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Easy Stuffed Cabbage

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Easy Stuffed Cabbage is delicious recipe of ground beef and rice rolled in a cabbage leave and baked in sauce.

It is also a dairy free and simple to make, so you may never want to buy this dish from the deli again!

5 rows of stuffed cabbage on a black pan on a white wood table

Easy Stuffed Cabbage is a delicious recipe of stuffed cabbage rolls in a tomato sauce.

Stuffed cabbage is a popular dish world wide and each culture has its own name and own way of making it with different sauces, from savory to sweet and sour.

While not a particularly originally a Jewish food, Jews brought it to New York from Eastern Europe and it can be found in delis and Jewish restaurants with an Ashkenazi menu.

Easy Stuffed Cabbage can be served as a main course, a side, or even an appetizer should you so wish!

While the lengthy instructions make the dish seems complicated, it really isn’t. Once you have the cabbage leaves ready, just plop some of the meat filling in, fold the leaves and place in the pan. Voila!

Want to make it vegan? Just use a meat substitute or increase the amount of rice to make up for the quantity of meat.

Don’t like beef? Use ground chicken or turkey!

A little of my cooking background

I really wanted to title this blog “If I can make it, anyone can”, because – honestly – if I can make it, anyone can.

I never really liked cooking and when I was single, a meal for me meant grilled cheese, eggs, tuna, or something else that didn’t require effort or time.

When my kids were young, I was still able to get away with preparing only a small variety of easy meals, but the older they got, the more dishes I learned to make at their request.

Still, I insisted on keeping it simple.

Honestly, I never understood why some cooks unnecessarily complicate meals. I have seen recipes that have several ingredients that don’t really seem to add much, if anything, to the dish. So, why bother?

It has always been important to me that whoever eats at my table will have plenty to enjoy and that includes my kids (I never agreed with the “You will eat what is served or you won’t eat” ideology) and, because I keep it simple, I can prepare a variety of dishes in a relatively short period of time.

I have a philosophy regarding being a great cook: Prepare food according to the tastes of those who will be eating it and they will love your cooking!

As far as I am concerned, start with the basic ingredients that make the dish what it is, adapt according to taste, and voila! you are an amazing cook!

The bottom line is that while there are certainly delicate recipes out there for specialty dishes, making delicious meals doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. It’s not difficult to impress – just make sure it tastes good.

While some of the recipes on my blog are more time-consuming than others, they are all tried and true easy-shmeezy!

Of course, one always has to consider the conditions under which they cook. Weather (humidity, heat, cold), different types of ovens, different quality of pots, etc. – all of which can affect your cooking and baking.

Nevertheless, as I said, if I can do it, anyone can!

Everyday pantry essentials (suggested)

As I learned to prepare more and more recipes, I also learned which basics and seasonings are good to have on hand to have the ability to make a dish on short notice and not have to run out to the store or borrow from a neighbor.

While I will admit that I am not always prepared when one of my kids will ask for eggplant parmesan or lasagna at the drop of a hat (which they have done), I dislike having to postpone making something just because the ingredients needed to make a reasonable meal were not readily available.

So, I maintain selection of what I consider “pantry essentials” in my refrigerator and on my shelves at all times.

Initially, many of the herbs and spices were useful to me only on occasion (having been purchased for a particular recipe) and I usually just had them around as leftovers. However, as I began to cook more of a variety, I was really glad to have them (hey, look, I already have that !) and that is how my list began.

While, of course, most of the essentials will not be needed just for any one recipe, at least some of them are needed for most recipes, and you would be surprised how many recipes be made just with this list. So, if you keep whatever you use regularly on hand, it can really save you time and effort.

Everyone has their favorite recipes, preferred seasoning, and just whatever they like to use to cook. Your own list should certainly reflect your own cooking tastes and style.

Just to give you an idea, the list below is a comprehensive list of what I normally keep on hand (this does not necessarily include what I keep for baking and there may be some overlap between the two lists as some items are used for both, such a brown sugar) and, of course, it reflects the meals and desserts that I like to make for my own family and guests.

