Old Fashioned Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Transport yourself to a cozy kitchen with the nostalgic aroma of Old Fashioned Stuffed Cabbage Rolls wafting through the air. This classic dish, with its tender cabbage leaves enveloping a savory filling, is a timeless favorite that brings warmth and comfort to any mealtime. Follow our simple recipe to recreate this traditional delight and savor the hearty flavors of home.


  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a large baking dish to prepare for your culinary journey.
  2. Begin by prepping the cabbage. Bring a generous pot of water to a boil. Remove the core of the cabbage and carefully immerse the whole head into the boiling water. Allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes until the outer leaves become tender and easy to peel off. Once softened, remove the cabbage and let it cool slightly.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, cooked rice, chopped onion, minced garlic, salt, and black pepper. Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, forming a delightful filling for your cabbage rolls.
  4. Gently peel off the softened cabbage leaves, ensuring they remain intact. Place a portion of the meat mixture onto each cabbage leaf, then roll it up, tucking the sides in as you go. Arrange the cabbage rolls seam-side down in the greased baking dish, snugly nestled together.
  5. In another bowl, blend together the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and paprika to create a rich and tangy sauce. Season with salt and black pepper to suit your taste preferences. Pour this luscious sauce over the cabbage rolls, ensuring they are generously coated.
  6. Cover the baking dish with foil and let the magic unfold in the oven. Bake for 1 hour, allowing the flavors to meld and the cabbage rolls to cook to perfection. Afterward, remove the foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the rolls are golden and the sauce is irresistibly bubbly.
  7. Once your Old Fashioned Stuffed Cabbage Rolls emerge from the oven, allow them to cool for a few moments before serving. For a final touch of freshness, garnish with chopped parsley if desired. Then, gather your loved ones around the table and enjoy the comforting embrace of this timeless dish.


  • Elevate the flavor and nutritional profile of your cabbage rolls by incorporating diced carrots or celery into the meat mixture.
  • Any leftover cabbage rolls can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Simply reheat gently in the microwave or oven before savoring again.

Serving and Storage Tips:


  • Serve your Old Fashioned Stuffed Cabbage Rolls piping hot, straight from the oven, for the ultimate comfort food experience.
  • Accompany them with a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese for added richness and flavor.
  • Pair them with a side of mashed potatoes, crusty bread, or a simple green salad to complete the meal.


  • Store any leftover cabbage rolls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the cooked cabbage rolls. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, then transfer them to a freezer bag or container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat, thaw frozen cabbage rolls in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through, or microwave them on a low setting until heated.


1. Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls:

  • Replace the ground beef and pork with a mixture of cooked lentils, quinoa, and finely chopped vegetables such as mushrooms, carrots, and bell peppers for a hearty vegetarian version.

2. Mediterranean Stuffed Cabbage Rolls:

  • Enhance the flavors with Mediterranean-inspired ingredients like feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and pine nuts in the filling. Serve with a drizzle of tzatziki sauce for a refreshing twist.

3. Asian-Inspired Stuffed Cabbage Rolls:

  • Infuse the filling with Asian flavors by using ground pork seasoned with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Serve with a side of steamed rice and a sprinkle of sesame seeds for an Asian-inspired meal.

4. Spicy Stuffed Cabbage Rolls:

  • Add a kick of heat by incorporating diced jalapeños or red pepper flakes into the filling. You can also spice up the sauce with a dash of hot sauce or cayenne pepper for those who enjoy a fiery flavor.

5. Cheese-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls:

  • Stuff the cabbage leaves with a mixture of ground meat and your favorite cheese, such as mozzarella, cheddar, or Swiss. The melted cheese adds a creamy texture and irresistible gooeyness to every bite.

6. Sausage-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls:

  • Substitute the ground beef and pork with seasoned sausage meat for a flavorful twist. Choose your favorite sausage variety, whether it’s Italian, chorizo, or breakfast sausage, to infuse the rolls with its unique taste.

Explore these variations to customize your Old Fashioned Stuffed Cabbage Rolls and discover new flavors that suit your taste preferences. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or experiment with different fillings and flavors, these comforting cabbage rolls are sure to delight your senses and become a cherished family favorite.


1. Can I use a different type of cabbage for this recipe?

  • While traditional green cabbage is commonly used, you can also use Savoy cabbage or Napa cabbage for a slightly different flavor and texture.

2. Can I make the cabbage rolls ahead of time?

  • Yes, you can assemble the cabbage rolls ahead of time and refrigerate them for up to 24 hours before baking. This can be convenient for meal prep or entertaining.

3. Can I use pre-cooked rice for the filling?

  • Absolutely! Using leftover cooked rice works perfectly in this recipe and can help save time in the kitchen.

4. Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

  • Yes, you can easily make this recipe gluten-free by ensuring that the ingredients, especially the Worcestershire sauce and any canned products, are certified gluten-free. You can also use cooked quinoa or gluten-free breadcrumbs instead of rice.

5. Can I adjust the seasoning to suit my taste preferences?

  • Of course! Feel free to adjust the seasonings like salt, pepper, and paprika according to your liking. You can also add herbs and spices such as thyme, oregano, or smoked paprika for extra flavor.

6. Can I use turkey or chicken instead of beef and pork?

  • Absolutely! Ground turkey or chicken can be excellent substitutes for beef and pork if you prefer a leaner option.

7. How do I prevent the cabbage rolls from falling apart during cooking?

  • To ensure the cabbage rolls hold together, make sure to tightly roll them, tucking in the sides as you go. Placing them seam-side down in the baking dish also helps keep them intact.

8. Can I make a larger batch and freeze some for later?

  • Yes, you can double or triple the recipe to make a larger batch and freeze the cooked cabbage rolls for future meals. Follow the storage tips mentioned earlier for freezing instructions.

9. Can I omit the tomato sauce and use broth instead?

  • While the tomato sauce adds flavor and richness to the dish, you can substitute it with beef or vegetable broth if preferred. Adjust the seasoning accordingly to maintain the desired taste.

10. Can I cook the cabbage rolls in a slow cooker instead of the oven?

  • Yes, you can cook the cabbage rolls in a slow cooker on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours. Make sure there is enough liquid in the slow cooker to prevent them from drying out.

With its hearty filling, tender cabbage, and flavorful sauce, Old Fashioned Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are a true embodiment of comfort food. Whether enjoyed as a satisfying dinner or cherished leftovers the next day, this timeless recipe is sure to warm both body and soul. Experience the culinary nostalgia of homemade goodness with each delightful bite of these classic cabbage rolls.