My grandmother was the best cook I know. She passed along her knowledge to my mom, and my mom has passed along her knowledge to me.
By writing about the creation of one of the Christmas dishes I made after my mom broke her arm in late 2015, I’m not only sharing their secrets with my cousin (who expressed interest in this recipe in my Facebook post), but…
…I’m also passing this information along to you!
Trust me, you’ll thank me for it in the end, as this recipe for the BEST CABBAGE ROLLS EVER makes the best cabbage rolls in the world!
These cabbage rolls are very easy to make although making them takes a bit of time.
I’ve outlined everything clearly, in a step-by-step fashion, too. (I know not everyone is a cook, and I once needed all the instruction I could get!)
I know you are going to love these cabbage rolls. My entire family does, and so do my friends (those lucky enough to have tasted these cabbage rolls, that is…)!
Ingredients Needed for THE BEST Cabbage Rolls EVER
One head of cabbage
One pound/package of bacon
One bunch of celery (about 6 full stalks)
Two large onions
Two cups of long grain white rice
V8 juice (or a vegetable cocktail or similar juice)
Garlic powder or garlic salt
Olive oil or vegetable oil
Materials Needed for THE BEST Cabbage Rolls EVER
A big pot
A medium pot with a lid
A large frying pan
A food processor
A big bowl
A small bowl or large measuring cup
A pair of tongs
Two casserole dishes with lids
Directions for THE BEST Cabbage Rolls EVER
There are a few steps to making these cabbage rolls.
First, in a large pot, boil some water.
Then core the cabbage. (This means simply cutting the core of the cabbage out, which you can do by cutting around it in a circle.)
Once the water has been boiled, turn down the element to medium-low and insert the head of cabbage.
Then wait for it to soften.
Step-by-Step Directions for Making THE BEST Cabbage Rolls EVER
While you are waiting, do the following, in this order:
ONE: Boil water for the rice. Make it according to the directions on the package.
TWO: Cut the onions and celery into chunks and put in the food processor so you can chop them into fine pieces.
Once that’s done, heat the frying pan on an element at medium heat. Spray with Pam (or another type of cooking spray.)
Fry the celery and onion mixture in a bit of olive oil (or vegetable oil, or butter).
Once they are cooked, put them in a big bowl.
THREE: Cut the bacon into small pieces with the scissors. (Use the same frying pan you just used for the celery and onions.)
Fry the bacon, constantly stirring it, until it’s cooked.
Drain off the fat, then put it in the food processor so that you can chop it into tiny pieces.
Put the bacon in the bowl with the celery and onions.
FOUR: Once the rice is cooked, put it in the big bowl, too.
FIVE: Add some season salt, some pepper, and some garlic salt/powder, and mix well.
This is the filling for the cabbage roll!
To check to see if the cabbage is soft enough, try GENTLY peeling a cabbage leaf away from the rest of the cabbage using the tongs.
The leaf should not break!
It should be pliable enough to handle, as well as being a bit translucent (sort of clear).
Once the leaves are soft enough, you can separate each leaf.
Note: For this recipe, I used what was called a “flat cabbage.”
Spray the inside of the casserole dishes with cooking spray.
Place the casserole dish, the big bowl of your rice mixture, and your pot of cabbage leaves on a table.
To assemble the cabbage rolls, you need to take a spoonful of the rice mixture and place it inside a cabbage leaf.
Then you need to roll it up, much like you would roll some coins that you’d bring to a bank.
When rolling, tuck the edges of the cabbage leaf in, and be mindful that each cabbage roll is a delicate thing, so handle each one with the utmost gentlest care!
Place each cabbage roll into the casserole dish. Repeat until the dish is fairly full.
You WILL have “leftover” cabbage and you WILL have leftover mixture. That’s okay!
Simply cut up the remaining cabbage and mix it into the remaining mixture. Put this into the other casserole dish. This is what people call “lazy cabbage rolls.”
Then complete the following step FOR BOTH CASSEROLE DISHES:
In a small bowl or large measuring cup, mix ONE CUP of V8 juice (or other vegetable juice) with TWO TABLESPOONS of ketchup and ABOUT A HALF CUP of water.
Pour equally over each casserole dish.
Bake at 350°F for about two hours (120 minutes) but check it at about the 1.75-hour mark (about 105 minutes). The cabbage rolls are done when a fork can easily be inserted into them!
Once the cabbage rolls have cooled, you can freeze them in their casserole dishes.
To re-heat them, simply thaw them and then cook them at 350°F for about an hour.
Share this Recipe!
This recipe has been in my family for generations, and these cabbage rolls are considered to be the BEST CABBAGE ROLLS EVER!
Note that this recipe can also be adapted for meaty cabbage rolls. All you have to do is simply add a pound of fried, lean ground beef (or ground pork… or both!) to the rice mixture.
Please share this recipe with your friends. They will thank you for it! 😉
Also, be sure to check out the recipe for my 8-Layer Cake. (SUPER easy to make. Practically NO instruction needed!)
Author: Lorraine Reguly
Lorraine Reguly, BA/BEd, is an author and an English teacher-turned-freelancer for hire who offers 4 different services on Wording Well: writing (including blogging and ghostwriting); editing; and mentoring. She also helps others become published authors! Check out her services and see what she can do for you to help you!