Prep Time: 15-30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour or so
2 lbs. of ground meat
Any meat you desire: ground sausage, turkey, beef, venison, chicken etc. In this recipe, I used 1 lb. of ground beef and 1 lb. of ground sausage.
1 lb. of thick cut bacon, chopped (optional)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or 2 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 C. cooked white rice or 1 cup raw white rice *see Christina’s notes below
2 cans or jars of tomato soup, spaghetti sauce, marinara sauce, tomato sauce, salsa, homemade….etc.
In this recipe I used 1 can of Homestyle soup (27 oz.), Tomato with basil and 1 can of Homestyle soup (27 oz.), Zesty Tomato Bisque. Don’t be afraid to mix and match you will be pleasantly surprised at the amazing flavors you can create.
What to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large skillet cook bacon until crisp (drain grease all but ¼ cup, you can keep the bacon in the skillet). While the bacon grease is hot add in your sauce and warm through. The hot bacon grease will caramelize the tomato sauce and give it a deep rich flavor. Of course, you can always leave out this step and just use the sauce, no need to warm. Place about 1/2 cup of the sauce on the bottom of your cooking vessel to help it not stick. In a large bowl combine ground meat, onion, garlic, egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and rice, set aside.
Next place cabbage head in boiling water and boil 2-3 minutes until the leaves start to soften. Peel off the softened leaves. Place about 1/4-1/3 cup of meat mixture in center of each cabbage leaf, and roll up, tucking in ends. Place rolls in your cooking vessel. Pour the rest of the sauce over cabbage rolls, cover and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The cooking time will vary on how thick your cabbage is and the type of cooking vessel you use. I use a cast iron Dutch oven, but a 9×13 works just as well.
Possible add-ins: Different types of seasoning like rosemary, thyme, Italian etc., green pepper, red pepper flakes. You can use uncooked rice but I have had no luck with that. It always seems that some come out not cooked. Either way, it’s up to you! This dish also freezes well and seems to be better the next day! Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.