Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

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Easy stuffed cabbage rolls filled with ground beef and topped with a tomato-based sauce.

Stuffed Cabbage 3If you haven’t tried making stuffed cabbage, you need to.  It’s truly an easy method, and you’ll be surprised at how the cabbage leaves just naturally roll right up and seal around your filling.  My mother-in-law makes an amazing Syrian stuffed cabbage, that I’ll make myself someday and leave you with the recipe.  But, for now, I’m sharing Paula Deen’s recipe with you and one that I liked just as much as the Syrian version.  Although, they are much different.

These cabbage rolls are stuffed with ground beef, onion, raisins and rice, then topped with a scrumptious tomato-based sauce.  Paula suggests serving them with a dollop of sour cream, but I forgot that part and definitely didn’t miss it.

Stuffed Cabbage 4

Stuffed Cabbage

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 4 to 5 servings

Serving Size: 2 cabbage rolls

Stuffed Cabbage

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 medium head (about 2 pounds) green cabbage
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 1/4 cup raisins (I use golden)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (16 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • sour cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13- by 9-inch pan with cooking spray or oil.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Using a small, sharp knife, cut in a circle all around the stem of the cabbage and remove the core. Place the cabbage in the boiling water. After about 2 minutes an outside leaf will come loose--pull it off and out of the water using tongs. After another minute the next leaf will come loose. Remove and repeat until you have 8 to 10 leaves. Pat the leaves dry with paper towels. Cut out the thick part of the rib from the bottom of each leaf, but don't cut more than a third of the way into the leaf.

In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, cooled onion, rice, raisins, and salt. With the stem side of the cabbage leaf facing you, place a scant 1/3 cup of the beef mixture in the center of each cabbage leaf. Fold the bottom edge over the mixture and then fold the sides over and roll into a tidy packet. Place the cabbage rolls, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish.

In a bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, broth, and paprika. Pour evenly over the cabbage rolls. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Optional: Serve the cabbage rolls with a big dollop of sour cream.

Source: Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible

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  1. I tried to hate stuffed cabbage for most of my list thusfar. Upon further inspection, I found it to be one of the most wonderful things on the planet. This looks so good, now I need to make it again. Before it gets too warm!

  2. Nikki! These looks amazing; I’ll have to try this recipe!!!

  3. You’re right about how easily the cabbage leaves follow a roll; I usually cut out the “v” of the heavy rib part right in the middle of each leaf.

  4. My Polish family calls them golabki. I always get super excited when I find a huge cabbage so I can make these. Now I am dying for some! 🙂

  5. This is probably a dumb question but does the hamburger go into this raw?

    • Hi Debbie, Yes. Then it cooks in the oven. 🙂

      • My grandfather was German and my grandmother was Irish.I remember the most wonderful cabbage rolls that were similiar to this recipe: but with no raisins. They topped them with a can of saurkraut & a can of stewed tomatoes before baking them. My mouth is watering now. I haven’t had them in years but will ne making them tomorrow! Thanks for the reminder!

        • I have been looking for a recipe with Sauerkraut & Stewed tomatoes in it. I lost the recipe I had that a good friend gave me & she passed away in two thousand six

          • I call it cabbage and stewed tomatoes. One shredded head of cabbage , and one onion sliced,boiled in big pot water, and, or some chicken broth until soft. Drained and put back in pot, one or two cans of stewed tomatoes sauce and all. Stir and love it.

        • this is the same way we make them NO RAISINS .. we also put a few slices of bacon over the top it give it a good flavor..
          Now they might be good with raisins but we never did it that way… GOOD COOKING FRIENDS

        • I can’t get behind the raisins either. For the most part, I can’t get behind fruit with savory either. The only time I want a raisin touching beef is on that very rare occasion I reach for steak sauce. The rest of this, yum!
          If we run out of leaves, (we do it together, not too much her way, not too much my way) my wife just wants to make “porcupines” and 90% of the time I’ll say no, I’ll just run up and get another cabbage. Is that too Irish/German of me?

      • You mentioned syrian version of stuffed cabbage. I would like to have that receipt . My mother made syrian stuffed cabbage and she used lamb. If you can please send me the one you have so I an compare it. Thank you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nikki, everything turned out perfect except the cabbage, which was tough. I baked it for about an hour. What did I do wrong?

        • Nikki Gladd says:

          I’m sorry it was tough for you. Did you boil the cabbage leaves first? Did you cover the pan with foil? Unfortunately, since I wasn’t there with you there’s no telling what may have gone wrong. The cabbage shouldn’t be completely soft and should have a little bit of a bite.

