55 comments already!

Lazy Cabbage Rolls Recipe is easy layered cabbage roll casserole with ground turkey or chicken, brown rice and shredded cabbage. SO good and EASY!| ifoodreal.com

The story behind these lazy man cabbage rolls follows as this. On New Year’s Eve we hosted a Ukrainian dinner party for our friends. One of the dishes I made were lazy cabbage rolls. Everyone loved how they were big and meaty. I, on the other hand, swore that day it was last time I made cabbage rolls. Honestly, it took me hours and I was so frustrated in the process I had to take a walk in the park. I followed others advice to freeze and thaw cabbage instead of boiling it. Well, that didn’t work well, so I ended up boiling it. It was so much mess and work! I was happy to eat them, and a glass or two of wine definitely cheered me up, but now I understand why I haven’t made cabbage rolls for years. And I can guarantee it won’t happen again soon.

Lazy Cabbage Rolls Recipe is easy layered cabbage roll casserole with ground turkey or chicken, brown rice and shredded cabbage. SO good and EASY!| ifoodreal.com

When I first started blogging I posted a cabbage rolls casserole which is delicious. Now that I have more cooking experience, I couldn’t get the lazy man cabbage rolls idea out of my head. In Ukraine, it was called Lazy Cabbage Rolls where cabbage was finely shredded. I really really wanted to try the skillet with larger chunks of cabbage so it’s less mushy and messy. I love cabbage but any time I shred it my kitchen becomes a mess.

Lazy Cabbage Rolls Recipe is easy layered cabbage roll casserole with ground turkey or chicken, brown rice and shredded cabbage. SO good and EASY!| ifoodreal.com

This skillet came out OMG! I didn’t have so much fun cooking a dish in a long time. The process of chopping, stirring and waiting for a delicious meal with very few ingredients was therapeutical. When cabbage meets tomato sauce, salt and pepper it becomes one of the most flavourful dishes ever. Plus it adds so much fiber and complex veggie carbs. Overall, this dish hits all food groups spot on. True fit and super food!

Lazy cabbage rolls are perfect for lunches and leftovers can be frozen. I know for us this is enough for 2 meals. If you like cooked cabbage, you might also like cabbage and carrots stir fry with brown rice noodles and pan fried cabbage with apples. Enjoy!

Lazy Cabbage Rolls Recipe is easy layered cabbage roll casserole with ground turkey or chicken, brown rice and shredded cabbage. SO good and EASY!| ifoodreal.com

Lazy Cabbage Rolls

Lazy Cabbage Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 2 lbs ground turkey, extra lean
  • 3 lbs cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 14 oz can tomato sauce (I used low sodium)
  • 2 x 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup brown long grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Fresh herbs (dill, parsley, green onions) & Greek yogurt, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat large deep non-stick skillet on medium heat and swirl olive oil to coat. Add onion and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium - high, add turkey and cook for 10 more minutes, breaking into small pieces and stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce heat to low - medium, add cabbage, cover and let it cook for a few minutes so it will be easier to stir. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, rice, water, salt, pepper and stir well. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 55 - 60 minutes. Do not open! Check if rice is cooked and if not (mine was) add 1/4 cup water, cover and cook for another 5 - 10 minutes. Serve warm topped with Greek yogurt and herbs.
  3. Storage Instructions: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 - 4 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.
http://ifoodreal.com/lazy-cabbage-rolls/

Nutritional Info

Servings Per Recipe: 6

Amount Per Serving = 2 1/4 cups:
Calories: 400.1
Total Fat: 6.1 g
Cholesterol: 60.0 mg
Sodium: 791.7 mg
Total Carbs: 45.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 9.7 g
Protein: 43.8 g
WW Points+: 10

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55 Comments

  1. Laura @ Raise Your Garden

    I do believe my Russian Grandmother would have called these “Gwumpkies” (in skillet form of course) Of course, I think those are more Polish? But boy, did she make dishes like this, and I just remember gobbling them down. Now I do need to carry on the tradition and make these for my kids, and cabbage is quite nice.

    Reply
  2. Vickie

    This morning I stared at the fridge….I was at a total loss of what to make for our work lunch. Then I saw that big head of cabbge and remembered this recipe….a quick check for the ingredients and a glance at the clock…could I do this and be ready and out the door for work in an hour and 10 mins.?? I was willing to give it my best shot! I cooked up the turkey and threw the ingredients together and put the lld on and set the timer…I blended up our green smoothies and was off and running…5 mins. before we walked out the door I dished up two glass containers and saved the rest for later. For lunch I had a delicious and gratifying meal. I loved this recipe for the taste and for how quickly it all came together…such an easy healthy recipe. I will be making this again! Many thanks! So yummy!

