Comfort Cabbage Rolls – a traditional recipe


  • 1 head green cabbage
  • 600 g ground beef (1.3 lbs)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic ( 2 cloves minced, 2 cloves chopped)
  • 1 beaten egg (optional)
  • 1/3 cup uncooked jasmine rice
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon vegeta (MSG-free and easily found at most European deli’s)
  • ½-1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon  Worcestershire sauce

  • ¼ Cup Tomato Paste and 1-2 cups of water
  • 14oz can diced tomatoes


  1. Blanch/boil the whole head of cabbage in a large soup pot, for 5-6 minutes. Remove and cool. Carefully remove the outer leaves until the inner leaves become stiffer. Return the inner head back to pot and blanch/boil for another 4-5 minutes. Remove, cool, separate once again and let cool.
  2. Sauté onion, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and celery until tender, remove and cool.
  3. In a separate large bowl combine the ground beef, rice, egg and all the spices. Mix well with your hands to blend all the spices together.
  4. Cabbage Leaves: Shave the thicker rib portion with a pairing knife so the full cabbage leaf is even. This allows you to work with and roll up the cabbage with ease. If you prefer smaller rolls as I do, then cut the leaves in half down the centre of the rib.
  5. Place ¼ cup of the meat mixture  (about a rounded soup spoon) in the base of each cabbage leaf and roll up. Punch in the ends with your finger to create a tight roll.
  6. In a large stock pot or dutch oven, chop any remaining cabbage and create a base layer in the pot.  Place the stuffed cabbage rolls snugly beside one another. Cover each layer with tomato paste, water and sliced garlic, and/or the canned diced tomatoes.
  7. On the stove top cook for 2-3 hours with a rolling low boil, adding water as needed to keep the top layer immersed.
  8. Stuffed cabbage is ready after 1.5 hours.

NOTE: this recipe can be done in slow cooker, but I enjoy the stove-top! Traditional preferences include longer cooking times and using sour fermented cabbage which is rich in glutamine – a wonderful gut-healing aid for intestinal permeability AKA, “Leaky gut”.

For a visual aid of this step-by-step process – please visit my instagram page 

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