by Olena

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

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Olena Osipov
5 from 60 votes

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Easy Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls dinner recipe made with lean ground turkey, brown rice, chopped cabbage and smothered in a savory tomato sauce! Comfort meets convenience in this deconstructed stovetop casserole.

As Eastern Europeans cabbage makes a frequent appearance at meals. Cabbage stir fry, savoy cabbage salad, and even Irish special Instant Pot corned beef and cabbage, we love it all!

deconstructed unstuffed cabbage rolls in red dutch oven with greek yogurt and dill

You are going to love these unstuffed cabbage rolls because as much as the traditional rolls are worth the wait, sometimes we just don’t have the time or energy for old fashioned cabbage rolls. I am from Ukraine, and I never do!

Instead, for these lazy cabbage rolls I like to chop cabbage into coarse square chunks and cook with brown rice and meat in flavorful tomato sauce in one pot. I love easier cabbage roll dishes so much I’ve even shared a cabbage roll casserole and Instant Pot cabbage rolls!

Why Make Easy Cabbage Rolls?

  • Serves a crowd: It’s a make once, eat twice (or more!) type of meal plus leftovers are freezer friendly.
  • Nostalgic: I deconstructed my grandmother’s recipe and it’s a classic, many readers also agree.
  • Layers of flavor: Tender cabbage, ground meat, onion, garlic, rice and a juicy sauce simmer together slowly for incredible taste.
  • Wholesome ingredients: No condensed soup just real food.
  • Healthier: Ground turkey keeps this lower in calories and fat! 
  • Nutritious: Cabbage is high in fiber, vitamin C & K and contains micronutrients vitamin A, iron and riboflavin.

Want more cabbage inspiration? For a lighter meal, you might enjoy this braised cabbage with apples. For something warm and comforting, check out this Ukrainian borscht or Russian cabbage soup (shchi)!

easy one pot unstuffed cabbage rolls with yogurt and dill in serving bowl

Ingredients for Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

  • Onion and garlic: Chopped onion and minced garlic.
  • Meat: Extra-lean ground turkey but you can use ground pork or beef.
  • Cabbage: Coarsely chopped. Because these are unstuffed cabbage you can get away with using a variety of different types of cabbage like green, red or even savoy cabbage.

A cabbage roll (unstuffed) by many names! While in the Ukraine is it commonly called golubtsi or halupki meaning ‘stuffed cabbage’ in Russian/Slovak language in Poland it goes by golumpki (golabki), in Romania it is referred to as sarmale and further yet holishkes is a traditional Jewish cabbage roll dish. No matter the name though, the dish always includes cabbage and a tasty filling!

  • Rice: Uncooked brown rice.

Even easier lazy cabbage rolls? Use white rice which cooks faster or leftover cooked brown rice which reduces total cooking time to 30 minutes.

  • Liquids: Oil, low sodium tomato sauce, can of diced tomatoes, low sodium stock (or water), honey, or maple syrup to balance acidic ingredients, vinegar (similar to when making the best meat sauce).
  • Herbs: Dried oregano, thyme, bay leaves.
  • Seasonings: Salt and pepper for taste.
  • Garnish: Fresh dill or parsley or green onions, yogurt/sour cream.
unstuffed cabbage rolls ingredients with ground turkey

How to Make Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

  • Saute veggies: Preheat a deep non-stick pan or a 5-6 quart Dutch oven. Swirl oil to coat and add onion and garlic, stirring occasionally. 
  • Cook meat and rice: To the pot, add turkey, rice, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper and continue cooking. Break the meat into pieces using a wooden spoon. Sauteing rice now cuts back its cook time.
  • Combine everything: Add the broth, tomato sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, and cabbage. Stir well to combine and bring to a boil.
  • Cook for an hour: Once boiling, cover, reduce heat, and cook on low. As tempting as it might be to open the lid to check on it, DON’T! Not until it’s completely done.
  • Serve: Serve warm topped with fresh dill and yogurt or sour cream for the most authentic flavour. Hot sauce on top if you feel like it that night.

Love hearty, healthy and wholesome meals? Try Instant Pot bolognese, chicken and rice casserole, and skillet enchiladas next!

