Classic Cabbage Rolls



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can (15 ounce) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cabbage Rolls

  • 1 large head green cabbage
  • 1/2 pound ground pork sausage
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup Minute Rice (or long-grain parboiled white rice)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika


  1. Bring a large stock pot of water to boil.  Add the whole head of cabbage and boil for 5 minutes.  Remove to a colander to drain and cool.  Once cooled cut 1/2 inch off the stem end of the cabbage. Carefully remove 12 leaves and cut the tough rib out of the stem end in the shape of a V.
  2. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes; stirring several times.  Reduce heat to low and add garlic. Cook for 1 minute stirring constantly.  Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, cider vinegar, and brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Spoon a thin layer of the tomato sauce into a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish.  In a large bowl mix the ground pork sausage, ground beef, onion, garlic, egg, rice, parsley, and paprika.  Place about 1/3 cup of the meat mixture in the center of the cabbage roll.  Bring in the sides and roll tight.  Place on the tomato sauce in the casserole dish.  Repeat until all the cabbage rolls are made and in the casserole dish.  Top with remaining tomato sauce.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 80-90 minutes


  • Buy a large head of cabbage so you have large leaves to work with and extra leaves just in case.
  • Choose whatever mixture of ground beef, ground pork, or sausage your family will like best.  My husband loves sausage so I often make it with 100% ground sausage.
  • Don’t skip the step to boil the cabbage.  It really makes all the difference when it comes to rolling these guys.  It is almost impossible to roll a cabbage leaf that has not been boiled since it is stiff as a board.
  • The ground meat does not need to be precooked.
  • After boiling the cabbage slice the root ends off about a 1/2 – 3/4’s inch up.  This will make it easier to remove the leaves.
  • Are you always in a hurry and need to cut a few corners?  Use your favorite jarred marinara sauce and simply add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 1/2 -2 tablespoons brown sugar.
  • Switch out the cider vinegar for balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar.
  • Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil so they steam a little bit in the oven softening the cabbage leaves.
  • Cut a V shape on the root end of each cabbage leaf to get rid of the tough part of the leaf and to make it easier to roll.
  • If you do not have access to Minute Rice then simply parboil 1 cup of rice.

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