Our Vegan Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are brought to you by a request from one of our subscribers. This recipe is an easy and authentic take on Hungarian stuffed cabbage rolls. We take tender cabbage leaves and stuff them with ground “beef”, brown rice, onion, garlic, herbs and spices, then we top them with a fresh and savory tomato sauce and bake them until they’re tender and delicious. This is a great vegan weeknight dinner recipe and can be made ahead of time. Serve it with our Homemade Vegan Pasta with melted butter and parsley.
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Hi there! We’re Linda and Alex, the mother daughter duo and creators of Veganosity. Thanks for visiting us, we’re so happy you’re here. If you’re looking for Southern inspired vegan comfort food recipes, you’ve come to the right place.
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Also, in case you didn’t know, we’re published cookbook authors. We’ve written two vegan cookbooks that will help you make amazing vegan BBQ (you don’t even need a grill) and everyday meals, from breakfast to dessert.
WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS?
Ask anyone from the Midwest who invented stuffed cabbage rolls and you’ll hear a variety of answers.
If you ask someone from Minnesota, they’ll tell you that they originated in Switzerland or Finland.
Anyone from Wisconsin will tell you it’s a German dish. Although, if you ask someone who’s Irish, then that’s where they come from.
The truth is, they can be traced to the Middle East, specifically from Jewish communities. Then, from Eastern Europe, such as Romania and Poland.
Regardless of where this cabbage recipe started, it’s the fillings that make them unique to each region.
The cabbage rolls that I grew up eating where made by my German grandmother. Hers were always filled with ground beef and white rice, with a mild blend of spices.
These are loosely based on her recipe, as Alex and I are all about flavor, so we added fresh herbs, celery seed, and salt and pepper, as well as dried oregano and basil in the tomato sauce.
HOW TO MAKE STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS VEGAN
Thanks to Beyond Beef, we were able to create a delicious vegan version of this classic cabbage recipe.
Make the flax eggs.
Cut the core out of the bottom of the cabbage and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until the leaves begin to soften. You’ll be able to remove the outer leaves one by one with a pair of tongs.
Keep taking the leaves off of the head of cabbage until you get to the small leaves, then remove what’s left of the head. Let the leaves drain in a colander
While you’re waiting for the water to boil, cook the brown rice. You can also buy pre-cooked rice from the freezer section of your local grocery store.
In a large saucepan, heat 3 tbsp of vegetable broth or 2 tsp of olive oil on medium heat. When the pan is hot, add half of the onions and cook until they’re translucent, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
Add half of the garlic to the pan along with the tsp of ground oregano and the tsp of ground basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 2 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Heat 3 tbs of vegetable broth or 2 tsp of olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions.
Cook the remaining half of the onion until it begins to soften and becomes translucent, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Now add the vegan ground beef and use a wooden spoon or a spatula to crumble it. Cook for 7 minutes, or until it is browned and the edges start to get crispy.
Add the remaining half of the garlic, the chopped herbs, celery seed, and salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and set aside.
Add the meat mixture to a large mixing bowl, then add 3 tbsp of the tomato sauce and the flax eggs. Stir until the mixture is thick and sticky.
Fill the cabbage leaves with the filling and roll them up.
HOW TO FILL AND ROLL CABBAGE ROLLS
To make it easier to roll, hold the leaf up and with a paring knife, trim the outside edge of the core of the leaf.
Lay the leaf on a flat surface and roll approximately 2 tbsp of the meat mixture into a short log and place near the top of the leaf and begin to roll. As you get toward the end, fold one of the sides toward the center and finish rolling. Tuck the other side into the end of the roll.
Spoon a thin layer of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a deep baking dish.
Coarsely chop the leftover cabbage and place it on the tomato sauce and line up a row of the rolled cabbage.
Spoon a layer of sauce on top of the cabbage rolls and then stack another layer of the rolls on top. Repeat with the sauce and rolls until you get to the top of the dish.
Spoon the remaining tomato sauce over the entire top of the rolls and then drizzle the cup of vegetable broth around the edge of the pan.
Cover and bake for 1 hour, or until the cabbage is soft and easy to cut.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS
We love this with a side of our roasted garlic mashed potatoes.
It’s also so good with our savory cornbread.
