Cabbage Rolls Stuffed with Pork and Leftover Rice Pilaf
and homemade marinara sauce
We give this traditional Eastern European dish an Italian twist with Italian spices and marinara sauce. It's hearty and healthy at the same time!
Smarts: This can be assembled fully the night before and then just popped into the oven before dinner.
- Ground pork - 3/4 lb
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Paprika - 1/2 tsp
- Basil, dried - 1/4 tsp
- Oregano, dried - 1/4 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
- Shallots - 1 bulb, diced
- Crushed tomatoes (28 oz / 794 g can) - 1 can
- Cabbage - 8 leaves
- Cooking oil - 1 Tbsp
- Leftover rice pilaf - 2 cups
- Mozzarella (opt) - 4 oz , grated
- Pork - Season ground pork with salt, paprika, basil, oregano, and black pepper. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
- Make marinara sauce - Mince garlic and dice shallots. Mix into crushed tomatoes with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead).
- Cabbage - Peel off 2 leaves of cabbage / serving (e.g., 4 servings = 8 leaves). Soften in one of two ways: 1) Place in a microwave-safe container, cover with a wet paper towel, and microwave for 2 minutes; or 2) Bring a pot of water to boil. Salt and boil leaves for ~1 minute and then dunk in cold / iced water to stop the cooking.
- Heat oven to 400F (or 204C) degrees.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and then pork to heated oil. Break up meat with a wooden spoon and cook until brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
- While pork is cooking, microwave marinara sauce for 1 1/2 minutes. Pour half the sauce into a 9” x 13” (or 22.5 cm x 32.5 cm) baking dish.
- Fold leftover rice pilaf into skillet with pork and mix everything through.
- Spoon about 1/2 to 3/4 cup (or 117.5 to 176 ml) of filling into each cabbage leaf and fold up. Place seam-side down into the marinara sauce. Continue until done. If there is any leftover filling, just pour it over the cabbage rolls.
- Pour rest of the marinara sauce over the cabbage rolls and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. If using cheese, sprinkle over the sauce before baking.
- Enjoy piping hot!
Flavors were fine, but cabbage was not soft after the cook time in the recipe. I ended putting it back in the oven for nearly another hour.0 Helpful
Kids loved it (minus the cabbage but cabbage probably not that fresh)0 Helpful
Surprisingly delicious, I loved this & would definitely make again- kind of like a lasagna- a veggie version would be super yummy0 Helpful
Chopped the cabbage and mixed with everything (including extra specs) but the tomato sauce and mushrooms (accidentally forgot them). Topped the mixture with tomato sauce and baked. Really good. Might layer the rice mixture and tomato sauce next time.0 Helpful
Pretty easy to put together. A little bland.0 Helpful
I basically chopped up the cabbage and used the same ingredients, but threw it all in a slow cooker (lack of time) with uncooked rice and 1.5 extra cups of water. It came out ridic!0 Helpful