Beef and Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

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 cabbage leaf roll on plate with tomato sauce and parsley garnish cut open rice and beef inside

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. 

Beef and Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls cabbage leaf and other ingredients

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.
Beef and Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls cabbage leaf with meat mixture being rolled

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.
Beef and Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls cabbage leaf with meat mixture being rolled

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What kinds of seasonings can I use for stuffed cabbage rolls?

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. 

What kinds of meat can I use for stuffed cabbage rolls?

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. 

Can I add cheese to these stuffed cabbage rolls?

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. 

Beef and Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls cabbage leaf roll on plate with tomato sauce and parsley garnish cut open rice and beef inside

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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. 
Beef and Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls cabbage leaf roll on plate with tomato sauce and parsley garnish

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Beef and Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Beef and Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are comfort food with hearty beef, onion, and rice rolled in cabbage leaves and topped with tomato sauce.
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 232mg | Potassium: 435mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 247IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword: Beef and Rice Cabbage Rolls
Beef and Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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