My mom used to make these cabbage rolls at least once a week. They really are so unique and wonderful, smooshed all together with some added sauce on top. Yum! Memories of my childhood.

I really love this recipe, it is a little time-consuming to wrap the filling with the cabbage, but it is very easy and cooks effortlessly. You really can't go wrong with this casserole.

I would suggest prepping this on the previous day, so it is ready to heat for dinner the next.

Gluten free, double check the ground beef with your butcher. 

For vegetarian, leave off ground beef.

Food Styling Mari Loewen. Photography Karen Harrington.

Food Styling Mari Loewen. Photography Karen Harrington.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4 to 6Servings


  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 1 1/2 pounds extra-lean ground beef
  • 2 cups rice (fragrant basmati rice is best)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can San Marzano whole tomatoes, chopped

  • 1/2 cup 35% cream


Cook rice according to package directions and set aside to cool enough to handle. Wash cabbage and discard outer leaves; slide chef’s knife lengthwise into all sides of the core and place in large stock pot of boiling water.

Cover and allow to boil for about 20 minutes or until cabbage is slightly tender. Remove from pot with large tongs and place in colander to drain and cool enough to handle. Remove leaves individually (discarding smaller leaves closest to the core) and set aside. Reserve cabbage water.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place ground beef, rice, salt and pepper in mixing bowl and mix by hand until well incorporated. Place approximately 2 heaping tablespoons mixture onto each cabbage leaf; roll up and place in large roasting pan. Add 2 cups reserved cabbage water and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven; mix tomato with cream and pour over cooked cabbage rolls; bake for another 1/2 hour. Remove and allow to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.