Cabbage Rolls, Grandma's Recipe

Kathie Carr


Grandma didn't make these often but when she did we all loved them.

Old fashioned cabbage rolls take a lot of time and have to cook for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours (depending on how many you cook and how closely they are packed into the pan), so don't plan on making them if you are in a hurry. This is a dish best made by a group or family together. You can set up an "assembly line" and make a big bunch. They freeze well so we think its worth the effort.


★★★★★ 1 vote

30 Min
1 Hr 30 Min


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  • 8 large
    whole cabbage leaves
  • 1 large
    sweet onion, sliced and separated into rings
  • 1 can(s)
    (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes (grandma used home canned)
  • 2 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 2 c

  • 1 lb
    lean ground beef
  • 1 lb
    bulk sausage
  • 1/2 c
    diced sweet onion
  • 1 Tbsp
    salt (less if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp
  • 1/2-1 tsp
    garlic salt
  • 1 large
    egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 c
    tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 c
    cooked rice

How to Make Cabbage Rolls, Grandma's Recipe


  1. Steam or microwave the cabbage leaves until tender. Let cool. Cut out a 2- to 3-inch wedge of the tough stalk from the bottom of the leaves, taking care to leave the rest intact. Set aside.
  2. Coat the bottom of a large Dutch oven with vegetable (I use olive) oil and place over medium heat. Add onions and toss to coat. Cover and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent. Add tomatoes, garlic cloves, and water. Simmer about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, stir together the ground beef, sausage, diced onions, salt, pepper, garlic, egg, tomato paste, and rice. Divide meat mixture into 8 portions.

    Place each meat portion at the curled tip of a cabbage leaf. Fold the top of the leaf down over the stuffing, fold the sides of the cabbage leaves in toward the center, and roll up to enclose the filling.
  4. Place cabbage rolls seam-side down in a deep, heavy pan, skillet, or Dutch oven. Top with the tomato sauce. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat about 1 ½ hour. Depending on how close together the rolls are and how big your pan is these may take up to 2 ½ hours. If you double the recipe it is better to cook them in two batches. It is very important to be sure the meat is thoroughly cooked.

Printable Recipe Card

About Cabbage Rolls, Grandma's Recipe

Course/Dish: Beef

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