Seasoning and flavoring:

  • salt (my receipes use regular table salt)
  • ground black or white pepper
  • granulated garlic or garlic powder (I prefer granulated)
  • onion powder
  • sweet paprika and/or sweet pepper flakes (paprika is ground dried red pepper, pepper flakes are crushed dried red pepper)
  • hot paprika, hot pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper (moderately spicy dried ground chili pepper) for those occasional spicy dishes
  • ground turmeric
  • ground cumin
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground ginger
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground Cloves (for pumpkin flavors)
  • sugar (granulated)
  • brown sugar
  • chicken consomme powder / beef bullion powder (regular or vegetarian)
  • onion soup mix
  • onion flakes (substitute for fresh onion – 3 tablespoons for 1 medium onion).
  • various herbs
  • additional spices to adapt taste to preference


  • oil / margarine / butter / cooking spray
  • coconut cream as a dairy free cream substitute
  • corn starch as a thickening agent
  • flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • bread crumbs or Corn Flake crumbs (you can make these with your blender or food processor) for coating
  • condiments – such as ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce
  • tomato sauce/tomato paste/canned tomatoes – diced or crushed/pasta sauce
  • soy sauce
  • ready made pie crusts and dough (to just add filling)

We always have eggs in the fridge and onions, rice, and potatoes on our shelves as well as pasta.

In addition, having some fresh vegetables in the fridge, such as carrots, celery, tomatoes, bell peppers (red, green, etc), etc. can be very useful when putting together a quick, but delicious meal.

It is also a good idea to have some ground meat or chicken (breast, ground, or in parts), in the freezer for anyone who likes meat dishes in a snap.

Weather can have an affect on some of the spices and on the chicken consommé powder, so I keep as many of the seasonings in the refrigerator or freezer as I can and I keep everything tightly closed in containers (you will be surprised to know just how determined moths are at getting into sealed bags and how hot red pepper powder can attract little black bugs – YUCK!).

Therefore, store your items well.

Why are these pantry essentials beneficial to have on hand?

Personally, having the above ingredients in my kitchen is very advantageous, as I make a variety of dishes and use most of the items on the list regularly enough to warrant storing them. However, I do not store items for dishes that I make seasonally or only on rare occasions or those that spoil easily.

Whether or not it is workable for you depends on your cooking style, the space you have to store, and whether or not you mind running out to the store as needed. Of course, the more you cook and the more varied your recipes, the more you will use, and the more you will need.

Additional information

Besides being delicious, Easy Stuffed Cabbage has quite a few benefits; some for the beef and some for the cabbage .

Want to try other delicious dairy free ground beef dishes? Try: Really Easy Shepherd’s Pie or Very Easy Stuffed Peppers.

Yield: 8 2-roll servings

Easy Stuffed Cabbage

5 rows of stuffed cabbage on a black pan on a white wood table

Delicious cabbage rolls with ground beef and rice.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 large cabbage
  • 1 medium-large onion, diced
  • 1 1/4 lb ground beef or chicken
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 26 ounces of your favorite pasta sauce
  • soy sauce
  • oil


  1. Place the whole cabbage in a large pot, with cover with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil for several minutes until the leaves show that they have softened.
  3. Remove the cabbage from the pot and let cool.
  4. In the meantime, lightly saute the dice onion on medium heat.
  5. Add the beef, rice, tomato paste, and a splash of soy sauce to the onion.
  6. Cook on medium heat, mixing occasionally, until meat has cooked through.
  7. Pour half of the pasta sauce on to the bottom of a suitable size baking pan. Set aside.
  8. Carefully remove the leaves from the head of cabbage, so that they don't tear.
  9. Cut off the triangle of hard white stem from each of the leaves leaving the remainder of the left intact.
  10. Based on the quantity and size of the leaves, spoon a portion of the meat mixture filling on to one of the leaves. Becareful not to over fill or you won't be able to wrap properly.
  11. Roll the bottom edge of cabbage leaf up over part of the filling, fold the sides inward, then roll the rest of the cabbage leaf until you have a cabbage roll.
  12. Place the cabbage roll into the baking pan on the pasta sauce.
  13. Repeat until all of the filling has been used up.
  14. Pour the rest of the pasta sauce on top of the cabbage rolls.
  15. Bake on 350° for approx 30 minutes until you can easily stick a fork through the cabbage.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 330Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 658mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 25g

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