Cabbage Rolls Recipe

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These cabbage rolls are sure to become a family favorite. Healthy, filling, and delicious!

Many moons ago, a reader sent me a recipe for these cabbage rolls. I had never made cabbage rolls or even eaten them before so I thought it would be something fun to try. But I kept putting it off for reasons unknown.

Clean Eating Cabbage Rolls

I’m sure by now she’s given up on the idea of me ever sharing this recipe with you. I’m truly sorry I didn’t share it with you all those many moons ago, but sometimes, good things are worth waiting for. And these are good!

I will post her original recipe here as well as my changes so you can try them both.

Where Do Cabbage Rolls Come From?

I tried to do a little research to find the country of origin for this dish. Apparently, it’s a topic of heated debate. Some think they are Italian, some say Russian or Polish. But no matter where these delicious little rolls originate from, one thing is for sure. They make for a really yummy dinner!

More Healthy Cabbage Recipes

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Cabbage Rolls Recipe

A delicious healthy cabbage roll that will have you coming back for seconds!
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Course: Casserole, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Author: Tiffany McCauley


  • 1 9 x 13 Casserole Dish


  • 1 large head green or red cabbage
  • lb. ground turkey
  • 2 cups brown rice (cooked to package directions)
  • cups chopped white onion
  • 45 oz. canned tomato sauce (no sugar added – 15 oz. cans – 3 of them)
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder

Original Recipe:

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice
  • ½ medium white onion
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 large head green cabbage
  • 1 lb. roma tomatoes
  • 2 large egg whites (optional)


  • Place the entire cabbage in a steamer and steam until cooked through. (You should be able to pierce it with a knife fairly easily. If it is a really large cabbage, you may need to remove half the leaves after steaming for a while to get the middle portion cooked.
  • In a large pan, sauté the onions in the olive oil until just barely translucent.
  • Stir in the turkey and cook thoroughly.
  • Stir in all of the spices and cooked rice and mix well.
  • Remove pan from heat.
  • If you haven't already done so, remove the leaves from the head of cabbage, being sure to keep the leaves in whole pieces.
  • Pour a can of tomato sauce in the bottom of a large casserole dish (I had 2 lasagna pans that were 9X13).
  • Spoon approximately a ½ cup of the filling into a cabbage leaf and roll like a burrito. With smaller leaves, you may need to use 2 leaves to get it wrapped properly.
  • Place each roll into the tomato sauce in the casserole dish. When the pan is full, pour more tomato sauce over the top to keep the tops from burning during baking.
  • Bake at 350 F. just long enough to heat everything through. Everything is essentially already cooked, so you just want to get the tomato sauce to meld with the cabbage rolls a bit. Approximately 20 minutes, give or take. Once the tomato sauce is hot and a little bubbly, remove the pans from the oven.
  • Allow to cool a bit and scoop the rolls out of the pan and onto a plate using a spatula or large serving spoon. Be sure to top the rolls with a little tomato sauce when serving.


NOTE: Nutritional content not available for this recipe. There are too many variables to give you good data here.

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I'm Tiffany, a writer for MSN and the AP Newswire, a cookbook author, digital publisher, food lover, and mom. I create healthy, clean eating recipes for everyday living.

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  1. Elizabeth Scibilia says:

    Interesting! I make a Polish version of cabbage rolls. The filling is similar – ground beef, salt, pepper, onions, rice. There is also salt pork that’s involved & my version doesn’t use tomato sauce, but they are boiled in water with white vinegar. I love cabbage rolls!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Elizabeth – Oh! Sounds yummy!

  2. Anna-Sophie says:

    Approximately how many servings does this make?

    1. Anonymous says:

      Anna – It all depends on how big you make them and how many you end up with. You don’t have to make them all at once either. Everybody will get a slightly different amount. It’s really hard to say. Sorry!

  3. I make cabbage rolls several times a year and I find that partially cooked cabbage is much easier to work with. To make my cabbage I first cut out the stem end of the cabbage (I cut down on an angle about 2ish inches to get to core out) and then place it in a large pot (cut side down) with about an inch of water. I put the lid on it and steam it for a few minutes. After a few minutes I open the pot, carefully turn the cabbage cut side up, and use tongs to take off individual cabbage leaves. You can generally take off 4-6 leaves before needing to re-steam. This makes for pliable but manageable and not slimey leaves to work with.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Mom23 – Thanks for the tip!

  4. Anonymous says:

    CPB – Hmmm… I’ll have to think about that one. I’m not sure how you would do that!

  5. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Looks great. 🙂

    1. Anonymous says:

      Rochelle – You’re welcome!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Anne – I’m sure there are a lot of different techniques out there. I like your Mom’s method though! Yum!

  7. Trudefaith says:

    stuffed cabbage is one of my all time favorites! I cleaned up the family recipe (with turkey and brown rice) I have to make a double batch every time! love your spices and will try them soon

    1. Anonymous says:

      Trudefaith – Let me know how you like it!

  8. My husband loves to make stuffed cabbage, except that he makes it in the crock pot, layered instead of stuffed, and he uses ground venison. He’s an avid hunter so we always deer meat on hand. It’s so yummy!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Ashley – Sounds wonderful!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Cec5 – Glad you liked it! I’ll have to try it with the Mexican seasoning next time.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Jessica – Sauerkraut is a must. 🙂 Enjoy!

  11. Thanks for “cleaning” up an age old classic (ie… comfort food) for us. I have to pass a tip along – instead of cooking the cabbage you can freeze the head of cabbage. The leaves will be soft after it thaws.

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Awesome tip! Thank you!

  12. graciouspantry says:

    If you mean the original recipe in my post, it’s clean. It was a clean recipe that somebody shared with me. I just changed it based on what ingredients I had on hand.

  13. graciouspantry says:

    The quinoa for the rice would work, but I’m not so sure about freezing the cabbage. Not so sure it would hold up well. But if you make a batch, freeze one and see how it holds up.

  14. what would be good to replace the turkey i dont eat meat

    1. graciouspantry says:

      You could try TVP if you eat soy.

  15. graciouspantry says:

    Depends on the size of the rolls.

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  17. Jayne Lein says:

    What temperature and how long in the oven?

    1. Jayne – Bake at 350 F. just long enough to heat everything through. Everything is essentially already cooked, so you just want to get the tomato sauce to meld with the cabbage rolls a bit. Once the tomato sauce is hot and a little bubbly, it’s done.

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