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Stuffed Cabbage

Serve with hot tomato sauce and sour cream for a comforting winter meal.

  • servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 large green cabbage (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 medium green pepper, grated
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 cups tomato puree
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, plus more for garnish

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Using a paring knife, remove center core of cabbage. In a large nonreactive stockpot, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add cabbage and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until outer leaves are bright green and tender. Lift cabbage from water, and remove outer leaves. Return cabbage to boiling water, and repeat brief cooking and removal of leaves until all leaves are cooked. Reserve 2 cups cabbage cooking water. Trim thick center vein from bottom of each leaf. Reserve four large outer leaves to line bottom of pan.

  2. Step 2

    In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until golden and tender, about 8 minutes. In a large bowl, combine onion mixture, rice, beef, pork, salt, pepper, parsley flakes, green pepper, and celery. Stir to combine.

  3. Step 3

    Add about 1/3 cup rice filling to one cabbage leaf. Fold sides of cabbage over filling, and, starting with the stem end, roll the cabbage up. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling.

  4. Step 4

    Line a 5-quart Dutch oven with reserved outside leaves. Transfer stuffed cabbage leaves to Dutch oven.

  5. Step 5

    In a large bowl, combine tomato puree and the reserved 2 cups of cabbage cooking water. Pour some of the tomato sauce over cabbage to almost cover. Sprinkle apple over top of cabbage leaves. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a gentle simmer; cover. Cook for 1 hour or until cabbage is very tender, adding additional tomato sauce as needed.

  6. Step 6

    Place sour cream in a small bowl, and ladle in about 3/4 cup of tomato sauce from the cooked stuffed cabbage rolls. Whisk to combine. Add sour cream mixture back to Dutch oven, and stir to combine. Serve with additional sour cream.

Source
Martha Stewart Living Television

Reviews (39)

  • 26 Mar, 2014

    This recipe is hard to find on the site anymore, but thankfully I had saved it to pinterest. Have made it many many times. It is just my husband & I, so we freeze several meals in containers. I like to use half ground beef and half Italian sausage. First time I made it I left the apple out, second time put it in and it made a HUGE difference!!!

  • 1 Feb, 2013

    I've been searching for a good recipe for cabbage rolls an I believe this is the one. Can't wait to try it!

  • 6 Sep, 2012

    stuffed cabbage by martha stewart

  • 22 Jul, 2011

    This was the best stuffed cabbage I have ever eaten. I was so happy to fined this recipe again. I had it written down on a piece of paper and misplaced it. I'm going to make this dish this weekend in a crock pot. I would give this a 5 star rating , if we had to rate it. Love it. Thank you

  • 8 Dec, 2010

    This was the most bland Golabki recipe I have ever eaten! I have been to Poland and eaten this dish, my husband is Polish, his mom, grandmother, and cousin makes this way better. I have never seen them put green pepper in it either. It lacked so much flavor and was way too soupy. I'll be writing my cousin in Poland for the REAL recipe I followed this one to the letter, and it was horrible!

  • 12 Oct, 2010

    I really liked this and was surprised that I did. You can see my results here: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/stuffed-cabbage?lnc=4ef2dc5bfca40110...

  • 27 Sep, 2010

    lol...Nutley not nutmeg...what an idiot I am! I misread the summary. Anyways it came out wonderful. I did add 1 tbs. of brown sugar to the tomato puree.

  • 27 Sep, 2010

    This was worth the time and effort. Comfort food, perfect for chilly days. I added an extra clove of garlic, grated fresh nutmeg...maybe 1/4 tsp, next time a bit more. The recipe didn't add nutmeg but the summary mentioned it. Can't wait to have this again!

  • 18 Jan, 2009

    I have made these several times and they have become one of my familys favorites! Thanks so much for sharing your recipes.

  • 12 Nov, 2008

    I, too, grew up on holubki made by my dear Slovak mother and I use her recipe all the time. My Mom was a natural cook and baker and I have all my favorite recipes from her. I'm glad to see that you cook your stuffed cabbage in a pot on the stovetop, Slovak-style, and not in the oven using tomato soup. We use raw ground beef, raw rinsed rice and sauteed onions and bacon in our recipe so that the filling does not stick together. It's my favorite and I could eat it every single day.

