I like this recipe because it is a meal a little out of the norm for us, and with it’s different style of presentation, it can make a boring week night feel a little more fun. There are only three easy steps: blanche the cabbage leaves, cook the filling, then roll it all up and toss in the oven. This isn’t anything super advanced or gourmet, but my toddler finished her whole plate, so the recipe counts as a serious win to me! 😛
- 1 Small Head of Cabbage
- 2T Butter
- 1/2 an Onion, diced
- 4 Roma Tomatoes, diced
- 1 LB Ground Beef
- 1C Brown Rice
- 1 Can Tomato Sauce
- Garlic Powder
- Thyme (dried)
For baking the final dish, you will need at least an 8×8 square Pyrex dish. I made approx. 6 rolls in this size baking dish and had quite a bit of wraps and filling left over, so if you are feeding a larger crowd you could use a larger pan and make about 10 rolls with this recipe.
Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.
Start a pot of water and cook your brown rice (2C water, 1C rice).
Cut your cabbage in half, then core out the stem and hard cabbage in the middle. Carefully peel off the top layers of your cabbage in leaves as large as possible, since you will use those to wrap your filling. Any remaining parts of the cabbage that are edible but not large enough to use as a wrap, dice and set aside with your tomatoes.
In a large pot, boil water about 1 inch deep, and toss in your large cabbage leaves and cook until al dente. Once cabbage leaves are blanched, remove from heat and strain out the water, and set the leaves aside.
In the same pot, melt your 2T butter, then add your onions. Cook about 3 minutes until they begin to sweat and release flavor. Add your ground beef, and cook while stirring occasionally until no pink is left in the meat.
Pour about 1/3 of your can of tomato sauce into the beef. Now, add your diced tomatoes and chopped cabbage, and cook the mixture until tomatoes are releasing juice and the cabbage pieces are soft. Season to taste with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and thyme (I would start with about 1 teaspoon of each, taste, then add any seasoning desired from there).
In your baking pan, start to assemble your cabbage rolls. First, take two leaves of cabbage and overlap them slightly in the pan leaving no gaps for filling to fall out. Spoon in the ground beef mixture, and roll the cabbage leaves around the filling like you were rolling a burrito.
Pour the remainder of your tomato sauce over the top of your assembled cabbage rolls, and place in the oven to bake for 10 minutes at 350 Degrees Fahrenheit. Broil for two additional minutes to get the sauce nice and hot.
Plate and serve 🙂
The best part of this recipe is that leftovers can easily be turned into a soup! To do this, take two cartons of chicken broth and heat them in a large pot. Pull the leftover cabbage rolls apart and toss the filling into the pot. Take the cabbage and dice it into large chunks, and toss into the soup. Voila – easy cabbage soup!