Homemade stuffed cabbage rolls are a perfect recipe from East European cuisine. You can use this delicious meal as an easy meal prep idea for a week or a perfect nutritious option for a family dinner. Today you will learn how to make cabbage rolls with cooked-through minced meat and rice stuffing in softened cabbage leaves.

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Cabbage rolls turn out very tasty with juicy inside and slightly crunchy crust. Thanks to it mouthwatering colors and aroma you can use it as a main dish for any occasion. You can even freeze them for later, just skip the last step and freeze rolls once you rolled cooked minced meat in the cabbage leaves.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Ingredients:

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Ingredients

  • 1 large cabbage head;
  • 400 g ground beef;
  • 80 g medium-grain rice, boiled;
  • 2 onions;
  • 1 carrot;
  • 60 ml oil;
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste;
  • paprika, coriander, dry parsley/dill;
  • sugar, salt, freshly ground black pepper to your taste.

How to make stuffed cabbage rolls at home:

  • If you have no leftover precooked rice, then you should cook it first. I have decided to boil rice in unsalted water beforehand. Use the following proportions. For 1 part of uncooked rice, use 2 parts of water. Boil rice until liquid is fully incorporated. Yes, rice will be slightly undercooked. But do not worry, as we will continue cooking it together with other ingredients.

Boil rice for the filling

  • Rinse a cabbage head under running water; get rid of several top leaves if they are too damaged. Cut out the cabbage stalk.

Cut out the stalk

  • Make sure to leave several deep cuts in the center of the cabbage, in the spot where you’ve got rid of the stalk. It will help us to separate cabbage leaves after boiling.

Make several deep cuts in the middle

There is another way to soften cabbage leaves for the recipe that takes half the time. You can microwave the whole cabbage head and then separate it into individual leaves. Follow the link to get the full recipe.

  • Choose a deep pot of a suitable size. Your cabbage head should nicely fit inside. Cover cabbage with cold water and put it on high heat. Lower the heat down when water starts boiling. Let cabbage simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Wait until the leaves of the cabbage become soft and turn their color to a somewhat yellowish color.

Boil cabbage for 20 minutes

  • When cabbage is ready, take it out of the pot and set it aside to cool down. Leaves should be cool enough to handle them with your bare hands. Get rid of the tough stem part in the middle of the leaf and cut leaves in half if they are too big.

Seperate all the cabbage leaves

  • Now is time to make the stuffing for our cabbage rolls. Take one of the onions and chop it into small pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet, add chopped onion and sauté it for 3-5 minutes until soft and transparent.

Sauté chopped onion

  • Add minced meat to the skillet with onion and cook it for several minutes before adding seasoning. Add paprika, coriander, and any type of dry herbs that you like. My top choices are, as always, dill and parsley.

Add minced meat and herbs

  • Lower the heat down and add several tablespoons of water to the minced meat. Cover the skillet with a lid. Braise minced beef for about 10 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally; do not let it stick to the surface. Now, add boiled rice to the braised minced meat with herbs.

Stir in rice

  • Mix them together, add salt to your taste and let the filling for cabbage rolls cook for additional 10 minutes under the lead. Let it cool down after cooking.

Cook this mixture for extra 10 min

  • Carefully wrap minced meat in boiled cabbage leaves in any convenient way. Make sure you have nice cabbage rolls, no more than for two/three bites. Try to make them also of the same size (they will be done at the same time in this case).

Form cabbage rolls

  • This next step is purely optional. However, it adds that extra flavor to golubtsy that I like. Heat several spoons of oil in a skillet and place cabbage rolls in one layer. Fry them on both sides until they turn golden.

Fry cabbage rolls on each side

  • Place all the stuffed cabbage rolls that you have in one skillet and set it aside for the time being.

Place all the rolls in one skillet

  • Now, chop the second onion and grate the carrot. In a separate skillet, heat enough oil and sauté these two vegetables until soft.

Sauté onion and carrot together

  • Add tomato paste and season with salt and sugar (first, I go with a pinch for each and then see how it goes). Add a cup of boiled water to the skillet and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes before the next step.

Make tomato sauce

  • Pour tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls; cover the skillet with a lid. Stew cabbage rolls in the sauce for 30 minutes. Serve still hot with sour cream (just out of the fridge).

Cook cabbage rolls under tomato sauce

Enjoy your meal!

Cabbage rolls recipe with minced meat

Hope you will enjoy stuffed cabbage rolls and will share this recipe with your friends!

