Cabbage Rolls


You probably can’t live in Southwestern Pennsylvania without having a recipe for cabbage rolls.  I’m not entirely certain, but it might be a requirement for citizenship.

This is my mom’s recipe for cabbage rolls. It makes enough to feed a small army – which happens to be the quantity in which she’d frequently cook. So, these would fit in well at a family reunion, graduation party, or other large gathering. If you don’t happen to have a large group to feed, the leftovers freeze very well. Just thaw and heat through in a 350 degree oven. Bam. Homemade cabbage rolls – [almost] whenever you want.

Cabbage Rolls

Yield: Makes about 34 cabbage rolls

Cabbage Rolls


  • 3 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3 pounds ground pork
  • 3 cups white (or brown) rice, cooked
  • 1/2 cup onion, grated (using large holes on a box grater)
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large head of cabbage
  • 2 29-ounce cans whole tomatoes (in juice)
  • 1 29-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 pound sauerkraut


  1. Discard the outermost leaves of the cabbage. Remove the core. Place the cabbage in a stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  2. Turn the cabbage every couple minutes. Remove any leaves that are separating away from the head of cabbage and place them into a colander to drain and cool. Continue the process until all the leaves are cooked and pliable, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Combine the beef, pork, rice, onion, allspice, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
  4. Trim the thick center rib from the bottom of each cabbage leaf. Place meat mixture in the bottom of each leaf. Fold the sides of the leaf in and over the meat, then roll from bottom to top.
  5. Place rolls in a large baking tray. You can use a 20" x 12" full-size steam table tray, large roasting pan, or a couple 13" x 9" baking dishes.
  6. When the leaves get too small to stuff, simply chop them and toss them over top of the cabbage rolls. If there is any leftover meat mixture, make little oval-shaped meatballs to bake along with the cabbage rolls.
  7. Rough-chop the whole tomatoes and pour them (and the juice) into a mixing bowl along with the tomato sauce. Stir to combine. Pour evenly over the cabbage rolls.
  8. Scatter sauerkraut (and juice) over top of the sauce-covered cabbage rolls.
  9. Cover loosely with foil.
  10. Bake for 2 hours. Carefully, remove foil. Bake for another 30-60 minutes until the meat is cooked through and the cabbage is tender.
  11. Serve with mashed potatoes topped with the tomato sauce and sauerkraut remnants from the baked cabbage rolls. Yum!

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