  • 7 Nov, 2008

    My Mom cooked the ground meat first before adding the rice and stuffing the cabbage. The golumpki are not compacted after cooking. Also, use the hot water that you cooked the cabbage head with, and add it to cook the rice. It adds vitamins and flavor to the rice!

  • 7 Nov, 2008

    My Mom cooked the ground meat first before adding the rice and stuffing the cabbage. The golumpki are not compacted after cooking. Also, use the hot water that you cooked the cabbage head with, and add it to cook the rice. It adds vitamins and flavor to the rice!

  • 6 Nov, 2008

    Love cabbage rolls. Martha, please write a cookbook for the Polskas! You could do a whole section on Polish holiday traditions, crafts, and recipes. I so value my family's heritage.

  • 6 Nov, 2008

    My Polish mother who arrived here in1912, used to add flavor to this dish by using cream of mushroom soup instead of tomato sauce. I sometimes ix cream of tomato and cream of mushroom for a really rich sauce. Thanks for the Mom recipes. I miss my Mom every day. Bet you miss yours too. Karen, Naples FL

  • 6 Nov, 2008

    Stuffed Cabbage sauce option: After having baked an hour, uncover and add a handful of golden raisns and fresh dill. ( Dill is a must in making Polish style soups, sauces, and gravies.) bake another half hour uncovered to reduce water.

  • 6 Nov, 2008

    As KasiaK suggests, serve with extra wide noodles, sauted shredded cabbage and sauteed onions. Sour cream or cream cheese can also be tossed in.

  • 6 Nov, 2008

    Stuffed Cabbage Filling- I do the onion, garlic, celery addition when making stuffed pepper but omit those when making cabbage rolls. Instead I just add onion powder, parsley a generous shake of paprika and 1 egg per pound of blended meat

  • 6 Nov, 2008

    To develop flavor to the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls-Golambki (Golomki), make or bake the day before. If baking a large batch bake in a large - 9x12 or 10x14 baking pan or casserole covered with foil for an hour. Uncover for half hour to reduce water.

  • 5 Nov, 2008

    Thank you Martha for your wonderful show. You mentioned making a vegetarian version. I would love a list of alternatives for the meat.Many thanks once again.

  • 4 Nov, 2008

    i TOO HAVE GROWN UP ON STUFFED CABBAGE LEARNING TO MAKE IT FROM MY AMAZING POLISH MOTHER... AFTER BURNING MY FINGERS TRYING TO SEPARATE THE LEAVES OF THE CABBAGE, WE FOUND A GREAT WAY TO SOFTEN THE LEAVES WITHOUT THE BOILING WATER, WE PUT THE WHOLE CABBAGE IN THE FREEZER, A FEW DAYS BEFORE, AND WHEN YOU ARE READY JUST TAKE IT OUT OF THE FREEZER LET IT THAW AND CUT OUT THE CORE, SEPARATE THE LEAVES AND THEY WILL BE PERFECT AND WILL NOT BURN YOUR HANDS OR TAKE FOREVER....
    GIVE THAT A TRY...

  • 4 Nov, 2008

    i TOO HAVE GROWN UP ON STUFFED CABBAGE LEARNING TO MAKE IT FROM MY AMAZING POLISH MOTHER... AFTER BURNING MY FINGERS TRYING TO SEPARATE THE LEAVES OF THE CABBAGE, WE FOUND A GREAT WAY TO SOFTEN THE LEAVES WITHOUT THE BOILING WATER, WE PUT THE WHOLE CABBAGE IN THE FREEZER, A FEW DAYS BEFORE, AND WHEN YOU ARE READY JUST TAKE IT OUT OF THE FREEZER LET IT THAW AND CUT OUT THE CORE, SEPARATE THE LEAVES AND THEY WILL BE PERFECT AND WILL NOT BURN YOUR HANDS OR TAKE FOREVER....
    GIVE THAT A TRY...

