These vegetarian stuffed cabbage rolls are filled with Greek flavor. They’re so comforting and delicious that you won’t even notice that they’re meatless! They taste so good the following day so like I always say, make a big batch and enjoy it all week long.
Prepare the Cabbage
Begin with a large green cabbage. If all that you can find are the medium-sized cabbages or smaller ones, then use two for this recipe.
Carefully remove the core and the first layer of outer leaves and rinse it under cool water.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and carefully add the cabbage(s) to the water. Boil for 10-15 minutes or until the outer layers begin to soften and can be easily peeled off and removed.
Drain the leaves in a colander and then fill them, roll, and cook! It’s that simple.
The Cabbage Roll Filling
The options are endless!! My favorite vegetarian filling is similar to the filling that I use to stuff my grape leaves. Yes, it is basic and simple yet it has all of the comforting flavors that bring me back to my childhood.
Feel free to add your favorite ingredients. Here are some options:
- finely chopped spinach
- sautéed chopped mushrooms
- sautéed vegetables: bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant
- lentils or chickpeas
- toasted pine nuts and dried fruit
- diced tomatoes
- more herbs: oregano and/or basil
Lemony or Tomato?
I usually go for lemony vegetarian stuffed cabbage rolls. However, you can follow my Greek Cabbage Rolls in Tomato Sauce recipe to make them in a tomato base instead of the lemony version.
- Take care not to overcook the cabbage leaves. They’re ready once they’re soft enough to roll. They will continue to cook once they’re filled and will soften more.
- Add enough water to the pot (once the cabbage rolls are layered) to cover them. This will ensure that the rolls at the top cook properly. Add more water during the cooking time if needed. That liquid will become a lemony sauce and will enhance the flavor.
Watch the Video Tutorial
I hope that you give these vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls a try and if you do, please let me know what you think. Share pictures with me on Facebook and Instagram. I love seeing your recreations. Also, let me know what you’d like to learn how to make next!! See you back here soon with another delicious recipe worth sharing. Kali Orexi & filakia xxDimitra
- 1 large green cabbage, cored
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, grated
- 2 cups Basmati rice or any long-grain rice, rinsed and soaked in cool water
- 2 teaspoons dried dill
- 1 bunch fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint, optional
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup of lemon juice
- 1 heaping teaspoon of cornstarch
- 5-6 cups water or vegetable broth
Optional Filling Ingredients:
- 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms, sautéed
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- diced zucchini, eggplant, and/or bell peppers
- toasted pine nuts
- raisins or cranberries
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add a teaspoon of salt. Place the cabbage in the boiling water cored side down. Cover the pot and boil for 15 minutes. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage (that have softened) with tongs and place them in a colander to drain. Set aside to cool slightly while the filling is made.
Cook the onion with a quarter cup of olive oil over medium heat until soft and golden. About 8 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt.
Add the garlic to the pan and warm through for a few seconds then, remove the pan from the heat.
Drain and discard the water from the rice and add the rice to a mixing bowl. Add the cooked onion and garlic mixture to the rice along with the herbs, salt, pepper, and 2-3 teaspoons of lemon juice. Toss to combine.
To assemble the cabbage rolls, lay the leaves flat on a work surface and place a heaping tablespoon full of the filling in the center. Fold the sides of the leaf over the filling and the bottom as well then, roll up.
Line the bottom of the pot with the leftover cabbage leaves. Layer the cabbage rolls seam-side down in the pot. Keep them snug together.
Drizzle a quarter cup of olive oil over the rolls and season lightly with salt.
Invert 2 plates on top of the rolls to keep them weighed down so that they don't unroll during cooking.
Pour 4-6 cups of water or vegetable broth on top. They should be immersed in liquid.
Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 45 minutes to an hour or until the rice is fully cooked and the rolls are fork-tender.
In a small bowl combine the remaining lemon juice with the teaspoon of cornstarch and whisk together until smooth.
Add the lemon mixture to the pot and shake the pot gently to distribute the lemon evenly. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes and serve with some lemon wedges and toasted bread. Enjoy!
Add more liquid to the pot during the cooking time if it starts to dry up. The liquid will turn into a sauce once the cabbage rolls are ready.
Feel free to add any of the optional filling ingredients to the filling. It is best to saute the veggies before adding them to the filling for maximum flavor.
Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
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