Stuffed Cabbage rolls recipe

Stuffed cabbage rolls made with a mix of ground beef and pork make a hearty, delicious dish. Consisting of tender leaves of pickled cabbage, stuffed and then rolled with meat, garlic, onion & rice, this cabbage rolls recipe makes the perfect savory dinner or festive meal that everyone will absolutely love!

Stuffed Cabbage rolls

Stuffed cabbage rolls

This cabbage rolls recipe is one of those super delicious dishes that you cannot stop from devouring! These easy cabbage rolls are made with simple but flavorful ingredients and consist of cabbage leaves rolled with various types of meat, from ground chicken to pork, beef or lamb, mixed with finely diced onions, garlic and rice.

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The stuffed cabbage leaves can also be made vegetarian. But since meat is our favorite filling, especially in winter time we’ve made this cabbage rolls recipe using a mix of ground beef and pork. This recipe is very popular around Europe, particularly Balkans and Mediterranean area, seasoned with lots of garlic and spices. But once you make it you’ll be hooked too, I promise!

Over the weekend, my mom, who’s the best “undercover” (and undiscovered) cook ever (and I mean EVER!!), prepared this amazing stuffed cabbage rolls recipe which is one of her most famous and insanely delicious dishes. You see, it’s almost impossible to keep a diet or follow a healthy lifestyle around here, as my mom cannot help herself, she keeps stuffing our faces with her yummylicious food! Each and every time I promise myself that those three rolls I plan to eat are the only ones I’ll actually end up eating! But of course, I fail miserably every single time! With grace. And some extra weight. My taste buds couldn’t be happier though.

Cabbage rolls recipe

Stuffed cabbage rolls recipe

To make these amazing cabbage rolls you need to first pick your choice of ground meat. You can use ground meat ground it yourself from the cuts you love most. I find it more convenient to buy already ground meat and as mentioned, we love the pork and beef combination.

Mix the meat with rice, diced onions, garlic minced or smashed, eggs, salt, ground black pepper and a bit of tomato paste. Combine it all into a homogeneous paste. If you like spicy food add a little paprika to the mixture during preparation process.

We used pickled cabbage as mom is an ace at pickling cabbage. If you don’t have pickled cabbage, it can be replaced with fresh cabbage leaves, scalded in hot salty water until the leaves are soft enough to roll when stuffed.

Stuffed cabbage rolls

Remove the stubs from the cabbage leaves and then cut each leaf in half (depending on their size if the cabbage is small use the whole leaf for one roll). Put a little amount of meat (about a spoonful) on a cabbage leaf and roll, making sure to nicely tuck in the edges.

Want more stuffed food?

Choose a very thick pot (a dutch oven would be perfect for this kind of recipe) and place the cabbage stubs, previously removed from the leaves, to the bottom of the pot, forming a bed. Add dry dill sticks and thyme.

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Stuffed cabbage rolls
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Stuffed Cabbage rolls

Tender leaves of pickled cabbage, stuffed with meat, garlic, onion & rice make this cabbage rolls recipe the perfect savory dinner or festive meal that everyone will absolutely love!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: cabbage rolls recipe, easy cabbage rolls, stuffed cabbage leaves, stuffed cabbage rolls, stuffed cabbage rolls recipe
Author: Petro Neagu


  • 2 pickled or fresh cabbage medium size
  • 2 lbs mix of ground pork and beef
  • 8 oz rice
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bulb garlic medium size, minced or smashed
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp grounded pepper
  • 3 dill sticks dry
  • 3 sprigs thyme dry


  • Mix meat with rice, diced onions, minced or smashed garlic, eggs, salt, grounded pepper and some tomato paste until everything becomes a homogeneous paste.
  • Add some paprika powder if you like spicy food
  • Remove the stubs from the cabbage leaves and then cut each leaf in half (depending on their size)
  • Put a little amount of meat (about a spoonful) on a cabbage leaf and roll, making sure to nicely tuck in the edges.
  • Choose a very thick pot like a dutch oven and place the cabbage stubs, previously removed from the leaves, to the bottom, forming a bed. 
  • Add dill sticks and thyme.
  • Lay the rolls inside the pot, in circles, adding a bit of the tomato paste, bay leaves and peppercorns in between the layers. 
  • When you're done layering the rolls, add a layer of chopped cabbage on top mixed with a bit of tomato paste and if the meat is very lean, add a bit of sunflower oil too.
  • Cover everything with water.
  • Put 2 lids on: a small lid that will fit inside the pot and will cover the ingredients and a large lid that will cover the pot.
  • Bring to a boil then simmer for about three hours, on very low heat.
  • Serve with pickled chili peppers and sour cream or yogurt. 
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Cabbage rolls recipe

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about petro


Hi, I’m Petro, author and founder of Easy Peasy Creative Ideas. Sewist, crafter, avid DIY-er, foodie, photographer, homemaker and mommy to one. I’m an expert at coming up with quick, clever sewing tips, recycling crafts and simple, easy recipes! You can find my ideas featured in reputable publications such as Country Living, Good House Keeping, Yahoo News, WikiHow, Shutterfly, Parade, Brit & Co and more. Thanks for stopping by and hope you’ll stay for a while, get to know me better and come back another time. Stick around for real fun projects! Read more…

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Recipe Rating


  1. Instead of water, mix a can of tomato soup and a can of either stewed tomatoes or diced tomatoes. Much more flavor…

  2. anyonita green says:

    I think these look very interesting! Thank you so much for linking up with me this week at Tasty Tuesdays! I’ve pinned this & shared it with my followers!

  3. Melody Lowes says:

    Yummy! In this area, cabbage rolls are common at festive meals, but never flavoured with thyme and dill like yours. That sounds absolutely delicious to me!

  4. I love cabbage rolls Petro… I have never made them as they are time consuming but they are delicious to eat… My father was married to a Hungarian woman who cooked lots of cabbage rolls, very yummy:)