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

  • More herbs: As always, season to your liking. If you love the taste of thyme and oregano with ground turkey, by all means, add a bit more. My grandma just used salt and pepper. 🙂
  • More meat: If you like a meatier bite and would like to add more meat, feel free to add an extra 1 lb.
  • Vegetarian lazy cabbage rolls: If you’re looking for a meatless version, try substituting the ground turkey with mushrooms and/or tempeh.
  • Vegan deconstructed cabbage rolls: Use the above meatless variations and omit adding sour cream/yogurt or use a dairy free version for serving.
  • Other meat: Alternatively, if you are looking for a red meat version, try using ground beef and beef broth instead. Pork adds a nice flavour as well.
  • Tomatoes: Replace diced tomatoes with fresh tomatoes. Keep in mind they need to be juicy! Add a bit more broth and even some tomato paste for colour.
  • Sauerkraut: Replace some of the cabbage with sauerkraut but cut the salt in half and season to taste afterward. It may not even be necessary.
  • White rice: If you are using white rice, the cooking time will be approximately 30 minutes.
  • Precooked rice: If you are using precooked brown rice, cut the cooking time, use 3 cups of cooked rice and reduce the liquids to 1 cup. Cook for 30 minutes.
  • Other grains: Buckwheat or quinoa that cook quicker could be used but braise cabbage for 15 minutes first so everything gets done at the same time. Quinoa will also only need 1 1/2 cups water. If quinoa is a favorite try one pot chicken quinoa or ground turkey quinoa casserole, next!
  • Low carb: Omit rice and add cauliflower rice during the last few minutes of cook time.

Tips for Best Results

  • Uncooked rice: If rice is not cooked by the end, add 1/4 water, cover, and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  • Too much? When I say this recipe feeds a hungry crowd, I mean it! It yields close to 14 cups of food. If you don’t need that much, cut the recipe in half and keep the same cook time.
  • Heavy duty pot: Otherwise you risk the dish burning on the bottom. 
  • Don’t open the lid: Cooking time will lengthen because steam releases.


Can I use thawed cabbage for lazy cabbage rolls?

Yes, frozen cabbage can be used in this recipe!

Can I use shredded cabbage for deconstructed cabbage?

Yes, and bonus it just might cook faster!

How many outer leaves should I remove before cutting whole cabbage for unstuffed cabbage?

Just a few! Then proceed with cutting in half, then quarters and chopping.

Can I make this in the slow cooker?

While that has not been tested, you can make this in the oven or the Instant Pot!

What type of cabbage should I use for one pot unstuffed cabbage rolls?

Because we are not rolling cabbage this recipe is pretty forgiving, use green, purple or even savoy cabbage!

Is cabbage a vegetable?

Yes, cabbage is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables which also includes broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels.

Why is stuffed cabbage called pigeons?

There are a few different reasons. Golupsty in Russian translates to ‘pigeons’ and it is said that originally the dish was made of a whole bird wrapped in cabbage leaves and baked on hot coals. It has also been said the cabbage roll is in the shape of a dove or pigeon. In Poland, cabbage rolls were said to have been called ‘small pigeons’ because of the frequent travels of aristocrats between Poland and France.

What is the ethnic origins of stuffed cabbage?

While it is hard to determine the exact origins, some historical records indicate that it was served in Jewish communities up to thousands of years ago. As trade routes developed throughout Middle East and Europe, each region developed it’s own recipe (as well as name!) and that leads us to today, where we have deconstructed unstuffed cabbage rolls which are by far much easier to make!

halupki unstuffed cabbage rolls ready to be served

How to Serve Lazy Cabbage Rolls?

While we often serve this one pot meal as is, other times it’s nice to have a few sides to accompany it!

You may also like one of these 65 healthy favorite side dishes!

How to Store Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls?

Store: You’ll have leftovers for days! Enjoy up for 4 days later, being kept in the fridge in an airtight container. Cabbage rolls casserole actually gets better with time, like borscht.

Freeze: Once fully cooked, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. If you have a ton leftover, might be wise to freeze individually and only take out what you need.

Reheat: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the microwave. You can also use the pot with a splash of water or broth to simmer while covered for 10 minutes.

Unstuffed cabbage rolls casserole is great for meal prep as the longer it sits, the flavors develop further and meld together! Try these other freezer friendly recipes such as, chicken burritos, BBQ chicken wraps or have a freezer friendly meal prep session.

