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How to Make Amazing Cabbage Rolls

Are you a fan of cabbage?

Enjoy the tender cabbage leaves stuffed and rolled with beef and rice that was simmered in a delicious tomato sauce. Learn the steps of how to make these Amazing Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.

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Cabbage Rolls Served
Cabbage Rolls Served

It is a Must Try Dish

I had never even heard of cabbage rolls until I was in my twenties. My mother-in-law made stuffed cabbage rolls and I was immediately in LOVE. One or two was never enough…usually I had 4 or five cabbage rolls.

Sometimes Food Makes Great Memories

She made the recipe from memory for many years. Thank goodness, I watched her make it a few times. About fifteen years ago, I had to figure out how to make them for myself. We never anticipate that once a person is no longer able to make a favorite recipe; how much we will miss it and her making it.

Therefore, I am sharing this recipe with you in hopes that you too, will enjoy it as much as we do. In our family, this delicious cabbage recipe will become one that passes down through the ages along with great memories.

Rolled Cabbage Rolls Ready to Boil in Delicious Sauce
Rolled Cabbage Rolls Ready to Boil in Delicious Sauce

Cool Weather Dish

In the fall when the cabbage is ready to eat, this is a wonderful dish to make with cabbage from your garden; if you have one and grow it. If not, purchasing a cabbage or two in the store works just find for these amazing cabbage rolls.

Why Do I Use Two Heads of Cabbage?

They are such a treat that my family wants to eat them one day and snack for a few days after. Therefore, one head of cabbage would never be enough. I just make two big batches. It doesn’t matter that I make so many, as it is all gone in a few days anyway.

We truly enjoy them.

Hint: on the recipe below, you can choose the servings to adjust the amount of ingredients used in the recipe. That way, if you want to make just one pot, you certainly can.

While I made this with green cabbage today, the red cabbage would work well too. It will just be colorful. I have not tried this recipe with any other type of cabbage yet. My guess is that it would taste good, even if made as a hot dish rather than rolled.

Below is a Step-by-Step Picture Tutorial on How to Make Amazing Cabbage Rolls

Prepare the Cabbage

Here is a picture showing what I do to prepare the cabbage. Just look at that color! I remove the first layer of outer leaves. Unless there is a blemish, that is all that I remove. Then I cut the stem off about 2 inches in. That part is tough.

Preparing the cabbage

Separating the Leaves

Boiling the cabbage in water-covering it with a lid so the steam helps the cabbage leaves cook. They will just about fall off. When cooked enough that the leaves are flexible, start peeling them off one-by-one.

Boiling Head of Cabbage

Cooling the Leaves

I place the leaves in a stainless steel bowl to cool. When the head of cabbage is about half used, the leaves get too small to wrap the beef in. This part I used to chop up and add to the stuffed cabbage rolls…extra cooked cabbage…gotta love that.

Removing cabbage leaves

Rolling the Cabbage Rolls

Placing a small fist full of the uncooked hamburger mixture in the lower middle of the cabbage roll. Begin to roll up from the bottom, fold in the side, and continue to roll until the end is tucked underneath.

Rolling the cabbage leaves

Placing in the Kettle

Place the cabbage rolls in a 5 quart kettle with the end side down. Continue to make a few layers until the kettle is about 3/4 full. Don’t worry, you will be adding more cabbage to fill it up.

Filling the kettle with cabbage rolls

Adding the Cut-up Cabbage

Using the rest of the head of cabbage, remove the tough core shown in the middle picture. If you have chickens like we don, they love to eat that. Cut up the rest of the head of cabbage and fill the kettle. It will shrink in size a bit when cooked.

Cut up left over cabbage

Here is a few of the kitchen essentials that I have used in making this recipe.

As you can see from one of the pictures below, I use the stainless steel dutch oven and a cast iron dutch oven with enamel. The red one has less of a chance of anything burning. But, I have not had these cabbage rolls burn ever in either kettle. Just keep the heat at medium to medium low. Just so that the kettle is boiling.

Hamburger Filling for Cabbage Rolls
Hamburger Filling for Cabbage Rolls

I use a large stainless steel mixing bowl for everything! It cleans well and is dishwasher safe. I also don’t have to worry about breaking it or chipping any glass. I just love these for mixing large batches of whatever I am making. When done, I will transfer to a pretty bowl, but for mixing, noting beats this stainless steel bowl.

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How to Make Amazing Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage rolls means comfort food. My mother-in-law made these and it was the first time I ever had them. I fell in love. This is her decades old recipe. Brings back so many memories when I make these delicious cabbage rolls.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Main Dish, Vegetable
Cuisine: American, German
Keyword: Beef, Cabbage, Comfort food, recipe
Servings: 45 cabbage rolls
Calories: 133kcal

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  • 2 Heads Cabbage prepared as above
  • 3 Lbs. hamburger
  • 1 Medium onion diced
  • 3 Large eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups rice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 10.75 Oz. tomato soup 1 can
  • 1 Cup Ketchup
  • water (enough to fill kettle)

text ingredients


  • Prepare cabbage as shown above by removing the outer leaves.
  • Boil the cabbage and remove the leaves one-by-one until the head of cabbage is about half the size.
    Removing cabbage leaves
  • While the cabbage leaves are cooling, prepare the hamburger filling. In a large bowl, combing the hamburger, eggs, onion, rice, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands until fully combined.
    Hamburger Filling for Cabbage Rolls
  • Add a small handful of the uncooked hamburger mixture in the cabbage leaf and roll up. Place in the kettle with the seam side down. Fill the kettle about 3/4 from the top. I use a 5 quart kettle.
    Rolling the cabbage leaves
  • Cut up the remaining head of the cabbage and place in the kettle. Making sure to remove the tough stem first.
  • Pour the can of tomato soup and 1 cup of ketchup on top of the cabbage. Add enough water to bring the liquid level about 1 inch from the edge. Cover with the lid and bring to a boil over medium heat.
    Adding tomato soup and catchup
  • Keeping the lid on but slightly ajar, continue to boil until the cabbage is tender and the hamburger is cooked. Approximately 1 hour.
    Boiling cabbage rolls
  • This makes enough for 2 kettles worth-using all o the hamburger and the cabbage. if you do not finish this all within a few days, it also freezes well for a future quick meal to enjoy.
    Cabbage Rolls Served

Your Own Private Notes


Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 280mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 111IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Share a photo and tag us — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made! @patternprincess1 or tag #Patternprincess!

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I hope that you liked this recipe. If you are looking for more ideas on what to make, here are a few other recipes that you may enjoy.

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