Dutch Oven Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

You’ll love these one-pot Dutch Oven Stuffed Cabbage Rolls! Tender cabbage leaves stuffed with a savory beef filling and topped with a tangy tomato sauce. You can make these traditional cabbage rolls on the stovetop or in the oven; they’re ready in about 50 minutes. 

Cabbage rolls in Dutch oven topped with tomato sauce.

Cabbage rolls, also known as “Golumpki” or “Gołąbki” are a savory meat and cabbage dish of Polish heritageMany Polish families make these cabbage rolls in a mini-size, (small, like dolmas) and serve them as appetizers!

Ingredients for stuffed cabbage rolls

This easy Dutch oven cabbage roll recipe calls for simple ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

  • Green Cabbage –  I recommend you buy 2 heads of cabbage. Why? The outer leaves are prettier and larger and work best for a uniform looking dish. 
  • Ground beef – I use lean ground meat so there isn’t excess grease
  • Olive oil – just a smidgen so the rolls won’t stick to the Dutch oven
  • Two large eggs – lightly beaten
  • Bread crumbs – plain; you can substitute with Panko crumbs if you like
  • One cup of prepared white rice – this is optional, but gives a little more bulk to the stuffed cabbage leaves and makes a pound of beef go further
  • Chopped onion – I use sweet yellow onions
  • Chopped green bell pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Dry mustard powder – just a little bit gives these cabbage rolls a great flavor
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper

Ingredients for tomato sauce

I always double the tomato sauce topping because it never fails someone wants to add more of this sweet and tangy tomato sauce to their cabbage rolls

You’ll need: ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard, a pinch of salt

Some folks use tomato paste, tomato sauce or marinara sauce on their cabbage rolls, but I prefer this sweet and tangy sauce 

Ingredients for stuffed cabbage rolls

How to make stuffed cabbage rolls

This is an overview; for exact ingredient measurements and instructions, please see the recipe card below. This recipe makes 12-14 stuffed cabbage rolls; the outer leaves are larger and darker green than the inside leaves. First, you’ll need to soften the cabbage leaves. 

How to soften a head of cabbage

The best and easiest way to soften the cabbage is to place it core down in a large microwave-safe bowl, add 1/2 cup water to the mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Wait a few minutes until the head of cabbage is cool to the touch, then remove it from the bowl and let it continue to cool a little.

Another way is to soften them is on the stovetop. Here’s how you do that.

Heat a large pot of water on high–almost, but not quite to the boiling point. 

Place entire head of cabbage in hot water for about 3-5 minutes; use tongs to gently loosen and remove the leaves and set aside on paper towel. Allow the cabbage to cool a bit before removing it from the bowl.

You’ll want to use tongs to gently loosen the leaves.

How to make the beef filling for cabbage rolls

While it’s cooling, make the ground beef filling.

In a large mixing bowl, use your clean hands and combine the raw ground beef, chopped onions, chopped bell peppers, lightly beaten eggs, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings.

If you’re adding a little cooked rice to the ground beef mixture, use about 1 cup of cooked white rice. (This is optional, but a very popular way to “stretch” this one pot meal.

How to stuff cabbage leaves

Once the leaves are cool to touch, gently pull away the leaves and cut a “V” near the bottom of each leaf, removing the tough part of the leaf stem. This allows the leaves to be flexible so you can easily roll them. “V” up and over meat filling; roll it forward, tuck in sides, and continue to roll leaf tightly. Don’t worry if they’re not all perfect! 

Prepped Cabbage Leaves.

Place a large spoonful of the meat filling on the leaf (about 1/3 – 1/4 cup  of the beef mixture per cabbage leaf); try to pack the meat tightly 

Meat mixture being spooned onto leaf.

Fold “V” up and over meat filling; roll it forward, tuck in sides, and continue to roll leaf tightly. Don’t worry if they’re not all perfect! 

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Once you have the cabbage roll formed, place it  seam side down in lightly oiled Dutch oven or baking dish.

Drizzle 1 cup water into baking dish. The steam helps further soften the beef stuffed cabbage rolls as the ground beef mixture cooks.

