Stuffed Cabbage Rolls With Ground Beef and Rice

Cabbage Rolls
The Spruce
  • Total: 85 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 6 Portions (6 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
454 Calories
14g Fat
50g Carbs
33g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 Portions (6 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 454
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 221mg 74%
Sodium 763mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 7g 27%
Protein 33g
Calcium 169mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These cabbage rolls are stuffed with ground beef and rice and baked to perfection with a tangy tomato sauce.

Cabbage rolls are a favorite comfort food, a dish that might be reserved for special occasions. This recipe for stuffed cabbage rolls is a very popular recipe.

Here's a method for softening the cabbage leaves that cuts time significantly. The night before you plan to make the cabbage rolls put the whole head of cabbage in the freezer. Take it out in the morning and give it the rest of the day or several hours to thaw. The leaves of the thawed cabbage will peel off easily and are flexible enough to stuff with no pre-cooking required! 

The meat isn't cooked ahead of time, so try to use very lean ground beef to avoid the excess fat. At the very least, use 85% lean ground beef or leaner. If you like cabbage rolls, but don't like the prep work, try this easy unstuffed cabbage rolls recipe.


Click Play to See This Savory Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe Come Together


  • 1 head cabbage (about 1 dozen large cabbage leaves)
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 pound ground beef (lean)
  • 3/4 cup rice (cooked)
  • 1/2 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomatoes (diced, undrained)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (mixed with 1/4 cup cold water)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather ingredients.

    Cabbage rolls with beef and rice ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. The night before you will be making the cabbage rolls put a head of cabbage in the freezer. Take it out the next morning to thaw during the day. 

  3. Peel about 12 to 15 large leaves off of the cabbage head. They should be flexible enough to fill without blanching.

    Peel leaves off cabbage head
    The Spruce
  4. If you are not working with a frozen, thawed head of cabbage, carefully peel off about 12 to 15 large leaves from the raw cabbage. Drop the cabbage leaves into boiling salted water; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain well.

    Add cabbage leaves to boiling water
    The Spruce
  5. Heat the oven to 350 F (180 C/Gas 4).

  6. For the filling, combine ground beef, rice, onion, egg, and salt, pepper, and milk. Mix well and divide into 12 portions.

    Combine ground beef, rice, onion, egg, and salt, pepper, and milk
     The Spruce
  7. Place a portion of the beef mixture onto the center of each cabbage leaf.

    Place beef mixture in center of cabbage leaf
     The Spruce
  8. Roll the leaf around the filling, burrito-style.

    Roll cabbage leaves
     The Spruce
  9. Fasten the rolls with toothpicks. Place the rolls in a baking dish or oven-safe Dutch oven.

    Cabbage roll
     The Spruce
  10. For the sauce, combine the tomato sauce, tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and 1/2 cup of water.

    Combine the tomato sauce, tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and 1/2 cup of water for cabbage roll sauce
    The Spruce
  11. Pour over the cabbage rolls. Cover and bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour.

    Pour sauce over cabbage rolls and place in oven
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  12. Remove the rolls with a slotted spoon and discard the toothpicks.

    Remove rolls from oven and discard toothpicks
    The Spruce
  13. Place pan with juices over medium heat or transfer the juices to a saucepan and place over medium heat; stir cornstarch and water mixture into the sauce; bring to a boil and cook until thickened.

    Place juices from cabbage rolls in saucepan and simmer
    The Spruce
  14. Serve the cabbage rolls with the sauce.

    Cabbage rolls with beef and rice
    The Spruce
  15. Enjoy!


    • Serve cabbage rolls with boiled potatoes or mashed potatoes. Drizzle sauce over the potatoes. For a side vegetable, choose steamed green beans, corn, or broccoli.

    Recipe Variations

    • Low-Carb Option: Replace the rice with steamed cauliflower rice.
    • If you are looking for cabbage roll flavor but are short on time, take a look at this "unstuffed" skillet version, or this easy beef and cabbage slow cooker dinner.