Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

It’s freezing and below zero across most of the country today, so I needed a dinner that was going to warm us up! It also helped that I had a snow day today!

Snow days are just as exciting for teachers as you remember they were when you were a kid. Except, maybe even more because coffee and daytime TV! This meal reminds me of a meal my mom used to make too, so it was definitely appropriate for a snow day.

Stuffed cabbages are easy, tasty, and with the addition of tempeh, so filling too. It does take a minute to get it all set up and ready to go, but I list some tricks to make it a little faster and easier throughout the process.

However, if you are short on time, or just a little lazy (that’s okay!) there’s a great shortcut to this meal. Skip steaming the cabbage leaves and finely chop the cabbage instead. Add the cabbage to the pot when you add the onion, then following the recipe as stated. Put the entire mixture into the baking pan, pouring the tomato sauce all over the pan before baking. Call it a “stuffed” cabbage casserole!

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, 4 servings

  • 1 large green head cabbage
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 1 package tempeh 
  • 2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomato, no salt added, drained 
  • 3 cups cooked barley
  • 3 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 large can (28 ounce) crushed tomato 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar 
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Carefully remove the largest layers of cabbage leaves in whole pieces, I got 9 from my 3-ish pound head of cabbage. Steam the leaves in a large covered pot with a steamer rack for about 10 minutes. When the leaves are soft, remove and use the same steamer pot and rack to steam the tempeh for 10 minutes. Steaming tempeh allows flavors to soak in better later in the recipe. Remove tempeh, allow to cool for a minute or two, and chop finely.
  2. Saute onion with a little water over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped tempeh, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, coriander, allspice, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Stir and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Add in the drained diced tomatoes, stir, and turn off heat.
  3. Mix together tempeh mixture and barley in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
  4. Place all of the cabbage leaves on flat area with rib side down. I put all the cabbage leaves out at one time so I can get an equal amount of filling in each one without wasting any of that delicious filling. Fill the cabbage leaves with an equal amount (about 1/3 cup) of filling in each one. Roll up each leaf around the stuffing, tucking in the sides as you roll. I don’t stress about perfection here, this is a dish best served a little messy, so just go for it! Place the stuffed cabbage rolls into a glass baking pan, seam side down. Repeat the process until all leaves are stuffed and rolled.
  5. In a bowl, mix the crushed tomatoes, brown sugar, and cider vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Pour tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls. Cook for an hour, or until soft and tender. Serve immediately.

 

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