Stuffed Cabbage | Cook for Your Life
stuffed cabbage with tomato sauce

Stuffed Cabbage

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5 out of 5 stars (based on 6 reviews)

Clock Icon for Prep Time 45 min prep
Person Icon for Serving Size 4 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 11 ingredients

Stuffed cabbage is a classic. It’s usually made with beef but ground chicken does the job nicely. This dish may seem a little fiddly if you’re dealing with chemo, but when you’re not at your...


  • 12 large cabbage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated (about 1¼ cup)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and grated (about 1 cup)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 recipes Quick Tomato Sauce
  • ½ cup parboiled long grain brown rice (see Ann’s Tips)
  • ⅓ pound ground chicken
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
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Nutrition Facts


304 cals


12 g

Saturated Fat

2 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

2 g

Monounsaturated Fat

7 g


39 g


11 g


7 g


13 g


827 mg


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add a couple cabbage leaves at a time and boil, for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until they are malleable. Transfer the leaves to a colander set under cold running water. Repeat with the remaining leaves.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a deep wide skillet or Dutch oven. Add the chopped onion and cook for 6 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and just beginning to caramelize. Add the garlic, grated carrots and apples. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and some pepper. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Prepare the Quick Tomato Sauce in the same pan.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the cabbage leaves in half and remove the tough stems, you should have a leaf in a triangular shape.
  4. Add the rice, ground chicken, and egg along with some salt to the carrot mixture. Stir well.
  5. Lay the cabbage triangles on a work surface and place 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture in the center of each leaf. Fold over two corners of the leaves and roll. Repeat until all the leaves are filled.
  6. Add the stuffed cabbages to the pan of Quick Tomato Sauce, seam side down in a single layer. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, adding 1 tablespoon of water at a time if the sauce becomes to dry, until the meat has cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately.

Chef Tips

Traditionally white rice is used to stuff cabbage, but because the cooking time of brown rice is twice that of white, it’s important to parboil brown rice to keep the correct cooking time.

Here’s how to parboil it: Bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil. Throw in 1/3 cup of brown rice (it will swell). Boil the rice for 20 minutes then drain. Use as directed in the recipe.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society