Easy & Yummy Country Cabbage Rolls

There’s just something about cabbage rolls that feels a little like coming back home after a long time away. This familiar, slightly old-fashioned dish is healthy comfort food: filled with vegetables, yet delicious and filling.

It seems like everyone has a different method for making country cabbage rolls: slightly different seasonings, slightly different flavors, or a unique combination that’s just guaranteed to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Even within the family, in spite of starting with my grandmother’s basic recipe, we all have slightly different ways of approaching cabbage rolls. In fact, my sister and I have a running competition to see who can come up with the best recipe each year. Which of us won? Well, I’ll leave you to figure that out as you test out my personal cabbage roll recipe straight from a Mennonite kitchen.


  • 1 large cabbage
  • 2 lbs ground beef, lean; or, substitute ground turkey for an even leaner option
  • 2 onions, chopped into a fine texture
  • 1 cup rice (either white or brown is fine), plus 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 cans tomato soup
  • 16 oz tomato juice–V8 individual serving size bottles work well for this, especially if you don’t plan to use more tomato juice later
  • 16 oz chicken broth


Toss your savoy cabbage into the freezer for at least 12 hours. Remove from the freezer before you’re ready to start making your cabbage rolls and allow it to defrost completely. Typically, I decide the day before that I’m going to make the rolls that I want to take it out of the freezer since the defrosting process can take a while! It defrosts fine on the counter overnight.

Cook the rice according to the package instructions.

Saute the onions with the olive oil until they are golden brown.

Combine rice, eggs, salt, pepper, onions, and ground beef in a large bowl. Mix together thoroughly. You may find that it’s easier to go ahead and use your hands!

Peel the leaves from the cabbage and set aside. They should be soft, pliable, and easy to use, thanks to their time in the freezer.

Spray a 13 x 9 cooking pan with cooking spray.

Place a generous serving of meat in each cabbage leaf, roll up, and tuck into the casserole dish. The amount of meat you use will vary based on the size of the cabbage leaf; however, in general, I find that 1/3 to 1/2 cup works fairly well.

Once you have used up all of the meat mixture or run out of cabbage leaves, mix the tomato soup, tomato juice, and chicken broth together in a bowl. Whisk until there are no lumps. Pour this mixture over the top of the cabbage rolls in the casserole dish.

Cover the baking dish with foil and place in oven preheated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours. Serve warm.

If you made too many cabbage rolls (is there any such thing?) or you want to make this as a make-ahead dish, you can freeze leftover rolls. Remove from the freezer, thaw, and reheat at 325 for approximately one hour.

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