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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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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 Johnsonville® Mild Ground Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 cup V8 juice, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (2 each) equals 499 calories, 21 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 85 mg cholesterol, 1,845 mg sodium, 49 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 32 g protein.


  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

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (2 each) equals 499 calories, 21 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 85 mg cholesterol, 1,845 mg sodium, 49 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 32 g protein.

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 Jul. 27, 2014

"I took the advise of the one reviewer and made the casserole version. Much easier. Still the same great flavor without all the work. I did make a couple of changes. Used tomato sauce instead of stewed and did add the Spicy V-8. Browned beef and sausage, added onions, then added cooked rice. Put in greased casserole dish. Covered with thin sliced raw cabbage. Poured sauce mixture over top. Covered with foil for about 30 min until hot and bubbly, Remove foil for about 10 min. Nummy! There was only an empty dish, no leftovers."

Reviewed Jul. 21, 2014

"I love stuffed cabbage rolls. Mine is similar but I stuff the cabbage and place the rolls seam down in the casserole dish and use I can tomato soup with 2 tbsp. brown sugar and 2 tbsp. lemon juice for the sauce to go over the rolls....they are so yummy !"

Reviewed Jun. 26, 2014

"Been making these for my family for years."

Reviewed Apr. 19, 2014

"These were good, but my husband prefers them to be baked, like his mom makes. He doesn't care for them made in a skillet. But the sauce and filling is very good, and I'll use this recipe except I'll bake them."

Reviewed Mar. 13, 2014

"Loved the cabbage role very tastey"

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