Healthy, easy stuffed cabbage rolls with ground turkey, rolled in tender cabbage leaves, and covered in a tangy tomato sauce for a healthy and easy meal!
These easy stuffed cabbage rolls are so satisfying and filling, yet make for a healthy meal by using ground turkey. The filling is meaty yet tender, the cabbage leaves are soft and delicate, and it's all covered in a tangy, zippy tomato sauce.
The first time I had stuffed cabbage rolls was at a friend's house. I was staying over for dinner and her grandma had been preparing these cabbage rolls in the kitchen. So much love and care went into them by the way she was handling the delicate leaves and carefully rolling them up. They tasted so wonderful! Every once in a while I think back to that meal and start craving these all over again.
One thing my friend's grandma did that was uncommon was adding green peas to the filling. I didn't know anything about cabbage rolls as a kid so I thought that was typical of the dish and really enjoyed having them in the filling. Ever since I started making these cabbage rolls, I always include green peas as an homage to my friend's grandma. Feel free to leave them out if you wish, but I promise they taste amazing in there.
For these cabbage rolls, I went with this beautiful savoy cabbage I came across at the store the other day.
The leaves are such a gorgeous color and the details are so exquisite. You can use green cabbage as well and it would still taste amazing, but if you can get your hands on savoy cabbage, you won't regret it. The little nooks and crannies in the leaves are perfect pockets for soaking up the tangy sauce.
Tips for Easy Stuffed Cabbage Rolls:
Steam your whole cabbage leaves in a pot of boiling water for about 2 - 4 minutes until the leaves get soft and pliable enough to roll up without breaking.
Use leftover cooked rice to make mixing easier. If using freshly cooked rice, wait for it to cool down so it doesn't get gummy. I added frozen peas like my friend's grandmother used to. It adds a nice pop of green to the cabbage rolls.
Roll them up tightly so that the filling stays in place. Add a thin layer of tomato sauce to the bottom of your casserole dish and place the cabbage rolls on top. Place them seam side down so they don't open up. Use a tooth pick to hold them in place if needed.
Pour the remainder tomato sauce mixture on top and tightly cover with foil. You don't want any of the steam to escape as that's how they cook.
Bake in the oven for about an hour or until the cabbage leaves are tender. Serve immediately.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please share, rate, and comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
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Healthy And Easy Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe
- 8 to 12 whole savoy cabbage leaves
Cabbage Roll Filling:
- 1 ½ lbs ground turkey (uncooked) - you can substitute chicken, beef, or pork
- ¾ cup cooked rice
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup chopped onions
- ⅓ cup frozen peas - optional
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried herbs - any combination of rosemary, oregano, or thyme
Tomato Sauce Mixture
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
- small pinch of sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Carefully peel off whole cabbage leaves and trim the thicker part of the stem. Steam the cabbage leaves in a pot of boiling water for about 2 - 4 minutes until they're softened but still hold their shape. You want them flexible enough to roll up without breaking. Set aside.
- Combine all ingredients for the tomato sauce mixture in a bowl. Spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce mixture into your casserole dish and reserve the remaining to spoon on top of the cabbage rolls.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl. Divide the filling into 8 to 12 sections, depending on how many cabbage leaves you have. Spoon the filling into the stem part of the cabbage leaf and fold over the left and right sides of the leaf over your filling. Roll it up tightly to the top of the leaf and place it into your casserole dish, seam side down. Repeat for the rest of the filling.
- Tightly seal your casserole dish with foil and bake your cabbage rolls in the oven for about 1 hour until the cabbage leaves are tender. Serve immediately.
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.
I made these last night and they were so flavorful. These are definitely going to be a repeat!
Thanks Allison! I'm so happy to hear that! 🙂
Can I cook this in a slow cooker instead of the oven?
I am thinking about making this recipe today. My question is, do I need to cook the meat before I stuff the cabbage? I am going to use ground turkey. Thank you
Hi Theresa! I used uncooked ground meat for this recipe.
Is it correct that you cook the rolls with raw turkey or do you cook the ground turkey before assembling the rolls?
Hi Maria! I didn't cook the ground turkey before assembling the rolls. They cook inside the oven. Hope that helps!
I love this recipe. It is such delicious comfort food.
My family request this recipe weekly (I should have left a comment earlier, but I am usually too busy eating!)
Thank you so much, it is an easy to follow recipe, and I am looking forward to trying more recipes on your blog.
Thanks Diana! I'm so glad you and your family love this recipe!
These were so delicious! I followed the recipe exactly except I used 1 lb of ground turkey and 1 lb of ground turkey sausage in the filling. What a wonderful recipe, thank you.
Thank you Laura! I'm so glad you liked it. Great idea using turkey and sausage in the filling! 🙂
This recipe brought back lovely memories of a dish my grandma used to make. She used to use a combination of pork and chicken, so that is what I did here - however, I made the rest of your recipe the same. So delicious!
A beautiful looking dish and definitely satisfying. The stuffing and sauce go so well together!
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The photos of this recipe makes my tummy hungry. One question though, can pork or beef can be a substitute to turkey? I'm planning to make one on my father's birthday.
Absolutely you can substitute whichever ground meat you'd like! Pork or beef would be delicious in here. I hope you and your father enjoy this recipe and he has an amazing birthday! 🙂