Stuffed Cabbage


Stuffed cabbage is a nostalgic meal for me. My Grandma Boden made the best stuffed cabbage. Unfortunately she never wrote down her recipe. A few years ago, my step-mom made a recipe from her Jewish Cookery cookbook, and her stuffed cabbage tasted almost exactly how I remembered Grandma’s tasting. The original recipe calls for adding water to the sauce, which I did, but I like my sauce thicker, so next time I’ll leave the water out. I confirmed with her after I made the recipe that she too leaves the water out. The sweet and sourness of the sauce go really well with stuffed cabbages. While it’s probably not Grandma’s exact recipe, it’s as close as close can be:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2/3 c. cooked rice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 head of Savoy cabbage leaves (savoy cabbage is more tender and pliable), leaves removed and washed (or 2 heads of regular cabbage, don’t use the dark green outer leaves as they are tough even after cooking)
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice (+ a bit more)
  • 1 c. brown sugar (+ a bit more)
  • 3 c. tomato sauce (about 24 oz. preferably Del Monte, because that’s what Grandma used)


  1. Combine meat, rice, egg, grated onion, grated carrot, and salt.
  2. Soften cabbage leaves in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes; then drain. I used about 20 leaves, but depending on the leaf size and how much meat you put in each one, you may need more or less leaves.  If the ends of the leaves are tough, remove the tough part.
  3. Combine the lemon juice, brown sugar, and tomato sauce in a mixing bowl.
  4. Working with one leaf at a time, place a leaf on your work surface. Depending on the cabbage leaf size, place a small mound of meat (about the size of a medium sized meatball) at the bottom of the leaf (closest to the end where the leaf was attached). Roll the leaf, tucking the sides in securely, like you roll an egg roll.
  5. Place stuffed cabbage closely together in a heavy pan. Add sauce. Cover and cook over moderate heat for 30 minutes; then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 more minutes. Remove the lid and place in a 350 oven for 20 minutes to brown the top–mine didn’t brown, but were still delicious.
  6. CROCKPOT: prepare stuffed cabbage as above except put stuffed leaves in crockpot, cover with sauce and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Stuffed Cabbage:


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