If you are looking for the fastest way to prepare cabbage leaves for cabbage rolls, then this post is for you. I will share with you the easiest way to soften the cabbage, using a microwave. In 10 minutes, you will have cabbage leaves ready for wrapping delicious stuffed cabbage rolls. They will be easy to handle with any type of stuffing.

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This method of cooking is more appropriate to use for young vegetables because blanching and boiling do not fit for the purpose. Leaves of young cabbage are easily broken apart.

Softened Cabbage Leaves Recipe

Ingredients: 1 cabbage Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time: 10 min Ready in 15 min

Calories: 22 kcal (per 100 g) Yield: 3 servings Cuisine: European Type: Ingredient

You will need:

  • 1 cabbage head;
  • Microwave;
  • Microwave-safe plate;
  • Plastic food wrap.

How to prepare cabbage leaves for cabbage rolls in the microwave:

  • Let’s prepare our cabbage head for further use in the recipe. Choose cabbage wisely. Try getting head without any cracks or damages and preferably with thinner leaves. Rinse it thoroughly under running water. Pat it with paper towels until it dries. Get rid of all the damaged outer leaves if necessary.

Prepare cabbage for microwaving

  • The next step would be to core the cabbage. First, get rid of the stalk in the way that you see in the picture.

Core the cabbage

  • Then using a sharp knife, make the hole deeper and make sure that it is tapered towards the middle.

Make a deep coned hole

  • Place cabbage head on the microwave-safe plate and wrap it up with food wrap (if you have no plastic wrap use a clean new plastic bag).

Cover cabbage with plastic wrap

  • Set microwave on high power – 850-1000 watts. Cook medium-sized cabbage head for 6-7 minutes and the big ones for 10 minutes in the microwave. Leaves will be steaming due to moisture released from leaves.

Place cabbage in microwave

  • Take the cabbage out of the microwave. Be careful; as the head is too hot use some potholders. Let it cool down before removing plastic wrap.

Microwave for 6 minutes

  • Separate leaves, one by one. If you see some leaves in the middle are not ready, warp them again using plastic wrap and repeat the process of microwaving once again. Now, if the leaves are too big cut them in half. Cut out the tough stem part of every leaf.

Separate leaves

  • Wrap cabbage rolls using cabbage leaves that you just prepared in the microwave. Here is my favorite way to make delicious cabbage rolls with minced meat: Easy Cabbage Rolls Recipe.

If you liked the way on How to Soften Cabbage for Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, I would appreciate it so much if you would share it on Pinterest or you could give it a star review!

Wrap cabbage rolls using softened leaves

You can also prepare softened cabbage leaves for cabbage rolls using another method. You can boil cabbage head on the stove for some time until leaves turn yellow. For the full description of the process, you can check out the recipe.

Leave all your questions in the comment section below, and I will get back to you as quickly as possible. The process of microwaving cabbage leaves is as simple and easy to follow as it seems. You need only a few utensils and zero extraordinary skills.


  1. I have been making stuffed cabbage for years. Was always a chore preparing the cabbage leaves. I would always use the boiling water method. Ended up with a lot of torn leaves, water everywhere, burnt fingers and it took forever. Today I found your recipe. I will never go back to any other method. What a breeze!! Simple no fail. No mess. No frustration. Thank you!

    • Julia Reply

      I’m so glad that you enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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