Main Dishes

The Best Vegan Cabbage Rolls

Prep

1 hour

Cook

1 hour

Yield

12

Cabbage rolls are often a staple in the household during the holiday season. They are so delicious, comforting, and you really can’t go wrong with this holiday fav. For this recipe, I’ve made vegan cabbage rolls. Yep, you got it, I’ve taken something that’s classically stuffed with meat sauce and made a vegan version. And they are so damn delicious and comforting. I seriously love making these because they warm my soul. 

Vegan cabbage rolls

This recipe is easy but it also is a bit time consuming so you’ll have to have some patience. I promise though, it’ll be worth it. Vegan cabbage rolls often get a bad reputation for being super difficult. Yes, they are time consuming, but no, they are not hard to make! These are made with a delicious vegan meat sauce and rice all stuffed into the yummy cabbage and smothered with more sauce. Keep aside about 1.5-2 hours to make these up and make a large batch so you can freeze a bunch for later and to get you through the winter months. 

Vegan cabbage rolls

You’re going to love these vegan cabbage rolls because…

  • They are comforting 
  • They are adaptive to make them your own
  • They are fun and involved (think of an assembly line and get your whole family involved)
  • Perfect for the holidays 
  • Loaded with flavour (without the meat) 

Tips for acing these vegan cabbage rolls

When removing the leaves from the head of cabbage for this recipe, cut approximately 1/4 inch off the bottom of the head and place the whole head of cabbage in boiling water. Boil the head of cabbage for around five minutes and then peel off the softened leaves. Repeat the step by placing the remaining head back in the boiling water and continue until all the leaves have been removed. Be sure to cut and trim any rough/tough edges off the cabbage rolls before you roll them up and use any leftover cabbage to overlap the rolls or place them at the bottom of the casserole. 

Vegan cabbage rolls

The benefits of cabbage 

Cabbage actually is loaded with so many healthy benefits. This whole recipe is really healthy with the easy tomato sauce, the plant-based stuffing, etc. but the cabbage itself brings your body a ton of benefits such as: 

  • Rich in a ton of nutrients but especially vitamin B6, C & K and folate 
  • It can help keep inflammation in check 
  • Helps improve digestion 
  • Can aid in keeping your heart healthy 
  • May help lower blood pressure & cholesterol 

Vegan cabbage rolls

Other recipes to check out for the holiday season

I also have compiled together a couple of round-ups of some of my favourite holiday and comfort food recipes. You can check them out at the links below: 

What are your favourite recipes to make for the holiday season or that you find super comforting in the winter? Share below in the comments!

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The Best Vegan Cabbage Rolls

  • Author: Maria Koutsogiannis
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 12
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Description

These super easy vegan cabbage rolls are smothered in a yummy vegan “meat” sauce and are perfect for the holiday season.


Ingredients

1 medium-sized head of cabbage

1 batch of Vegan Meat Sauce

4 cups cooked white or brown rice


Instructions

Sauce:  prepare the sauce as instructed in the blog post above.  Take half the sauce and combine it with the cooked rice and stir till well combined.  Set aside for when you assemble your cabbage rolls. Save the other half of the sauce for when you’re placing your rolls into the casserole or baking dish.

Fill a large deep pan with enough water to cover your medium-sized cabbage and bring it to a boil. Before boiling, remove and disgard all torn or off outer leaves of the cabbage. Use a paring knife or small knife to cut at an angle around the core and remove as much of it as you can. Put the cabbage core-end up into the boiling water and cook until the leaves soften.  The leaves will begin to losen from the cabbage making it easy to tear off.  Use a large fork or set of tongs to loosen leaves if they become stuck (try not to tear them though). Remove each leaf and repeat until you have 10-12 whole cabbage leaves.

Take the 10-12 leaves and place them into a colander and rince over cool water till easy to handle.  Once cooled, pat them dry and trim the thick rib from each piece of cabbage. Grate 1 cup of the leftover cabbage into your meat sauce + rice mixture and stir till well combined.  Taste for seasoning and add as necessary or needed.

Place a cabbage leaf concave up (like a glass) and have the stem end toward you. Place around 4 tbsp.(more for large leaves, less for smaller ones) of the rice mixture near the stem end and mold it into an oval shape. Fold the stem up over the filling and then fold each of the sides toward the middle. Roll the filling up the rest of the leaf.  Try and make this as tight as possible. Repeat till you have 12 rolls. Any remaining stuffing can be enjoyed as is with lovely fresh avocado and fresh cilantro.

Spread half the leftover plain meat sauce evenly over the base of your casserole dish or large dutch oven and begin placing the cabbage rolls seam side down on the sauce in a single layer.  They will be a bit tight but this is perfectly fine.  Cover the rolls with the remaining sauce and cover with a sheet of tin foil or lid and cook for 1 hour or until the cabbage is pull-apart-soft.

Enjoy with vegan sour cream and a side of beautiful sauerkraut.


Notes

Feel free to add fresh herbs like dill or fresh parsley to the meat sauce, this will add extra depth and flavour to the overall dish.

This is inspired by my Greek roots and is by no means a traditional filling but is delicous, nutrtious and fragrant nonetheless.

 

sa

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