Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage

Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage

6 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2014

Though traditional stuffed cabbage recipes are made with meat, here Savoy cabbage leaves are stuffed with a combination of rice, mushrooms, onions, garlic and herbs for a healthy vegetarian stuffed cabbage recipe. The stuffed cabbage leaves gently bake in a simple tomato sauce. This easy stuffed cabbage recipe can be made ahead of time and baked just before serving.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup short-grain brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 1 large Savoy cabbage (2-3 pounds)
  • 1 pound baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • ½ teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper plus ⅛ teaspoon, divided
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ¼ cup dried currants
  • ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts (see Tips), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes (see Tips)
  • ½ cup red wine


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  1. To prepare cabbage & filling: Combine water, rice and 1 teaspoon oil in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain the barest simmer, cover and cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is just tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, half fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Line a baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel and place near the stove.
  3. Using a small, sharp knife, remove the core from the bottom of the cabbage. Add the cabbage to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. As the leaves soften, use tongs to gently remove 8 large outer leaves. Transfer the leaves to the baking sheet and pat with more towels to thoroughly dry. Set aside.
  4. Drain the remaining cabbage in a colander for a few minutes. Finely chop enough to get about 3 cups. (Save any remaining cabbage for another use.)
  5. Heat 1½ tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, sage, rosemary and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms have released their juices and the pan is fairly dry, 8 to 10 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 3 minutes more. Add the mixture to the cooked rice along with currants and pine nuts.
  6. Heat the remaining ½ tablespoon oil in the skillet over medium-high. Add the chopped cabbage, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring, until the cabbage is wilted and just beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add to the rice mixture.
  7. To prepare sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until starting to soften, 2 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and wine; bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  9. To stuff cabbage: Place a reserved cabbage leaf on your work surface; cut out the thick stem in the center, keeping the leaf intact. Place about ¾ cup filling in the center. Fold both sides over the filling and roll up. Repeat with the remaining 7 leaves and filling.
  10. Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place the stuffed cabbage rolls, seam side down, on the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over the rolls and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil.
  11. Bake, uncovered, basting twice with the sauce, until hot, about 45 minutes.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 10, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.
  • For the best flavor, toast nuts and seeds before using in a recipe. To toast small nuts, chopped nuts & seeds, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Sodium amounts vary widely among brands of plum and crushed. And although it can be hard to find any labeled “no-salt-added,” for the best tomato flavor we use brands that have little or no added sodium. Compare nutrition labels and choose one that has 190 mg sodium or less per ½-cup serving.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 2 rolls
  • Per serving: 544 calories; 24 g fat(3 g sat); 12 g fiber; 61 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 181 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 22 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 3,352 IU vitamin A; 71 mg vitamin C; 132 mg calcium; 6 mg iron; 499 mg sodium; 1,833 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (118% daily value), Vitamin A (67% dv), Folate (45% dv), Iron (33% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 4
  • Exchanges: 1 starch, 6 vegetable, 4½ fat

Reviews 6

May 04, 2017
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By: Melissa Lara Wencel
Thanks for sharing this recipe! I didn't have all the ingredients readily available so I had to improvise. I used chopped walnuts, mushrooms, carrots, zucinni and added cabbage. Sprinkled parmesan on the rice & quinoa mixture before stuffing the cabbage. My family loved it! Thanks again!
October 11, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Not the way I remember it I used to love stuffed cabbage from the deli near my house growing up but I haven't had it in probably a decade. I was looking forward to making this vegetarian version but the flavor just isn't right. I followed the recipe pretty closely, I wonder if it was the wine... I used the red wine that I happened to have on hand which was a merlot. Any suggestion?
April 26, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
I've made this twice and loved it both times I've made this twice and despite the lengthy directions, it's actually very easy and well worth the time. The flavor is awesome! It's sometimes difficult to find foods without wheat or dairy that don't leave me feeling like I'm missing something, but this one hits the mark! Pros: Incredible flavor, easy to make, no wheat eggs or dairy Cons: Takes a little time but worth it
November 20, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Missing a step Add to cooked rice. No step prior about cooking the rice. Easy enough to figure out but it doesn't give confidence that the recipe has been tested. Pros: brown rice replacing meat Cons: can't trust a recipe that's not been carefully edited
November 02, 2014
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By: LaurindaO
Not worth the bother. I might consider making the filling for these rolls again, as it was meaty with mushrooms and deliciously fragrant with seasonings. Maybe use it to stuff an acorn squash? But this sauce was just flat nasty. Yes, I know it was dependent on the quality of my tomatoes, so I used a primo brand. I should have also realized that the lack of seasoning in the sauce was going to translate to a very bland, somewhat sweet blast of tomato. The tomato flavor just overwhelmed the poor stuffed cabbage. We managed to eat this, but did not enjoy it at all. We kept the leftovers to try again (thinking it might get better after a day or so to meld). I'll update my review if things improve. Pros: Smells delicious while cooking. Cons: Tastes very bland. Rolls are overwhelmed by the sauce.
March 27, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Great flavors Takes some time to prepare, but the outcome is worth it, sauce has a sweet taste to it and the filling was very good, mushrooms with the rice and nuts gave a great texture. The only change I made were raisins for the currants and walnuts for pine nuts, don't think either change made any difference to outcome. Cons: Time consuming
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