We love the subtle flavor of cinnamon with fresh mint in these vegetarian cabbage rolls stuffed with couscous, olives and feta cheese. Don't worry if your cabbage leaves tear a little when you pull them off the head; they will wrap up just fine. As a precaution you can cook a couple extra leaves and roll two partly overlapping if needed. Serve with roasted butternut squash tossed with olive oil, cinnamon and garlic. To double this recipe, use 2 large skillets and prepare one 4-serving recipe in each.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2010
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a large skillet. Add cabbage leaves, cover, reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until softened, about 5 minutes.

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  • Bring 1 1/2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in couscous, cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for at least 5 minutes.

  • Transfer the cabbage leaves to a clean work surface to cool. Discard the water and dry the pan.

  • Heat oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are mostly broken down, 8 to 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile stir feta, olives and 2 tablespoons mint into the couscous. Mound about 1/2 cup of the couscous mixture at the stem end of each cabbage leaf. Roll into a bundle, tucking in the sides.

  • When the tomato sauce is ready, add the cabbage rolls seam-side down. Cover and cook until the rolls are hot all the way through and the cabbage is very tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Serve the cabbage rolls topped with the sauce. Garnish with mint, if desired.

Tips

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 5; cool sauce; refrigerate sauce and cabbage rolls separately for up to 8 hours. Reheat the sauce before finishing with Step 6.

Nutrition Facts

333.7 calories; protein 11.2g 22% DV; carbohydrates 48.8g 16% DV; exchange other carbs 3.5; dietary fiber 9.3g 37% DV; sugars 7.7g; fat 12.4g 19% DV; saturated fat 3.1g 16% DV; cholesterol 11mg 4% DV; vitamin a iu 1855.8IU 37% DV; vitamin c 33.2mg 55% DV; folate 55mcg 14% DV; calcium 125.9mg 13% DV; iron 2.5mg 14% DV; magnesium 32.3mg 12% DV; potassium 497.8mg 14% DV; sodium 685.5mg 27% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 11% DV; added sugar 1g.

Reviews (13)

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13 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 7
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 2 stars
03/30/2014
Didn't quite come together This was a rare miss on Eating Well. Instructions daunting and end result unpleasant. I choked it down for lunch two days in a row and then gave up and fed the rest to the chickens. (They loved it.) I'm a big fan of cabbage rolls and have made them before (husband is Syrian) and I really couldn't imagine someone following this recipe and being successful. Maybe Savoy cabbage is easier to use than regular cabbage? For a regular cabbage just boil the whole thing in a large pot of water (core it if you can) and pull the leaves off as they soften one by one. Won't tear so badly. Anyway the sweet of the sauce and the mint vs. the salty and savory of the olives seems like it should work but it just didn't for me. Also the cabbage leaves aren't cooked long enough to soften completely in a roll and the whole thing becomes a great big mess trying to eat it. Just buy a middle eastern cookbook and make lekhanah. Way better than this. Pros: Uses cabbage Cons: Flavor balance wrong Read More
Rating: 4 stars
01/05/2014
Yummy I made this recipe but had fits trying to roll the filling up in the cabbage leaves. I ended up just chopping the cooked cabbage leaves up and throwing them the couscous mixture and the tomato mixture together. It was delicious. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/26/2013
Amazing No Matter How You Cook It This recipe was DELICIOUS! I loved all the subtle flavors though I increased some of them. My cabbage leaves would not come off easily so I ended up chopping the cabbage and cooking it in the tomato sauce and serving it over the couscous. EXCELLENT! Pros: Delicious easy to modify Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
01/20/2013
I tried to cut the recipe in half but forgot to cut the cinnamon sugar and feta in half. I don't know if that was why I loved this recipe so much or if I would've like it the way it is written. I also didn't add the olives. I would definitely make this recipe again. Read More
Rating: 1 stars
08/23/2012
Did not enjoy this recipe - it was not favorful Did not enjoy this recipe at all. Would not make again - not much flavor. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/16/2012
Being vegetarian for 12 years I love new recipes. This was easy low fat and high protein. I did make it with red quinoa used an extra clove of garlic (because I love it) and added white pepper and served it with a slice of homemade rosemary bread but other than that it was wonderful! Pros: Easy to make Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
I changed a few things but enjoyed. I used Near East couscous (garlic & olive oil flavored) I also used feta with Mediterranean herbs for more flavor. I left out the olives (kids don't like). I used 2 cans of plain diced tomatoes instead of fresh. I mashed them a bit as they cooked down. Added extra mint sugar and vinegar to our liking. The sauce came out nice and tangy. I might add Boca Crumbles next time for the kids. Overall this is a good recipe that needs a little adjusting to your taste. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Another wonderful healthy and delicious EW recipe. Like the previous post I also used canned tomatoes (petite cut in juice). The cinnamon in the sauce was a perfect taste addition. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Very good the couscous soaked up whatever juice there was so I added a can of tomato sauce. I will definitely be making this again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
This is a good jumping off point for a lovely vegetarian entree. I made the recipe as listed for and Eating Well dinner party and the results were a bit bland. The other diners (not vegetarians) suggested adding some ground turkey or beef to the couscous mixture. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Loved it even though I skipped the last step (where everything is cooked together). Read More
Rating: 2 stars
10/29/2011
Not worth the effort Bland and lots of work to put together. I won't be making this again. Pros: Healthy Cons: Bland Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
Very tasty We cooked this dish with quinoa instead of couscous and loved the outcome. We will definitely make this again. Pros: My husband and I loved the addition of cinnamon in the sauce. Read More