Cabbage Rolls Ukrainian Style

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Makes 20-40 cabbage rolls, depending on the size of the cabbage leaves

1 large head of savoy cabbage or 2 medium size heads, OR regular cabbage (frozen for at least a full day so it freezes all the way through)

6 cups pre-cooked rice (about 3 cups uncooked)

2 Tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, diced

***OPTIONAL: 1lb of ground meat(of your choice)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tetra pack(946 ml) tomato sauce or Hunts tomato soup(4 cups)

Optional*** 500gram Farmers sausage rings (baked on top at the end instead of meat filling)


1. The day before place a head of cabbage into the freezer.

2. On the day you cook the cabbage rolls, you will preheat oven to 350 degrees F. But, not until all the cabbage rolls are rolled and ready. The process of actually making cabbage rolls takes some time to do. Have ready a roasting pan large enough for the amount of cabbage rolls you are making or you can do it in two smaller roasting pans.

3. To start, cook the rice. Follow the directions on the rice package but it is generally two cups water for each one cup of rice. We use a rice cooker. If you are doing in a pot, measure the rice and the water into a medium size pot. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once it boils, reduce to a simmer and cover for 15-20 minutes until cooked. Shut off and set aside when ready.

4. Meanwhile chop and saute the diced onions in butter over medium high heat until they are golden brown. OPTIONAL** If you are cooking with ground meat you can cook it now with the onions. Once the onions are brown and meat is cooked (if using), spoon into the cooked rice and stir to combine. Stir in the salt. The filling is now ready for rolling into the cabbage leaves. Do a taste test and add seasonings if desired.

5. Remove the frozen cabbage from the freezer and place it into a large bowl of hot water. This is easiest done in the kitchen sink.

6. Use a knife to cut out the core of the cabbage. Remove the leaves one at a time and place on a paper towel to dry. Carefully cut away any hard part of the cabbage stem. When you get to a point in the cabbage where the leaves are too small to use, you can save that portion of the cabbage to freeze and use for homemade soup or lazy cabbage rolls. If the water cools off and the cabbage is not coming apart easily, add more hot water from the tap. It does not need to be boiling water. The process works great with hot tap water.

7. One at a time, fill each cabbage leaf with a big spoonful of filling. Pat the filling nice and tight. You will judge how much by the size of the cabbage leaf. You will know if you put too much as you won’t be able to easily tuck in the sides.

8. Roll at the center of the leaf first, fold in both of the sides of the leaf and then continue to roll up the cabbage, encompassing the filling.

9. Line the bottom of the cooking pan with a few of the cabbage leaves that were too small for rolling. This just helps to keep the cabbage rolls from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Spoon a thin layer of tomato sauce next.

10. Place the prepared rolled up cabbage roll into your casserole dish. Continue rolling and place the cabbage rolls closely together. When one row is done, spoon on more tomato sauce and do the next row. Top with remaining tomato sauce.

11. If you are using sausage, slice it into rounds and then place on top of the cabbage rolls for baking.

12. If your pans have a lid, cover and if not, cover with aluminum foil.

13. Cover with a lid or tinfoil and bake for 45 minutes. Serve and Enjoy!


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