More Easy Dinner Recipes

unstuffed cabbage rolls in one pot
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls {One Pot!}

Easy Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls dinner recipe made with lean ground turkey, brown rice, chopped cabbage and smothered in a savory tomato sauce! Comfort meets convenience in this deconstructed stovetop casserole.
4.95 from 60 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Casserole
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 352kcal
Author: Olena Osipov


  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey extra lean
  • 1 cup brown rice uncooked
  • 3 lbs cabbage coarsely chopped
  • 28 oz can tomato sauce low sodium
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes low sodium
  • 2 cups water or any low sodium stock*
  • 1 tbsp oregano dried
  • 1 tsp thyme dried
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Fresh dill, parsley, green onions and yogurt/sour cream for serving


  • Preheat large and very deep non-stick skillet or 5-6 quart Dutch oven on medium-high heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion and garlic; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add turkey, rice, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper; cook for 10 more minutes, breaking into small pieces and stirring often.
  • Add broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, vinegar, maple syrup, cabbage, bay leaves and stir well. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 60-70 minutes. Do not open!
  • After 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.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

    Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely, and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in a refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a microwave or in the oven at 375 F for 10 minutes.


      • Meat: Feel free to add 1 lb extra of ground turkey. Also ground beef and pork work great!
      • Sauerkraut: You can replace some of fresh cabbage with sauerkraut but cut salt in half and then season to taste after, if necessary.
      • Broth: I used water +  organic low sodium bouillon cubes. Using broth will yield in more flavour but water is just fine.
      • White rice: If using white rice, cooking time will be around 30 minutes. Check and cook longer if necessary.
      • Cooked brown rice: If you have leftover brown rice or want to cut back cook time, use 3 cups cooked brown rice, reduce liquids to 1 cup and cook for 30 minutes. Check and cook longer if cabbage is not tender.
      • Vegetarian: Omit meat and add mushrooms and/or tempeh.
      • Vegan: Use the above meatless variations and omit adding sour cream/yogurt or use a dairy free version for serving.
      • Other meat: Alternatively, if you are looking for a red meat version, try using ground beef and beef broth instead. Pork adds a nice flavour as well.
      • Tomatoes: Replace diced tomatoes with fresh tomatoes. Keep in mind they need to be juicy! Add a bit more broth and even some tomato paste for colour.
      • Low carb: Omit rice and add cauliflower rice during the last few minutes of cook time.
      • Cooking vessel: It is important to find large deep skillet or 5-6 quart Dutch oven with tight fitting lid. Otherwise, rice will take longer to cook.
      • Do not peek: No matter how tempted you are, opening the lid and checking on casserole will slow down cooking.
      • Too much? This recipe makes close to 14 cups of food. If no large skillet or serving just a few people, cut recipe in half and keep same cook time more likely.
      See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.


      Serving: 2.25cups | Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 715mg | Potassium: 736mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 241IU | Vitamin C: 85mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 2mg
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      176 comments on “Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

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      1. 5 stars
        Unbelievably good! Initially I made this for
        mid-week dinner + leftovers for lunch. Our lunch portions got somewhat reduced because we couldn’t stop eating it. So happy to add this to our regular rotation. You are right the layered flavours are amazing, home cooking at a finest, thank-you!!

      2. 5 stars
        You rock! It hit me too in the same way as it does for most moving to this island. I have strong Ukraine roots too growing up in my Grandmothers garden that feed 30 from Edmonton, Alb. To this day is dream of her food, wake up and end up in a fervor, cooking on a mission with a small budget and loving it.
        Thank you for finding your passion and motivating the connections around us to become a touch healthier and weathier within within the communities that we touch.
        It is food that binds us together and my mothers memory is now as sharp as mine again of those past times as we share the same roots and 2 boys lap up what it means to be alive, full of family history and earth to hearth that enables your siblings to propel, full of energy into tackling the challenges that we pass onto them.
        Keep it up and no need to waste time to respond to me, keep your team moving forward and onward so that the next time my tastebuds are tickled, I not only think of your family tree growing but enjoy the past of mine and the future, but to make your children want to learn about thier roots and the soils so they can tackle with passion the generation of challenges they need to meet. Healthy frugal eating that connects your children to those memories is the key to thier future.
        Amazing job well done,… (Mom)!

      3. Hi,

        I have a question. I was planning on making rolled cabbage rolls so I place my cabbage in the freezer. Now after seeing the lazy way of doing it, I want to try it. Can I use thawed cabbage for this recipe?

