German Style Cabbage Rolls


German Style Cabbage Rolls

This is a recipe handed down from generation to generation in my family.  I have changed it for my family but it is still almost the exact same recipe my great-grandmother used. Do you have a dish like this in your family?

This is the dish we make for holidays in our house.  It is the dish that reminds me of being at my grandmother’s house and the special holiday gatherings with our entire family. When the weather is cool this is the dish that warms our hearts and souls. We all have that dish that reminds us of childhood and home this is it for my family.

If you look back over the last week or so of my posts you will see a theme of comfort food and simple dishes. School ends on Friday and we are in the last push to get work turned in and studying for finals, a dance recital this weekend and a billion little pieces of things that hanging on to get done. So, with the cooler temperatures, it was only in the 50s yesterday, casseroles and comfort food are the foods of the week.

Verdict:

This is dish is even better the second day when all the flavors have been allowed to soak through the dish but we usually have to eat a cabbage roll or two when they come out of the oven because they smell so good!

I have learned that many regions of the world have a similar dish that has their areas spices or sauces on it. Some have tomato sauce poured over the top instead of sauerkraut. One I have seen has cinnamon, cloves and all spice added to the meat with no sauerkraut on top.

We all love this dish and look forward to the two or three times a year we make them!

German Style Cabbage Rolls

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. ground meat (I use ground white meat turkey or ground beef – originally the recipe was 1 1/2 lb. ground beef and 1 1/2 lb. ground pork)
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • salt (not grinder but regular table salt)
  • Ground black pepper (again, not grinder but regular black ground pepper)
  • 2 large jars of sauerkraut or two large bags
  • 1 extra-large head of green cabbage

Directions:

  1. Core the green cabbage and place in a large stock pot.  Fill the pot with water 1″ more than the cabbage.  Liberally salt the water with 1/3 cup or so of salt.  Slowly cook cabbage over medium heat for 25-30 minutes until outer leaves of the cabbage are tender.
  2. Mix meat, cooked rice, chopped onion, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  3. Drain the cabbage and slowly peel off each individual leaf to keep them whole.
  4. Place 1/2 of one jar of the sauerkraut in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan.  Spread it out to cover the bottom.
  5. Form 1/2 cup of the meat mixture into a ball.  Carefully place in the center of one cabbage leaf and wrap the remaining leaf around the meat mixture to completely cover.
  6. Place in pan on top of sauerkraut, seam side down.
  7. Continue until all of the meat mixture is used.  You may need a smaller second pan if your first one is full.
  8. Pour remainder of sauerkraut over the pan (including the juice) and cover the pan with aluminum foil.
  9. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Check that meat mixture is completely cooked through.  Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
  10. Serve with extra salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

25 Comments Add yours

  1. koolaidmoms says:

    So glad I could help. We are making a big batch tomorrow for Christmas Day. It’s one of our traditions.

    Like

  2. recipeboxgal says:

    I love cabbage rolls! This is an interesting version of it that I’ll have to try.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you! It is different but if you like sauerkraut it is really good!

      Like

      1. recipeboxgal says:

        Oh, I love sauerkraut. I come from a hearty German family hah!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. koolaidmoms says:

          I understand. My kids LOVE it and their friends are like, “You really eat that stuff?” 🙂

          Like

  3. Godsfruitful says:

    Yum de yum de yum😋😋

    Liked by 2 people

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Awe thank you so much!

      Like

  4. this is so special, thanks for sharing it with us! I think Swedish meatballs is our dish from Grama Elva! xx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is so good!! its an absolutely new dish for me…will give it a shot 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      It is a family dish so I hope you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Maryana says:

    Wow! Cabbage rolls. They are traditional food in Ukraine too. While living in the US I would make them and everybody loved them. Our family recipe is very similar. The only difference we don’t use sauerkraut in it. Though, sauerkraut is well beloved food here 🙂
    And, yes, they do taste better the next day. The same as borscht (beet soup 🙂 )
    May I ask you: Do you have German roots?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Yes. My great-grandparents are from Germany and Hungary.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maryana says:

        Thank you for replying )

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I use the freezing/thawing method to prepare the cabbage. I find it easier than cooking the cabbage.
    There are indeed so many variations for the dish. I ended up with a version that combines a few of my favorites because it was hard to choose which was the favorite.. The use of sauerkraut here is new to me, so I will definitely use it next time! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      I love how there are so many variations of a very similar dish.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My Ukrainian grandmother also made a variation of these! Wow, this brought a smile to my face seeing this pop onto my screen and makes me think that I’ll have to make and post them sometime. Our family recipe is quite similar except my grandmother always topped them with tomato sauce as you noted and also typically used the meatloaf mixture. Wow, these were my FAVORITE as a kid. My mouth is watering! –Deb

    Liked by 2 people

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Glad to bring a pleasant memory to you today! I love all the variations people are telling me about!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve also made a modern twist that used turkey and quinoa. Also very tasty. I look forward to seeing what other variations folks comment and share.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Very nice version-Marci as my paternal roots are Greek (Crete/Cretan) my YiaYia (grandmother) made her own version of Dolmades using tomato sauce -versus lemon sauce. They are rolled in Grape vine leaves and are the most favorite of mine personally. On Sundays (They had 8 children from the 8 came 26 grands) we would all converge on Sunday after Church and have a feast of these as well as many other Greek Dishes. They are some of my Fondest childhood memories. My Mother is Italian so we also visited that Grandmother with pasta, pasta, pasta, shells, lasagna oh my so many wonderful dishes. In my home I do cook many of these recipes but very seldom blog about them. My five have enjoyed all the foods I did as a child. I love to cook (obviously) and especially love to share! Happy day my friend. Cheryl x

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Jessica says:

    This sounds soooo good. I don’t eat red meat, but can do ground turkey and we love cabbage! Thank you so much for sharing a family recipe!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Looks yummy! I’ve only ever had the tomato sauce version, but if these were handed down through the family that long I bet they a great!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      We love sauerkraut so the tomato sauce version sounds so different to us. I will have to try it sometime.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s quite good, even if you are not used to it!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I didn’t grow up with Cabbage rolls. My Mom is a southern belle, our heritage is English, and Dutch. My He-Man on the other hand is only 2nd gen. American. His Father was Polish, and his Mom had Croatian and Polish heritage. They had Cabbage rolls. My M-i-L made some good Cabbage Rolls.
    I adapted her simple recipe to suit our tastes, but rarely make them b/c they’re so labor intensive. Mine have a tomato sauce/soup and are better the next day as well. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      I love hearing about all the different versions of cabbage rolls and where they are from!

      Liked by 1 person

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