Cabbage Un-Rolls (Cabbage Roll in a Bowl)

Cabbage Un-Rolls (Cabbage Roll in a Bowl)

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The first time I had cabbage rolls was at my grandfather’s funeral in 1996. It was January. In Cleveland. There was A LOT of snow on the ground, and it was COLD.

When we got back to the church hall after the interment, we dug into the buffet that had been laid out. When I got to a large pan of funny-looking, but heavenly-smelling rolls, I decided to just try one to see if I liked it.

I was not disappointed.

When I asked what they were, the church ladies seemed shocked that I had never had them before, and my mom was shocked that I liked them.

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Cabbage Un-Rolls

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  • Author: Retrogirl
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This recipe gives you all the yummy taste of traditional cabbage rolls, without all the work of actually rolling them!



1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground beef or ground turkey

23 garlic cloves, minced

1 large onion, chopped

1 small head of cabbage, chopped

21/2 cups water

2/3 cup long-grain rice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 teaspoon each salt, onion powder, and dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon each ground black pepper, dried mustard

28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

grated Parmesan


In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic.

Add the ground meat and cook until no longer pink.  

Stir in the cabbage, water, rice, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings.

Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer 30-ish minutes, or until the rice is tender.

Stir in the tomatoes and heat another five minutes, or until heated through.


Serve with a hearty sprinkle of Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano and maybe a sprinkle of garlic salt.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
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This is really good in the winter, because it’s warming comfort food, but it’s tasty anytime.

As I mentioned, you can use ground beef (which is traditional), ground turkey, TVP, meatless crumbles, or even meatless meatballs.

Serve as-is, or add this yummy Italian Batter Bread on the side!

It’s your food–make it the way you want it.

What’s your favorite winter-warmer? Tell us in the comments!

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