Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

By Amari Thomsen, RD

Think beyond coleslaw and sauerkraut and use cabbage in a more creative way!

These stuffed cabbage rolls feature delicious crunchy cabbage coated in a sweet red wine tomato sauce. Use these rolls as a tasty appetizers or a healthy lunch! Not only is this recipe low in calories and fat, it’s also packed full of cancer-fighting antioxidants. Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene and cabbage is a great source of the antioxidant isothiocyanate. And did I mention all the vitamins and minerals packed into these little rolls? Enjoy a hefty dose of vitamin K and vitamin C with each bite!

To save time, you can assemble these rolls ahead of time, store them in the fridge, and bake them right before serving!

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Crushed Tomato Sauce
Serves 5 (2 rolls per serving)



  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 large head Savoy cabbage (3-4 lbs), stem removed
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey breast
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper, divided
  • 1/2 cup red wine (I used Merlot)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, chopped


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine



  • In a medium-sized saucepan, combine water, rice and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer on low for 35-40 minutes.
  • Fill a large pot half way with water. Bring water to a boil. Add head of cabbage and let boil for about 5 minutes. Prepare a baking sheet covered with paper towels. As the cabbage leaves soften, carefully remove them using tongs (you don’t want to tear them) and place them on the baking sheet. You need 10 large leaves total.
  • Remove remaining head of cabbage and drain. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, combine 1 Tbsp olive oil, onion, and mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes or until mushrooms have given up most of their liquid.
  • Add ground turkey and cook until browned and cooked through. Add garlic, sage, rosemary, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and cook for a few minutes longer.
  • Add red wine and cook for another 5 minutes or until all of the wine has evaporated.
  • When rice is done, add meat mixture to rice pan.
  • In skillet, heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil. Thinly slice and chop the remaining cabbage (you’ll need 3 cups). Add it to the skillet along with remaining 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until cabbage begins to brown. Add cabbage to the rice and meat mixture.


  • Preheat oven to 375*F.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in empty skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onions are soft.
  • Add wine and crushed tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Let sauce simmer for 10 minutes until slightly thickened.


  • In a 9×13 inch pan, spoon a couple ladles of tomato sauce to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • On a clean work surface, using one cabbage leaf at a time, place 2-3 spoonfuls of the filling on top of the cabbage leave. Tightly roll the mixture up, folding in the sides of the leaves as you go like a burrito.
  • Place cabbage roll seam side down into the baking dish. Continue until all leaves and filling are used.
  • Spread about 1 cup of the tomato sauce over the rolls.
  • Bake uncovered at 375*F for 40 minutes basting the rolls every 15 minutes with additional sauce.

Finished Stuffed Cabage Rolls




Amari ThompsonAmari Thomsen is a Chicago Registered Dietitian and owner nutrition consulting private practice, Eat Chic Chicago. She graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and later completed her nutrition education at the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Master’s degree in Nutrition Science. Through Eat Chic Chicago, Amari offers individual nutrition coaching for weight loss and specialty diet management, personalized grocery store tours, group seminars and healthy cooking demonstrations. Amari is also a freelance writer and nutrition blogger for local organizations and brands that support healthy living. She has previous experience working with Whole Foods Market, Naked Juice, KIND, and Lifetime Fitness. Learn more about Amari and Eat Chic Chicago at