First things first, for the people who are here for the recipe only…click on that ‘Jump to Recipe’ link above & enjoy. I see you 🙂 But at the same time, how nice and cozy does this sound?
It’s a chilly, gloomy fall day. You’re in your comfy clothes, watching a movie on the couch and sipping a hot cup of apple cider slightly spiced with a cinnamon stick. And there’s no need to light that pumpkin candle on your coffee table just yet, because right now you have the best aroma filling your home from the stuffed cabbage rolls baking in the oven for dinner. The scene can be modified of course…maybe you’re actually reading a book or the newspaper. Or possibly coding or blogging on your laptop 🙂 And maybe the apple cider isn’t cutting it that day and you’re enjoying a latte or hot toddy instead. Two things are certain though…the smell of that tomato juice cooking with the cabbage rolls is amazing and pairing the stuffed cabbage rolls with smashed potatoes makes the coziest fall meal.
These are also perfect for meal prepping, because they freeze exceptionally well. I know this because my grandma is known for spoiling her grandchildren with random deliveries of frozen lasagne rolls or cabbage rolls. You can even bake them without thawing first so it can make weeknight dinners really easy if you just have the time to bake! To add to the spoiling, we pour home-canned tomato juice over our cabbage rolls and that just really takes this meal from good to great. So let’s get to the details…
Quick glance at the ingredient list to start with step by step instructions to follow…
Cabbage – which you can still find locally grown at the farmer’s market for a short while even if you live in a state where it’s getting colder since this vegetable tolerates those cooler temperatures well! You can also use bell peppers with this recipe to make stuffed peppers instead of stuffed cabbage rolls.
Ground Beef – We always look for lean, organic and grass-fed. Remember too that with this recipe you won’t be draining the grease after cooking the ground beef so that’s another reason to go with a lean version here.
Tomato Sauce – The recipe calls for one (14 or 15 oz) can and to be honest it’s a bit more than you need, but if you don’t use quite the whole can and have a couple tablespoons of tomato sauce leftover I have no idea what you’re going to do with it! So just go with it, it adds such good flavor and your meat filling will not be dry!!
Quick Cook Rice – You can use whatever rice you like best here. We always use brown rice or a brown rice and quinoa mix. I usually buy the ‘Seeds of Change’ brand.
Onion – Have you ever looked up ‘onion jokes’ because you didn’t know what to say about onions in an ingredient list? You can truly find anything on Google. Except a really good onion joke. Maybe my standards are too high haha
Worcestershire Sauce – Can anyone says this properly five times fast? One time? Regardless, this is another ingredient that adds such good flavor! I tend to do a generous portion of whatever amount the recipe lists!
Eggs – For binding everything together in your meat mixture, of course. Our favorite ones are still vital farms if we don’t have any fresh eggs from my brother-in-law 😉
Salt & Pepper – As almost always 🙂
Potatoes – Highly recommend adding potatoes to complete the meal. We just cube them and throw them in the roasting pan with the cabbage rolls and then smash them like a baked potato when plating, top with a little butter, freshly cracked pepper and a drizzle of tomato juice….y.u.m.
Tomato Juice – Speaking of 🙂 The icing on the cake in this scenario since ours is home canned by Grandma. I don’t have a great store recommendation, but I can tell you that canning tomato juice is a bit easier than you might think. Check out my ‘How to Can Tomato Juice’ post if you’re interested!
Peel large leaves off a head of cabbage that can be used to roll up with the stuffing inside. Rinse well and blanch in boiling water to make rolling them up easier. Meaning they just need to be in the boiling water for a couple minutes to make the leaves more flexible, but not really cook the cabbage. Set aside while you make the meat mixture.
In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, tomato sauce, rice, onion, Worcestershire sauce, beaten eggs, salt and pepper. Once well mixed, spoon the meat mixture onto each cabbage leaf. I wear disposable cooking gloves for this part and form each one into a mini meatloaf kind of shape to make them easy to rollup, if that makes sense! Next, roll up each meat filled cabbage leaf and add to a roasting pan. You can use toothpicks to keep the cabbage roll together if needed.
At this point, I like to peel a couple potatoes and dice them up to add to the cabbage rolls in the roasting pan. They really help to complete the meal. Plus, do you love one pan dinners? Me too.
Saving the best for last. Pour that tomato juice over the cabbage rolls and potatoes in the roasting pan, cover with the lid and place it in the oven to bake for an hour or so. I love meals that bake in the oven or cook in the crockpot, because then I can get other things done while dinner is being made and I feel so much more productive. Last time I made these I cleaned up the kitchen and worked out while they were cooking. And then I was rewarded with a delicious dinner. The little things haha
Full recipe details below. Stay cozy and enjoy, y’all 🙂
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- 1 head green cabbage
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup quick cook rice uncooked
- 2 Tbsp chopped onions
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 – 3 large potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 quart tomato juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Peel off enough cabbage leaves from the head of cabbage to make five or six cabbage rolls. Blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling water for two to three minutes. Remove from the water, pat dry and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the beef, tomato sauce, rice, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and eggs. Once combined, add spoonfuls to each cabbage roll. Roll up each one and insert a toothpick as needed to help the cabbage roll stay together.
Place the cabbage rolls in a large roasting pan. Peel and cut russet potatoes, if using, and add the cubed potatoes to the roasting pan on and around the cabbage rolls.
Pour tomato juice over the cabbage rolls and potatoes. Add the lid to the roasting pan and place in the oven. Bake for one hour. Be sure meat is fully cooked and cabbage is soft enough to be easily cut with a fork. Enjoy!
Have a beautiful day!