Easy Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe
Print Recipe
4 from 1 vote

Cabbage Rolls Recipe with Cooked Ground Beef

Learn how to make homemade stuffed cabbage rolls at home! This delicious meal can be used as an easy meal prep idea for a week or a perfect nutritious option for a family dinner.
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: European
Keyword: stuffed cabbage rolls
Servings: 3 servings
Calories: 98kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 large cabbage head
  • 400 g ground beef
  • 80 g medium-grain rice boiled
  • 2 onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 60 ml oil
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • paprika, coriander, dry parsley/dill
  • sugar, salt, freshly ground black pepper to your taste

Instructions

  • If you have no leftover precooked rice, then you should cook it first. I have decided to boil rice in unsalted water beforehand. Use the following proportions. For 1 part of uncooked rice, use 2 parts of water. Boil rice until liquid is fully incorporated. Yes, rice will be slightly undercooked. But do not worry, as we will continue cooking it together with other ingredients.
  • Rinse a cabbage head under running water; get rid of several top leaves if they are too damaged. Cut out the cabbage stalk.
  • Make sure to leave several deep cuts in the center of the cabbage, in the spot where you’ve got rid of the stalk. It will help us to separate cabbage leaves after boiling.
  • Choose a deep pot of a suitable size. Your cabbage head should nicely fit inside. Cover cabbage with cold water and put it on high heat. Lower the heat down when water starts boiling. Let cabbage simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Wait until the leaves of the cabbage become soft and turn their color to a somewhat yellowish color.
  • When cabbage is ready, take it out of the pot and set it aside to cool down. Leaves should be cool enough to handle them with your bare hands. Get rid of the tough stem part in the middle of the leaf and cut leaves in half if they are too big.
  • Now is time to make the stuffing for our cabbage rolls. Take one of the onions and chop it into small pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet, add chopped onion and sauté it for 3-5 minutes until soft and transparent.
  • Add minced meat to the skillet with onion and cook it for several minutes before adding seasoning. Add paprika, coriander, and any type of dry herbs that you like. My top choices are, as always, dill and parsley.
  • Lower the heat down and add several tablespoons of water to the minced meat. Cover the skillet with a lid. Braise minced beef for about 10 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally; do not let it stick to the surface. Now, add boiled rice to the braised minced meat with herbs.
  • Mix them together, add salt to your taste and let the filling for cabbage rolls cook for additional 10 minutes under the lead. Let it cool down after cooking.
  • Carefully wrap minced meat in boiled cabbage leaves in any convenient way. Make sure you have nice cabbage rolls, no more than for two/three bites. Try to make them also of the same size (they will be done at the same time in this case).
  • This next step is purely optional. However, it adds that extra flavor to golubtsy that I like. Heat several spoons of oil in a skillet and place cabbage rolls in one layer. Fry them on both sides until they turn golden.
  • Place all the stuffed cabbage rolls that you have in one skillet and set it aside for the time being.
  • Now, chop the second onion and grate the carrot. In a separate skillet, heat enough oil and sauté these two vegetables until soft.
  • Add tomato paste and season with salt and sugar (first, I go with a pinch for each and then see how it goes). Add a cup of boiled water to the skillet and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes before the next step.
  • Pour tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls; cover the skillet with a lid. Stew cabbage rolls in the sauce for 30 minutes. Serve still hot with sour cream (just out of the fridge). Enjoy!

Notes

*calories per 100 g

I see how this recipe can be a little bit frightening at first. You spend a lot of time making cabbage rolls, but once you try them, you will forget any difficulties that you came across. Even though this exact recipe is from Russian/Ukrainian cuisine, almost every European cuisine has its spin on the cabbage rolls recipe. Today, I shared Classic Golubtsy Recipe with you. But you can find German, Polish recipes, even Turkish/Greek dolma with minced meat reminds me of this dish. But instead of cabbage leaves, you will simply use grape leaves.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comment section below.

2 Comments

  1. PAULA JONES Reply

    4 stars
    I have made holopchi many times with raw, lean ground beef (and sometimes a little pork). This is the first time I tried with cooked beef because my meat was more fatty. I really love your recipe and tips, and especially love your seasoning suggestions. I add a little oregano too (always with tomato!). I would give it 5 stars except I can’t keep the rolls together with the meat already cooked. Therefore this makes it hard to serve. I also have a question. I use one egg normally to bind it. Do you think this would work with the cooked meat, or is there another way to hold it together better? Otherwise, I have “unstuffed” cabbage rolls. Thanks in advance for your input. God bless you.

    • Julia Reply

      So happy you enjoyed this recipe, Paula! About keeping rolls together, make sure to tuck in the sides of cabbage leaves while you are rolling it. I also try to use just a small scoop of the minced meat stuffing to prevent the same problem that you had. I have never tried adding the egg to the cooked minced meat. So, I can not give you advice on that. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and leaving a rating!

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