Beef and Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are comfort food with hearty beef, onion, and rice rolled in cabbage leaves and topped with tomato sauce.
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls make a hearty family-style Dinner that everyone is sure to love. The meat mixture makes them plenty filling and you can serve them with classic sides like Mashed Potatoes and Dinner Rolls.
BEEF AND RICE STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS
Beef and Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are the perfect way to enjoy cooked green cabbage in a delicious and comforting meal. The whole recipe is made with pretty basic ingredients. Leaves of cabbage are wrapped around a mixture of rice and ground beef, then topped off with homemade tomato sauce for a hearty and flavorful dish.
As the cabbage cooks, it becomes milder in taste. By the time it’s done the cabbage isn’t too flavorful, but it makes a nice sturdy base and wraps for the homemade meal. The large cabbage leaves are surprisingly easy to roll up and they keep their shape well while cooking. By the time they’re done you’ll have the perfect serving-sized rolls.
The combination of flavorful ground beef, rice, tomato sauce, and cabbage makes Beef and Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls an instant comfort food classic. If you want another way to enjoy the same flavors but without having to roll individual cabbage leaves you can always make Stuffed Cabbage Soup.
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KEY INGREDIENTS IN BEEF AND RICE STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS
- Head green cabbage: The cabbage is a key part of this dish. Leaves of cabbage are wrapped around the meat mixture and it’s all cooked over a layer of more cabbage leaves. They make a great casing for the beef mixture and cook to a mildly sweet flavor.
- Ground beef: The ground beef in this recipe makes the meal wonderfully flavorful and filling. It easily cooks up in the oven and mixes well with the tomato sauce and other stuffing ingredients.
- Tomato sauce: The tomato sauce is super easy to make with just crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes. They add a nice fresh, tangy, and slightly sweet taste to the whole recipe.
- Rice: The rice is an important part of the recipe. Its sticky texture helps keep the filling mixture together and it nicely balances out the more flavorful ingredients.
COOKING TIPS FOR BEEF AND RICE STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS
- Prep time: Preheat the oven and add enough water to your dutch oven to cover the cabbage.
- Cabbage: Place the cabbage head in the water so that it is submerged. Turn the stovetop to high heat. Once it’s boiling, continue to cook in the boiling water until the outer leaves start naturally pulling away from the cabbage head, about 5-7 minutes. Remove 12 of the outside leaves, slice the thick core out of each leaf. Make sure you don’t cut too much since you still want them to be whole leaves. Then set them to the side. Roughly cut the remaining cabbage into thick slices and place them across the bottom of the dutch oven.
- Cabbage roll filling: Add the ground beef, onion, rice, parsley, salt, pepper, and ½ cup of tomato sauce to a mixing bowl. Stir until the meat mixture is nicely combined. Then spoon ¼ cup into each of the 12 cabbage leaves. Roll and fold the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls like burritos. Place the cabbage rolls in the dutch oven over the cut cabbage with the seam facing down so that they stay closed.
- Tomato topping: Mix the remaining crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes (with liquid) in a medium bowl. Then whisk in ½ teaspoon granulated sugar. Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls.
- Baking time: Put on the lid and place the pan in the oven to bake for 90 minutes.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
For some extra flavoring you can add spices like paprika, ground cinnamon, oregano, cumin, or onion powder. If you want to add some garlicky taste, you can either use garlic powder or minced garlic cloves.
Instead of ground beef, you can use ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground pork. Or, if you want to keep beef but have a lighter recipe, you can use lean ground beef.
You can also add some delicious melty cheese to the recipe. Sprinkle on shredded cheddar, Swiss, muenster, pepper jack, or gouda cheese over the top of the Beef and Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls before serving.
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HOW TO STORE BEEF AND RICE STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS
- Serve: You can leave Beef and Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls at room temperature for 2 hours.
- Store: After they’ve cooled to room temperature, cover leftovers in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to store in the fridge. They will stay good for 3-4 days.
- Freeze: To freeze the Beef and Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, wrap each one individually in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then seal them all in a freezer bag. You can keep them frozen for 3-4 months.
- 1 head cabbage
- 1 pound ground beef , (85/15)
- 1 yellow onion , chopped
- 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice
- 2 tablespoons parsley , minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 15 ounces crushed tomatoes , divided
- 14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes , undrained
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the head of cabbage to a large dutch oven submerged underwater.
- Bring to a boil on high heat and cook for 5-7 minutes or until cabbage leaves start pulling away from the head of cabbage easily.
- Remove the largest 12 leaves, cut out the thick core of each leaf, and set leaves aside.
- Cut the remaining cabbage into thick slices and place it in the bottom of the dutch oven. In a large bowl mix the beef, onion, rice, parsley, salt, pepper, and ½ cup crushed tomatoes and mix.
- Add ¼ cup of beef mixture to each cabbage leaf and roll like a burrito.
- Fold the sides in and roll. Place cabbage rolls seam side down back into the dutch oven over the cut cabbage.
- Mix remaining crushed tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes (with liquid), and sugar and pour over the cabbage rolls.
- Cover the dutch oven and bake for 90 minutes.