Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

The colder weather and crazy dry air got me craving a homemade warm cooked meal. Nothing fancy, no exotic flavors, just some comforting nourishing food.

stuffed cabbage rolls with rice and quinoa

With winter around the corner, it’s getting harder to incorporate salads into our daily routine. There is something about raw vegetables, that suddenly seems very unappealing. The body is telling us to keep it warm and cozy.

whole cabbage head
Whole cabbage head after the core was removed.
whole cabbage in a pot of boiling water
Separating the soft cabbage leaves.
Separating the soft cabbage leaves.
Setting aside the inner layers of the cabbage.
Setting aside the inner layers of the cabbage.
Lightly ‘shaving’ the thick stem.
Lightly ‘shaving’ the thick stem.

Stuffed vegetables are a great way to get more veggies on your plate while keeping that warmth. Stuffing a Cabbage definitely takes a lot of effort, but it’s worth it!

the vegetables for the stuffing
chopped vegetables in a pan
staffing a cabbage leaf
rolling the stuffed cabbage
stuffed cabbage roll

The best thing about this dish is that it’s even more delicious after a day or two in the fridge, so feel free to make a large batch for the week.

stuffed cabbage rolls in a pot
stuffed cabbage roll cut into half showing the stuffing

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Recipe

Prep Time
1 hour
Cook Time
1.5 hours
Difficulty
Servings:
6

Ingredients

  • 1 large cabbage
For the stuffing
  • 1.25 cups basmati rice
  • 0.5 cup white quinoa
  • 2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 fennel
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 handful parsley
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 0.5 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 0.5 tbsp salt
  • 0.25 tbsp ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
For the sauce
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 0.5 tbsp salt
  • 0.25 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 0.5 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1.5 tbsp date syrup
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Olive oil

Instructions

Prepare the Cabbage
  1. Using a sharp small knife, remove the core of the cabbage.

  2. Place the whole cabbage head in a large pot and cover with boiling water. Cover, reduce to simmer and cook for 15 minutes until the cabbage leaves turn bright green and soft. If your pot isn’t big enough, cook for 10 minutes and then roll the cabbage to the other side and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

  3. Strain the water and set the cabbage aside to cool.

Prepare the Stuffing
  1. Place the rice and quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse with water. Set aside on top of a bowl to let the water drain completely.

  2. Chop the onions, garlic, fennel, and zucchini and mix them together. Place 1/3 of the mixture aside in a separate bowl (this will be used later for the sauce).

  3. Chop the parsley and cilantro. Combine with the 2/3 of the vegetable mixture and the spices.

  4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the vegetable-greens mixture. Sautee over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Mix with the rice-quinoa mixture and set aside.

Stuff the Cabbage Leaves
  1. Carefully separate the soft cabbage leaves, one layer after the other, until you reach the inner layers that cannot be separated. Using a sharp knife, lightly ‘shave’ the thick stem that is found in the middle of each leaf, to ensure an easy-rolling process.

  2. Flip the leaves, so the ‘unshaved’ side is facing you. Place 1 tbsp of the stuffing at the thick end of each cabbage leaf, fold the sides over and roll all the way up (for smaller leaves use less stuffing).

  3. Slice 2-3 tomatoes and line the bottom of a large and wide pot. Place rolls closely together, seam-side down.

Prepare the Sauce
  1. Chop the inner cabbage leaves (that didn’t separate) and mix with the 1/3 of the remaining vegetables of the stuffing, salt pepper, and paprika.

  2. Sautee the mixture with some olive oil for 5 minutes, using the same skillet used before. Cover the cabbage rolls with the sautéed vegetables.

  3. In a high-speed blender, blend the remaining tomatoes, water, lemon juice, and date syrup. Pour on top of the cabbage rolls and vegetables.

  4. Place the pot on the stove and bring to boil. Cover the pot, reduce to a soft simmer and cook for 1.5 hours.

  5. Serve warm as a main or side dish.

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