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.
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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.