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


  1. Wash 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.
  2. It 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.
  3. Steam 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.
  4. In a large bowl combine the meats, shortning, rice,1/3 cup puree,and salt and pepper. That's your filling
  5. You might have to remove some of the larger thicker veins in some of the cabbage leaves.
  6. In each leaf put some filling at the thick end in the middle about 1 inch from the end.
  7. Fold end over filling, tuck both sides up around filling, and roll.Repeat until all leaves are used
  8. In a large roaster, spray with non stick spray, and place a layer of unused pieces of cabbage, that will prevent the rolls from sticking.
  9. Put a layer of cabbage rolls to cover bottom, cover with half the sauerkraut and all the tomatoes.
  10. Add another layer of cabbage rolls, cover with rest of sauerkraut, and spread the puree over the top.
  11. Too many rolls? Just make 2 layers then and finish with sauerkraut and puree.
  12. Add water just until you see it come up on sides of pan.
  13. Cover tightly with foil and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 4 hours.
  14. You should make these the day before you need them.Next day bake at 350 degrees until hot maybe 1 1/2 hours.
  15. The 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

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