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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. Sauce much too sweet.
    meat too bland. Lacked flavor.
    rice undercooked.
    Seemed like the whole thing needed more salt?

    Oh well, I gave it a try…

  2. We had left over Bavarian Pot Roast from the weekend so I used that instead of the ground beef. Because of the BPR flavor there was no need for the gingersnaps or brown sugar.Next time, which will be soon, I will follow the directions as the whole family just loves gingersnaps. I posted this because so many of us have leftovers that really work in a stuffed cabbage recipe. It is just something to think about and our version was a big hit but doubt I ever make it again this way because the leftovers were a special request from our daughters who were visiting this weekend.

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      What a great way to use leftover pot roast! I never would have thought of that. Thanks for sharing!

      1. Evelyn Coleman

        I have been making stuffed cabbage rolls with black eyed peas and cornbread every New Year’s day and it is a tradition that has gone on for centuries with my family but using gingersnaps put the new twist on it and I’ve got to try it this year; thank you for sharing!

  3. In our family we call these pigs in a blanket. We top with sauerkraut before adding the tomato sauce. Looking forward to using the gingersnaps for the added flavor. So thankful your son is recovering. God Bless.

  4. My paternal grandmother made these but called them Sarma and used meat with the other ingredients except the gingersnaps. A good friend of ours also made similar rolls called hulopchi with a soured rice and salt pork filling. They are both delicious but have very different tastes.

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