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Vegan Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

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I have always enjoyed a good cabbage roll recipe, but I knew they were not heart-healthy because the traditional recipes call for ground beef, oil, and sometimes even eggs. All of that changed with these vegan stuffed cabbage rolls!

vegan stuffed cabbage rolls with marinara on white plate

These stuffed cabbage rolls are fabulous because they’re…

  • Packed with flavor
  • Oh so filling
  • Veggie-packed
  • Loaded with healthy ingredients
  • Real crowd-pleaser

Stuffed cabbage rolls for parties

The first time I made this completely nutritious plant-based version was during the holidays. I decided to try them out on one of my toughest crowds.

I am happy to report that these vegan stuffed cabbage rolls were a hit at my husband’s Christmas office luncheon. He texted me to say they were disappearing fast. I call that a success!

How to fold stuffed cabbage rolls

The cabbage leaves are first stuffed with a layer of cooked wild rice (or another rice blend).

step 1 Stuffed Cabbage Rolls rice in leaf
Start with rice as the first layer.

Then add a layer of the flavorful mixture of sauerkraut, and veggies.

step 2 for stuffed cabbage rolls kraut in leaf
Next, add veggies and sauerkraut.

Rolling these up is simple because the cabbage head has been steamed allowing the leaves to be easily folded. First, fold the bottom (stem end) up and over the filling.

rolling and folding stuffed cabbage rolls
After the cabbage leaves are steamed they roll very easily.

Next, fold side edges of the leaf over the middle filled portion.

final step in making stuffed cabbage rolls
Fold in the sides and roll.

Begin to roll up firmly to the end, then place roll side down into baking dish with marinara sauce.

You can make your own fresh marinara sauce or used an oil-free jar version

Healthy oil-free marinara

Believe it or not, the Aldi discount grocery store has a marinara brand that is Dr. John McDougall compliant, with no oil. It’s called Simply Nature and is organic. Here in North Carolina, it sells for about $2 for 25 oz.

Make sure to read the labels, because some variations do contain oil or animal products. Aldi stores often carry different products, so do a quick check of the ingredient list. 

Another great oil-free marinara is the DeLallo Fat-Free Brand. It can be ordered on Amazon and delivered straight to your door. I actually love this particular brand.

If you would rather, you can make your own marinara. Check out Will, from Potato Strong’s Marina Sauce.

Stuffed Cabbage Roll finished on wooden countertop
Placing them in the baking dish with the rolled side down keeps them in place.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, or until sauce is good and bubbly. Serve warm.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with marinara in baking pan
The marinara sauce used can be as simple as your favorite bought brand.

*Originally published December 16, 2016.

Tips for making these vegan stuffed cabbage rolls

A steam basket works great for wilting the cabbage leaves for folding.

When folding, start with rice as the first layer when putting these together because it works great as a base.

During the baking process, be sure to pour a thin layer of marinara on the bottom of the baking dish. This keeps the rolls from sticking and adds extra flavor as well.

Nutrition in cabbage

A 1/2-cup serving of cabbage also provides approximately 28 mg of vitamin C, or over one-third of the daily recommended intake. The Colorado State University Extension indicates that Vitamin C serves as an antioxidant within the body, eliminating free radicals, harmful chemicals that can damage healthy cells.

The vitamin is also important for healthy and strong connective tissues, blood vessels, teeth and gums, and assists in iron and calcium absorption and wound healing.

Cabbage also contains several other essential vitamins, although in smaller quantities, which can contribute to a healthy diet. A single 1/2-cup serving of cabbage contains 0.08 mg of vitamin B6 for 5 percent, 4 percent of both thiamin at 0.05 mg and vitamin A at 3 mcg, 0.13 mg of pantothenic acid for 2 percent and 0.18 mg of niacin for 1 percent of the recommended intake per day for adults.–LiveStrong

Follower comments

These are so great! My boyfriend has been vegetarian since high school. It’s been 45 years since he had the ones his mother used to make. He loves me even more now! LOL! Thanks for this–Demaris

Amazing. Best vegetarian meal I have ever had. Thanks so much. I cannot wait to make it again. I grew up eating the meat version (golumpki)–Eric

I made these last night for dinner…they were awesome! Thank you again for another great recipe!! Luckily, I made extra so I could have them for lunch today, too! –Debora

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Vegan-Cabbage-Rolls

Vegan Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

These vegan stuffed cabbage rolls are stuffed with a flavorful mixture of sauerkraut, wild rice, veggies, and smothered with a layer of marinara sauce. Hands-down, best I've ever eaten!

Ingredients

Sesame Seasoning

Instructions

Cabbage Rolls

  1. Remove any wilted or dark cabbage leaves and cut out the core with a sharp knife.
  2. Steam cabbage in a large covered pot for about 20 minutes, or until soft when pierced with a fork. (I use a simple steam basket in the bottom of the pot, recommendation below). Remove cabbage from the pot when it is cool enough to handle. Remove 8 or more large leaves and set aside.
  3. To make the filling, begin by dicing garlic, onion, celery, and carrot.
  4. Saute veggies (garlic, onion, celery, and carrot) in veggie broth for approximately 5 minutes.
  5. Add sauerkraut, dill weed, and salt (if using). Cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat. I use Aldi sauerkraut in a jar.
  6. Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13" baking dish with a thin layer of marinara sauce. Reserve the rest for topping. I used Aldi's Simply Nature tomato basil brand. It is completely oil-free. I have also included a recipe link below if you would like to make your own.
  7. On a flat surface, place cabbage leaf and fill with 1 Tbsp of the cooked wild rice (or another rice blend).
  8. Next, add 1 Tbsp of the sauerkraut veggie mixture. Sprinkle with sesame seasoning (if using). Recipe below.
  9. Time to roll them up! Fold the bottom (stem end) up and over the filling.
  10. Fold side edges of the leaf over the middle filled portion.
  11. Begin to roll up firmly to the end, then place roll side down into baking dish with marinara sauce.
  12. Continue until all rolls are finished and in the baking dish, then pour a layer of marinara sauce over the top. I sprinkled a little more of the sesame seasoning over the top as well.
  13. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, or until sauce is good and bubbly. Serve warm.

Sesame Seasoning

  1. Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly until seeds begin to pop and brown slightly. Do not leave unattended, they will burn quickly.
  2. Transfer to a blender with salt and nutritional yeast. Grind into a fine powder. Place in an airtight container. Can be stored in the refrigerator.

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 55Total Fat: .4gCarbohydrates: 9.8gFiber: 1.8gSugar: 1.6gProtein: 1.2g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate and leave a comment because I love hearing from you. Remember SHARING IS CARING!

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Amazingly delicious, oil-free, and dairy-free!

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