Mom’s Classic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

  • Author: The Kitchen Whisperer
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 1/2 hours
  • Category: Stuffed
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Comfort food

No summer cookout is complete without a tray of stuffed cabbages! Tender cabbage leaves stuffed with rice, seasoned ground meats and a rich tomato sauce make this the perfect summer comfort food. Plus these freeze beautifully!

Mom's Classic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
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  • 1 large size head cabbage (about 35 pounds)
  • 1 lb ground beef (or 1 1/2 lbs if not using pork)
  • 1/2 pound ground pork (omit if using all beef)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 3 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked, cooled white rice
  • 3 10.75 ounce cans tomato soup (if using a deep dish pan with a 3” side use 4 cans)


Prepare the cabbage

  1. Remove core from cabbage. Place whole head in a large pot filled with boiling, salted water. Cover and cook 3 minutes, or until softened enough to pull off individual leaves. If the leaves do not pull off easily, return the cabbage to the pot to boil a minute or two more. When the leaves are cool enough, use a paring knife to shave away the thick center stem from each leaf, without cutting all the way through.

Make the meat mixture

  1. In a large bowl, add the ground beef, pork, rice, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, eggs, ketchup, tomato paste, and parsley. Mix gently to combine. Add in 2/3rd of a can of tomato soup (almost 3/4 of a cup) and mix.

Assemble the cabbage rolls

  1. To stuff the leaves lay down a single large leaf with the cut edge facing you (where the stem was) and place about a 1/2 cup of the meat mixture in the lower third of the leave. If the leaf is huge add more, if smaller add less meat. Fold the sides of the leaf over the meat and roll the cabbage up (like rolling a burrito). Repeat until all of the leaves are stuffed. If you have extra meat just roll it up as meatballs and place it in the baking pan with the stuffed cabbage.

Prepare to bake

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, rack in the center.
  2. In a large deep dish (4” at least) baking pan (or two 9×13” glass pans), spread out the remaining soup from the open can on the bottom of the pan. Open up a 2nd can pour out 1/2 of it and spread it out until the bottom of the pan is covered in a light coating.
  3. Place a single layer of stuffed cabbages on the bottom of your pan. Add the remaining half of the 2nd can of tomato soup. If you have leaves that are too small to stuff or are badly torn, add them on top of the soup.
  4. Add the 2nd layer of stuffed cabbage (you must make sure you have a 1/2” gap at the top of your pan and stuffed cabbage. It cannot go over the top of the pan. Top with the remaining can of tomato soup and spread out evenly.
  5. Spray the underneath of a large piece of foil. Place foil side down on the pan and close tightly around the dish. Place the pan on a larger cookie sheet to catch any spillovers.
  6. Bake for 3 – 4 hours or until the cabbage is tender when pierced with a knife. (I start to check mine after 2 hours 45 minutes).
  7. Remove from the oven, uncover, and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
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