      4. 5 stars
        Love it! Easy, cheap, and delicious. My American husband did not care for any sour cream (and he ate two bowls of this as is), but I (Russian) of course added some and it all tasted just like the cabbage rolls I remember from childhood. Thank you so much! I look forward to eating this dish for the next few days. Please keep such easy and nutritious recipes coming. Time is of the essence, always.

      5. 5 stars
        Really good. I was looking for a lazy cabbage roll recipe that didn’t call for condensed soup, and this one did not disappoint! Of course, we all season according to our own tastes, but it’s a solid recipe I’ll definitely make again. Thanks!!

      6. 5 stars
        I made this once a few weeks ago and we really loved it. It was enough to have for dinner three nights! The flavors are so good, especially the fresh dill on top.

        I am planning to make it again soon, but was thinking about substituting buckwheat for the rice. Would that change the amount of water needed or the cook time?

        1. Water would be the same but buckwheat cooks in 15 mins, so plan accordingly. I would braise cabbage for 15 mins before adding buckwheat.

          1. 5 stars
            We made this last night with buckwheat. We followed the recipe ingredients and instructions except we omitted the rice in Step #2. Then we added the buckwheat with 15 minutes of time remaining on the cooking time. It was just as delicious as the first time we made it!

      7. 5 stars
        I made it according to the recipe using ground beef & riced cauliflower instead of rice! My wife loves it & so do I! Outstanding flavor!👍

      8. 5 stars
        I had a craving for cabbage rolls but didn’t feel like making them from scratch. I was told to search for “lazy man cabbage rolls” for a quick way to get the cabbage roll flavour I was seeking.

        I found your recipe and it looked interesting. I made it exactly as written. Its wonderful especially with the fresh dill and sour cream. I will freeze some in lunch-sized portions. Will definitely make it again, thanks for posting it!

      9. Hi Olena,

        Polish-Ukrainian Canadian living in USA. I grew up on UKR style cabbage rolls; rice with lighly sauteed white onion, bacon bits, rolled tight & small, baked with tomato juice on top, baked in oven. I was skeptical but they turned out very well!


        1. This is exactly how we make our cabbage rolls too (polish roots). Making these lazy ones tonight and we are excited to try them!

      10. 5 stars
        Made this tonight, and husband and I both really liked it. I cut it almost in half. Used a full lb of turkey, and low sodium tomato ingredients, plus low sodium beef broth. Used a half cup of brown basmati rice. To finish it off, I put shredded Mexican cheese on top and let it melt. We added parmesan cheese at the table. I only used a tiny pinch of salt. My husband has CHF and is diabetic. Leftovers tomorrow! Thanks for a great recipe!

      11. 5 stars
        Hi, I made this recipe on the weekend and it is really, really good! I should of used a heavy duty Dutch oven like you instructed though. My stock pot is not a thick pot and burned a bit on the bottom. Not a big deal as I salvaged most of it and it was very yummy! just sending a friendly reminder. Can you send me your shredded cabbage roll casserole recipe? Many thanks!

      12. 5 stars
        Hi Olena, this sounds delicious! I haven’t tried it yet though. I would like to try it with shredded cabbage. Can you send or post the cabbage roll casserole recipe that another reviewer raved about? Thanks!

        1. Hello. This recipe uses shredded cabbage too. It’s pretty much the same. That recipe I can email you on Monday when I am back at the office.:)

      13. 5 stars
        My husband is half Polish and remembers cabbage rolls his grandma made when he was a child, however two attempts over the years had us underwhelmed and they were highly rated on Serious Eats and Epicurious, so we just decided some foods we adored as children just don’t taste as good as adults. I decided to try this last night thinking the cabbage chopped would probably be better than a soggy roll you have to cut into. Well, we loved these. It’s always a thumbs up when he nods after biting into a dish and say, “this is great.” It does make a ton for just two of us so we will have a couple freezer meals for the future after having it for dinner again tonight.

        1. Oh Rochelle! I am so happy that my cabbage rolls got a thumbs up from your husband. It can be discouraging when we try to replicate a recipe that we loved as children and it doesn’t turn out how we remembered.

      14. Hi Olena. Bay leaf is listed in ingredients, but not mentioned in the instructions. Should you just add them with broth, tomato, etc. and remove when cooking is complete?

