Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Sweet Sour Sauce

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce


  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 1 cup long grain white rice, uncooked
  • 11/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 cup golden raisins (they look better in the dish, but the plain old brown variety is fine, too.)
  • 2 cans tomato soup (see note)
  • 1 soup can of water (see note)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (plain or flavored)
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (this is strong – add some, then taste as the strength can vary depending on age.)
  • 1 soup can of water
  • Salt to taste


There are several ways to deal with the cabbage leaves:

  • Freeze the cabbage overnight (I have not tried this, myself, but there is a sound endorsement on the notes at the bottom of this post and next time I will!)
  • Core and place in boiling with a heavy plate to hold it down. Blanch about 3 – 5 minutes, remove promptly and drain upside down. Separate the leaves carefully, keeping them intact. The cabbage may need to be returned to the water when the inner leaves are reached.
  • Place in boiling water and as each leaf softens, remove it with a pair of tongs, very carefully…

You should get about 15 to 18 intact, leaves but try for 16. If you can’t get 16 whole ones, you’ll need a couple more to piece together.

Meanwhile, mix tomato soup (or tomatoes, see note) with brown sugar, lemon juice vinegar, allspice, salt and one can of water. Feel free to taste and make sweeter or more sour by adding more sugar or vinegar/lemon. Set aside.

In another small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Pour in rice and raisins and simmer briskly for 5 minutes. Drain. Cool slightly. In a large bowl mix rice and raisin mixture with ground beef, onion, eggs, salt, and pepper.

Roll mixture in cabbage leaves – one by one, take a cabbage leaf and cut any hard core at the bottom of the leaf out by making a small, narrow triangle. Place about 1/3 cup of the filling on the leaf, and roll and tuck from the top down.  Place in rows in the pan, nice side up. If you need to, put two smaller leaves together and roll together as one.

Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls. Nudge the rolls around a bit so the sauce can slip between the rolls. Cover tightly with foil and bake for two hours at 325 degrees. You may want to place a sheet of foil larger than the pan on a rack just below the pan to catch any drips.

Note: A can of soup holds 11 fluid ounces, so substitute with a can of tomato sauce and enough water to come to a total of 33 fluid ounces. That’s about 4 cups. The prepared Tomato Sauce in a can is quite a bit thicker than the soup/water combination, so don’t use one of those. For a closer consistency, use a large can of tomatoes, with the juice and blend in the blender. Measure it and add water to make up the slight difference.

Nutrition per Roll: Cal 193, Cal fat: 83, 44%; Tot fat 9g; Chol 49mg; Sod 192 mg; Pot 211mg; Carb 18g; Fib .82g; Sug 12g; Prot 9g.

Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Cabbage, Canned Soup, Family Recipe, Freezes Well, German, Ground Beef, Heritage Recipe, Tomatoes.

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