Italian Cabbage Rolls

A dish that brings me back to my childhood.  The aroma of these rolls simmering away on the stove would fill the house and we just couldn’t wait for dinner time.  The sauce gently gets cooked down, allowing the rice to cook through the filling of each cabbage roll.  Utterly delicious!


  • 10 cabbage leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can italian chopped tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup basmati rice, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 organic chicken stock cube
  • 500 grams beef mince


  1. Cut the stalk off the cabbage, then carefully peel off the layers and set aside. You will be left with the inner layers, and these can be shredded and used to flavour a soup.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil, then add the cabbage leaves and cook for approx 5 minutes or until leaves have softened. Set aside.
  3. Heat a non-stick frypan and add the oil, onion, garlic and saute' for 2 minutes or until softened.
  4. Add the mince and stir into the onion mix for a few minutes to slightly brown (do not overcook).
  5. Turn the heat off, add the uncooked rice, parsley and chicken stock cube and stir through until combined into the mixture. Set aside.
  6. Place 1 cabbage leaf onto a chopping board and cut approx 4 cms of the thick vein away from it.
  7. Spoon 2 heaped tablespoons of the meat and rice mixture onto the cabbage leaf and roll it up to enclose the mixture. Repeat with the remaining leaves and mixture.
  8. Place each rolled up cabbage roll snugly into a non-stick pot and layer ontop of each other if necessary.
  9. Pour enough water to cover all the cabbage rolls, add the canned tomatoes, salt and pepper.
  10. Place a plate onto the cabbage rolls to avoid them bouncing around in the pot. Place the lid on the pot and gently simmer for 1 hour or until liquid evaporates and the rice and meat is cooked through.
  11. Carefully remove the plate from the pot, spoon the cabbage rolls onto a plate, add some sauce from the pot and sprinkle some chopped parsley.