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Stuffed Cabbage

Cavolo Ripieno di Carne


Cabbage was another one of those dreaded vegetables that we children seemed to get plenty of. My mother made stuffed cabbage, boiled cabbage, baked cabbage, and a meatball and cabbage soup. For stuffed cabbage, she carefully parboiled the cabbage first, just to loosen the leaves from the core. This made the leaves pliable and easy to roll.


1 head green cabbage

2 slices stale Italian bread, cut into chunks

1/2 cup beef broth or water

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter

1/4 cup minced onion

1 1/2 pounds ground veal or beef or a combination

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon crushed dried

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


In a large pot of boiling salted water, parboil the cabbage for about 8 minutes, or until the leaves are wilted. Drain and let cool.

Meanwhile, soak the bread in the beef broth or water for 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Squeeze dry with your hands and set aside.

In a heavy skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter and sauté the onion very slowly over low heat until deep brown and almost caramelized. Remove the onion to a large bowl. Add the ground meat to the skillet and brown over medium-high heat. Add the meat to the onion, along with the herbs, spices, and bread. Mix well with your hands, but do not overmix.

Using about 3 tablespoons of the meat mixture, form an elongated roll about 3 inches long. Set on a plate and continue to form rolls with the remaining meat mixture. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Remove the core from the cabbage with a knife and carefully peel off the leaves, one at a time, keeping them whole if possible.

Place a meat roll on the bottom of a cabbage leaf, fold over the sides, and roll up like an egg roll; secure with toothpicks. Repeat with the remaining meat rolls. Place the cabbage rolls seam side down in a baking dish in a single layer. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and pour over the cabbage rolls. Add 1/2 cup water. Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Serve immediately.

Note: These were always served with boiled potatoes. They can be frozen for future use after baking, or they can be baked a day ahead and reheated.


  1. cheryl redash's avatar

    cheryl redash

    today is the 18th of jan.2013 and last weekend i caught the end of your show on stuffed cabbage. they were not rolled but layered rather into a dome shape and then baked in an oven. i went to my local library and could not find the recipe nor can i find it on here. please tell me where to find this recipe. i will be greatful for your help. thank-you and please keep the recipes coming. you are great! thanks again cheryl

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