    • Debbie, not a dumb question at all! I was wondering the same thing, lol!

      Nikki, this looks amazing. I have all my ingredients ready to try it for dinner tonight and can’t wait. Do you have any suggestions as to any healthy sides that would pair good with this?

    • Anonymous says:

      I put in raw hamburg… It mixes better with the rich and you do not end up with clumps of meat

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks…was thinking the same thing

    • My family fries one part ground pork and 2 parts ground beef. Add fried onions and rice.

  6. My Polish family always made ‘golabki’ too but never with raisins. I can’t imagine eating this and then biting into a raisin! Raisins were used for desserts, not meat dishes.

    • Actually, there are many meat dishes that include raisins. You should give it a try! 🙂 The raisins are not out of place here.

      • Jean-Pierre says:

        You might get a surprise with the raisins. Try one time and make a decision :). let me share with you an another dish with raisins. Couscous is delicious and serve with raisins.

    • I agree it would taste nasty with Raisins.

      • My mother-in-law makes spaghetti and meatballs…the meatballs have raisins in them. I thought it would be disgusting, but now I won’t eat spaghetti any other way. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it! I definitely will not leave the raisins out of this recipe when I make it!

        • Thank you, Mindi! Finally someone who is not afraid to try including the raisins! 🙂 It seems like the comments about leaving the raisins out were people who are used to a dish that is from another region. Which is fine, and I’m glad to have the input, but I hate for those comments to shy people away from giving the raisins a try. So, thank you! 😉

    • Vicky Bryant says:

      I agree that the raisins are delicious. I have had stuffed cabbage with raisins and it’s wonderful! I also like to put golden raisins and cinnamon sticks in my rice when serving curry. Until you try it you can’t vehemently deny them. I also like stuffed cabbage without raisins. I try something then decide whether it’s right for me. Taste is subjective…unless we’re talking about the time my son put cheese on chocolate graham crackers and loved it… ew …BUT, I did try it…

    • I don’t think I would like raisins in them,don”t like them,also I always put my rice in raw,just takes longer to cook and you would need more juice.And they are always good!!

    • i’m not a big raisin fan, either, but they are in many sauces for meat like A1 so maybe…….

    • Larisa Vanderborgt says:

      I grew up eating my mom’s golubzi in Ukraine. She saute onion and carrots. No raisins in her recipe! And no oven. She cooks it in a big pot on the stove top in mixture of a tomato sauce and paste


      • From Louisiana and my mom did hers like your mom. Always delicious.

      • That’s the way my Grandmother who was from the Ukraine did them also. But she did add a cup of vinegar into the sauce. She use to brown the hamburger meat with onions and once that was done she would add in a cup of uncooked rice, then she would drain a jar or can of tomatoes add the chunks to the rice and hamburger chopping the tomatoes in small pieces and once this was all blended then we’d start rolling the cabbage rolls. Just thinking about them I can smell them cooking on the stove. Yum!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Very very true! I’ve never seen raisins either I’m half Slovak half polish. Yuck

    • I grew up in a Russian family with so much good food! We called these Haloupki. I don’t know if I spelled that correctly but it doesn’t really matter. No one ever put raisins in them. It wasn’t until I was much older that I had one with raisins in a Kosher Deli. Personally, I prefer them without the raisins. With, they are too sweet.

  7. I have been making these for years but I do brown my hanmburger first. The greatest tip I ever got was from my mom. If you put the whole head of cabbage in the freezer and then defrost it the next day there is NO need to boil. It makes it soooo easy!

  8. The Slavic countries called it “holupki”. Oh the childhood memores of huge pots of holupki in the stove before holidays.

    • I am Solvic and ur right Renee we do call them holupki’s.
      I was raised on them and have recently started makin
      them for my family now and they are as good as I remember,

  9. patty matthieu says:

    put rotel in it and it is even better and rice

  10. We call it Sarma in Bosnia best thing ever DO not put raisins in there would kill the whole taste.

  11. Try omitting the raisins and add some white vinegar 1/2 cup and 3 tb of sugar.I am Solvak and we made a sweet and sour verison.

  12. Leave out the raisins and it is perfect. This is similar to a recipe I use but I cook them in a pressure cooker.

    • Make mine almost the same but no raisins and I put a little ketchup in the meat mixture. I also cook mine in a pressure cooker with just tomato sauce thinned with a little water, bay leaf and a little ketchup on top. I chop up the leftover cabbage and place on the bottom of the pot and some on top of the cabbage rolls. I also just parboil my rice. I don’t think my grandmother used ketchup back in Poland but I find it thickens the sauce a little and gives it a nice tang. Soooo good.