Bake covered at 350ºF for 30-45 minutes (until the meat reaches 160ºF); or place on the stovetop, medium-high heat, covered until the internal temperature of the cabbage rolls reaches 160°F

12 stuffed grape leaves in a baking dish.

Next, combine sauce ingredients in large bowl; remove cooked leaves from oven; drizzle sauce over leaves; replace in oven uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens

Make ahead

Dutch oven stuffed cabbage rolls make an easy dinner and can be a lifesaver on busy weeknights. If you’re short on time, combine the savory beef mixture up to three days in advance (store it in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to steam the cabbage.) Then steam the cabbage, remove the large outer leaves and place the meat filling on the leaf. Roll it up, bake and top with sauce.

Storage and reheating

Store leftover stuffed cabbage rolls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 weeks. Reheat refrigerated cabbage rolls in the microwave with a paper towel over them so the tomato sauce won’t splatter. 

When reheating frozen cabbage rolls, let them come to room temperature first, then put them in a microwave safe dish, cover and heat until they are warm throughout.

What to serve with cabbage rolls

Even though this is a complete “meat and veggie” meal, you can’t go wrong with serving a side of scalloped or mashed potatoes, a bowl of pinto beans and rice and/or a slice of cornbread. 

Cabbage rolls in Dutch oven topped with tomato sauce.

These easy Dutch oven stuffed cabbage leaves are easy to make and really good as leftovers the next day!

Related recipes

♥ If you make this recipe, please leave a comment and rating below! Thank you!

Easy Baked Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Dutch Oven Stuffed Cabbage Rollsl

Tender cabbage stuffed with a savory meat filling, topped with a sweet and tangy tomato sauce.
5 from 14 votes
Print Rate
Course: Entree
Cuisine: International
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 12 stuffed leaves
Author: Anecia Hero

Equipment

  • Dutch oven

Ingredients 

Filling Ingredients

  • 1-2 heads green cabbage See recipe notes
  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • ½ cup diced green bell pepper
  • 2 whole lightly beaten eggs
  • cups bread crumbs
  • 1 cup prepared white rice (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper

Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions 

Prep Cabbage

  • Remove any brown outer leaves
  • Place the cabbage head core down in a large microwavable bowl; add 1/2 cup water and cover with plastic; cook on high in the microwave for 10 minutes; allow to rest and cool before removing cabbage from bowl (it will be HOT)
    1-2 heads green cabbage
  • Once cabbage is cool to touch, gently remove the large outer leaves and place on a paper towel to cool a little
  • Preheat oven to 350º F

Meat Filling Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine filling ingredients
    2 lbs. lean ground beef, ½ cup diced yellow onion, ½ cup diced green bell pepper, 2 whole lightly beaten eggs, 1½ cups bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon dried mustard, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon pepper, 1 cup prepared white rice (optional)
  • Place 1/3 – 1/4 cup of meat filling right above the "V" on the cabbage; roll the "V" up and forward; tuck in the sides; continue rolling and place seam side down in a 9 x 13 baking dish
  • Repeat; when all leaves are assembled, add 1 cup water to baking dish
  • Place lid on Dutch oven and bake at 350º F for 30-45 minutes on the middle rack until the internal temperature reaches at least 160ºF
  • In a medium bowl, add sauce ingredients and combine well
    1 tablespoon dried mustard, 2 cups ketchup, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground dry mustard
  • Remove cooked cabbage rolls from oven
  • Drizzle sauce over cabbage rolls and place back into oven for 15 minutes, uncovered
  • Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes

Notes

Green Cabbage:
I always buy two heads of cabbage because the outer leaves are bigger and greener than the inner leaves and I find the inner leaves to be a bit tougher. So, I buy two heads of cabbage and just use the big outer leaves on each.
Adding white rice
Some folks like to add rice to their stuffed cabbage rolls. If you choose to do so, follow these instructions:
  • Cook Rice
  • Allow rice to cool
  • Combine a cup of cooked rice into meat mixture
  • Resume recipe

Nutrition Estimate

Serving: 1cupCalories: 269kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 19gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 1261mgPotassium: 603mgFiber: 3gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 312IUVitamin C: 36mgCalcium: 86mgIron: 3mg
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