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Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls

This marvelous meatless entree comes from my 89-year-old grandmother, who cooks a lot with grains, particularly bulgur. The zucchini is a fun change of pace stuffed inside these vegetarian cabbage rolls. —Michelle Dougherty, Lewiston, Idaho
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 15 min.
  • Makes
    8 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
  • 6 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


  • 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.
  • Meanwhile, cook cabbage in boiling water just until leaves fall off head. Set aside 8 large leaves for rolls (refrigerate remaining cabbage for another use). Cut out the thick vein from each leaf, making a V-shape cut. Overlap cut ends before filling. Stir 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and lemon juice into vegetable mixture.
  • Place a heaping 1/3 cupful on each cabbage leaf; fold in sides. Starting at an unfolded edge, roll to completely enclose filling.
  • Combine tomato sauce and hot pepper sauce; pour 1/3 cup into a 2-qt. baking dish. Place cabbage rolls in dish; spoon remaining sauce over top. Cover and bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
Editor's Note
Look for quinoa in the cereal, rice or organic food aisle.
Nutrition Facts
2 each: 142 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 5mg cholesterol, 675mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 6g fiber), 8g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 starch.

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Average Rating:
  • Patrisha
    Jun 10, 2020

    What can I substitute for bulgur? Quinoa?

  • Brian
    Mar 14, 2019

    Read the back of the cheese make sure there is not animal rennet in it.. not vegatarian if so.

  • spoolbak
    Jun 3, 2013

    At first, I too was a bit skeptical of the amount of liquid, but the mushrooms and other veg were enough to cook down. I thought it was quite yummy, and could have just put sauce on it and eaten it with out rolling it in the cabbage!

  • valasca314
    Mar 1, 2013

    I?m not sure what was going on with the previous cook based on her comments. Bulgur is a grain with a 2:1 liquid to grain ratio. For the ½ c of bulgur in this recipe there is ¾ c veg stock and the other liquid comes out of the vegetables. It turns out to be the perfect amount of liquid. Perhaps she/he cooked the bulgur and veggies with the lid off or did not add enough stock? Either way, I might question my cooking methods before I call everyone a liar and trashed the recipe. I found there to be plenty of liquid. Just make sure to keep the lid closed and then let it sit to absorb the remainder of the liquid.Overall I thought this recipe was just ok. The tomato sauce and dish overall was bland, and next time I think I will skip the peppers. This was definitely missing some oomph, but I will keep experimenting until I get it right. I?m thinking more mushrooms (criminis for ?meatiness?), chopped onions and maybe even some grated carrot. I would also add about 1 tbs of brown sugar, 1 tsp of Worcestershire and a squeeze of lemon to give the tomato sauce some zing.

  • cabbage99
    Dec 6, 2012

    What a ridiculous recipe. First off, there is no way you can prep that many vegetables in 30 minutes. Second, dried herbs?? Thirdly there is nowhere near enough liquid in 3/4 a cup of broth to match all the vegetables and bulgur. And then lastly they dont even cook properly in 15 minutes.I don't believe these other ratings. I threw the entire dish of rolls in the bin after cooking it was so unpleasant.

  • constancej1942
    Feb 19, 2012

    I loved this! I am not a vegetarian but this was wonderful. I had never cooked with bulgar before. I plan to look for more recipies using bulgar and other grains.

  • cookiecooks
    Feb 13, 2012

    I made this recipe with two bulgar wheat rolls and basmati rice rolls; the bulgar wheat cabbage rolls tasted the best! I can't wait to make this again.

  • MargaretJoy
    Feb 7, 2012

    My husband and I loved this dish! We are not vegetarians but loved the flavor. My husband thought it had ground beef in it until about halfway through his meal!

  • Rob1850
    Jan 29, 2012

    This is a very tasty main course. I am a vegetarian (recently converted) and wanted stuffed cabbage, without the meat. When it did not include rice I was a little skeptical but the bulgur does a fantastic job of substitution without the time it takes for whole grain rice to cook. The next time I make this recipe I will increase the bulgur by half hoping to give it more o a traditional stuffed cabbage texture. This is an excellent recipe and would recommend it to anyone looking to reduce the fat in his or her diet or is vegetarian.

  • maggie do
    Jan 18, 2012

    I love the flavor of the tomato sauce and hot pepper sauce!