  13. I’m not a big fan of beef, and we have a ton of chicken at my home that needs to be eaten. Do you think substituting shredded chicken for the beef and chicken broth for the beef broth would be good?

    • I know there are recipes out there for chicken stuffed cabbage. The ones I’ve seen use ground chicken, but if you shred it or finely chop it I’m sure it would still work. I can’t, however, account for the taste since I’ve never tried it myself. 🙂

  14. Sassy Walker says:

    Re the raisin controversy: My dad was from Sicily where it’s not at all unusual to combine raisins and pine nuts with savory dishes. My stomach growls just thinking about my grandmother’s savory/sweet/sour/yummy caponata. Traveling in Mexico I found some of the best spicy dishes add a few raisins, ripe olives, almonds, or peanuts. Raisins and apples are often used in German stews and sauerbratens. Lots of Moroccan tagines combine lamb, raisins, almonds and honey. This recipe sounds like it might have a Polish background since stuffed cabbage there generally includes ground meat, raisins and rice. Middle Eastern cabbage rolls usually include raisins along with a pinch of cinnamon, allspice and mint. Don’t knock it until you try it! It’s all pretty darned yummy. Now I’m off to the store to buy cabbage! Thanks for your inspiration!

  15. Debbie Herrman says:

    We call these cabbage rolls Galuskies! They are a Volga German dish. I do the same as far as preparing only I put in pork sausage in the ground beef, add rice and I put in a can of tomatoe soup. Some salt and pepper bake in oven then when they are almost done I put in a can of saurkraut. Bake for about a half hour then it’s done. I do not cook hamburger before wrapping cabbage around it.

    • Just like my moms beef some ground pork maybe a little ground veal pared cooked rice sauted white onion .pour a can of campbells tomatoe soup . Cooked on top of stove for hours on low heat. Side of mashed potatoes with little chunks of fried fatback…YUMMY !

  16. I’m making this tonight for dinner!! I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    (I am always a little in awe of the number of people who comment on a recipe, but have never made it!!!!!)

  17. Halupki! MY family is of Slavic origin and I make these frequently. Use raw beef ans a bit of ground pork, sautéed onion,4 pieces of bacon cooked. Sauté the onions in the bacon fat. Add raw rice to ground meat and onions , add about 1/3 – 1/2 c of ketchup to meat mix, salt pepper and paprika. Stuff each leaf, place in a pot with a smoked ham hock, cover with water to which you add 2 reg cans of tomato soup. I put the tougher cabbage leaves on top of all the halupki to keep the steam in and cover it all with a lid. Cook slowly until rice is cooked. About 2 hrsor less if rice fis done. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to cooked rolls while in the pot. It wakes the flavor up with a zing . Almost forgot I chop the cooked bacon up and add that to the rice meat,onion,ketchup paprika mixture. Yum…… Then freeze anything you aren’t eating for a quick meal .

  18. Addendum to halupki- add the vinegar after the rolls
    L are cooked and still in the pot. you can decrease the amt of vinegar to 1 tsp or to taste. Carol

  19. I am making these today and have a quick question. My plan is to make them today and cook them tomorrow…is that alright to do or is this a dish that should be cooked after preparing it and tomorrow night is just a heat up night? I don’t want to mess it up…this makes me think of my grandma who used to make these all the time. Thanks!

    • Hi Amy, You should be fine assembling these today and baking tomorrow. I would, however, wait to pour the tomato sauce on top of the cabbage rolls until right before throwing in the oven. 🙂

  20. I wonder how these would do using Red Cabbage? or perhaps a combination of the two? any suggestions for what to do with the rest of the head of cabbage after you make the stuffed cabbage rolls?

    • Hi Teri, I’m not sure how the red cabbage would fare in this recipe, but I do have suggestions for what to do with the leftover cabbage. You can use it to make coleslaw, or fried cabbage, or Corned Beef and Cabbage Pizza. I guess it just depends on how much you have left. I made this again last week and threw the leftover cabbage in the freezer to add to a homemade vegetable stock later. 🙂

      • I put the remaining cabbage that is left over in the dish along with the rolls. Tastes wonderful … but I love cabbage in any form.

    • I always fry what ever is left of the cabbage,My husband loves cabbage fried..

  21. Haley Halvorson says:

    I was just wondering if you cook the ground beef, my assumption would be yes, but it doesnt say anywhere and you are putting htem in the oven!! Sorry for a dumb question!! Thanks for your time!