    Reply
    • Olena

      Loved the story! Two thumbs up – you are a true superwoman! That’s how we eat – some simple meal like this with a green smoothie and I feel so complete. Glad you liked it! My husband’s co-worker was having it for lunch yesterday too.:)

      Reply
      • Vickie

        As a variation, it would be great with some grated carrots and mushrooms too (that is what I put in my vegan cabbage rolls) but I did not have time to get carried away!! I am curious to hear how my husband liked it…he loves cabbage and red sauce so I am sure he will rave about it too! By the way…the rice turned out perfect!

        Reply
        • Olena

          For sure. Or even lentils with more water. I just made marinara sauce 1/3 meat and 2/3 black lentils – OMG. The size and texture were perfect meat replacement! Will post soon. Even my kids were like OMG. Good idea about vegan cabbage rolls! My rice came out very good too. Well, hope your husband liked it.:)

          Reply
    • Dee Dee

      Did you add any spices? I like to cook with herbs. I don’t see any spices aside from adding them to the greek yogurt? Salt and pepper often don’t add much flavor by themselves. Ground turkey is very blan and usually needs some spices.

      Reply
      • Olena

        You can add any spices you wish. The way we cook in Ukraine it is only fresh herbs, salt and pepper – very simple. All flavours marry each other and it’s quite tasty to me, especially with sweet turkey and cabbage.

        Reply
  3. Rachael Marie

    How would you recommend reheating this after it has been frozen & thawed? I froze some for my cousin & her husband who just had a baby!

    Reply
    • Olena

      In the oven at 350 until heated through. I usually put thawed right away, no need to wait for oven to preheat. I do not use microwave however that works too.

      Reply
  4. Amy

    Olena do you have any recipes for white turnips(Japanese turnip)? Or what I could use them in or with. Thanks

    Reply
  5. Mel

    I thought the idea of lazy cabbage rolls great! My mom used to make cabbage rolls all the time but I just don’t have the patience. I altered this recipe a little to make it more like my mom used to make. I added garlic, bay leaves and sugar.

    Reply
    • Olena

      I can’t make cabbage rolls. They drive me nuts. I just don’t have all that time…I could do so many loads of laundry and vacuum instead.

      Reply
  6. Jenn

    This looks delicious, we’ll be making this tonight!! Have you ever tried using sour cabbage for your cabbage rolls? So much easier and no boiling/freezing required!

    Reply
    • Olena

      Honestly no because I tried them once in a Croatian home and wasn’t impressed. Too sour and salty to my liking. Maybe matters the way they are prepared…

      Reply
  7. Lindsay

    i was wondering how quinoa would substitute for the rice. The recipe looks amazing!

    Reply
  8. michelle

    I’m going to cook this soon (without the rice though, I have to measure that separately).Yours is almost the only blog I read – most of them ramble on and on about stuff that has nothing to do with the recipe. I like your style.

    Reply
    • Olena

      Thanks Michelle. I just really think people who never met me really want to know what my kids did or said yesterday. As cute as they are … for me. Let me know how you like this dish.

      Reply
  9. kim

    Can you please provide details regarding what herbs you use and what herbs could be used?

    Reply
  10. Anneli

    My mummo made the best cabbage rolls, but, they are a lot of work. I love the combination of all the ingredients in a one pot deal!! Such a comfort food. Since I haven’t been eating meat… I wonder how I can veganize this 🙂

    Reply
  11. Melissa

    Hi! Sorry if this is a silly question, but I’m just learning about “clean eating” and read that if it’s canned, it’s not clean. But, you used caned tomatoes, so is that only true for certain things? This recipe looks amazing, btw. Can’t wait to try.

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Melissa. Nothing silly. Here is the best description of clean eating. It is more relative to canned processed meals like soup, stew etc. Again, organic Amy’s soup has only clean ingredients vs. Campbell’s ones full of chemicals, preservatives and GMOs. Canned tomato sauce, tomatoes etc. is just a form of preservation of ingredients.
      At the end of the day, the goal of clean eating is to eat real food which includes pickles and canned tomatoes, and excludes fries from a package but includes homemade baked fries.

      Reply
  12. Melissa

    Made this today for dinner. Only change I made was to cut the recipe in half and omit the yogurt. My fiancé and I both loved it, and he’s super picky! We’ll be having this one again, for sure. I think I just found my new go-to recipe site. 😄

    Reply
    • Olena

      Oh my. Comment of the week. Really? So happy to hear I helped someone to please a picky eater. Those picky eaters…I want to give them limes for dinner sometimes.

