Elaine's Cabbage Rolls

Elaine Douglas


This is a very old recipe that I have been using since 1965. Can be made ahead of time. They taste even better the second day. Leftovers freeze well. Sometimes I double the recipe so that I will have some to freeze.
The leaves from Savoy Cabbage or Chinese cabbage are easier to work with.
Preparing the cabbage leaves is the most time-consuming part of process.
My cousin freezes the cabbage heads so that when they defrost the leaves are already pliable.


☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes

Makes 16 cabbage rolls
1 Hr
3 Hr
Convection Oven


Add to Grocery List


  • 1 large
    cabbage (pref. savoy)
  • 1 lb
    ground beef (or 1/2 beef or 1/2 pork)
  • 3 Tbsp
    cooked rice or 1 1/2 tbsp uncooked rice)
  • 2 Tbsp
  • 2 Tbsp
    grated onion
  • 1 Tbsp
    lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp
    paprika, divided

  • 1 large
    onion, chopped fine
  • 1 pinch
  • 2 Tbsp
    vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c
    hot water
  • 1 can(s)
    tomato sauce (398 ml or 14 oz)
  • 1/3 c
    brown sugar
  • 1/4 c
    lemon juice

How to Make Elaine's Cabbage Rolls


  1. Wash cabbage; cut out core. Drop cabbage, core side down into a large saucepan of boiling salted water to cover and blanch five or six minutes or until softened. Drain and carefully separate leaves. Alternatively, you can put the cabbage in the microwave to soften the leaves. Take the leaves off the head as they soften and then put the cabbage back in the microwave to soften the next layer.
  2. Combine beef, rice, sugar, grated onion, one tablespoon lemon juice, one teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon paprika.
  3. Drain cabbage leaves. Trim the tough center rib to make leaf more pliable. Place a spoonful of meat mixture on each leaf; roll up from the stem end leaving the sides loose. After it is rolled up, tuck in the sides like a dimple. This will secure the rolls without using toothpicks.
  4. Saute fine-chopped onion with remaining 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp paprika and pinch of pepper in hot oil in skillet or dutch onion for about 10 minutes. Add hot water and transfer onion misture to casserole or leave in dutch oven. Arrange cabbage rolls on top of onions.
  5. Mix tomato sauce with sugar and the 1/4 cup lemon juice; pour over cabbage rolls and cover.
  6. Bake at 325 F for two to three hours. Taste and add more sugar and lemon juice if necessary. If cooked on stove top, cook over low heat.

Printable Recipe Card

About Elaine's Cabbage Rolls

Course/Dish: Casseroles
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: Canadian
Other Tags: Healthy, Heirloom

Show 1 Comment & Review

25 Delicious Recipes For Newlyweds

25 Delicious Recipes for Newlyweds

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

Now that you've done that whole marriage thing, tackling these delicious recipes shouldn't be a problem. From breakfast to dinner to dessert, these are recipes any newlywed should be able...

Casseroles Your Family Will Give Two Thumbs Up Recipe

Casseroles Your Family Will Give Two Thumbs Up

Kitchen Crew

What did we make for dinner before casseroles? Seriously. They are simple to throw together and are a hearty, comforting dinner option when the weather is colder. Here are a...

22 A+ Back-to-school Recipes

22 A+ Back-To-School Recipes

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

It's time to go back, back, back to school again! Check out these quick and easy dinner recipes that the entire family (yes, we said entire family...even the picky eaters)...