HOW TO STORE AND FREEZE CABBAGE ROLLS
You can make these a day or two before serving.
Cover and store in the refrigerator and bake as directed when you’re ready to eat.
To freeze, store in a freezer safe container for up to 2 months, and bake as directed in the instructions.
MORE VEGAN CABBAGE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Make our healthy vegetarian stuffed cabbage rolls recipe and let us know what you think. We love to hear from you! And, don’t forget to take a picture of your gorgeous creation and tag us @veganosity on Instagram.
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Vegan Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- FOR THE FLAX EGGS
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 large green cabbage core removed
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE
- 1 large onion finely chopped and divided
- 3 large garlic cloves minced and divided
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 26 oz chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- FOR THE MEATY FILLING
- ½ onion reserved from the tomato sauce
- ½ garlic reserved from the tomato sauce
- 16 oz Beyond Meat ground beef
- 1 tsp ground celery seed
- 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp minced fresh oregano
- 1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (176˚C)
- COOK THE RICE ACCORDING TO THE INSTRUCTION ON THE PACKAGE OR BUY READY MADE FROM THE FREEZER SECTION.
- FOR THE FLAX EGGS
- In a small bowl, whisk the 2 tbsp ground flax seed and 4 tbsp water until fully combined. Set aside.
- FOR THE CABBAGE
- Core the cabbage and remove the outer leaves. Put the cabbage in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil.
- When the cabbage leaves begin to soften, use a pair of tongs to peel the leaves off of the head of the cabbage and place them in a colander to drain.
- When the leaves are too small to stuff, remove the remaining head of cabbage from the water and set aside for later.
- FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE
- Heat 2 tsp of olive oil or 3 tbsp of vegetable broth in a large sauce pan on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add ½ of the chopped onion and stir. Cook until they soften and become translucent, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add ½ of the garlic, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the 26 oz of chopped tomatoes and 2 cups of water. Stir and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes and remove from heat and set aside.
- FOR THE MEATY FILLING
- SEE NOTES FOR OPTIONS
- In a large skillet, heat the 2 tsp of olive oil or 3 tbsp of vegetable broth on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the remaining onion and cook until translucent, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the ground “beef” and use a wooden spoon or a spatula to break down into crumbles. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until nicely browned and the edges are slightly crispy.
- Add the remaining garlic, 1 tsp ground celery seed, 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme, 1 tbsp minced fresh oregano, 1 tbsp minced fresh parsley, and salt and pepper to taste, stir until combined and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- TO MAKE THE CABBAGE ROLLS
- In a large baking dish, spoon a shallow layer of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish.
- Chop the cabbage leaves that are too small to fill and put over the layer of tomato sauce in the dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the meaty mixture, the 1 cup cooked brown rice, the flax eggs, and 3 tbsp of the tomato sauce. Stir until fully combined and it becomes solid and sticky.
- To make the leaves easier to roll, hold a leaf up and with a paring knife, trim the outside edge of the core of the leaf.
- Lay the leaf on a flat surface and roll approximately 2 tbsp of the meat mixture into a short log and place near the top of the leaf and begin to roll. As you get toward the end, fold one of the sides toward the center and finish rolling. Tuck the other side into the end of the roll.
- Put the rolls in a line on top of the chopped cabbage in the baking dish and spoon a layer of sauce on top of the cabbage rolls and then stack another layer of the rolls on top. Repeat with the sauce and rolls until you get to the top of the dish.
- Spoon the remaining tomato sauce over the entire top of the rolls and then drizzle the cup of vegetable broth around the edge of the pan.
- Cover and bake for 1 hour, or until the cabbage is soft and easy to cut.
• ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
• 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• ½ of the onion from the tomato sauce
• ½ of the garlic from the tomato sauce
• The spices and herbs from the meat filling
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 15 oz cooked black beans (optional) 1. Crumble the cauliflower in a food processor or with a knife. Once the cauliflower begins to crumble, add the sunflower seeds and pulse until they’re broken down.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil or broth on medium heat and add the onion, cook until the onion begins to turn translucent, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cauliflower and sunflower mixture and stir to combine. Add the beans and stir to combine. Cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender, not mushy. Add the garlic, spiced and herbs and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside. Follow the instructions above to make the remaining filling.