Sweet & Sour Cabbage Rolls

Sweet & Sour Cabbage Rolls

18 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, October/November 2006

Lean ground turkey and brown rice seasoned with fresh dill and caraway seeds makes a moist filling for these stuffed cabbage rolls. They're baked in a combination of tomato sauce, lemon juice and honey for the familiar sweet-and-sour flavor typical of the dish.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • ½ cup brown rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large Savoy cabbage, (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1½ cups no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Bring rice and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the water is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a Dutch oven full of water to a boil over high heat. Boil the 12 largest outer cabbage leaves for 6 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool water until room temperature. Chop enough of the remaining cabbage to equal 2 cups. (Save the rest for another use.)
  3. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and the chopped cabbage. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add 4 tablespoons lemon juice; cook, stirring, until the liquid has almost evaporated. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Mix turkey, dill, caraway, salt, pepper, the onion mixture and cooled rice in a large bowl.
  5. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch pan with cooking spray.
  6. Lay one cabbage leaf on your work surface; cut out the thick stem. Place about ⅓ cup of the turkey mixture in the leaf's center. Fold the sides over the filling, then roll closed. Place seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining cabbage leaves and filling. Whisk tomato sauce, broth, honey and the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a medium bowl. Pour evenly over the rolls. Cover the pan tightly with foil.
  7. Bake the cabbage rolls for 1 hour. Uncover and continue baking, basting the rolls with sauce several times, for 20 minutes more.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 6; refrigerate for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 1 month. If frozen, defrost overnight in the refrigerator before baking.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 259 calories; 8 g fat(2 g sat); 7 g fiber; 31 g carbohydrates; 20 g protein; 122 mcg folate; 43 mg cholesterol; 9 g sugars; 3 g added sugars; 1,615 IU vitamin A; 54 mg vitamin C; 74 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 387 mg sodium; 800 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (90% daily value), Vitamin A (32% dv), Folate (30% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 2 lean meat

Reviews 18

December 03, 2018
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By: Alyson Outen
This is delicious! Fresh dill wasn't available, so I used parsley and also added a bit of dried oregano and a smidge of garlic powder. I made the tomato sauce from oven roasted tomatoes from my garden - and probably nearly doubled the amount of sauce. Also threw in a few carrots to fill in spaces in the pan. They roasted beautifully.
August 24, 2016
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By: Crystal
If you are in a rut and want to try something new and healthy and have 3 to 4 hours to prep... This is the recipe for you. The taste is worth the wait. My husband and I think we will be eating this again. The tomato sauce and tender cabbage go great together. Almost like lasagna. I did use regular green cabbage and not the savory.
January 04, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
First of all, the recipe took me three hours to make - probably wasted a few minutes, but not many. Secondly, boiling Savoy cabbage for 6 minutes makes it mush! I used part savoy and part regular green cabbage. The regular green cabbage was better. That being said - this is a tasty recipe. And, really, you don't need to dirty another bowl mixing up the turkey - just add it to the onion, cabbage, garlic, rice pot after it has cooled. One less dish/pan. It does need to bake for an hour and 20 minutes - so be prepared.
March 14, 2014
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By: kimberlybethbryant
Yummy! When I make this again I'm going to double the sauce and use half for baking with the cabbage rolls and the other half for added on while eating. I'm also going to add of the dill and caraway seeds but also add something more spicy like chipotle pepper or cayenne or something of that nature. That being said, this is a great recipe that I will definitely make again and again! If you are making this for more than two people and you want leftovers; you may want to double the recipe! Pros: Healthy and yummy! Cons: Needs more sauce and more spice.
October 10, 2011
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By: j-acker
Good and Different I liked this dish very much. My boyfriend felt it did not have enough flavor. We could taste the caraway (which I did cut down on), but he felt the rest was bland. Next time, I may mix some of the sauce in with the Turkey mixture before cooking. I also agree they taste better reheated. I ate them for lunch the following two days and was very satisfied. Are there any tips for having the cabbage leaves not fall apart when peeling? Pros: Reheat and freeze very well. Cons: Take a long time to prepare
January 16, 2011
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By: crtt63
Improves with age I wasn't that crazy with this dish when it was fresh from the oven. I felt it was rather bland overall and possibly a little to strong on the caraway seed flavor. I was happy to find that the dish improved with age. The leftovers had more flavor and the caraway flavor mellowed somewhat. The sauce featured in the picture is definately NOT the sauce from the recipe. The tomato mixture in the recipe has a soup consistency. Next time, I'll make a tomato base meatloaf topping and use that to top off the cabbage rolls. Also, if you have a vacuum food saver machine, these freeze really well. Just defrost overnight in the refridgerator and reheat.
March 20, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
This was a great healthy recipe. The only thing for me was that I ran short on sauce by the time it was done cooking. There was not much at all left. Maybe something that I did wrong. Otherwise, I loved it. Will make it again for sure.
September 21, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
An outstanding dish for company, I like the fact that it can be made the day before, so you can visit with your guess. Dale Legal, Edgewater, MD
September 21, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
My husband and I try to eat as healthy as possible and when I tried this recipe he thought it was the best ever. The carraway, dill and honey make the difference. I goofed on my time to prepare and make this. Read all the directions and allow enough time. You will be glad you did. Diane J. Johnson, Dowling Park, FL
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