    • No, you do not cook the ground beef. It will cook in the oven. 🙂

      • Haley Halvorson says:

        Sorry, you threw me off again … brown beef? Are you supposed to brown it at all first or is it just wrapped raw?

        • Oh, goodness, I’m sorry! That was a typo. I didn’t mean “brown” beef. I meant “ground” beef! Guess that’s what happens when I type quickly and don’t reread what I wrote! I fixed the comment. So, wrap it raw. Sorry!!

      • No don’t cook the ground beef at all when you put it in raw and cook in the oven it will melt in your mouth!!

  22. These cabbage rolls were delicious! My picky hubby even had seconds. Only change I made was to use 1/2 lb ground turkey and 1/2 lb Italian sausage. I didn’t know what taste to expect with the first bite, and I was pleasantly surprised. I used regular red raisins, and they are very tasty in this dish!

  23. Growing up, we called cabbage rolls Galumpkis—-I was told it was a German dish. Not sure if we were pronouncing the name right or not. My mom’s version did not have raisins, however, I was taught to be open to new foods and always try a bite of everything before I decided I didn’t like it. I have taught that same philosophy to my kids. Variety makes life so much for interesting!! And, it makes people more interesting too.

  24. OK – just made this last night & it’s amazing WITH the raisins. They make it more moist and add a very slight sweetness to the rolls. I loved the flavor. You must try it before you write it off. Life is full of possibilities and variety—DON’T BE SO PICKY!!

  25. I love cabbage rolls and try to make then as many times my husband will allow,He’s not a fan of rice.

  26. Made these tonight and they were absolutely delicious. Loved the raisins in them. DO NOT LEAVE OUT THE RAISINS!!!!

  27. The idea of raisins is new for me in cabbage rolls. Might really go over well with the girls. I was wondering what to do with the remaining boiled cabbage. When I make this dish I usually have half a head leftover.
    My mother-in-law can remove the leaves before boiling and use the rest of the head for cole slaw. I am not so talented, yet.

    • I use the leftover cabbage for borscht – beef stock, beets, potatoes and lima beans….

      • With my leftover cabbage I make cabbage and Italian sausage. My Mother did the same when I was a child and my whole family loves both meals I get from the cabbage

  28. I made this last night with ground turkey and it was awesome! I am so glad I found this recipe. thank you for posting 🙂

  29. An easier way to do the cabbage is to freeze it over night. Then run it under water and separate the leaves. No mess and works great!!!!

  30. My mom used to put a can of Spanish rice in her stuffed cabbage. Since they don’t make it like they used to (think Beefaroni sauce), I like to add some salsa to the rice. I always layer the cabbage rolls with sauerkraut and canned tomatoes–now THERE’S flavor for you!

    • Make these all the time recipe came from friends who are Slovak, German, Polish, Hungarian use the beef not cooked, sautéed onions, cooked bacon pork sausage, salt pepper some garlic and parsley, use left over cabbage to line pan, pour tomato juice, sauerkraut and kielbasa between and around cabbages great with buttered noodles or mashed potatoes

  31. I made these tonight for supper and it was the first time I have ever had cabbage rolls and I loved them! I was a little worried about the raisins but added them anyway and am glad I did. They added the perfect sweetness to the dish. Can’t wait to make them again!

  32. Michelle Evanich says:

    I don’t use this recipe, we have one of our own. But, I will tell you mix these up with hamburger, sausage and equal amount of rice, roll them up and zip lock them. We have a vac. sealer and do these once by the hundreds. Easily put in the crock pot with your favorite sauce and dinner for a year. A rice cooker also makes this easy.

  33. There was a question as to what to do with the leftover cabbage and for me the answer is to chop it up and add it in with the dish. The chopped cabbage combined with the sauce makes is wonderful too. I grew up eating sarma (my mother is serbian) and we do not put raisins in ours and her variation consists of a can of drained sour kraut over the top and ketchup/broth. Ketchup may sound weird but it gives the sauce a nice tangy flavor.

  34. Would love to have syrian version.

  35. sounds great….my friends mother would make tbis and a side dish using ground pork (no raisins) yummy

  36. If you brown the beef before wrapping them up, can you reduce the time in the oven to 45 minutes or is one hour still necessary?

  37. Cabbage rolls, or holubtsis, are always a staple at holidays and other events in our Ukrainian family. These have raisins and a fancier tomato sauce, but are essentially the same.

  38. I’ve eaten these all my life. Never even thought of adding raisins. I make them and they taste great, but I don’t know why my filling does not stay together, rather, it crumbles. Any thoughts?

