These Lebanese cabbage rolls are stuffed with lamb and infused with the flavors of turmeric, ground ginger and allspice.

Bruce Aidells
Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2012


Recipe Summary

2 hrs


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Prepare bulgur according to package directions; transfer to a medium bowl.

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

  • Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a large skillet. Trim bottom of cabbage and separate leaves. Add the 8 largest leaves to the boiling water, cover, reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a clean work surface to cool. Reserve the remaining leaves.

  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and leeks. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper, turmeric, ginger, allspice and cinnamon; cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the bulgur and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Add the lamb, parsley, mint and lightly beaten egg. Gently knead the mixture with your hands until well blended.

  • Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with some of the uncooked cabbage leaves. Place about 1/2 cup of filling over the root end of each cooked leaf. Fold in the sides and roll up to form a bundle. Lay the cabbage rolls seam-side down in the pan. Combine wine, broth, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Pour over the cabbage rolls. Cover tightly with foil.

  • Bake until the thicker ribs of the cabbage leaves are very tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into a roll registers at least 165 degrees F, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  • Transfer the rolls and cabbage leaves to a serving platter; tent with foil to keep warm. Carefully pour the juice from the pan into a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil until reduced by about half, 6 to 10 minutes. Whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and egg yolk in a small bowl. Whisk the reduced liquid into the lemon-yolk mixture, then pour the sauce back into the pan. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 4 minutes. (Take care not to overheat the sauce or the egg will curdle.) Serve the rolls with the sauce.


Make Ahead Tip: Prepare cabbage leaves (Step 3); make stuffing (Steps 1 & 4), omit egg; refrigerate separately up to 1 day. Add egg and continue with Steps 5-7.

Nutrition Facts

521 calories; protein 23.9g 48% DV; carbohydrates 37.6g 12% DV; exchange other carbs 2.5; dietary fiber 9.9g 40% DV; sugars 9g; fat 29.9g 46% DV; saturated fat 10.6g 53% DV; cholesterol 154.7mg 52% DV; vitamin a iu 2878.6IU 58% DV; vitamin c 77.3mg 129% DV; folate 213.8mcg 54% DV; calcium 146.3mg 15% DV; iron 4.3mg 24% DV; magnesium 120.9mg 43% DV; potassium 951.4mg 27% DV; sodium 641.8mg 26% DV; thiamin 0.3mg 33% DV.

Reviews (3)

Read More Reviews
3 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Great! Everyone LOVES this......with a few adjustments. The wine was not popular so I left that out. I used regular cabbage so needed 2 heads to use up all the filling. I found on another website that it is easier to take the leaves off by putting the cabbage in the microwave in a dish of water for 10 minutes. It takes some time to prepare but definitely worth the effort! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Outstanding flavor but a bit labor-intensive We loved the flavor and texture of this tasty recipe. I substituted instant brown rice for bulgur and ground beef for lamb. Otherwise the recipe was followed to the letter. Even though the brown rice was a leftover it still seemed to take forever to put this together. In the end it was absolutely worth it but just be forewarned not to try this on the fly. I think it would be an excellent dish for guests. Pros: Unusual interesting; Delicate balance of flavors; addictive! Cons: Each step took some time; make sure you aren't in a hurry! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I kind of played with this to make it balkans Mediterranean fusion. Am very allegic to lamb so used ground beef. To me stuffed cabbage is always about using marinated cabbage so i got a head from my local balkans store. I also threw in a side of smoked ribs. But i used all the spices and sauce ingredients suggested in the recipe and it turned out great. Read More