I love meals that I can prepare ahead of time. As much as possible, I try to work in meals that I can set up while the boys are in school then pop in the oven or finish on the stove in the evening. Once the boys are home from school it seems like the rest of the day flies by. There’s homework, dinner, cleanup, bath and then bed. Phew…I’m tired just thinking about it.
One of my favorite meals to make on a busy day is Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. I can get the rolls prepared in the morning then just whip up the sauce and let the rolls simmer while we knock out homework.
Now my boys are 6 and 8 years old so cabbage is not high on their list of favorite things. They love the filling so a while back I experimented by hiding some veggies in my recipe. Since I can’t talk them into eating the cabbage, they still get carrots and zucchini and never even know it’s there.
This one is super easy to put together and so delicious. Check out my recipe and let me know what you think.
- 1 head green or savoy cabbage, 8 - 10 leaves
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- ½ cup cooked rice
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 zucchini, grated
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ bunch fresh chopped parsley, divided
- 2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 teaspoon oregano, divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 32 ounces tomato juice
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Cut the core from the head of cabbage and place in boiling water for 5 minutes.
- Remove the head of cabbage and pull off the top leaves being careful to leave them intact.
- Place the cabbage back in the water again for a few minutes, remove and pull more leaves. Continue until you have 8 - 10 whole cabbage leaves.
- Create the filling by combining the ground beef, rice, breadcrumbs, carrot, zucchini, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of oregano, ½ teaspoon of pepper and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Mix the ingredients in a large bowl until combined.
- Add 2 - 3 tablespoons of the stuffing on a cabbage leaf.
- Fold the sides over the filling then roll from the base end to the end of the leaf. The cabbage will easily seal around the filling.
- Repeat until the filling is gone.
- In a large pot, sauté the onion in olive oil for 2 - 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté about a minute, until fragrant.
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of oregano, ½ teaspoon of black pepper and chopped parsley - stir until combined.
- Pour the tomato sauce and tomato juice into the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the cabbage rolls to the sauce and cover.
- Cook the rolls on low, allowing to simmer for 45 minutes - 1 hour (do not cook on too high of heat or the rolls will stick to the pan and burn).
- Serve with the remaining sauce.