      15. Can you please repost the layered cabbage casserole recipe with the shredded cabbage. This is one of my family’s favorites and I can not find this recipe . It looks like it was replaced with a skillet version.

      16. 5 stars
        Olena, I’m new and wanted to let you know how much I appreciate what you are doing. I’m cooking and eating less processed food. My family is getting healthier and we’re starting to save money too. Having you teach us how to manage nutrition and meals has changed my outlook. I no longer throw out leftovers (usually nothing left) and don’t let things perish. I feel like I have more.

        I had half a cabbage, some tomatoes, onion and leftover rice. I made this recipe using what I had and it was absolutely delish! No leftovers. Thanks again.

      17. I have a bunch of fresh tomatoes that were delivered in my CSA box. Can I use those instead of canned diced tomatoes? Would I need to add more water/broth?

        1. I have not done that. It will also depends how juicy they are. You will definitely need to add more broth and dish will be more pale, so a bit of tomato paste would be beneficial. I also wouldn’t be checking on it too often so steam doesn’t escape. I am guessing 1 cup extra broth but it’s a guess.

        1. Hi Tara! Unfortunately, this recipe has not been tested in a crockpot. I am not sure about cook times and ingredient amounts. Sorry.

      18. 5 stars
        Made it. It’s good stuff. Use a BIG fry pan with a lid. I made half a batch, didn’t include the chicken stock, and FILLED my 10” fry pan : ) It turned out very tasty. I liked adding the thyme and oregano with the meat. Good stuff

      19. 5 stars
        I can’t wait to try this. I love cabbage ? rolls too—and hers a recipe which includes brown rice ! Yay ?
        Thanks Olena for your no-nonsense cooking advice.

      20. 5 stars
        Thank you for doing this! We made it vegan with tempeh cut and cooked with onions and mushrooms instead of meat. No rice because I’m diabetic. Still fantastic.

      21. 5 stars
        I have made this four or more times now, and I like it more each meal I have of it. I like steamed cabbage and the brown rice and tomato. It becomes quite quick and easy. Thank you elena, I look forward to my Instant Pot meals now.

      22. 5 stars
        Made this last night – subbed beef for turkey and used a big Chinese cabbage as just got one delivered in my farm share. Turned out great, and I will definitely do it again! Thanks for great recipe. Note I am used to cooking big, and have a large high sided skillet. Started meat and onion in it and realized with all ingredients to come there was no way. Finished in my medium high sided Dutch oven pot and was right at the rim – I would use my really big oval Dutch next time. Disappointed we did not have more leftovers lol – my 3 teens all went for seconds!

        1. So happy you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for the sharing your experience with different skillets!

      23. 5 stars
        I make this quite often. One of my easiest and quickest recipes. I just made it about an hour ago. I cut my cabbage in half then quarters. I then cut it in strips I boil it to get it soft first. I browned my ground meat onions and fresh garlic. I boil my boil in a bag brown rice. I add a 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes and a half a jar of tomato sauce.. I put it all in a large casserole, bake it at 350for about 40 minutes then I put the broiler on and let it get a little crispy on top for about 10 minutes. So delicious!!

      24. I didn’t make this recipe yet but it sounds delicious. I am making it for dinner tonight.
        I would very much like to read your blog and see what other delicious recipes you have in store

        1. Hi Diane! Don’t be shy to leave a comment and star review once you have tried out my recipes. Lot of recipes to explore on my website. Happy cooking 🙂

      25. 5 stars
        Excellent recipe! Delicious!
        Hi Olena, Thank you for your lazy cabbage rolls! My family loved it.
        I grew up eating my mother’s “holubtsi”. She made them every Saturday for our Sunday dinner,
        They were sooo good. When I tried making them for my family, I never had the patience, time or skill to make them. Now, thanks to you, we can have them as our Sunday (or any other day) meal.
        Next week i will try your Cabbage Rolls Casserole” recipe too.
        I am so glad I found your website while looking for instant pot chicken recipes.
        Those are great too!

      26. This recipe looks amazing and I will be trying it this weekend. I would like to add some sauerkraut to it – should anything be changed/omitted in this case? Thank you.

        1. I would reduce cabbage to 2 lbs, salt to 1 tsp and make sure you use low sodium tomato products. After I would adjust salt if necessary. Gonna be good!!!

      27. 1)How long is the cook time if I don’t add the rice and stock/water?