  39. What about craisins? I don’t like raisins, but O love craisins.

  40. This dish is prepared in many countries in the Balkans. Serbians,Croats,Macedonians,muslims from Bosnia named this dish SARMA, and eat it at every occasion. There are variations with fish meat, pork, veal, beef, chicken, added some variations in lean meat, but in every variation puts a small amount of rice to connect drier meat.

  41. I’ve made these for many years, but have never used raisins. Adding an egg to the meat mixture helps hold it together. Form the mixture into an elongated meatball in your hands first, then wrap it in the cabbage, and nestle them close together. Also, I always add some dried marjoram (about a teaspoonful per pound of meat or to taste), and it enhances the flavors wonderfully. Also, baking them in a covered casserole dish in the oven (at 350 for about 1 and 1/2 hrs.) seems to be the best way to be sure the heat is evenly distributed and they all get done at the same time.

    This dish is definitely worth the time and effort, and tastes even better the next day. As mentioned previously, it also freezes very well.

  42. Cabbage rolls are also part of Turkish cuisine. Usually tiny currants are used in dolma mix (when meat isn’t included) along with pine nuts and this mix is used for stuffing bell peppers. They taste amazing and go well with the slight bitterness of peppers. No stranger than raisins in a curry I suppose 🙂

  43. Love to receive emails on new posted recipes and definitely interested in Syrian
    Cabbage roll recipe. Thanks, Annie

  44. I make a my mom’s version and love them !!! I’m gonna try this recipe too, cuz it sounds great.

  45. In all the comments, I have not seen a recipe idea quite like the one I learned from my German/Prussian mother–in-law. She uses pork roast, cut into 1 inch cubes, with rice and onions to fill the cabbage. The rice is soaked in hot water before adding to the mix to soften it – parboiled. The only seasoning she uses is salt, pepper, and garlic. Tomato sauce and water is added to boil/bake them. Wunderbar!
    My own take is to put the cabbage into the microwave to soften the leaves. I also use tomato soup for a little sweeter sauce.

  46. My Mother made stuffed cabbage rolls – of Hungarian descent – and every timeI used her recipe,received raves – it is easy – a bit time consuming – bu well worth it – buy a loin of pork, have the butcher cut off the fat and the chine – ground the pork – render the fat from the pork with chopped onions, salt, black pepper, pour the cooked mixture into the pork, and the white rice.
    Steam your cabbage,as noted previously, and stuff the leaves. bottom of the pot, layer rinsed sauerkraut,then cabbage rolls, and layer until the top of the pot – in between the layers squeeze a ripe fresh tomato and put the chine (bone) into the pot – It will flavor your sauerkraut, which you can use as a vegetable – and slowly cook for a few years – it is so good and better the next day – and can e frozen.

  47. Gloria Martin says:

    I made these delicious. But I cooked garlic with the onions and used garlic salt instead. My family loved them.

  48. LOVE this recipe! I always hated and I mean hated “piggies” as my family has always called them growing up. But this one has made me love them!!! Such good flavor and such simple ingredients nothing crazy to buy. The one thing I did do different was give the raisins a coarse chop and then it distributed throughout the meat mixture better.

  49. Sounds great. I printed it!

  50. I made it with diced apples instead of raisins, turned out great!! We also put cheese on top since the sour cream we had was bad (ick), it would have been delicious with SC though, definitely will make sure we have fresh next time. I also used a mild enchilada sauce we had since I forgot to get tomato sauce. It added a little extra spice and was actually really delicious!! Will definitely make it like this again, enchilada sauce and all!! My family loved it.

  51. I cook those from picked cabbage leaves And they are amazing!!! But I do not use raisins and I precook the meat with the onions and rice for just a little bit !

  52. This recipe was perfect as written in my opinion. For once I had everything on hand. I peeled off raw cabbage leaves because I didn’t want to cook the whole thing today so my leaves were a bit tattered after steaming them but they rolled up just fine. I used leftover brown rice from yesterday and served the rolls over the rice I didn’t use in the stuffing. I got 10 rolls using a 1/3 cup measure of stuffing.

    There was just the right amount of seasoning and the raisins absolutely made this!! If I didn’t know they were in the stuffing I would never have noticed them except for a random sweet bite every 3 or four times. They really were wonderful in this dish.

    DO NOT BROWN THE MEAT. It cooked completely in the oven.

  53. Can you freeze this dish?

  54. You can freeze stuffed cabbage. I make them for my husband who is Romanian. They are called Sarmale. We use ground pork and I use pickled cabbage leaves. I cook in the crock pot overnight usually. No raisins in our Sarmale.

