Jan 18, 2015

Red Cabbage Rolls

Red Cabbage RollsI always wondered if cabbage rolls made with red cabbage would turn out and now I can report on my experiment. I already knew from eating lots of cabbage salads that red cabbage is a little tougher than the green one. That turned out to be true even when the leaves are softened for cabbage rolls. I boiled the whole head of red cabbage for ten minutes, just like I do the green one for my cabbage rolls. The leaves didn’t seem soft enough so I put them back in for another few minutes and they seemed a little softer. I then proceeded as usual, cutting off the thick spine to make them easy to roll.

The main difference occured when rolling. I made both green and red ones so I could really compare and the green leaves rolled up beautifully and didn’t tear or break. But some of the red ones tended to break and crack so I had to patch the crack and then roll up my golabki. So the red leaves were a little harder to work with but I must say they do look good.

And the taste? Wonderful, just like the green ones. So my summary is… if you are making cabbage rolls for the first time, stick with the green cabbage. The soft leaves will be easier to roll and you will be confident in making them again. If you make them in red, just be prepared for a little extra work if they tear but that can happen with green leaves too. When it happens, you remove the filling, lay an extra piece of a cabbage leaf over the tear, fully covering and overlapping the tear, then add your filling and roll it up.

Cabbage rolls made with red cabbage make a beautiful presentation and once they are cooked, the red rolls are just as tender as the green ones. So there is my report. I will definitely make red cabbage rolls again if only for the reaction I’m sure to get when I put them on the table.

My Polish cabbage rolls recipe has been very popular and I’m thrilled with the number of people who have made and love them. Over 1/4 million people (update February 2021 –  over 15 million!) If you haven’t made stuffed cabbage yet, click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

10 Comments on "Red Cabbage Rolls"

  1. Rose

    Made cabbage rolls today and they were great. Your recipe is simple and east to understand. Thank you, Jenny!❤️👍

  2. Shannon

    On the red cabbage, have you ever frozen the cabbage? You let it thaw then peel it off then roll the meat? I am wondering if that would work?

  3. Karla Hyman

    I made stuffed red cabbage and I have to say…. They turned out awesome!! I had a bit of ripping but I took your advice and they were beautiful! I love your videos and your recipes are awesome! Thanks a bunch! 💕

  4. June Richardson

    Jenny your recipes,,,,are so simple, beautiful looking, and so nutritious…just what ‘the doctor ordered’……i will be eating many more of them. And you are fun tzo watch on u tube. So,genuine and funny at times. Thanks for sharing and making my life happier….hugs juniebeth from Nova Scotia. Canada….

  5. Nancy

    made cabbage rolls baked for about an hour and the cabbage is still hard how do i soften

    • Jenny

      I think I would try two things – either microwave them or freeze them and it’s possible one of those might soften the cabbage.

  6. Loan

    Hi Jenny,
    Thanks so much for your sharing about cooking and I do like your personality a lot.Related to cabbage rolls,I saw some people do this with pickled cabbage,do you know how to pickle cabbage for making cabbage rolls?my husband (he’s Croatian by the way) loves cabbage rolls ( called “sarma “) his mum used to make and I’m trying to do as close to the original as possible.Hope you can help me.Thank you so much.Wish you all the best always.

    • Jenny

      I’m sorry I don’t know how to pickle cabbage but I do see some recipes for sarma on the internet. But you gave me an idea. My dad would sometimes put sauerkraut on top of his cabbage rolls before cooking them and I love sauerkraut so I’m going to try putting kraut on them the next time and then pour over kraut juice instead of tomato. If you can’t find a recipe for sarma that works, you could try my idea just for fun…


    I want to say thank you so much for all the wonderful recipes. it was very hard to find great recipes with great family stoires that is from Poland or have the Poland background. I can’t wait to making these cabbage roll!

  8. Stan

    Jenny, Your Cabbage Roll recipe is fabulous. Here’s a reduced fat twist substitute the ground sirloin and long grain rice with KASHA (Buckwheat medium oats) cooked in beef broth, onions and peppered to taste and allowed to cool overnight in refrigerator). I’ve made Cabbage Rolls using this method and have received standing ovations!

Leave a Comment

Want to share your photo of my recipe?
Just click on this link: YourPhotos@JennyCanCook.com.