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Classic Cabbage Rolls Recipe
Classic Cabbage Rolls Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Classic Cabbage Rolls Recipe

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4.5 43
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I've always enjoyed cabbage rolls but didn't make them since most methods were too complicated. This recipe is fairly simple and results in the best cabbage rolls. My husband, Sid, requests them often. They're terrific to share at gatherings with our children and grandchildren. —Beverly Zehner, McMinnville, Oregon
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 1-1/2 hours
MAKES:4 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 1-1/2 hours
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 1 medium head cabbage
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onion, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) Italian stewed tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1/4 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup V8 juice, optional


  1. In a Dutch oven, cook cabbage in boiling water for 10 minutes or until outer leaves are tender; drain. Rinse in cold water; drain. Remove eight large outer leaves (refrigerate remaining cabbage for another use); set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, saute 1 cup onion in butter until tender. Add the tomatoes, garlic, brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the rice, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and remaining onion and salt. Crumble beef and sausage over mixture and mix well.
  4. Remove thick vein from cabbage leaves for easier rolling. Place about 1/2 cup meat mixture on each leaf; fold in sides. Starting at an unfolded edge, roll up leaf to completely enclose filling. Place seam side down in a skillet. Top with the sauce.
  5. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour. Add V8 juice if desired. Reduce heat to low; cook 20 minutes longer or until rolls are heated through and a thermometer inserted in the filling reads 160°. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Classic Cabbage Rolls in Taste of Home April/May 1999, p29

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.

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Reviewed Nov. 15, 2015

"Entire family loved it made just how recipe was written."

Reviewed Oct. 27, 2015

"This recipe is better than mine and I have made cabbage rolls for 45 years. I changed the stewed tomatoes for simple canned Italian diced tomatoes and 1/2 more cup of rice. I also used chorizo sausages instead of Italian sausages. The last change I made was I mixed in some of the sauce to the rice/meat mixture."

Reviewed Oct. 23, 2015

"Overall a decent recipe, but as far as "easy" I have found that NAPA cabbage is the key to making great cabbage need to boil a head of cabbage..a simple blanch works and you get to use almost ALL of the cabbage leaves!!!"

Reviewed Mar. 3, 2015

"I have made this recipe as directed several times now. It is incredible! My Polish in laws claim they have never had better. That is very high praise!!"

Reviewed Jan. 26, 2015

"No TMR031, you're basi making a meatball and baking it inside the cabbage leaf."

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