Grandma Lee's Cabbage Rolls

Jane Whittaker


My Grannie Lee made these frequently when I was growing up. We had these anytime we had a large family gathering.
My Grannie Lee lived next door to a Hungarian lady who taught her how to make these cabbage rolls.
I know these are a little labor intensive, but they make a huge batch, and freeze very well.

★★★★★ 9 votes
1 Hr
5 Hr


2 large
heads green cabbage
3 lb
ground chuck or hamburger
1 1/2 lb
ground pork
1 large
onion, chopped
1 1/2 c
long grained white rice
1/3 c
shortning, or lard
12 oz
tomato puree, divided
29 oz
( 2- 14.5 ) ounce cans diced tomatoes
81 oz
( 3- 27 ounce) cans sauerkraut
1/2 tsp
each salt and pepper, or to taste

How to Make Grandma Lee's Cabbage Rolls


  • 1Wash cabbage, and run a sharp knife all around the core. Put one of the heads of cabbage in a large bowl, add 1/2 cup water, cover loosely with plastic wrap and put in microwave. Cook on high to start maybe 6 minutes.
  • 2It works better if you put the core side down into water. Save the inner leaves that are too small and bits and pieces. You will use these later.
  • 3Steam repeatedly, until you have removed all the cabbage leaves. You will have to steam a little, remove a few leaves, cover and repeat until all leaves are free.
  • 4In a large bowl combine the meats, shortning, rice,1/3 cup puree,and salt and pepper. That's your filling
  • 5You might have to remove some of the larger thicker veins in some of the cabbage leaves.
  • 6In each leaf put some filling at the thick end in the middle about 1 inch from the end.
  • 7Fold end over filling, tuck both sides up around filling, and roll.Repeat until all leaves are used
  • 8In a large roaster, spray with non stick spray, and place a layer of unused pieces of cabbage, that will prevent the rolls from sticking.
  • 9Put a layer of cabbage rolls to cover bottom, cover with half the sauerkraut and all the tomatoes.
  • 10Add another layer of cabbage rolls, cover with rest of sauerkraut, and spread the puree over the top.
  • 11Too many rolls? Just make 2 layers then and finish with sauerkraut and puree.
  • 12Add water just until you see it come up on sides of pan.
  • 13Cover tightly with foil and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 4 hours.
  • 14You should make these the day before you need them.Next day bake at 350 degrees until hot maybe 1 1/2 hours.
  • 15The sauerkraut is served on the side, and all you need is bread and butter with this.

Printable Recipe Card

About Grandma Lee's Cabbage Rolls

Course/Dish: Beef, Pork
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: Hungarian