  55. This sounds delicious! I am disappointed how people can’t simply thank the poster for the recipe. Why not just make the dish without the raisins and not insult the recipe by talking bout how nasty raisins are with meat?

  56. Vicky Bryant says:

    I agree. One should never lose sight of the fact that a recipe can be adjusted to suit one’s personal tastes. HOWEVER, trying a recipe as it is written is worth a try, also. I make a spiced rice w/ cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, onions, and golden sultans. I do not like cloves and am not crazy about raisins…but, I made it to go with my curry. WOW, I can’t imagine making it any other way!! Every flavor adds to the dish. Even now, after knowing my likes and dislikes, I can’t believe how much I love this rice!

  57. Making this right now by the recipe, I will let you know after we eat it how well we liked it but it sounds great. Thank you!

  58. I made this last night and it turned out SO good. I shared the recipe with my readers and took pictures: I’ll be making this again and again.

  59. The version of this recipe that my mother passed along to me is slightly different. I make the meat filling basically the same, but without raisons. I will probably put them in a few next time I make them, since I love to try new flavors. But most of my family doesn’t care for raisons. I always wrap them and secure them with a toothepick. My version, I put them in a large heavy pot. I make the sauce with a huge can of tomato soup or 3 or 4 smaller cans (condensed), mix in some lemon juice and brown sugar, and thinned with a little water. I also chop up a lot of the cabbage and toss it on the cabbage rolls. Pour the sauce over, and they should pretty much be covered. Bring to a simmer, put on a lid but leave slightly ajar. Turn down to low and cook for about an hour. Serve with mashed potatoes! Yum
    The cabbage cooks down which gives the gravy a slight sweet and sour flavor.

  60. Those look delicious. I know what we’re having for dinner sometime this weekend. However, I think I’ll make half with and half without raisins. I have a couple picky eaters that will touch nothing that has raisins, apples, peas, or any kind of nut in it. They don’t know what they’re missing.

  61. OMG amazing!For all of you who do not think raisins should be in this dish, I have the pickiest eaters ever! All of them LOVED the raisins. I to used the golden raisins. You don’t even know you are eating them. It just adds great flavor to the meal. My family asked what is that little touch of sweet to each bite.

  62. What if you already cooked the beef before reading the comments. could I reduce the cooking time in the oven?

  63. Cabbage rolls, Do we cook the rice first?

    Thank you

  64. just made this tonight…delicious!!! The pop of sweet from the raisins was PERFECT. great dish! : )

  65. You say you have a syrian recipe for stuffed cabbage. Would it be possible for you to send it to me if it is made with lamb. My father was syrian and my mother made the best stuffed cabbage for the family. The recipe was his mothers and she used raw lamb and uncooked rice and tomato paste and garlic. I was wondering if yours was the same. Thank you.

    • Hi Joan,
      Mine is not the same, as I do not use lamb (nor does my mother in law). Sorry! The recipe we use is basically ground beef and a lot of cumin. My mother in law uses uncooked rice, but my rice always seems to turn out crunchy when I try to do that, so I just cook it first and then mix it in. 🙂

      Good luck in finding your recipe!!

  66. I made your stuffed cabbage just as it was written how ever i thought it was good but missing something..I made it again 2 weeks later made it as written but added 2 cloves of garlic crushed and cut up 2 center ribs of celery chopped fine with the leaves on wonderful this is a keeper thank you oh i am American born and bread and i call them delicious cabbage rolls

  67. Halupkies – my favorite!

  68. getting older and found a way to make easy piggies. slice cabbage and put in 9×12 cake dish, spread filling over cabbage and add another layer of cabbage. pour whatever liquid you like over cabbage and filling. bake

  69. Oh yum my absolute favorite meal, I forgot about these, my mum made these when I was young, all the time. Then I tried when I was older and didn’t know how to prepare the cabbage for them, I boiled it for a very long time waiting for the leaves to fall off lol. I really had no idea. I only ever bought cabbage for coleslaw and stews. I live in Canada fall is near and the cabbages are about to be in season. Also I have some leftover rice that needs to be used, some beef, and I will be asking my brother to get me some cabbages from the vegetable farm where he works. Thanks for posting! Oh our family never put raisins in, stuck to traditional European recipe I guess, but I am sure it would be tasty, perhaps I may try sometime :). Since I discovered mincemeat for pies uses ground beef, and I LOVE it, I have become very open to trying seemingly unconventional flavor combinations. But raisins in savory dish is not that much of a stretch 🙂