        2)Do I follow the same cook time if I use quinoa instead of rice?

        I stumbled upon your website by chance, and I love your recipes, especially the cheeseburger quinoa casserole! I look forward to many more recipes!

        1. So happy to hear, Sharon! I would use 1 cup quinoa to 1 1/2 cups water ratio. Stir, cover and cook for 15 mins on low. Then check and see if quinoa needs another 5 – 10 mins. Enjoy!

            1. 5 stars
              I made this last night, and it was to die for! Could you please provide me your tips on the following that I could not find online:
              1)How many of the outer leaves should I remove before cutting the cabbage?
              2)How did you successfully cut down through the middle of the cabbage without struggling?
              3) Would frozen cabbage also work with this recipe?

            2. I remove just a few to get the outer layer off. To cut through use a sharp knife and be careful. Yes frozen cabbage works.

      28. 5 stars
        My Ukrainian Baba would make these, but she didn’t use tomato sauce…I believe she would cook them in stock..I, however use spagetti sauce and make the lazy helupki in the crock pot…putting the meat, cabbage, rice and sauce in layers..Delish!! and Lazy!!

      29. 5 stars
        Easy and delicious. Can be made up quickly for a week night meal and also great for making up ahead of time. A perfect healthy family meal!

      30. 5 stars
        This is one of the best cabbage roll recipes I’ve ever tasted and so easy! I didn’t use water; I used organic chicken broth. I also didn’t use regular tomato sauce; I used a jar of Classico sauce which gave it a really great flavor. But all in all you can tweet it however you like but Olena gets all the accolades!!! Thank you, Olena for a wonderful healthy and easy recipe!

      31. I love home made cabbage rolls my grandmother and mom used to make. I’ve made them a few times and now that I’ve looked at you recipe I’m craving them again!! I think this will be dinner tonight, but, I’ll going to try making with a vegan ground meat alternative… not sure what will work yet. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

      32. Hi. I love cabbage in soup. My husband and I do not like rice. So do I cut back on the liquid amount when not using rice? It sounds so Yummy. I want to make this recipe. Thank You.

      33. 5 stars
        My husband and I both grew up eating our Grandmother’s cabbage rolls – they each had a different take on them. We made them a few times together until we found this recipe. We haven’t made traditional rolls since, and I have even made this recipe for my entire extended family. Every loved it and it is sooo much easier. I can’t wait to make these this fall as soon as the weather shifts.

        1. All cabbage rolls I tried in my life had different take on them. So happy to hear this recipe is your new family’s favorite. And thanks for taking time to comment.:)

      34. 5 stars
        Delicious i’ve made it twice in the last two weeks . So easy ? I used the cabbage ? and roma tomatoes ? from our garden! I also added bacon ?. Highly recommend this recipe! I also live on magical Vancouver Island ?.

        1. Awe, so happy to hear you loved this recipe, Dawn! Great additions. Where do you live? It is truly magical here. I just can’t believe how amazing it is!!!!!

      35. This is not the original recipe! Where did the original one go? Very disappointed! I want the original recipe back!

        1. This one?

          Cabbage Rolls Casserole

          Print Recipe
          Healthy Cabbage Rolls Casserole that doesn’t require pre-cooking rice, boiling cabbage and wrapping the leaves. Lazy man cabbage rolls.

          Prep Time: 10 minutes
          Cook Time: 115 minutes
          Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
          Yield: 8 servings 1x
          SCALE 1x2x3x

          1 tbsp olive oil
          1 large onion, diced
          6 cloves garlic, crushed & divided
          1.5 lbs extra lean ground turkey
          2 cans (28 oz each) crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce, divided
          1 cup long grain brown rice, uncooked*
          1 cup water
          2 tsp brown sugar, divided
          5 bay leaves
          1/2 tsp salt
          1/4 tsp ground black pepper
          1 medium cabbage (3 lbs), thinly shredded
          1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped (for garnish)
          Greek yoghurt (for garnish)
          8 slices fresh mozzarella cheese (optional)
          Preheat large skillet on medium heat and add olive oil. Add onion and half of garlic. Saute until golden brown stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Transfer in a separate bowl and set aside.

