Cabbage Rolls are delicious, but admittedly kind of a hassle to make. I think it’s totally worth it, for the record. This recipe is gluten and dairy free, and my favorite part is that the quinoa is added uncooked – there are enough extra steps in this recipe already! The filling is really close to meatloaf, feel free to substitute ground turkey for one of the meats, use all beef, or whatever suits you.
- 2 heads cabbage
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 lb lean ground pork
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup finely diced onion
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 15oz cans diced tomatoes
Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Add one head of cabbage and simmer for 10 minutes, carefully remove the cabbage to a plate to drain and cool while you simmer the next head of cabbage.
Combine ground meats, and the next six ingredients (up until one tablespoon of paprika) in a large bowl.
Now that the cabbage is cool enough to work with, carefully remove each leaf of cabbage, taking care not to tear the leaves. I like to slowly roll the leaf backwards off of the head. Be patient! It is common for the first one or two to be really thin, tear easily, and just feel like it isn’t working. It’s ok, there will be plenty of leaves that will work! If you find the leaves are starting to break, or the steam end is very crunchy, you may need to re-submerge in the simmering water for a minute or two. You should end up with 16 large leaves of cabbage – the leaves start to get too small for stuffing, so you will end up with a couple of small heads of leftover cabbage. Use it in a soup or stir-fry.
Lay a cabbage leaf on a plate with the stem end toward you. Place a small handful (about 1/3 of a cup, or 1/16 of the meat mixture if you’re a planner like that) on the stem end of the leaf, and press into a log shape. Fold the edges of the leaf over the meat mixture, and starting at the stem end, roll the leaf away from you. This should feel like you’re making a burrito. Place each cabbage roll into a 9×13″ baking dish. Repeat with remaining rolls.
Add the diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of paprika, and a good sized pinch of salt and pepper to a blender. Blend lightly – I like to get the ingredients mixed, but still have a bit of texture to the tomatoes. You could also use crushed tomatoes and just stir in the spices, but I never keep those on hand.
Pour tomato mixture over the cabbage rolls and bake at 350* for about an hour, until the rolls are very tender when pierced with a knife.