If you’re all about easy recipes, this stuffed cabbage recipe got its name because when it comes to multi-step dishes that take a ton of time I’d do anything to simplify it, so this Lazy Stuffed Cabbage recipe was born, and it’s ready in 30 minutes.
There are many reasons this will become a favorite!
No oven to heat up, this can be made on the stove, but if you prefer the oven, go right ahead and bake it in there, it won’t be ready in 30 minutes, it’ll take a bit longer.
The flavors will remind you of traditional home-style cooking, but this recipe is way simpler!
Also known as golumpki or galumpkis (Polish stuffed cabbage) literally means ‘little pigeons’. Traditionally they are made by filling white cabbage leaves with stuffing made of rice and minced meat, served with either a tomato or mushroom gravy. They simmer or take a bath in a broth. And as they sit, their flavors get happy, which means leftovers taste better! It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
These are the 5 simple steps to make this dish:
- stir up the meat mixture
- scoop out meatball sized portions in a pot lined with a little sauce,
- then top the meatballs with sliced cabbage
- top with more sauce
- and simmer it on the stove (or oven covered if desired)
For the Sauce:
I like homemade sauce. It can be made ahead and stored in your fridge. The recipe for it can be found here – it’s really simple and quick!
If you’d rather, you can use a store-bought sauce – I recommend finding a really good sauce like this one. Not all sauces are the same, so be choosey! I prefer one with the least amount of added sugar.
What makes this sauce so flavorful is the addition of red wine vinegar and brown sugar – however, if you like spice, you can add ½ tsp red pepper flakes.
For the meat:
In a medium bowl, stir up the meat, a beaten egg, and the oregano. Add in your cooked rice with 2 Tablespoons of sauce.
Putting it All Together:
Add 1 cup sauce to the bottom of a 4-quart pot over medium heat.
Using a cookie scoop (3 tablespoons), scoop meat, and place the meatballs into the sauce in the pot.
Top your meatball mixture with the cabbage pieces.
Now, before adding the rest of your sauce, mix the remaining sauce with brown sugar and vinegar.
Pour the sauce mixture over the cabbage in the pot.
Place the lid on top of the pot, allowing the sauce to simmer. The steam that will be created will cook the meat and cabbage.
If needed, you can use a thermometer to ensure the meat mixture reaches 165°. This takes about 15-20 minutes.
Finally, scoop out the meatballs topped with cabbage and serve.
For a less tomato-based sauce, you can use 1 cup tomato sauce mixed with 1 cup chicken or beef broth. When it comes time for the second round of sauce, mix in 2 teaspoons cornstarch with the tomato sauce, along with the brown sugar and vinegar.
Can other meat be used besides ground beef?
Yes, ground pork, ground chicken, ground turkey, or a combination of any of them will give a great flavor and will be a nice change from ground beef.
Can I use something other than red wine vinegar?
Balsamic Vinegar can work just fine – it has tang and it is a little sweeter. If you’d like to balance that sweet flavor, you can add an additional ½ tsp red pepper flakes or some beef bouillon.
You mentioned this could be done in the oven, how would I do this?
You’ll need an oven set to 350 degrees. Instead of putting everything in a pot, you’ll use a dutch oven covered or 13×9 baking pan with foil for the lid, and bake it for 1 hour, test to be sure the temperature of the meat is at 165° add a little more time if you need too.
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1/2 onion diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or garlic paste)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 cup cooked rice (to make it really simple they sell. cooked rice in the rice aisle)
- pinch salt and black pepper
- 2 cups tomato sauce plus 2 tablespoon sauce or milk for the meat mixture
- 1/2 head large cabbage, cut into 3-4 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- In a medium bowl mix the ground beef, onion, garlic, egg, and oregano along with cooked rice together with 2 tablespoons of sauce.
- Add 1 cup sauce to the bottom of 4-quart pot over medium heat.
- Scoop out meat mixture with 3 tablespoon size scoop.
- Place the meatball mixture onto the sauce in the pot.
- Top the meatball mixture with cabbage pieces.
- Mix the remaining sauce with brown sugar and vinegar.
- Pour the sauce mixture over cabbage in the pot.
- Place lid on top of the pot, allowing the sauce to simmer and the steam that will be created will cook the meat and cabbage.
- Use a thermometer to ensure the meat mixture reaches 165°. this takes about 15-20 minutes.
- Scoop out the meatballs topped with cabbage and serve.