add head of cabbage and boil for 8 to 10 minutes (carefully turn over part-way through). Carefully remove. Don't discard water because you will need to re-boil the cabbage as you start to peel off the leaves and you will need some of the water for your sauce.Note: Don't fill pot all the way up because the cabbage will displace some of the water. Before boiling water, test how much the water will displace by placing the head of cabbage in the pot.
Once cabbage is cool enough to handle, carefully remove leaves and cut out core from each leaf. Once you start taking leaves off, you'll likely need to add the cabbage back to the boiling water (to soften more leaves). Just boil for another bit, let cool enough to handle and continue removing leaves.
Place some cabbage leaves on the bottom of a deep 9" x 13" baking dish or roasting pan. Taking one leaf at a time, distribute about 1/4 cup of ground beef mixture on top and wrap up (fold in sides and roll up, placing in prepared dish, seam side down. Continue with remaining ground beef mixture/leaves.
Combine remaining tomato sauce with 1/2 cup of cabbage water. Whisk to incorporate everything. Pour over top of cabbage rolls. Note: You could stir in about a tablespoon or so of white or brown sugar into the tomato sauce if you want less of a tomato bite. I like the brightness of tomatoes, so I skip this.
Top with more cabbage leaves. Cover casserole dish tightly with foil. Cover and bake about 2 hours and 15 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes.
Once done, be careful removing foil covering as there will be steam. Discard top cabbage leaves. Allow to cool for 20 minutes or so before digging in. Garnish, if desired. Enjoy!
Use lean or extra lean ground beef. If the beef is too fatty, it will leach out into your tomato sauce and the end result will be too greasy.
Roll the cabbage leaves tight and place in the casserole dish seam side down.
You can add a little brown or white sugar to your tomato sauce if you want less of a tomato bite.
If you opt for a 'no salt added' tomato sauce, you may have to add a little salt to the mix. Just add to taste.
Alternatively, you can replace some of the tomato sauce with canned tomatoes. Use diced or whole peeled tomatoes (crush whole canned tomatoes with your hands or a potato masher). If opting for this, use one 28 ounce can of tomatoes, along with one 14 ounce can of tomato sauce.
To add more richness to the tomato sauce, mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons of tomato paste into the sauce/water mixture when pouring over the stuffed cabbage rolls.