Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Tomato Sauce

A plate of food with meat and sauce.

NOTE:  This old-fashioned dish is one of my favorite comfort foods.  Hot and bubbling from the oven, these cabbage rolls are filled with a delicious filling, and topped with a savory tomato sauce.



  • 1(3-pound) head cabbage, outer leaves removed
  • Tomato Sauce
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped small
  • ½ cup tender celery, chopped small
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1(15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • ½ cup Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock
  • 1(28-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • Meat Filling
  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup partially cooked white rice
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions; tops included
  • 1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Beefy Onion Soup mix,
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • Add 3/4 cup prepared sauce to meat mixture
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish
Cuisine: Jewish
Yield: 15 Cabbage Rolls
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  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.  Bring a 4-quart pot of water to boiling.  Remove outer leaves of cabbage and remove core with sharp knife; immerse the cabbage into the boiling water.  Steep the cabbage for about 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove cabbage and place into a large strainer.   Set aside.
  1. Prepare the tomato sauce by adding olive oil to a large skillet.  Add the onion, celery, and garlic.  Sauté the onion mixture for about 5 to 6 minutes: onions will become translucent. Add the diced tomatoes, and smash a few with potato masher. Add the spices; basil, crushed red pepper flakes, sugar, salt and pepper.  Let the mixture cook about 6 to 8 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and bring back to gentle simmer.   Add the tomato sauce and let simmer about 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare the meat filling by placing the ground beef into a large bowl.  Add the breadcrumbs, eggs, rice, green onions and salt and pepper.  Next, add the envelope of the beefy onion soup mix, with and 1/4 cup water.  Lastly, add 3/4 cup of the tomato sauce.   Mix the meat mixture until well blended.
  1. Remove the cabbage and gently remove the leaves, careful to not tear. Some of the leaves may need cutting to release from around the core of the head. Remove the leaves one at a time.   If the leaves are too stiff, place them back into the hot water to soften.  Taking one leaf at a time, remove the thick notch at the base of each leaf with kitchen scissors.  Lay the leaf flat and taking 1/3 to ½ cup of meat mixture, shape the meat into a log and place around the top of the leaf.  Roll the cabbage leaf around the meat, tucking in the leaf as you go.  Repeat with remaining meat and cabbage leaves.  There should be enough meat filling for 15 cabbage rolls.
  1. Using a 13-inch by 9-inch pan, pour 1 cup of the sauce on the bottom. Place each cabbage-filled roll seam side down over the sauce.  Place 15 rolls in the pan and cover the rolls with the remaining sauce.  Place foil over the pan, inserting a few prick marks on the top for steam release.  Bake the cabbage rolls for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Serve over rice if desired, and garnish with parsley sprigs. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese over the top if desired.  Makes 15 cabbage rolls.