  70. hello everyone. i love piggies that what we call them…
    my mom made the best she would also put the whole head of cabbage in the freezer and then take it out and it was ready to use no cooking. she put all the left over cabage on the bottom of pan put tomato soup over that and in between each layer and oh yeh the bacon over the top the bacon gave it such a good take i just loved eating the cabbage from the bottom of it yum now i have to go and make some.
    in the filling she put the raw hamburger no cooked i never heard of that you want the hamburger to cook with the rest of the stuff. thats what gives it good flavor also. but this is a good recipes
    my mom made these for people for showers and wedding and all kinds of partys they would call her. i miss her so much i have 6 brothers and they are all great cooks

  71. Ukrainian and holubsti we top with sauerkraut and tomato juice and let it simmer into a delicious sauce. I make half with meat/rice and half just rice. One of my fav “ethnic” meals. No raisins!!!!


  73. I too make the unstuffed version – cut up cabbage and mix with some tomato sauce – layer with cabbage/meat mixture/cabbage and pour tomato sauce over. bake in oven. tastes just like the stuffed version

  74. My mother use to make these when I was a young child.but we called them pigs in a blanket.i love them now as much as I did as a kid..

  75. This brings back memories of my childhood. I am going to follow your recipe, “sort of “, 1) raw rice, 2) garlic & onion powder, 3) double the liquid “to help the rice cook” 4) add about 1/4 cup white vinegar & about 3 tbl brown sugar. I think the sweet & sour sauce will really kick off the rasins.

  76. gotta try

  77. I am planning to make this tonight, and I’m not scared of the raisins – only problem… I don’t have any. This may be a stupid question, but could I sub the raisins with dried cranberries?

  78. Janet Jones says:

    I am going to try this recipe for New Years. I think the raisins are a great idea. I go to a restaurant in San Antonio that is known for the best Chile Relleno ever and they put raisins in them. I have never had any better and the raisins are the trick. I think it will be a huge plus in these cabbage rolls too!

  79. debi hargis says:

    My sister makes these every New Year’s but without the raisins. Might be good. She uses V-8 Spicy juice and it really livens it up!!!

  80. My eastern European grandmother taught me to use the same ingredients but put the raisins (golden) in the sauce. My preferred version is to make a “sweet and sour” sauce using tomato sauce, vinegar and brown sugar and then you don’t need raisins. She used sour salt but I don’t and I add garlic cloves too. I’ve also had a version of this called “unstuffed cabbage” which combines the same basic ingredients in layers like a lasagna. Adding sauerkraut works very well in this version too.

  81. If you use minute rice you don’t have to cook it first!

  82. Larisa, I’m Ukranian as well…Sprinkling can sauerkraut on top and let them bake in the oven. The sauerkraut and stewed tomatoes give it the best flavor ever, gives extra sauce to top the rolls too.

  83. Throwing my 2cents worth in….. Mom was Czech and Hungarian, her method was no raisins of course, and the tomato sauce was a little different. To give it a different flavor, and a slightly salty flavor, a can or two of tomato soup were added. Then some of this soup/ sauce was added to the ground beef mixture before rolling it up. Wife and i still used this method. But all methods work.

  84. I don’t know if you tried or any of your readers, but, I have had great success in freezing my head of cabbage, thawing it out, it becomes very pliable for rolling in to cabbage rolls.

  85. I am SO EXCITED to try this recipe!! I have it in the oven right now! I didn’t want to, but had to skip the raisins (I forgot to pick some up when I went to the store), and I made mine with venison (yummmm) and quinoa (because I already had it cooked, whereas I would have had to cook the rice). So I changed it up considerably, but I hope it is still delicious!

  86. Ok so to amend my previous comment, they were AMAZING with the venison and quinoa!!! I almost wish I had had raisins to put in them! I just wonder how well they will reheat? I’m going to find out when I try to eat the leftovers this weekend 😉

  87. I make a similar sweet and sour version in a pot, tomato sauce, brown sugar and lemon juice, always use raisins, haven’t made it in 20 years, hubby has been asking for it since the kosher deli closed! Theirs were like mine. Might have to try it again!