      Reply
  13. Taneesha

    I am going to make this and try it with chorizo for a little extra kick. Looks great!

    Reply
  14. Kathy

    This was a huge hit! My husband wanted stuffed cabbages and I didn’t wand to make them since it takes a lot of time. This was so easy to make and the family loved it. Thank you for a great recipe.

    Reply
  15. Nathalie Snyder

    I can’t wait to try this. But I would love to make it in the crockpot instead. Do you have any recommendation? Could this cook all the on low for 6-8 hours? Or 4 hours on high?

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hmm. I honesty don’t remember the last time I cooked rice in s crock pot how long it took. Low for 8 hours should be enough. 6 might be too short.

      Reply
  16. Zoey

    I really wanted to like this, but I wasn’t really that crazy about it. I’m sorry, I feel like this had way too much turkey and not nearly enough rice. Also, it was WAY too much to fit in a skillet, and I have a huge skillet, I had to move it to a big soup pot after trying to add all the cabbage. The end result was okay. Not all that flavorful. I probably wouldn’t make it again. 🙁 sorry

    Reply
  17. Sue

    Hands down the best lazy cabbage rolls I’ve tried. Forgot to pick up sour cream or greek yogurt but even without I loved it! Will get some to have with the leftovers!

    Reply
  18. Carol

    This tastes just like stuffed cabbage. So much less work. I was wondering if I could make them in a crock pot. Have you tried?

    Reply
    • Olena

      I know, right?! Why wouldn’t it since it has all the components and cabbage rolls become am use once on your plate anyways. At least that is how I like to eat cabbage rolls.
      No, I haven’t tried. I know meat has to be pre-browned for sure. What will happen to rice I don’t know. I just wonder if it is too big of amount of cabbage to fit in a slow cooker before it cooks down. Maybe I will test one day. Sorry I wish I had a better answer for you, Carol.

      Reply
  19. Megan

    This is AMAZING. not sure how big of a skillet you have though, I had to use a Dutch oven lol. I used beef (drained and rinsed) rather than turkey, a multigrain rice blend and found it slightly bland the first time so I use two cans of tomato sauce now. I don’t use the toppings, I use it for freezer lunches. It is incredible!! I had to share it on Facebook and I don’t do that very often! Thank you! Will definitely be a staple in my freezer from now on! Healthy, filling and super tasty!!

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Megan. You should use deep skillet. Not the frying pancake skillet but rather with tall edges. I used wide dutch oven/skillet you see in pictures. Glad you enjoyed my lazy man cabbage rolls (man, am I ever “lazy” to stuff anything into anything these days)! You might also like the stuffed pepper casserole then. Fresh off the stove.:)

      Reply
  20. Karen

    My husband does not eat meat, would it be okay to use Morning Star Farms Griller Crumbles instead? If okay, is it best to add the crumbles toward the end of the cooking time?
    Thank you for your help!

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Karen. If crumbles are mostly cooked (I assume they are) add them towards the end. I’m sure you are more experienced with them so whatever time you think they need to get flavoured.

      Reply
  21. Becca

    Great dish! Not exactly a quick meal, but makes a huge portion so should last us a few meals.

    Reply
  22. Brittany

    This recipe is absolutely wonderful. I am used to making the traditional cabbage rolls like my Baba used to. This recipe has the goodness of traditional without all the tedious time consuming work. This will be my second time making your wonderful recipe. Double batch this time so I can freeze for leftovers. I decided to try half chopped cabbage, and half shredded (food processor makes it quick and easy) I also added a can of tomato paste, some crushed garlic, and a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce. The fresh dill on top, to die for! This recipe will be written down in our family recipe book for generations to enjoy. Thank you very much for sharing!

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Brittany. Wow, I’m honoured – family recipe book. What attachment do you use to shred the cabbage? All your additions sound wonderful.

      Reply
  23. 🌹 Nancy Ann

    I had a cabbage and was planning on making cabbage rolls but just didn’t have the energy and time to do. Someone mentioned lazy cabbage rolls — i wanted them to taste like my mom’s . Mom always used beef and pork. I followed your recipe except for the turkey and was very pleased with the results!! My neighbour tasted it and loved it too so i sent her the recipe. Thank you for a simple recipe. All i had to go out and get was the meat, i had everything else, yippee !!

    Reply
    • Olena

      You are welcome, Nancy Ann. My mom and grandma used pork too, ground turkey and chicken were not common. Glad you enjoyed. It is a simple recipe indeed.

      Reply

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