Stuffed Whole Cabbage

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Cook: 1-1/2 hours


8 servings

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
My husband’s great about trying new recipes. I had to experiment with this one before getting just right. —Wyn Jespersen, Suffield, Connecticut
Stuffed Whole Cabbage Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • SAUCE:
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large head cabbage (4 pounds), such as savoy
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup cooked rice
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/4 cups water, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Optional: Fresh thyme and oregano leaves


  1. Combine sauce ingredients; set aside. Line a medium bowl with cheesecloth, allowing 6 inches to overhang edge of bowl. Place cabbage in bowl with core facing up. Remove core and center of cabbage, leaving a 1-in. shell. Discard core; chop center cabbage leaves.
  2. Heat large skillet over medium heat; add oil. Cook onion and 1 cup chopped cabbage in oil until tender, 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. In a small bowl, combine beef, onion mixture, 1 cup sauce, rice, egg, salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into cabbage shell. Gather cheesecloth around cabbage and twist tightly to securely enclose cabbage leaves and filling.
  3. Place 1 cup water, remaining chopped cabbage and remaining sauce in a Dutch oven; mix well. Carefully add stuffed cabbage, with twisted cheesecloth facing down. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until whole cabbage is tender and a thermometer inserted in the middle of the cabbage reads 165°, 1 - 11/4 hours. Remove cabbage and discard cheesecloth. Place cabbage on a serving platter; keep warm.
  4. Combine the cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup water; add to Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil until thickened, about 2 minutes. Cut cabbage into wedges; serve with sauce and Parmesan cheese. If desired, sprinkle with fresh thyme and oregano leaves.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 306 calories, 14g fat (5g saturated fat), 64mg cholesterol, 724mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate (14g sugars, 8g fiber), 17g protein.