Lazy Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage Rolls are a very typical Russian dish, although there are a lot of variations of it in different countries like Poland, Ukraine, Bulgaria, etc. I don't remember having them at home when I was a child, but I had them at my friends' houses and restaurants. It's not an easy food to make. Well, it's not difficult, but really tedious. First, the cabbage leaves need to be separated, then they need to be boiled for a couple of minutes until they are soft and pliable, but not too mushy. That process takes time since the leaves can only be boiled a few at a time. A filling needs to be made out of ground meat and cooled par-boiled rice. Then the rolls are assembled and baked in creamy tomato sauce. You see, it's a long process which I never attempted, although I really love Cabbage Rolls. So, when I saw a recipe for "Lazy Cabbage Rolls", I was intrigued. It was indeed very lazy - cabbage is shredded and mixed with ground meat and uncooked rice, then the meatballs are formed and baked - easy. The result was great, I really loved the simplicity and the taste. I'll make these again and again for sure.


recipe from carina-forum

for about 4 servings (16 meatballs)

  • Ground meat - 500 g
  • Cabbage, finely shredded and cut into short pieces - 500 g
  • Rice - 1/2 cup
  • Onion, finelly chopped - 1 medium
  • Eggs - 2
  • Salt, pepper to taste

For the sauce

  • Sour cream - 1/2 cup
  • Tomato sauce or simple ketchup - 1/4 cup
  • Salt, pepper
  • sour cream for serving

- First step is optional: saute the onion in a little bit of oil until the onion is soft and caramelized; alternatively, for an even lazier version, raw onion can be used.
- Mix the ground meat, shredded cabbage, uncooked rice, onion and eggs together.
- Add salt and pepper to the meatball mixture.
- Form the meatballs with your hands and place them in a baking dish.
- Bake for about 35 minutes at 375F.
- Make the sauce by mixing the sour cream with the tomato sauce (or ketchup) and pour the sauce of the meatballs. Bake for another 20 minutes.
- Serve with sour cream.

- By mistake I put all the sauce in the beginning of the baking and it got absorbed into the meatballs, so I covered each meatball with a dollop of sour cream about 10 minutes before the end of the baking.
- I think you can use your favourite tomato sauce here instead of this version and you might want to use more of it.
- The cabbage in the meatballs makes them flavourful and juicy.

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Posted on July 30, 2009 and filed under Recipe.