  • 4 Nov, 2008

    Love this recipe but all these imposed videos have convinced me that I do not want to visit this site again.

  • 7 Aug, 2008

    It was a very good dish all though I think the sauce could have used a little more flavor. I cooked it in the oven instead of the stop top. It turned out just as good.

  • 25 Jul, 2008

    I made this one last night but, omited the apples. I used ground turkey meat instead and added a small amount of fresh finely diced jelepenos a sprinkle of dried italian seasoning and garlic powder instead of fresh and I used salted butter. Used a lighter colored cabbage maybe savoy, that came from my neighbors' garden. I loved that it was not as sweet as some other cabbage rolls I have tried in the past. It turned out really good too!

  • 30 May, 2008

    One of my Family's favorites!
    I found another way to roll the cabbage, a method I saw from another cooking show. You use a teacup or small shallow bowl lined with plastic wrap overlapping about an inch over the cup. Place a blanched cabbage leaf over the plastic wrap, then the rice filling and gently pull up the plastic wrap twisting into cabbage pouches closing the cabbage firmly around the filling. Carefully unwrap. Layer seam down in pot. They DO stay together while cooking.

  • 16 Feb, 2008

    My Polish mother would make this, and the side dish we often had with stuffed cabbage would be noodles with cabbage and onion and butter.
    Simply add a a little cooked cabbage in with your sweated onion and butter, a little caraway seed, salt and pepper to taste, and your done.

  • 3 Feb, 2008

    I made this recipe with savoy cabbage it's a little thinner and not as tough as green. I also changed the sausage to JD Sage flavor, added a little dill, carrot, orange pepper (omitted the green) and added tomato paste to the mix. To cook I put in a glass casserole dish and poured CLAMATO juice till they were almost covered, added bacon to the top with tomato PUREE-not sauce or paste. My husband liked them better than his mom's and I made extra for vaccum sealing! Thanks Martha.

  • 27 Jan, 2008

    I would like to know what side dishes would by good with stuffed cabbage?

  • 6 Jan, 2008

    I was inspired to make this recipe after a Japanese friend cooked this for me years ago. Hers was in a rich broth and was wonderfully balanced.

    I love that this recipe is full of vegetables and is so healthy. However I also found it watery.

  • 2 Jan, 2008

    I found this recipe to be "perfect". Not being raised eating this type of "cuisine", it gave me a whole new appreciation of great American comfort food. My entire family enjoyed this dish!

  • 20 Dec, 2007

    My daughter-in-law

  • 20 Dec, 2007

    My daughter-in-law

  • 20 Dec, 2007

    My daughter-in-law

  • 20 Dec, 2007

    I made it tonight but used sweet italian sausage instead of pork because they were all out at the store. Sauce was REALLY watery! Wasn't sure whether to cover the pot or not, so I did. Sour cream added a little zip, but otherwise it was pretty bland - even with the sausage.

  • 18 Dec, 2007

    Over the years, I have tweaked by mother-in-law's stuffed cabbage recipe. It was basically just meat, rice, s

  • 18 Dec, 2007

    I made this recipe, followed it closely and I just didn't taste right. Did Martha's mother leave out her secret key ingredient? I would recommend not wasting your time on this one and it was time consuming. Mine tasted watery and bland. Also a large onion is way too much for this amount of meat.

  • 17 Dec, 2007

    my mom Mary Babel made her cabbage leaves like your mom but she added strips of bacon in the pot to add a great taste, It made thesauce finger licking good.. Making the meals that people loved you made for you it a tribute to the love they showed in the labor of love in cooking. That what I see in your clips with your mom .

  • 17 Dec, 2007

    My Grandmother also was well known for her stuffed cabbage in the family. Try saurkraut and sliced polish kielbasa on the top. It is really good

  • 8 Nov, 2007

    This recipe is similar to how my grandma made hers, but she didn't use any celery or apples. Instead, she used saurkraut, which really enhances the flavor!!!