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Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

Cabbage leaves stuffed with ground beef and rice and cooked in the oven with a sweet and tangy tomato sauce. Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are one of my favorite comfort foods.

Three Stuffed Cabbage Rolls on a plate.


I’m a huge cabbage lover and surprisingly I only have one cabbage recipe, Sweet and Sour Cabbage, on this blog. Not counting coleslaw of course. But I greatly prefer cooked cabbage to raw cabbage.

I had a similar Stuffed Cabbage Rolls dish at Shapiro’s Delicatessen in Indianapolis last March. Man do they ever have some good food!

Cabbage Rolls on a plate with fork.


Since then I’ve wanted to make Stuffed Cabbage Rolls at home. I found as many recipes as I could and tried to come up with something that would be similar to Shapiro’s Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.

I submerged the cabbage leaves in boiling water for 10 minutes to get them partially cooked. After draining them, I filled them with ground beef, rice, onion, an egg, and some milk, rolled them up, and placed them seam side down in a baking dish. I covered them in a sweet and tangy tomato sauce with brown sugar, vinegar, and a special ingredient- Gingersnap cookies!  It gives them that special something.

It turned out every bit as delicious as I hoped it would.

Next time you need some comfort food just like Grandma’s cooking or Shapiro’s, try Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. It’s a satisfying, filling meal that is bound to lift your spirits. 🙂

Note: Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days. Reheat in the microwave.

Try These Other Delicious Cabbage Recipes:

Three Stuffed Cabbage Rolls on a plate.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

Cabbage leaves stuffed with ground beef and rice and cooked in the oven with a sweet and tangy tomato sauce. 
PREP: 20 minutes
COOK: 1 hour
TOTAL: 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 10 large cabbage leaves from a green cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 crushed gingersnap cookies
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup long-grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat and submerge cabbage leaves in water. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain.
  • In a medium saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat. Place half of onion mixture in a medium bowl and leave the rest in the saucepan.
  • To the saucepan, add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, gingersnap crumbs, brown sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes.
  • To the bowl with the onion mixture, add ground beef, rice, egg, milk and salt and pepper. Mix together with a wooden spoon or your hands.
  • Place about 3 tablespoons of meat mixture at the stem end of each cabbage leaf. Fold left and right sides over and roll up. Place seam side down in a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  • Pour tomato sauce over cabbage rolls.
  • Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes. At the point you uncover the baking dish, scoop some tomato sauce on top of the cabbage rolls with a spoon so that they do not dry out.


Calories: 349kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Main Dish
Keyword: cabbage, ground beef

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Originally published Sept 4, 2014.




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38 thoughts on “Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe”

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      Sorry for the late reply! You could leave the gingersnaps out and maybe add a little ground ginger and nutmeg if you like the flavor of those spices.

      1. Margaret TAssmer

        You could add Poultry. seasoning to the beef. You would be surprised at the change in flavor. I also add it to meatloaf and haven’t found anyone yet that doesn’t comment “this is so good”. It’s a flavor you don’t taste but adds so much flavor if that makes sense!

  1. I am always on the lookout for a new stuffed cabbage recipe, and this one cought my eye with the ginger snaps….I will give it a try! Thanks for posting.

  2. The original recipe is a Turkish one, which does not include any meat and the rolls are covered with grape leaves. They are named “sarmale”, and they are as thin as a finger. In Romania they are also named “sarmale” , they are done almost like yours,; they could be also packed in pickled cabbage leaves, boiled in that syrup as well (this is the original recipe in Romania). You can eat them with polenta. As a secret, add some bacon when you boil them.

  3. hope all is well with your son,can’t wait to try recipe love cabbage rolls love this site thank you

    1. Glad your son is better. My wife died 19 yrs. ago, couldn’t find her reciepe , loved her cabbage rolls,thank you for sharing!

  4. Thalia @ butter and brioche

    I have never tried stuffed cabbage rolls before, these look delicious! I must try the recipe.. curious to know what they taste like.

  5. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    This looks like an awesome comfort food recipe for Fall! I’m always on the lookout for more casserole-like dishes because they are so easy when my schedule is so busy. 😀 Love this recipe, Christin!

  6. My mom used to make this a lot growing up, and I can’t believe I’ve forgotten about it! It really is a great comfort food, and it does sound like the perfect meal to get through a tough/stressful time. I hope everything is going well with your family, Christin!

  7. Arpita@ The Gastronomic Bong

    Cabbage rolls look delicious.. I love cabbage too.. this is definitely on my to do list.. Pinning!! 🙂

  8. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl

    Stuffed cabbage rolls are a all time favorite. My polish Grandmother showed my mom how to make them and passed them down to me, but somehow my mamas is always still the best! These are making me swoooon!

  9. Olivia - Primavera Kitchen

    Oh Gosh… Stuffed cabbage rolls are one of my fav comfort foods! I should make them more often! I love that you used gingersnap crumbs!!

  10. Shashi @ runninsrilankan

    Wow – what a story behind these stuffed cabbage rolls! In spite of everything y’all were going thru – it’s nice to read yall never lost yalls love of food 🙂
    And Gingersnap cookies in these??? Double WOW!!!

  11. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    Another creative dish, Christin! I’ve never made stuffed cabbage rolls before, so I’m definitely intrigued! This looks like the perfect comfort food!

  12. Love cabbage rolls and gingersnaps, wow, that’s so incredible and creative and I imagine really delicious. These rolls sound amazing.

  13. Samina | The Cupcake Confession

    I have never tried cabbage rolls before but I’ve heard soooo much about it!!!!! I definitely need to make these!!! especially the addition of the gingersnap cookies???? Woooow!!!! That has all my attention! I love anything that is stuffed and doused in delish gravy and this ticks all those boxes!!!! The memory that’s linked with this post is a very inspirational one, of never giving up! 🙂 Lots of love and virtual hugs to you and your beautiful family! :*

  14. Sarah@WholeandHeavenlyOven

    Stuffed cabbage rolls are one of my all-time fav comfort foods—I don’t make them NEARLY as often as I’d like though and I think I must change that! I love your twist of using gingersnap crumbs—I’ll bet that adds a ton of amazing flavor!

  15. One of our traditional things that I just love 🙂 instead of beef my mom used pork mince 🙂 Yummy!

  16. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking

    I love stuffed cabbage rolls and so does my husband – it reminds him of his grandmother. Yours look perfect!

  17. Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen

    Christin, you have brought back SO many memories with this recipe! I can’t remember the last time I had cabbage rolls ~ it was when I was a child ~ but it was one of my favorite comfort dishes growing up on our ranch. I have always LOVED cabbage, so the memories came flooding back, and you have me definitely PINNING this to make in the future. And, thank you for the story about your son. This is an amazing post ~ thank you for sharing. God bless to you and your family!!! Hugs to all of you from me and IK!

    1. Godfrey Buquet

      Well, I haven’t tried your recipe, yet that is. Have tried several from the net but they seem to all come out too heavy. The meat I mean. I loved my Mom’s but she is gone now and I never got a recipe for cabbage rolls from hers. Her’s were light and the meat wasn’t pale in color. Her meat was like meatballs and as said light. They weren’t as big as the ones in the recipes I made from the recipes i’e used. Will try yours though and if they are light enough I will let you know. I enjoy reading your fans remarks too. Thanks for an interesting column.

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