          In the same skillet brown ground turkey, breaking into pieces with a spatula. Add onion and garlic from step 1, 1 can of crushed tomatoes, rice (see Notes), water, 1 tsp brown sugar, bay leaves, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

          In the meanwhile, remove the outer leaves from cabbage. Cut the cabbage in half and using a sharp knife or mandoline thinly slice/shred it. Place in a mixing bowl along with 1/8 tsp salt. Massage cabbage using your hands until the volume of cabbage decreases. This helps to soften the cabbage.
          Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. In a 2.5″ deep 9 x 13 casserole dish, spread evenly half of the shredded cabbage topping with half of the meat-rice sauce. Then another layer of remaining cabbage and another layer of meat-rice sauce, until all used up.
          To remaining can of crushed tomatoes, add remaining garlic, 1 tsp of brown sugar, 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp ground black pepper and mix together. Pour over the layered casserole, spreading evenly with spatula. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 90 minutes. Remove from the oven, let rest for 10 minutes and cut with a knife into 8 pieces. Serve warm (I like hot) with a dollop of non-fat Greek yogurt and a slice of rye bread. The casserole tastes even better the next day and makes great leftovers and work lunch.
          Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 3 days. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month. To defrost, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or in a microwave.

          *A few readers reported that rice was still uncooked after an hour. I didn’t have this problem when creating the recipe, neither I had a chance to re-test this casserole again. Alternatively, you could pre-cook the rice with half amount of water and time as specified on the package.

      36. 5 stars
        Loved it… it’s just perfect and my kids loved it too!!! Definitely doing this many times.. and the fact you can freeze is just perfect for busy moms.

      37. 5 stars
        This is SO good!! First time I made it i followed the method exactly, and it took way longer because of the brown rice. Everything kind of over cooked by the time the rice was done. Second time I cooked the rice separately
        and it was awesome!
        I love your site by the way! 🙂

      38. 5 stars
        Made this 2 nights ago – makes a lot! Which I love – if you’re going to be cutting veggies & cooking, etc. – why not do it once and have extra meals, right? My husband LOVED this – so did I 🙂 Didn’t have avocado oil, so used olive oil. The only thing I added were some spices to the tomato sauce & diced tomatoes – I whisked them together in a separate bowl and added a bit of garlic powder, onion powder, basil & oregano before adding them to the pan. Will DEFINITELY be making this again!! We had some leftovers for lunch today – quick and easy. Thank you for this recipe!

        1. Your comment makes me smile because your “a lot” is our dinner and maybe 2 people lunch. It’s so sad here LOL. Glad you liked this recipe so much!

        1. Unfortunately you can’t use white rice with this recipe. Brown and white rice require different cooking time and amount of liquid. I don’t cook white rice so I won’t know.

          1. 5 stars
            Good to know. I did use long grain brown rice, cooked it too long and it dissolved! Guess I didn’t account for carry-over time. I don’t feel bad because the same thing has happened with long grain white rice.

            None of it mattered. It was DELICIOUS and my family wanted to take leftovers home!

      39. Hi Olena,
        Can I reheat the frozen cooked lazy cabbage rolls in a crock pot on low after defrosting then overnight in the fridge instead of reheating them in the microwave or oven?? Thanks ☺

        1. Hi Helen. Depends how long. Tomato sauce tends to burn when cooked for too long in the slow cooker. 1-2 hours should be OK but not longer.

      40. 5 stars
        I wanted something healthy and different. I stumbled across this and decided to give it a try. Never having eaten authentic stuffed cabbage, I’m not sure what it is supposed to taste like. But it was pretty good. My husband liked it too. Although next time I think I’ll add some hot sauce, or maybe red pepper flakes.

      41. 5 stars
        The very first iFOODreal recipe I made years ago and still am making it to this day. A definite staple in our house and likely a generations long tradition!!

      42. 5 stars
        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 !!

        1. 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.

      43. 5 stars
        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!

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

      44. 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!

        1. 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.

      45. 5 stars
        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!!

        1. 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.:)

      46. 5 stars
        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?

        1. 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.

      47. 5 stars
        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!

      48. 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?

        1. 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.

      49. 5 stars
        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.

      50. 5 stars
        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. ?

        1. 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.

      51. 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.

        1. 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.

      52. 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 🙂

      53. 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.

        1. 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.

      54. 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!

        1. 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…

      55. 5 stars
        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.

        1. 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.

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

      57. 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!

        1. 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.

      58. 5 stars
        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!

        1. 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.:)

          1. 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!

            1. 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.:)

      59. 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.

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