How to Make Vegan Cabbage Rolls

Learn how to make vegan cabbage rolls using a mixture of vegetables, mushrooms and bulgur for a delicious plant-based meal.

Cabbage rolls are a classic Polish dish that you might be familiar with from your childhood. They are typically filled with ground beef and rice, and simmered in a rich tomato sauce. With the recent rise in plant-based diets, transforming this classic dish into a vegan meal can be quite simple. The result is a flavorful and filling meal!

How to Make Vegan Cabbage Rolls, Step by Step

This is adapted from our outstanding recipe for Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls.


  • 1-1/2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 3/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce


Step 1: Boil the vegetables and aromatics

Filling Ingredients how to make vegan cabbage rollsApril Preisler for Taste of Home

In a large saucepan, combine the first 10 ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes.

Step 2: Cook the cabbage

Meanwhile, cook cabbage in boiling water just until leaves fall off the head; it should take about 15 minutes. Set aside 8 large leaves for the vegan cabbage rolls. You can refrigerate the remaining cabbage for another use, like one of these cabbage recipes.

Cabbage Leaves how to make vegan cabbage rollsApril Preisler for Taste of Home

Cut out the thick vein from each leaf, making a V-shaped cut. To create an even surface, overlap the cut ends before filling.

Step 3: Stuff the cabbage rolls

Filling Cabbage Leaves how to make vegan cabbage rollsApril Preisler for Taste of Home

Stir lemon juice into the vegetable mixture. Then, place a heaping 1/3 cupful on each cabbage leaf and fold in the sides. Fold in the top to completely enclose filling and create a cabbage roll. Repeat to make eight tidy cabbage rolls.

Step 4: Make the sauce

Cabbage Rolls In Pan how to make vegan cabbage rollsApril Preisler for Taste of Home

Combine the tomato sauce and hot pepper sauce. Pour 1/3 cup into a 2-qt. baking dish. Place the cabbage rolls in your dish and spoon the rest of the sauce over top. Cover and bake at 400° F for 15 minutes or until heated through.

how to make vegan cabbage rolls Cabbage Rolls On PlateApril Preisler for Taste of Home

To finish the recipe, sprinkle with additional basil. Then serve!

Tips for Making Vegan Cabbage Rolls

Why is my cabbage tough?

Typically, your cabbage will still be tough even after baking if you did not boil the cabbage long enough. Continue to bake the cabbage rolls, covered, in 10 minute increments until it softens.

What do you serve with cabbage rolls?

There are a lot of different things that you can serve with vegan cabbage rolls. I recommend roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes or potato pancakes to make the meal more filling. You can also keep the meal light by serving a cucumber salad, roasted carrots or braised leeks. A side of rye bread or garlic bread are also good choices to soak up the tomato sauce and leftover juices.

How long do cabbage rolls last?

Properly stored cabbage rolls will last up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator and 3-4 months in the freezer.

How do I store cabbage rolls?

It’s important to package cabbage rolls within 2 hours of removal from the oven to avoid bacteria growth. Refrigerate the cabbage rolls in a shallow, airtight container. If you would like to freeze leftover cabbage rolls, place them in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. If using a container, cover the food securely with foil or plastic wrap.

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April Preisler
April is a food and travel lover, wine enthusiast, ice cream obsessed and the vision behind the blog, Food n' Focus. Her favorite cuisine is Italian and loves to cook international recipes.