  88. Let me get my 2 cents in here and say there are as many ways to cook a dish as there are cooks. You can always add something or take it away, but first follow instructions and learn. I think the raisins sound delish, I also put them in my cornbread stuffing at the Holidays along with diced apple or whatever I wish to use. I would however not disregard your dish because you don’t. I would suggest NOT to precook your protein & I too have had a problem at times with rice not getting done enough. Any kind is acceptable though, brown, (better pre cook it as it takes more time to cook), or white, raw, par boiled, precooked, left over, Minute Rice. It’s all good. One more hint, I take the leaves off the cabbage head and trim the biggest outside ones at the rib before I steam them so that they are easier to wrap around the filling , the thick ribs are sometimes hard to bend. All of your suggestions sound good, like the cranberries or perhaps dried cherries or chopped dried apricots, the apples sound good too, even grated carrot, just keep the portion close to what is called for in your original recipe. Each addition may change the flavor a little and you will soon learn your likes and dislikes and who knows, your might discover a new and wonderful recipe. Just be grateful that we have this abundance of wonderful food to eat and enjoy the preparation of it all. A lot of hungry folks in this world.

  89. Richard Vasconi says:

    I put raisins on top of the stuffed cabbage once in the pot, not mixed with the raw beef.

    Another addition, I sauté onion in a small amount of oil, in a deep pot. Season the onion with salt, pepper, garlic salt and paprika. Add 12 gingersnaps and 1 can of sauerkraut to the pot.

    There are many ways to make this and all are good.

  90. I made these tonight for dinner. I followed the recipe exactly and they came out great!! My husband absolutely loved them! I can’t wait to have them for lunch tomorrow and probably make them for friends soon too!! Thanks so much for the recipe. (The raisins are a good touch btw. )

  91. My mom always diced potatoes very small and added them instead of rice and this is very good to.

  92. I made a few changes/additions to this fabulous recipe! Will be making it again and again!

    • 1 pound ground turkey
    • 1 large carrot, shredded
    • 1 handful of kale or spinach, raw, chopped
    • 2 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
    • 1/4 cup golden raisins
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • Garlic, dried, minced, as desired
    • Onion, dried, chopped, as desired
    • Red Pepper flakes, as desired
    • A few of the smaller cooked cabbage leaves, finely chopped
    I also added an extra 1/2 cup of homemade chicken broth to the sauce.

  93. I never leave comments on blogs, but I just have to on this one (as a food blogger myself). First, recipe looks great. Second, some of you need to relax haha- recognize that a food blogger can take a traditional recipe and put her own twists on it! While your family recipes may not have had raisins, give the girl a break and let her do her own thing with it haha. That’s the point of food blogging, and cooking for that matter! We put our own touch of love on old classics we love, as well as create new things as we go. There’s a reason for tradition (it works), but let the girl play! There’s no ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ when it comes to cooking 🙂

  94. I’ve been looking FOR a recipe WITH raisins! My family called them Huluptchas (spelling?). Nothing BETTER than stuffed cabbage w/raisins! Thank you for the recipe. When I visit my 81yo mom in February we will try your recipe and see what she thinks – frankly though, we use a bunch of Heinz ketchup with the tomato JUICE 🙂

  95. If you put the cabbage in the freezer then when you want to make this, take it out day before and let it defrost, cabbage will be already to peel apart and roll up in rolls. Much easier than handling hot cabbage!

  96. Raisins and all purpose flour are terrible for weight loss and diabetics.

  97. very nice site..enjoyed reading all the comments..grew up with croatian sarma…and still my favourire meal…thanks

  98. I made this tonight and I must say that it was a HUGE HIT! I had myself and three guests over, so I doubled the recipe and I am so glad I did, because we ate it all!

  99. The absolute best stuffed cabbage I ever tasted had raisins in the stuffing. I was a teenager and not that interested in cooking back then so I never did get the recipe. It was at a potluck bridal shower and since the groom was an Orthodox Jew, we ate kosher. I was raised on all kinds of stuffed cabbage and never had it without a dollop of sour cream on top, but the raisins made up for it. One of the cook’s secrets was to mince the raisins. The sauce was made with tomatoes, but it was a rich brown and somewhat thin. It was crazy delicious!

    I’m actually a big fan of unstuffed cabbage because as a kid, we were put to work rolling the cabbage and it burned our fingers. But a good trick to avoid the stiff spine is to remove it with a knife or kitchen shears (after par-boiling the cabbage leaves).

    The biggest difference between stuffed and unstuffed cabbage is that, instead of raw meat with cooked rice, you brown the meat and leave the rice raw,

  100. Can this be made and frozen?

  101. 3doxiemom says:

    The same recipe my Mama made all her life. I used to take the leaves off whole, boil and roll the. But as years went by and life got busier, I started taking a shortcut for these. I quarter the whole head of cabbage, break apart the sections, and boil them. I then layer the meat, sauce, and boiled cabbage leaves like lasagna. They are not only easier, and faster to make, but just as tasty!

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