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These cabbage rolls are stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, rice and warm spices and cooked in a savory tomato sauce seasoned with garlic and mint. Topping the rolls with lemon juice just before serving gives the dish a bright flavor. They would make a wonderful centerpiece for a Sunday supper. Read more about this recipe in the accompanying article Making My Grandmother's Cabbage Rolls Connects Me to My Lebanese Heritage.

EatingWell.com, March 2021


Credit: Jacob Fox

Recipe Summary

1 hr
1 hr 40 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Remove cabbage core with a paring knife; discard core and outer leaves. Place the trimmed cabbage in a large pot and fill with water. Bring the water to a simmer and cook, turning occasionally, until the leaves are pliable, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the cabbage from the water. Separate the leaves, being careful not to tear them.

  • Meanwhile, place beef, rice, 3 tablespoons tomato sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, cinnamon and pepper in a medium bowl; mix with your hands until just combined.

  • Cut the larger cabbage leaves in half along the rib, then cut out the rib completely; reserve the ribs and leaves separately. The cut leaves should be about 4 inches by 6 inches. Leave smaller leaves whole.

  • Place a generous tablespoon of the meat mixture along the edge of a cabbage leaf (where the rib was). Roll up the leaf tightly, folding in the sides as you roll. Repeat with the remaining leaves and meat mixture.

  • Place half of the reserved cabbage ribs in one layer in the bottom of a large pot. Arrange half of the cabbage rolls on top of the ribs, forming a fairly tight layer. Drizzle with 1/3 of the remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle with 1/3 of the garlic, 1/3 of the mint and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Arrange the remaining ribs on top of the first layer. Drizzle with 1/2 of the remaining sauce and sprinkle with 1/2 each of the remaining garlic and mint and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

  • Add water to a large measuring cup; stir in the remaining tomato sauce, garlic and mint. Pour the mixture over the rolls. Place a plate on top of the rolls. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a roll registers 160°F. Remove the plate and drizzle lemon juice over the rolls.

Nutrition Facts

4 rolls
183 calories; fat 6g; cholesterol 37mg; sodium 805mg; carbohydrates 18g; dietary fiber 4g; protein 14g; sugars 7g; niacin equivalents 4mg; saturated fat 2g; vitamin a iu 262IU.