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Old-Fashioned Cabbage Rolls

It was an abundance of dill in my garden that led me to try this. My family liked the taste so much that, from then on, I made my old-fashioned cabbage rolls recipe with dill. This is how to make easy cabbage rolls. – Florence Krantz, Bismarck, North Dakota
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 1-1/2 hours
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 medium head cabbage (3 pounds)
  • 1/2 pound uncooked ground beef
  • 1/2 pound uncooked ground pork
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon snipped fresh dill or dill weed
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar


  • Cook cabbage in boiling water just until outer leaves pull away easily from head. Set aside 12 large leaves for rolls. In a small bowl, combine the beef, pork, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, onion, rice, parsley, salt, dill and cayenne; mix well.
  • Cut out the thick vein from the bottom of each leaf, making a V-shaped cut. Place about 1/4 cup meat mixture on a cabbage leaf; overlap cut ends of leaf. Fold in sides. Beginning from the cut end, roll up. Repeat.
  • Slice the remaining cabbage; place in a Dutch oven. Arrange the cabbage rolls seam side down over sliced cabbage. Combine the tomatoes, sugar and remaining tomato sauce; pour over the rolls. Cover and bake at 350° until cabbage rolls are tender, 1-1/2 hours.

Old-Fashioned Cabbage Rolls Tips

How do you cut cabbage for cabbage rolls?

To make cabbage rolls, cut out a narrow triangle from the bottom of the cabbage leaf, removing only the thick ridge. This ensures that your cabbage rolls will be tender and not tough. Check out more recipes starring cabbage.

Where did cabbage rolls originate?

Many cultures eat cabbage rolls with a variety of fillings and sauces, but they are especially prevalent in Polish culture and often served for holidays and special occasions. Golabki is the Polish name for cabbage leaves wrapped around beef or pork with rice or barley. In Eastern Europe, tomato sauce or plain sour cream are the traditional toppings. Here are more recipes made better with a dollop of sour cream!

Can you cook cabbage rolls from frozen?

Yes. You can cover and freeze unbaked cabbage rolls and cook them from frozen later. When you're ready, partially thaw the cabbage rolls in the refrigerator overnight. Remove them from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking and follow the steps in this Make-Ahead Cabbage Rolls recipe.

Do you cook cabbage covered or uncovered?

Covering cabbage while cooking locks in the steam and aids in faster, more even cooking.

Research contributed by Catherine Ward, Taste of Home Prep Kitchen Manager
Nutrition Facts
2 each: 260 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 50mg cholesterol, 694mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 3g fiber), 18g protein.


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  • Denice
    Jan 24, 2021

    I cut out stem from cabbage, then place entire head in a bowl of boiling hot water. Let it set in there, while making the stuffing. Leaves peel off nicely and are partially cooked, so it cooks quicker and more evenly. I also put diced portabella mushrooms in my stuffing.

  • Olga
    Dec 23, 2020

    I have been making it this way but I also add some sour crout or use pickled cabbage.

  • CLB332
    Dec 8, 2020

    As a basic recipe, I incorporated many of the suggestions into my mixture: froze the cabbage, egg, ketchup, extra spices. I made the mistake of putting the sugar & pepper into the meat not realizing it was to go in the tomato sauce to pour on top of the rolls!. It turned out ok but not a firm meat roll. I was surprised that the rice cooked up nicely. I can’t get the hang of it to make pretty rolls but it tasted great. I did bake it for 2 hours.

  • Linda
    Dec 6, 2020

    I found this recipe difficult with the whole cabbage in hot water. The leaves fell apart. In the future I would blanch the leaves separate. They are very tasty and agree to add more dill, salt and cayenne. Once assembled it was easy but they didn’t hold because of the leaves. I am a very experienced cook for over 50 years.

  • Jocelyn
    Dec 5, 2020

    Close, but no Halupki My Bubba, my Mom and my Aunts and I have made Stuffed cabbage all of our lives. The one Missing ingredient in this recipe is White Vinegar. Not a lot maybe 1/4 cup. It sweetens the cabbage and gives it that flavor that people who say this recipe is bland are missing.

  • Jane
    Dec 5, 2020

    I haven’t made this yet. I have a recipe from many year’s ago. I use two lbs. of ground beef to one lb. of sausage, large onions, salt and pepper and instant rice. The difference in my recipe is to use a large jar of sauerkraut squeezed and spread over the top and then pour one large can of tomato juice over all. I love these and make them often. Freeze well.

  • kathleen
    Dec 5, 2020

    This recipe was OK. I usually cook the rice and let it cool before adding it to mixture. I core the cabbage and then wrap in wax paper (one piece of paper one way and another the other way) making sure the cabbage is covered. I then put it on a microwave safe dish and microwave it for about fifteen minutes take it out and remove the veins and then wrap them around the meat mixture. I also do not use any pork and they seem to come out more tender. The cabbage is definitely more tender when microwaved. In my family we always count the stuff cabbage (maybe this is a Polish thing). It kind of makes it fun to tell people how many I made.

  • Armand
    Dec 5, 2020

    Basically the same as the recipe but layer sauerkraut instead oh the cabbage

  • John
    Dec 5, 2020

    We have found for the last decade or so of dine-in restaurants and eat at home recipes that blandness is sneaking up on all of us. I think that the food industry in general is afraid of offending people by giving us zip, zap, zing and pop and the wow factor in our food. I imagine that the few people out there that do not like zesty or umami have complained and made it worse for the other 98% of the world. We have found in nearly every recipe that more spice must be added. This recipe is good but does not have that good old wow factor.

  • Debbie
    Dec 5, 2020

    I’ve been making stuffed cabbage for 40 years, using directions from my MIL. Her method used tomato soup. Some recipes call for tomato sauce, some ketchup. My guess is people adapted their recipe to the ingredients on hand. The bottom line is the sauce needs some sweetness. A few years ago, I could not remember the meat:rice ratio and I was forced to find a recipe on line similar. The one I found called for tomato soup, tomato sauce and brown sugar with enough liquid added to cover the rolls and baked for 2 1/2 hours covered, the last 30 minutes uncovered. This would fit my cooking schedule perfectly since I was making these for a holiday dinner. I made them the day before, baking for 1 1/2 hours, letting it cool then into the fridge. The next day, another hour in the oven, uncovered the last 30 minutes. The absolute best I ever made! The liquid cooked down perfectly to just enough sauce. The flavors had enough time to blend. Even my picky DIL who doesn’t like cabbage, loved it!