Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cabbage Rolls

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I've never attempted to make cabbage rolls because the whole process always seemed intimidating.  A lot of steps to be completed before eating.  Guess I like instant gratification?

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I order to make these you have to first carefully dissect a head of cabbage.  Of course you have to find a perfect head of cabbage first.  I thought I picked out a beautiful one but upon closer inspection I discovered it had been mutilated prior to my purchase.

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So yeah.  Try to find a cabbage with it's outer leaves intact.  Those leaves will be needed for this project.  Your goal is to get at least 12 whole cabbage leaves to make perfect meat lump packages.

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The great thing about cabbage rolls is the meat mixture can use up that leftover rice from last nights Chinese takeout.  Add in some ground beef, onion and some salt and pepper.  Maybe some ketchup or Worcestershire sauce if your feeling spicy.

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I found a couple techniques for getting the cabbage leaves pliable enough to roll.  I went with the boil copious amounts of water and steam the heck out of the cabbage technique.  I'd submerge the head for a few minutes, peel off some leaves, re-submerge.  Repeat.

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I used the remaining leaves to cover the bottom of my baking pan.  After rolling up all the little meat packages just place them in the pan and cover with the yummy sauce.

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The sauce is really easy to make.  I used Campbell's Tomato Soup but a plain ole tomato sauce would work fine.  I just like the tanginess the soup adds.  Also, it's something I always have on hand.  Tomato sauce?  Not so much!

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Used the rest of your cabbage to cover the rolls and sauce.  It really helps hold in moisture.  Cover the whole pan with a foil cover and it's ready for some bakin'!

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The sauce is going to be thin.  Just remove the rolls (and extra cabbage leaves) and remove the sauce to a saucepan.  Add a bit of cornstarch mixed with water to help thicken it up.  The sauce is my favorite part, especially when it mixes in with mashed potatoes.  It's sweet and sour and yum!

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I usually serve something like this with buttered boiled potatoes but I gave up on keeping fresh potatoes at my house because they go bad too fast.  My husband really doesn't eat them and I'm trying not too so I confess.  These are made with potato flakes.  I feel so ashamed.  But everything else is 'real'  I promise!

Sharing this recipe at Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity linky party.  This recipe is certainly frugal and cheap!

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Cabbage Rolls
adapted from


12 steamed cabbage leaves and additional leaves for bedding and topping
1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 egg
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup milk
1 can (10 ounces ) condensed tomato soup
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water


Combine ground beef, rice, onion, egg, and salt, pepper, and milk. Mix well and divide into 12 portions. Place a portion into the center of each cabbage leaf. Roll leaf around filling. Line baking pan with layer of cabbage leaves. Place rolls baking dish. 
Combine tomato soup, diced tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and 1/2 cup of water and pour over cabbage rolls. Top with remaining cabbage leaves and cover pan with foil. Bake covered in a preheated 350° oven 40 to 45 minutes. Remove rolls. Transfer the juices to a saucepan and place over heat; stir cornstarch and water mixture into the sauce; bring to a boil and cook until thickened.


  1. Thanks for sharing at MHM! I love the bright green leaves. Cabbage is one of my favorite foods, good for you and super cheap as well!

    1. I love cabbage. I even sneak it into sloppy joes when my husband isn't looking. It's a great meal stretcher.